by Steve Miller
Last month I wrote about the fifteen dollar minimum wage being demanded by fast food workers everywhere. It seemed strange to me that a burger flipper in Manhattan is asking for the same $15 that a worker in Norman, Oklahoma, where the cost of living is about twenty-five percent lower. I don’t expect these guys to be economists. I don’t even expect them to be good at arithmetic. In fact, I don’t expect them to be good at anything except for menial and closely supervised tasks. That’s why fast food workers have pictures of the food item on cash register keys.
While we may not expect them to be capable of doing anything else, that doesn’t mean that’s all the typical minimum wage earner is capable of. Most are capable of much more and their minimum wage job is a stepping stone to bigger and better things. Students and others with full-time commitments use these jobs to either earn extra income or bridge the time until they’re qualified and ready for more rewarding employment. Many of today’s executives started behind the counter of a fast food restaurant. These jobs were never intended to be a career or to provide a living wage for a family of six. Some folks never got that message.
It seems that the Progressives were listening carefully to the cry for more money from the masses. Now, the Democratic Party platform calls for a $15 per hour national minimum wage for all hourly workers. (Note that I blatantly bolded some key words. We’ll get to those in a minute). Based upon a 30 hour week, that would put flippers, lawn mowers, car washers, and Wal-Mart greeters at over $31,200 per year based upon a 40-hour work week. But wait, there’s more.
Here’s why I bolded a few words in the previous paragraph: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average non-supervisory hourly employee works over four hours of overtime per week. That’s an additional $4,680 per year, which brings our minimum wage earner up to a minimum of $35,880 per year. Continue reading