We’ve all heard the adage: minimum skills, minimum education = minimum wage. Oh, thanks for clarifying. Read: minimum. Can never be too clear, right?
And to that, and to virtually every argument I say, you’re missing the point. Another meme I saw? Great one, this was. It was a split screen, an EMT in an ambulance looking distraught on one side. The other? A fast food worker flipping burgers. The caption read something like, this person makes $15 an hour (EMT) to save lives. Do we really want this person (flipping your burgers) making the same. Which is dumb. Like, you’re dumb. Sorry.
My favorite part of this way of thinking is the whole, what you do and how “important” it is, arbitrarily determined by your own set of values of course, determines your pay. Which is similar to saying people in the military should make as much as pro athletes. I truly LOL every time I see that. People in the military fight for our freedom and like everyone else I have tremendous amounts of respect for them. Pro sports leagues make billions of dollars. The military doesn’t make money. Also, people get really pissed when taxes go up. So have fun paying $4,357,209.41 in taxes next year if you insist. Another favorite: WNBA players should make as much as their male counterparts (it’s sexist, duh). To these people I say, would you rather go to your local WNBA team’s game or NBA game? Oh, I have to pick? Fuck, I don’t want to see the Lynx play. Yeah, so there’s this thing where like, if you went, they would make more. It’s called revenue.
The EMT in question, and all EMT’s make $15 an hour under the current pay scale. If the minimum wage were raised to $15 an hour, do you think they’d still make $15 an hour? Probably not, because everything’s relative. That’s not to say everyone’s pay would rise substantially, but I think it’s fair to say that by the time the minimum wage saw a hike to that price, the two parties wouldn’t be making the same. There’s the main part of the argument. The other part I have a problem with but not nearly as important; whenever the issue of raising the minimum wage is brought up everyone says, do you really want someone taking your order at McDonald’s making (insert amount)? The point of the argument is to take the job you find to be the most menial and meaningless to enhance said viewpoint. Which takes away from the main topic of discussion entirely.
What I’m flabbergasted is never argued is that, to get back to my central thesis, you’re missing the point. I’m not arguing for fast food workers to make $15 an hour or anything for that matter. I would just like to steer clear from talking about your local fry cook, with exception to those living in Bikini Bottom (all hail SpongeBob).
The real point to be contended is not whether certain job titles should make minimum wage (they should), but what should the minimum wage be. And, should minimum wage be a livable wage? You can even take that a step further to say, should it be a livable wage for an individual or a family? Ideally, you would have two working parents but what if you don’t? What happens in the case of a single mother?
I understand the discontent with those gaming the system, but is it really the majority? Everyone likes to think so, but to those people I would say, have you ever been to the ghetto? Probably not. Did you ever poll people in such impoverished areas about whether their means of surviving came from the government or their own hard work? Probably not. And as someone who doesn’t like to be biased, I would honestly like to know the extent of stats on this. (Which I will look up later, possibly, because I am too lazy). Oh my god, you guys, he’s just like them! I bet he’s on welfare too! No, thanks for the input unless not providing for your own housing i.e. living at home is a form of government subsidy. (Damn those kids and their handouts).
To reiterate even though I never iterated, I don’t care about this nearly as much as you might believe. Let’s just keep our conversations on track, shall we?
Oh, and before I open up a whole new bag of worms, I would like to cut a lengthy argument to a few sentences. If you want people to not take advantage of the welfare system, you probably want an incentive for those actually working hard. Those being parents who work minimum wage jobs to raise a family but actually make little above what someone on welfare does. That may involve, cough, raising the minimum wage and further separating the quality of life of someone working hard with those relying on the government for income.
Also, attitude is everything in life. SpongeBob makes minimum wage and he’s happy as shit.