Unions want to organize fast food restaurant employees so that they will earn at least $15 an hour.
I remember earning $1 an hour in 1970 working in a college dish room, and I thought I was doing quite well. My allowance at home was $4 a week doing chores. I have a notebook that showed I earned $4 per yard I mowed and $1 per walk I shoveled in the winter. Back then, a can of soda cost only 15 cents; and occasionally, there were gas wars when gas plunged to 16 cents a gallon. One station couldn’t make enough money pumping gas, so it became a dairy store. It has been a gas station again for over 30 years.
I only paid around $450 a semester to go to college and received the BEOG, now known as a Pell Grant. It was enough to pay for my tuition and that of my sister, with enough left over for us to place in our bank accounts. Yard work paid me enough to live comfortably with my parents. The minimum wage was more than enough to meet my standard of living. The minimum wage was never intended to be what you earned for the rest of your life. It is a starting wage that will increase as your skills increase and as you get a better job.
Many people say we should pay school teachers more than professional athletes. But would sponsors pay $1000 a minute so that people could see long division being done on TV? If a TV star makes more per episode than what a family earns in a few years, it is because the network makes enough from the sponsors to pay that salary.
Energy prices have soared and forced rents to soar because as oil and gas prices climb, so do rents. I remember when rent for the apartment I live in was a little over $250 a month. Now it is around three times that much. We could have lower energy prices if we could use all that we have below our feet. But Obama said he wanted energy prices to rise before he was elected, and he is getting his way.
Let’s say the living wage for a father in a family is $20 an hour so that the wife can stay home with the children. A union carpenter might make $40 an hour, and a car mechanic might be able to charge $100 an hour to repair a car since wages are determined by the minimum wage. With the monster called inflation ready to open its mouth and devour our money after the policy of printing money based on virtually nothing ends, I foresee a day when increased wages accompany increased prices into the stratosphere. If we hadn’t had people with common sense back when Carter was President, and the inflation rate exceeded 10%, we might have had an uncontrollable inflation rate today.
If inflation forces fast food restaurants to hire workers at $30 an hour to work four hour shifts every other day so that they can avoid the Obamacare taxes, we might have $100 Big Macs. Want to add fries to your order? Pay an extra $20. And don’t splash your soda because each slosh could be worth $1. After finishing a $520 meal with your family, you drive home in your $300,000 hybrid, stop to fill your tank with $400 worth of fuel, and arrive at your $3 million cottage. You worry about taxes like the Obamacare tax that is $20,000 a month. You and your wife make a combined total of $20,000 a week and wonder how you will make ends meet. Should you take out another $3 million mortgage? With interest rates exceeding 20%, paying the monthly payment is tough on the family. You’ve imagined robbing a bank and spending years in prison where you’d live for free. But that wouldn’t be fair for the family; and besides, there is so much overcrowding due to others who can’t afford to live on the outside.
Germany once suffered from hyperinflation when the world punished it for waging war and losing in 1918. I have German postage stamps that had to be stamped with a higher value because their original value was too little. I have a stamp that was valued at 20 million marks; and back then, it would have been worth less than a penny. I’ve seen a picture of a man with a wheelbarrow of German marks he needed to pay for a loaf of bread. Many used the money for fuel until Hitler came to power. After he got done with the country, Germany was rubble.
If inflation becomes as bad as some people predict, some kids might ask their parents if it would be alright to get a job at a fast food restaurant where they are starting workers at $50 an hour for twelve hours a week of work. At least they could eat for free. But their parents tell them to wait a couple weeks because they might be paid $60 an hour and be able to bring home food from the restaurant to save on high food bills. When milk costs more per gallon than what an entire cow used to cost, every dollar you can save makes a difference. If only the minimum wage wasn’t tied to the rate of inflation, like what voters just decided in New Jersey. The inflation monster would have remained asleep if the inflation rate hadn’t been its alarm clock.
Photo credit: rob_rob2001 (Creative Commons)