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Affluent Investor | March 28, 2017

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Fight For $15 Produces a Wave of Job-Replacing Kiosks

Just as I’ve warned you — over and over — the agitators trying to raise the minimum wage to a ludicrous $15 an hour have torched the very people they claim to represent.

Those people got greedy. And their greed got them used.

In a guest op-ed in Forbes last week entitled “Thanks To ‘Fight For $15’ Minimum Wage, McDonald’s Unveils Job-Replacing Self-Service Kiosks Nationwide“, former McDonald’s CEO Ed Rensi explains the company’s rollout and the necessity for it, the harm Fight for $15 has done to countless workers, particularly those at the outset of their careers, and the cynical SEIU effort behind it all.

Fight for $15, of course, claims that all they’re seeking is a “living wage” for all the people “trapped” in minimum wage work. Sounds noble, right? And McDonald’s sounds greedy and evil.

Well, it does until you think this through a bit.

$15 an hour is $30,000 a year. For a teenage burger flipper. With no skills whatsoever beyond “Do you want fries with that?” A lot of these kids literally cannot make change.

Right now, the average household income is $55,775. Nationally, middle class for a single person starts at $24,000. For a family it starts at $42,000, but in many parts of the country a lower cost of living translates that to as little as $34,600. The poverty line for a family of four is just over $22,000.

That’s for a family. At $30,000 for an individual, Fight For $15 wants unskilled single teenage burger-flippers to be vaulted into the middle of the middle class. To borrow one of the left’s favorite words, that’s not “sustainable”.

More perspective. Minimum wage jobs are not intended to be anyone’s career. They’re supposed to be entry level positions for people like those just described. They make less because they bring less to the table. If they hang around anytime at all, they’ll pick up some skills and be worth more. At which point they’ll be paid more. And are paid more.

Fight for $15 is not at all about helping minimum wage workers. It is a scam by the unions who paid for Fight For $15 to push up the wage at the bottom so all the levels above have to be raised too. This is about getting raises for the union, at the expense of minimum wage jobs about which the unions don’t care at all.

Oh, and don’t think Democrat leaders like Bernie Sanders don’t understand this. Most of their money and organizational manpower is provided by the union bosses. Sanders and company are in on the whole thing.

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Note to the future: I recognize that someday these numbers will sound ludicrously low and someone will use them to paint me as a monster. I get that. In 1960 the average price of a house in the United States was $12,000, a car was $2,600, and the average worker made $5,315. These numbers change over time. Someday $15 an hour won’t buy a can of Dr. Pepper.

But not today.

 

Originally published on Rod Martin’s website.

Rod D. Martin, founder and CEO of The Martin Organization, is a technology entrepreneur, futurist, hedge fund manager, and professor. Fox Business News calls him a “tech guru”, Britain’s Guardian labeled him a “philosopher-capitalist”, and Gawker describes him as a “brilliant nonconformist.” He was a senior member of PayPal’s pre-IPO startup team and is a member of the Board of Governors of the Council for National Policy.

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