What if YOU we’re working at a fast food restaurant, earning 10.10 per hour?
A 9-5 minimum wage employee currently earns close to 400$ dollars per week. After taxation, that same employee earns closer to 350$ dollars per week, rounding out to roughly 1300$ – 1400$ dollars per month.
This level of income doesn’t afford an automobile, often forcing said employee to walk to work. To be more precise, this level of income affords these employees very difficult choices, such as paying rent for an apartment or paying a car payment, or saving very little…..
A difficult set of circumstances….
I’ve developed multiple editorials about this topic, both from my own perspective and the experiences of those around me. See my prior article on minimum wage increases here; http://civiliansnews.com/civilians-news/why-increasing-the-minimum-wage-is-not-the-answer-to-inequality/.
I’ve personally disagreed with raising the minimum wage several times. I think bolstering the economy with this philosophy, is like using a band aid for a gun shot wound, a way of demeaning currency in order to create future wealth gaps that exceed even today’s measurements.
That being said, I would ask that conservatives in office, view minimum wage in terms of “systems of thought,” in accordance with Milgrim’s classic, “Stanford Prison Guard experiment.”
In my experience, as a minimum wage employee, most bosses do not wish for these types of employees to reach their level of employment. This is how the lower class most often functions, most of us have experienced it. Sub managers do not want new sub managers and instead prefer a revolving door of employment beneath them, despite the inhumane or sometimes cruel effects of this style of business.
So what you end up with, in different population densities, is a situation where you have a “system of thought,” similar to imprisonment, in many modern day work environments. In fact, so much so, that I believe these experiences are nearly congruent with Milgrim’s experimentation on prisoners and prison guards. In these experiments by Milgrim, originally carried out by Stanford University, people were asked to carry out inhumane orders, on other civilians, deemed as “prisoners.” The experiment was run several times by various groups, whereby in each instance, people were proven as willing to torture the “prisoners,” regardless of whether they were even truly criminals, simply because they were told to do so by “bosses,” in the experiment.
It’s the classic people are willing to carry out orders, even when the orders are cruel or inhumane, in this case, in terms of lower class employment.
This has proven historically to be true, repeatedly, century after century.
Which begs the question. When are we as a nation, as a planet, as a global economy, going to look at this issue and say, “well the jobs issue is fixed, we’re no longer going to have problems with un-employment?” Never? Will we ever change the conversation to something more advanced? Or is this “political rhetoric,” never ending….. in terms of jobs and job creation?
I don’t believe the 10.10 minimum wage is the worst idea, but it must become normalcy with caution, because it can trigger inflation….. actually creating LARGER wealth gaps in the future.
Sometimes that’s life (according to?) however, there are a number of ideas people could begin to consider that would aid the problem. Specifically, I’d like to call on “corporate America,” to pay more attention to detail……
For example; What should “the best fast food cashier in the country earn per hour?” What about the world?
How would you even know, if you were the best pizza delivery man in the country? Or if you were the best hair cutter in the world? How would you even know, in some instances?
I find that in lower class employment, many companies take advantage of their employees in this way and that often times, these highly skilled employees don’t know how good they are, due to societies interpretation of their field.
This is a major problem today, in the US economy. So much so, that often times I see people who are incredibly skilled employees, run into the ground by corporate America, simply for working what older American’s consider as “less enviable work positions.” It’s almost as though, you can’t be successful at all anymore in lower class jobs, because of societies predisposition for these types of employment.
To shed some light, from my personal experience; I’ve worked at about 5 pizza places since I was in high school. Recently, I was fired from one such pizza place, despite having 3-4 years of experience and a college degree….. The ironic part, I was fired after literally not saying anything for the first month that I worked there and after being what I would consider, an experienced/model employee.
So what I seek to reform is attention to detail….. and pay grades that take into account, exemplary employees, even if said employee specializes at the register or drive through window.
This could be done in a variety of fashions and not necessarily by monitoring employees 24/7, but by simply asking management to pay more attention to detail, while not hesitating to promote lower class workers, just because they work an unenviable position.
What I’m saying is refined checklists, precursors, managers with fair and even evaluations, perhaps even evaluations, from offices in higher up, corporate positions. Maybe executive monitoring of lower level employees, who possibly do survey cameras, but from an executive position. I want executive attention, looking all the way down on the grass roots…. Perhaps even creating more executive positions in the future. Maybe that’s too ideal, maybe it’s not, but I simply wish that the best employees got paid accordingly, at every level of the corporate chain. Whereas often times today, I see circumstances that are quite the opposite, due to what I regard as a human tendency to look down upon lower class workers, often times not because of their work, but because of generalizations that come along with their field altogether.
-William Larsen, Civilians News Founder