AM 760 KFMB - Talk Radio Station - San Diego, CA - Be Careful When You Ask For a $15/Hour Minimum Wage

Be Careful When You Ask For a $15/Hour Minimum Wage

Updated: May 13, 2016 6:10 AM

Surely, one of the most contentious debates in the past few years has been the fight for fast-food workers trying to get a living wage. Well, employees in that industry and others got their wish, at least in California and New York.

The minimum wage, at least in California, will rise to $15/hour by the year 2022. This was a win for the “Fight for 15” crowd, but their win may be overshadowed greatly in the coming months.

Wendy’s┬ásaid that self-service ordering kiosks will be made available across its 6,000-plus restaurants in the second half of the year as minimum wage hikes and a tight labor market push up wages. (Investor’s Business Daily)

First and foremost, most media outlets report the increase of $10/hour to $15/hour as if it was going to happen overnight. When they, being the media, fail to report the essentials of the newly-signed law, the story is under-reported and it’s false advertising in a way.

Let’s look at this with a clean lens. If you’re of a certain age, you understand that entry-level fast-food jobs were meant as for younger employees. This could apply to high-school students or college kids needing a job to save up for whatever their reasons may be.

They weren’t meant to provide a living wage. They weren’t meant to help you feed your own kids and pay for rent and utilities.

I get that the economy is in what feels like an irreparable sinkhole. It’s awful that so many people are out of a job. However, there are a good chunk of people who have failed to look for a job. I get that not all of us were raised with both parents and had guidance down the road that is life itself.

My parents always taught me to be diligent and persistent in searching for jobs. That was coupled with finding a talent and/or skill that could be useful in finding a job. Finally, I was to find a job and be determined to do it well in order to get better jobs down the line.

This latest news of fast-food companies deciding to either install self-serve kiosks or raise prices of their products is quite alarming. It’s amazing to wonder why these workers don’t consider the ramifications of their actions when they demand a wage increase. They rarely think of what the business owners need to do in order to cancel out the wage hike.┬áThere’s insurance for employees to be considered along with worker’s compensation.

You just can’t simply raise the wage of workers without looking at the full slate of factors. There’s going to be a breaking point, not just for fast-food restaurants, but other companies as well. Many of them cannot afford to pay all their employees $15/hour (when it gets there, of course). They have to likely lay off employees.

What is that person going to do then when they’re out of a job after being so excited to have the minimum wage raised? It’s a weird dynamic.

This brings up an interesting point that we heard on The Brett Winterble Show. The University of California system announced earlier this week that they will allocate $25 million in financial aid for illegal immigrants to get a college education.

I’m not getting into a political discussion about this. However, if you want to hear some of the discussion with Brett and some brilliant listeners, check out the story here.

When did we get rid of the majority of apprenticeships? Do they still exist? If they’re still out there, then those who seek employment or a steady career are not looking hard enough.

It seems to me that many millennials are stuck inside a bubble in which they refuse to burst. One may not feel he/she is good enough to try becoming an electrician, a mechanic or a plumber. Those are three specific fields that are always going to be needed in this world.

Trade and vocational schools/classes need to come back with a screaming vengeance to help break this ridiculous mold. It’s a mold of getting a job and assuming that the employer needs to meet your particular circumstances and help you pave your way through life. The job is a stepping stone.

A great chunk of the most successful people in today’s world didn’t get there just because they worked at Wendy’s, flipped burgers and called it a day. They busted their humps, working overnights, working multiple jobs and being persistent to get where they wanted to be.

In closing, all of this reminds me not only of what my parents taught me growing up, but something that I heard in an interview a few weeks back. The incomparable Mike Emrick is the lead television play-by-play announcer for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. He’s been cancer-free for 25-plus years and has felt very blessed to have a job he loves. He said something to the effect of this: “It doesn’t say anywhere that you have to hate your job.”

This is true on so many levels. If you don’t like your job, stop complaining and get another one. Make something for yourself. Make your mark in this world. You only have the one. Don’t waste it.

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