(Closed) Fast Food Workers and the Slow Death of Hard Work

posted 6 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 47
Member
1379 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Other people made the point I was trying to make much more eloquently. The point being that you can do everything “right” and still not make enough money to support yourself or your family.

I guess I’ve been thinking a lot about that this weekend. I work, but don’t make much. My roommate (who is a recent college grad still looking for work) and I have been apartment hunting and we had the most terrible time finding a place. Even very modest places wanted a minimum annual income of $40,000-$50,000. Nevermind that I have been able to pay rent fine on my currently salary, nevermind that we both have good rental histories and have never paid rent late in our lives. Fortunately my parents were willing and able to be gurantors (although they had to spend a full day running around getting every single piece of paperwork imaginable). But what about the people who don’t have a safety net? They become homeless. And being homeless makes it difficult to advance yourself. Can you imagine preparing for an interview when you don’t have clean clothes, access to a shower or internet access?

Yes, people pull themselves out of poverty all the time. But the ride up sure is fraught with pitfalls. A medical crisis, a broken condom, an unexpected car repair, a crazy boss or landlord-all those things can send a person right back to the bottom again.

@AlwaysSunny: A degree that is marketable when someone begins their education might not be marketable a few years later. I feel really bad for teachers who graduated in this economy. Teaching would seem like such a solid choice-after all, there’s always going to be kids. But it’s not anymore and who starting an education program pre-recession could’ve predicted that? 

Post # 49
Member
816 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I don’t necessary agree with the article but I also believe that a starting job should get a high salary either.  I am a proponent of a living wage (basic housing, public transportation, healthy food, electricity, healtch care, internet [necessary in this day and age for job searching and for example online learning to improve one-self], 1 phone, basic (maybe from thrift stores or super sales) ammenities for clothing).  The fact is that taxpayers are subsidizing low wage workers who are unable to meet living costs.  Why should taxpayers pay that burden?  I do believe Ford’s philosophy of paying and training one’s workers so they are able to purchase the goods you produce to be the one sure way to increase the wealth of a nation.

This is one article on the cost of increasing wages, if you do searches you’ll find many articles pointing to the same general direction: increasing wages will not affect people nearly as much as they think they will.  Yes some profit would be lost, but by increasing the earning potential of workers you might end up getting more sales (more disposable income).

http://www.businessinsider.com/what-a-walmart-wage-hike-would-cost-you-2013-7

Some might claim at whats happening in Bangladesh, or developing countries but do we really want to compare our working conditions to a 3rd world country?  Having lived in developing countries I can assure you that poverty does lead to increased criminal activity and drug problems.  And then to “protect the hard workers” we end up having to spend more money on police forces and prisons.  

It is true that a balanced approach needs to be taken so that people gaming the system can’t take advantage of the situation.  But if someone works 40+ hours a week, it is to the benefit of society (and their children) to provide them a living wage so that they can then use their time to better themselves and become self-sustaining productive members of society.  

Post # 50
Member
594 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

How about greatly reducing CEO bonuses and pay?  Do you have any idea how wealth the Waltons are, for one?   

Post # 51
Member
268 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

Is minimum wage in the US determined by each state, or is it determined federally? How much is it there?

Post # 52
Member
2639 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa

@Aquaria:  Amen, sister. This is where I find myself now.

I moved to a small town to support FI’s dreams, so I got stuck in fast food, because I had just started my other career in the big city, and now it didn’t seem like it would translate (real estate, for those who want to know). I am working on getting out though. I have decided to join a company here, and by a stroke of luck I already have my first client. I have to keep working at the fast food place until my real estate career can provide equal or better income, but until then, I must trudge (you know, to trudge. the slow, weary, depressing yet determined walk of a man who has nothing left in life except the impulse to simply soldier on) through my time at the fast food joint.

Post # 53
Member
2639 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa

@Paperbagprincess14:  minimum wage is federal, though states can determine a higher one if they wish. here is a little chart for my state. bear in mind that people who make tips can get paid considerably less.

 

 Effective Date          Minimum Wage         Tipped Employee Wage 

 

January 1, 2013           $7.78                              $4.76

January 1, 2012         $7.64                      $4.62

January 1, 2011          $7.36                      $4.34

January 1, 2010          $7.24                       $4.22

 January 1, 2009        $7.28                      $4.26

 January 1, 2008          $7.02                  $4.00

 January 1, 2007           $6.85                    $3.83

 August 8, 1998              $5.15                     $2.13

 

Post # 54
Member
2874 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

i don’t know. my husband and i have a very different perspective on things like this. i was brought up in a very comfortable home so my instinct is to say “the minimum wage is a disgrace, people need to have a chance to support themselves properly”

My husband’s family were very poor when he was a child – and trust me, being poor in mexico is a hell of a lot worse than being poor in the US/UK. And im talking about ‘can we afford to eat this weekend’ poor, or ‘shall we heat the house in winter or eat”. And in 35 years, his family managed to become successful – start a business from nothing etc. And now, (we are all still in mexico) they are all very comfortable

So whenever he sees people say things like “i deserve” or “im entitled” etc it enrages him even though he wouldnt necessarily disagree with people being paid a decent wage. You dont get food stamps in mexico and govt support is negligible

i need to think more about this….

Post # 55
Member
115 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Are you fucking serious?  This is why I am so disappointed in people in general. Whether its a fast food job or retail,  people CANNOT live on minimum wage. It’s not possible. Period. And to everyone saying “there are plenty of opportunities for education and bettering yourself!”

you have obviously NEVER had to try to support yourself without help from someone else. It’s hard to work the 40+ hours needed at minimum wage to pay the bills and go to school at the same time. 

We are in the process of putting Matt through school, and he hasn’t gotten to get all the way through FOR that reason. 

Im not saying raise minimum to 15 or 16 an hour. But at least 11 Or 12. 

Post # 56
Member
594 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

@MirnaMinkoff:  +1,000. 

 

There are many politicians in the US that are doing their level best to make it a third world country. Hating the people who need a living wage is not the answer here. Certain people do not want to pay living wages, and want to take away social safety nets.  ‘I got mine, so screw them!’, does not work at all. 

 

Post # 57
Member
2250 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

There needs to be more of a balance between cost of living and minimum wage, for sure. It’s unfortunate that the author of that article comes off as such an asshole, because it does open up an interesting discussion.

@Schrodingers-Car:  +1000000.

Spread the damn wealth around. There are too many greedy, selfish people in this world who are born into money and look down on everyone else.

Post # 58
Member
2639 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa

@hummingbirdkrista:  +1

And let’s be honest, most places won’t give you 40 hours (consistently), because if they did they would have to offer you healthcare due to the new laws. 

When you work overtime, the government also takes a bigger chunk of your paycheck. This happened to me a couple of times, and I made less money than if I had worked less hours because the gov’t took a bigger percentage. Sure doesn’t make me want to work more hours. 

Regardless, there are only so many hours one can work. I am fortunate enough to be making 8.25 an hour because I am a manager (.25 more than everyone else), and my paychecks every two weeks hover around the 375-450 mark. 

Sorry, people, but $750-$900 per month is not enough to live on. Our rent is $775. Our electric is $100. Groceries for two are another $300. My student loans are $250. Thank goodness for FI’s better-paying job, is all I have to say.

Post # 59
Member
685 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

The increase they’re asking for is ridiculous. Even in my first job as a researcher I didn’t make that much.

The only reason I’d be in favor is because fast food prices would go up and people would eat there less and hopefully make healthier choices.

But wouldn’t that result in a loss of fast food jobs anyway?

Post # 60
Member
1379 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@newname_99:  My problem with the “it’s worse in Mexico/Africa/Bangladesh” argument is that the US is constantly touted as the best, wealthiest and most powerful country in the world.  If anyone should not have people living in poverty it’s us. We’re not living up to our reputation.

Also, cost of living is lower in poorer countries and the social structure tends to be different. My boyfriend can see a doctor for something like $20 and take transport anywhere in the country for a hell of a lot less than a tank of gas. His family is poor, but they combine resources and look out for each other in ways that is uncommon in the modern, American family.

Post # 61
Member
1423 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

That article is ridiculous.  It’s not like workers are demanding something for doing nothing.  They are trying to negotiate for better wages.  The last time I consulted my dictionary, it told me that wages are things that people earn through their work.  They aren’t trying to get something for free but are trying to get fair compensation for their labor. 

 

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