There has been an awful lot of talk about minimum wage recently. Should we raise it? Should we keep it the same? Should people on minimum wage jobs get off their lazy butts and get better jobs?
I’m embarrassed to put that last line yet a lot of political and news figures aren’t embarrassed to not only say it, but stand by it. They say minimum wage jobs are demeaning and the people who work them are not ambitious.
I just want to say, never let anyone tell you your job is demeaning because it is not. Especially don’t let anyone tell you this that has never had to go out and look for a job not because they wanted more pay but because they needed to put food in the mouths of their children. Don’t accept degrading comments from anyone who has never been yelled at for going home early to take care of their sick children because there was no one else to do so. Don’t listen to the negative ranting of someone who has never worked open to close not for money but for being threatened to lose their job.
The only demeaning job in the world is the one that ENCOURAGES people to go out and publically call blue collar workers unambitious. The only demeaning jobs are those that encourage a person to think only about bottom lines, and not about the feelings of those under them.
And they are encouraging us to feel bad because we have minimum wage jobs. They are using these statements and repression to make us think it IS our faults. But it is NOT our fault. BE PROUD of your job no matter how much you make. BE PROUD that you are working to make any kind of living you can. BE PROUD that you will get by in spite of poorly thought out economical solutions passed down from the top. And whether you are a burger flipper, a floor mopper, or order taker, BE PROUD! And be the best burger flipper, floor mopper, and order taker you can be. You don’t have to be rich or in a high rise building to make a difference in someone’s life YOU can make a difference right here, right now, right where you are.
Is the minimum wage too low? I’m sure it is. Are companies justified in believing that raising the minimum wage would plunge them into debt? Probably not; not most of them anyway. Take the case of In’n’Out burgers who believed the right way to do business was to pay ABOVE minimum wage. They start their burger flippers out around 2 dollars over the minimum wage. The result? When they put out for applications they get forty to fifty, not five to fifteen. And the quality of worker has gone up as well as their feelings about what they do. They are happier; they work harder, and thus make the customers happier who are all the more happy to return. I know I hit one up anytime I’m near one.
Of course nay-sayers will say this is but one example and it is because I don’t need to go into a long diatribe over how effective raising the minimum wage is. I don’t have to because studies and history already show this. CEO’s want more money for making more money because they won’t pay their workers more for working harder. There are exceptions and those are some good companies to work for but as long as we let the rich elite tell us we don’t have ambition we will believe it.
Let them know we have ambition. Let them know we cook their food, we scrub their floors, and we keep their world moving along. We are America, and we deserve better.