15 Bucks an Hour to Flip Burgers???

Lex Minnick, Business Manager

Imagine working a minimum wage job, no college degree needed and little to no prior job experience and still making $15 an hour! Who wouldn’t want to flip burgers and work drive thru for a living?

Many places including NYC are pushing for a pay increase. Many rallies and protests have been happening on the streets. In LA, that $15 level will be reached by increasing each year until 2020.

How is it fair for people who go to college for years at a time to be making less than those who don’t even need a degree. [Need specific example here] Despite the length of college, the expense can be very high depending on the college and how many years one attends. Yet still expected to be able to pay back the college without a pay increase.

So where’s the incentive to go to college? There isn’t one. Who would want to willingly go to school longer and still be making less money than those who haven’t?

Even going to a technical school wouldn’t be worth the cost and effort that goes into attending the school just to make less than $15 an hour.

All workers deserve some sort of increase, especially those who do much more strenuous work than the typical food industry worker.

I’m not saying that fast food can’t be hard sometimes, but the fact is that such jobs are usually for high school kids. Someone who is just starting out and needs some sort of work experience would be best to start at a simple job and then move up. It’s not meant to turn fast food into a career.

The application requires no background experience and minor education while most career choices require schooling, experience and many other requirements, such as professional certification.

Yes, fast food requires some higher ups, such as managers and bosses. But that’s a tiny portion to those employed at a fast food chain.

Minimum wage jobs also include thousand of other jobs, not just fast food. Waitresses are a prime example of a job where the workers make well below minimum wage actually and aren’t seeing an increase in the near future. Many other people (sadly) have to live on minimum wage yet are watching only fast food workers get an increase.  An increase in minimum wage should be seen in all businesses, not just fast food.

From Department of Labor and Department of Health and Human Services data.
Courtesy of Tribune Media Service.
From Department of Labor and Department of Health and Human Services data.Many people sadly have to live on minimum wage paychecks, yet are watching (in many states and cities) only restaurant workers get an increase.

“If you’re gonna see minimum wage be $15, you’re gonna see a lot of jobless people because everything will be run by machines,” stated IRHS teacher Lindsay Turnbull. Already with self-checkout machines, fewer people are needed to run some types of retail and grocery business (and even some restaurants, like Panera Bread).  It doesn’t seem like eliminating jobs, even low-paying ones, is going to help anyone.

Please note: the opinion(s) above are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of the entire WarriorInk staff, the teachers or administrators of Indian River High School, or the district Board of Education.