General Question

_Whitetigress's avatar

Do you support the fast food strikes?

Asked by _Whitetigress (4349 points ) August 1st, 2013

Why or why not? Just remember, it’s ok to have an opinion that can change later on if you’re not too familiar with the subject.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

127 Answers

seekingwolf's avatar

I’m not after I heard that they are demanding $15/hour for working a register.

15!!!

I’m really sick of the idea that minimum wage jobs are something to strive for and you should be able to pay rent and support 2–3 kids working 40 hours a week at McDonald’s. It’s ridiculous.

seekingwolf's avatar

Btw, I want to clarify, I am not against the idea of examining and adjusting the minimum wage.

I just think $15/hour is ridiculous and so is the idea of a Living Wage, which people estimate to be around $17/hour in many places. In the end, I believe prices will inflate for everyone and then we’ll be back where we started.

Btw I make $12.50/hour, post college. Is it a lot? No. I work nights only, full time, at a hospital and it’s a very physical job and stressful because our hospital is full all of the time. I live with my boyfriend who also works. We pay all our expenses. We can afford one dependent, who is of the feline variety. Money is not super plentiful but we have all our needs met and many of our wants.

Sure, I’d love my pay to be more but I feel it’s fair for what I’m doing and what is required of me. That’s why I’m not out there striking like an idiot.

It boggles my mind how these people have children despite being so lowly paid. I would never have a child on what I make! To me, that is risky and stupid! If you’re only working minimum wage and are trying to have a family, you are messed up and perhaps delusional since you clearly don’t understand the costs associated with a house, children, nice things, etc.

Yes, I’m aware that there are a select few people who work in fast food who used to have good jobs and lost them. But they are not the overwhelming majority. Most of these people are only qualified to work in fast food but want to live outside their means.

I am not worth $15/hour at my current job.

These people are not worth $15/hour either.

ragingloli's avatar

Absolutely. A full time job should at the very least earn you enough money to live on, regardless of what that job is.

jca's avatar

I am absolutely in favor of employees’ right to unionize and therefore, strike if they deem it necessary. A contract and resulting decision on salary is something that would then be decided mutually between employees and management.

Kropotkin's avatar

Sure. There are enough resources around for everyone to live comfortably. Anyone working a full-time job, regardless of what job that is, should live a more than comfortable life.

I would add that in today’s age of incredible productivity and automation, there shouldn’t even be a requirement to work full-time and have a comfortable life. Enough economic output could be allocated to the completely idle and there would still be more than enough left for anyone who chooses to work for more, especially considering that machines and robots make so much of what we consume.

$15 is extremely modest. It is amusing (in a bitterly ironic way) to me how members of the working class will decry the idea of a fellow worker striving for a little more pay, as if he were undeserving of it—and then often go on to defend and justify the excesses of CEOs and various idle multi-millionaires. It truly boggles my mind.

How dare people on low incomes want to have children. Breeding should be the privilege of the rich.

jca's avatar

@Kropotkin brings up a good point. When you look at the disparity in pay, benefits and bonuses between CEO’s and employees, it’s huge. Remember the Hostess strikes and how it portrayed the disparity? Yes, CEO should be compensated for his knowledge and experience but the regular Joe employee should be treated fairly as well. Decent, living wages and benefits are something all workers should strive for.

seekingwolf's avatar

I do take issue with the CEO salaries. I don’t know anyone who really is in support of those in any class, but maybe that’s because I don’t know any CEOs.

But yeah, I think if you can’t afford to have children, then you shouldn’t have them. – - Sorry to be pragmatic. – -

We hardly have an underpopulation problem. Last thing we need to be doing is enabling people to make life choices (ie kids) that they can’t afford and raise properly, so the burden falls on all of us.

I would never, ever have a child making 12.50/hour. That’s insane. At least I’m responsible enough to use effective birth control. My coworkers get pregnant a lot. I feel that they are reckless and irresponsible. Most live in near poverty.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes. I think the $15 is high, but also I think it is a bargaining tactic. Ask for $15 hope for $10 maybe $12. I haven’t heard that it is, but that is what I assume. Companies are squeezing employess too much and so this is going to start happening more and more. The last 5 years the mantra has been people are lucky to have a job, the media has encouraged that thought, and so people are terrified and don’t quit even when they are severly underpaid or overworked. The less money someone makes the more vulnerable they are.

For years I have been saying retail employees should strike on Black Friday if they are asked to work at midnight the morning of when the store is typically open. They don’t have to strike for days, they can just insist they won’t work before 8:00 am when typical store hours are 10:00 am to 9:00 pm. It is abusive, dangerous, and probably causes more illness. I actually think even 5:00 am is abusive, and that had been going on for a while; it is ludicrous. I tend to be anti-union, but corporate greed will push people too far, I don’t know what they are waiting for. Companies will be lucky to just deal with some employees like this than actually have to deal with a union coming in.

ragingloli's avatar

@seekingwolf
Actually, one of the primary problems of western societies is indeed the fact that westerners do not have enough children, coupled with the fact that more and more people live to old age.
The result is that there are less and less working age people to fund the retirement pensions of old people.
And people being too busy with work/not having enough money to afford children is one of the main reasons for the abysmal birth rates.

JLeslie's avatar

@ragingloli As much as I am all for social security, the numbers are set up to be too dependent on the next generation funding it in my opinion. Also, if the people who tend to live in poverty are having many children, they actually take more from the tax system than they give, and their children are more likely than middle class children to grow up and be adults also living in poverty.

I disagree with @seekingwolf that poor people should not have any children, but it would be better if they have only one or two and not before they finish high school. Also, if they are paid a better wage obviously it would help them and society at large. We also as a country need to focus on poor neighborhoods being at minimum safe and have decent schools. I also hate to use a broad brush and a say all poor people should not have big families. Depending where you live poverty can be very different. Out in the country is different than in the big city.

jca's avatar

@JLeslie: You meant to say you disagree with @seekingwolf saying the poor should not have any children, not @_Whitetigress?

JLeslie's avatar

Yes, thank you.

seekingwolf's avatar

I think a raise in the wage to even just $10 would be good if we looked into it. $15 is ridiculous.

Europeans have abysmal birth rates, yes. Not Americans. You can’t lump them both together.

In America, about 20% of women never bear a child. That’s hardly abysmal.

Your concerns about the older folks is valid because the baby boomers are a HUGE segment of the population and they are getting older. But we aren’t like Europe and Japan in that we are lacking younger folk. That’s jist not true.

If a poorer person can afford 1–2 kids, then I have no issue with them having one. But no one should be having any children they can’t afford. I’m actually shocked that some people here are supportive of this. It disadvantages everyone, children and the rest of us.

Children are a lifestyle choice, just like owning a house is a lifestyle choice. It is not a right. It is not a given. Not everyone wants one. And if you can’t afford it, don’t do it. You can live without one.

That’s why insurance companies and Medicaid don’t cover fertility treatments. It’s not a necessity like good, water, medical treatment, clothes, and shelter.

josie's avatar

I don’t care. I think it is sort of funny.
But it is fairly certain that the striking McDonalds workers do not know much about the economy, and that if they actually get 15 an hour, they will probably eventually have no job at all.
But brilliance is not a requirement for flipping a burger.
I don’t eat that crap anyway.

jca's avatar

@seekingwolf: I’m sure you have heard of the government indirectly funding Walmart profits due to Walmart’s low wages making many of their employees eligible for Medicaid and food stamps. Does that make sense to you, that the corporation profits, the CEO and other corporate positions make huge salaries, and the employees get supplemented by our tax dollars because their salaries leave them below the poverty line? Mc Donalds and other fast food places fall into the same category.

jca's avatar

http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/news/news/state-regional/employees-of-big-companies-fill-ohios-medicaid-f-1/nM454/

another example from a quick Google search – above link is for Ohio but you get the picture…..

JLeslie's avatar

@seekingwolf I just don’t like to tell someone they can’t have a baby. I don’t have any trouble telling someone they should plan not to have a baby before age 18. The real problem is a wage people can live on. Anyone who works 40 hours a week and does a good job should be able to put a roof over their heads and even support a child without me paying tax money to support them. That means the companies need to pay better, we are basically giving tax money to the companies, just as @jca describes.

The $15 might be very high for small town middle of Alabama, but in NY or Chicago it isn’t.

I just ask you to make sure you are putting yourself in the poor person’s place. Especially the working poor.

CWOTUS's avatar

I fully support the idea of people being able and free to organize themselves into coalitions and unions and to “demand” themselves out of any job there is.

However, I also support the idea of an easy path to immigration for anyone who wants to come to this country to work harder, smarter and better… and to put me or anyone else out of a job in the process if they can do the same job and are willing to take less for it. I think they’d start with the low-hanging fruit at fast food restaurants making outrageous demands of employers, who should also be free (absent any signed contracts with The International Brother-and-Sisterhood of Cashiers and Burger-Flippers) to hire said workers at a rate of pay that suits the employer based on the person’s qualifications for the job, and to which the worker agrees.

I realize that this attitude flies in the face of National Objectives and Public Policy, however. Just call me a rebel.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I’m OK with people making social statements – that’s their right.

However – this is going to be utterly ineffective. Basically it’s a waste of time and a loss of a day’s pay.

But if it makes them feel good, have at it.

livelaughlove21's avatar

You’d have to pay me $15/hr to get me to work at McDonalds. I don’t get why perfectly employable adults work in fast food. McDonalds is a job for a student or someone that never bothered to graduate high school. Maybe even as something temporary if there aren’t many jobs in your area. There are other jobs out there. You just need to put in the effort to find them. My experience tells me that way too many people don’t know squat about job hunting. I worked in a restaurant in high school and never went back to food service. I also never went back to minimum wage. And I live in a state with a higher-than-average unemployment rate.

Kids at McDonalds don’t deserve $15/hr for what they do. Adults at McDonalds should consider what went wrong in their lives that led to them working in fast food. There are plenty of kids willing to take their jobs without fussing about the pay.

tomathon's avatar

I don’t support striking because striking is coercion. I support the firing of any employee who chooses coercion instead of peaceful negotiations.

I also think these strikes are misdirected and counter-productive since it is government policies that cause increased prices. Any attempt to fix this issue on the private sector end will only cause more pain to the very people trying to make their lives better. Therefore, for those who cannot make enough money to live on, should take up their grievances with the government.

jca's avatar

@tomathon: “peaceful negotiations instead of coercion.” Can you please describe the scenario as you envision it? I ask because when I envision it, I envision employees going to management asking nicely for a raise and the employer saying no, what next?

JLeslie's avatar

@livelaughlove21 I feel like there is so much judgement in your statement. What if someone has lower intelligence? What if there are limited options in their community because it is small and they want to continue to live where they were born and raised? What if they like that job? What if they are limited because they don’t have a strong awareness of other options?

When I walk into a McD’s 95% of the time the people are working hard and the place is busy. I don’t think we can say they are lazy. I actually agree that a lot of the time these jobs are done by teens and people going to school and that is why I feel $15 is on the high side, but no matter what people should be paid for their work. All honest work should be respected. A friend of mine’s father served in WWII. Much of his life after the service he worked packing groceries. I like to think people don’t look down on him. He kept a roof over his kids heads and they went on to be educated, served in the military, and later had high level executive positions in the private sector.

Someone will wind up working in McDonald’s why not treat them as though we value their service and give them incentive to work and not be on the public dole.

@tomathon Although I agree the government can screw some things up, I don’t see how you can talk about increased prices here. McD’s food is cheap and their profits are high. Why not question how much profit the private sector looks for? I fully support capitalism and profit, but they push to far and squeeze the employee too much. How are employees going to fight for better wages? I guess they can just not take the jobs to begin with? But, that is a very difficult and impractical scenerio for people living at the poverty level. Maybe companies can just pay a fair wage to begin with and they won’t have to worry about employees getting the idea to orgnaize like this.

tomathon's avatar

@jca

I envision it as “Please increase my rates or else I will strike which in turn will cause financial and reputational damage to your company”.

And that is exactly why most unions are located in the public sector because in the private sector you get fired for something like that.

JLeslie's avatar

@tomathon So, are you saying with this strike in particular there was no fair warning? Employees didn’t ask first for some changes?

tomathon's avatar

@JLeslie

Increased prices in the market, not per sector. It is impossible to live on a minimum wage salary in a high cost-of-living area. Government causes that increase and high cost-of-living. It has little to do with business policy. The wage is fair already. Business owners should not have to pay employees more because employees standard-of-living has decreased no thanks to government policies.

Trying to fix this problem on the business end will cause a net effect of higher prices for everyone, a net loss of jobs, subsidization of weak uncompetitive companies, and a big round of cheers from union sympathizers who will benefit at the expense of everyone else (with the real problem not remotely addressed).

tomathon's avatar

Definition of Strike: A refusal to work organized by a body of employees as a form of protest, typically in an attempt to gain a concession or concessions.

That tells me they didn’t get their demands met, so they’re going to cause financial and reputational damage to the company until they get their increased rates. Also known as, coercion.

JLeslie's avatar

Well, prices of goods is partly market driven. If people won’t buy the higher priced food, then McD’s might have to make less money.

gambitking's avatar

I guess I’m a little late to the party, but I just now was reading the news on this. I do have some appreciation for these efforts. I appreciate the difficulty in getting national attention through a coordinated campaign across fast food workers throughout the country. That’s a tall task, even for union workers much less these unorganized folks. So that’s pretty good that they’ve been able to do this with some success.

I also appreciate their willingness and courage to stand up like that.

But I believe asking for DOUBLE what they make is ludicrous. It is understandable to petition for more money on a minimum wage job when you’re trying to survive. But it simply does not make sense for McDonald’s to pay $15 an hour to entry level employees.

JLeslie's avatar

Do you all think that if they had raised their minimum to $9.00 this strike never would have happened? I really don’t know how many people in the organization only make that minimum. Maybe raising the minimum isn’t the key, but giving some raises might have helped.

jca's avatar

@tomathon: Higher wages does not necessarily mean higher prices for customers. Higher wages for the working Joe at the bottom of the ladder may just mean that the big shots at the top who make huge salaries and bonuses might just make a bit less. Maybe a few less million or a few hundred thousand less, perhaps.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie Oh, where to begin…

What if someone has lower intelligence?
– It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to be a receptionist or even work as a cashier at Lowe’s or Home Depot (where they pay their employees $10/hr to start down here in SC where the price of living is quite low). I’m not sure what “lower intelligence” even means. Lower than what?

What if there are limited options in their community because it is small and they want to continue to live where they were born and raised?
– Then that’s their prerogative. I don’t think they care about my approval of their choices. Still, there are jobs in small towns as well. Surely McDonalds isn’t the only company in their community.

What if they like that job?
– Again, their prerogative. Not really sure what there is to like about getting paid shit money to work your ass off and have to deal with bitchy customers all day, but to each their own.

What if they are limited because they don’t have a strong awareness of other options?
– Ignorance is a crappy excuse. If they aren’t going to take on the responsibility to increase their awareness on such options, then perhaps McDonalds is where they belong.

I don’t think we can say they are lazy.
– Where exactly did I state that they were lazy?

…no matter what people should be paid for their work.
– They are getting paid, are they not?

Someone will wind up working in McDonald’s why not treat them as though we value their service and give them incentive to work and not be on the public dole.
– I would never treat someone that works at McDonald’s with disrespect just because they work there. I also don’t necessarily think “less” of them. However, I just don’t get why they would make that choice (and yes, it is their choice to work there) when there are almost certainly other options out there for them.

I know quite a few people that work at these crap jobs as adults when they could do something else. Hell, most of them are family members. They’re not lazy, they’re not bad people, and more power to them for dealing with what they have to deal with. However, it’s their own fault that they’re stuck there. What good will it do to bitch about the pay rate? Go out there and find something better. Pay for these jobs has always been low – that’s why we call them “minimum wage jobs.” When there are plenty of other people willing to do your job for less than you’re demanding, it’s probably best to keep your mouth shut.

tomathon's avatar

@JLeslie @jca

It depends on the business owners tolerance. That decrease in their own profits might be the breaking point. They might sooner close shop because it isn’t worth it for them to stay in business for the amount of money that they make, or they might fire workers and put the extra work load on those who kept their jobs.

Owners don’t become instantly wealthy. A Mcd’s franchise owner doesn’t make millions of dollars a year unless they own several places. Depending on average sales, their salary, after all expenses, can range between 50k to 150k.

@JLeslie

Some raise won’t help. To live without welfare assistance and without kids, you need:

$15 an hour if you’re married
$30 an hour If you’re single

A lot more if you want kids. Strikes will keep popping up until those demands are met.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@tomathon – who is going to meet the demands? Where is the pot of money coming from?

tomathon's avatar

@elbanditoroso

Too vague for me to answer. Elaborate.

_Whitetigress's avatar

@ragingloli I’m curious to know why you believe that “any job” should be able to provide a “living wage” when not all jobs ask for the same skills required to perform.

For instance in America, McDonalds jobs don’t require even a high school diploma. While being a medical doctor requires years of study. Those are two extremes just for examples. Of course there are a lot of jobs that don’t require high school diplomas and people do fine, like working oil rigs, working a farm, etc.

There is also an article floating around, I think on BusinessInsider.com that displays the top paying fast foods. In N Out being number 1 and I can tell (because I live in San Diego and live 4 blocks down from one that their service and workmanship and communication far exceeds that of McDonalds 15 year olds learning how to communicate with customers) They get about 10.55 upon hire, and you don’t have to get an incentives chart filled out unlike at McDonalds for get this… .15 cent raises!

I used to work at McDonalds in high school and it was a mindless job.

Do I want everyone to be able to have a living wage? Yes of course. But where do we draw the line that in order to have a living wage there must be some sort of responsibility within the citizens? Oh my God I’m sounding like Mitt Romney. But let’s be honest. I’m a liberal. When do we hold the poor accountable? I understand they are going for 15$ hopefully it raises a bit from their current wage. McDonalds will definitely still profit.

A good point is fast food working seems to have become accepted as a job to hang on to. This is truly a sign of the times. There are no other real “American” jobs to have. All the factories are gone.

augustlan's avatar

I do support their efforts, though I think $15 is too much. (I agree with @JLeslie that it’s likely just a negotiation tactic.) There is more than enough money to go around, if people at the top weren’t so damn greedy about it.

@livelaughlove21 My husband used to make 50 grand a year as a manager in a service industry. When the economy started going downhill, he was laid off and took another job in his field, making just $35k/year. When the economy tanked, he was laid off again and couldn’t find any job in any field for over two years. He took the first job he could get…he now works at Walmart part-time, making 20 cents an hour over minimum wage, with no benefits. Sometimes, shit happens, through no fault of choices you make.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Nope, in my area the fast food workers are mostly college students and elderly people, the service is horrible and I don’t reward anyone for shoddy work. Regardless of the pay, if you accept the job for a certain wage, you do it to the best of your abilities, and if you don’t like it, you go elsewhere.

jonsblond's avatar

It is hard to find a good job these days. @augustlan just gave a great example. A Hobby Lobby just opened a new store in a nearby town and they have 80 positions available. In one week, over a 1,000 applicants applied for the positions. I don’t know how much the average Hobby Lobby employee makes, but I’m sure it’s not much over minimum wage. Many people are looking for any work that is available, even if they have years of experience from previous positions.

My oldest son is taking time off from college and he needs to find work. In our small town his only options are fast food, gas stations and a small nursery. None of those jobs are going to pay him enough to support himself right now, so he’s living at home. There are a few factories that would pay slightly more, but he doesn’t have the work experience to get hired on, if they are even hiring right now. He really doesn’t have any other options at the moment.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about the strike, but I’m in the camp that agrees if you work 40 plus hours a week you should be able to at least afford food and a roof over your head.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@augustlan But is he still at Wal-Mart now? We’re not talking about when the economy tanked – this strike is going on now.

annabee's avatar

@_Whitetigress

Your question won’t matter soon. They’re already mass producing Robot Waiters, Chefs, Bar tenders, etc. in Asia. It won’t be long before it is mass produced in the U.S.

$5,000 for a chef to chop noodles or a one time fee of $2000 for a robot? Hmm?

augustlan's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Yes, he just got the job this spring and continues to work there while looking for other work. In our area, the economy is still awful.

_Whitetigress's avatar

@annabee No one could ever replace human service as it pertains to food business. Maybe gas stations, but never food.

@augustlan It happens, I took the first job that was available too after two years of no work. Ended up in a restaurant. ONLY BECAUSE IT WAS BRAND NEW AND OPENING. As much as I hate Arizona laws, this company is from Arizona and I’m lucky they came to San Diego.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@augustlan The key words being “while looking for other work.”

annabee's avatar

@_Whitetigress

Check out the robots in action. Here are robot waiters link

augustlan's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Well, the key is really “and not finding any”.

flip86's avatar

I fully support $15 an hour minimum wage. Why? Because I believe it will stimulate the economy.

The more money a person has, the more they will spend.

CWOTUS's avatar

@augustlan if you “support their efforts”, then what business is it of yours (or any other supporter – I’m not picking on you specifically) to say what is “too much” (or “too little”, for that matter)?

I’m with @josie in posts that he has made elsewhere, if not in this thread: “Why stop at $15 / hour? Make it an even $100 per hour for good measure.”

This is a reason why free markets work so well (and they do, too): wages, skills and other demands of both employer and employee can be met by all kinds of voluntary agreement, else jobs go unfilled and else workers stay unemployed. And it cannot be said (not in the USA, anyway) that “they need more government intervention to protect their health and safety rights, their ability to collect fair pay for overtime, to not be overworked in the first place, etc. etc.” – they already have all of that.

augustlan's avatar

@CWOTUS If they can get $15/hour, good for them. I just think it’s an awfully big jump from where they are, and that a more modest increase is more likely to succeed.

SamandMax's avatar

On the flipside of that theory @flip86 (pun not intended), where there are those not working through whatever reasons, it will also by way of increase in inflation, promote poverty.
$15 for flippin’ burgers and frying chips? I don’t think so. Not if nurse up there is earning $12.50 an hour. That is wildly disproportionate. If they want a living wage, then fine, but a living wage is a wage that should cover the essential sum for living, not for a life of luxury – and people flipping burgers and serving happy meals to screaming kiddies earning $15?...That doesn’t sit well in my mind. I shouldn’t imagine it would sit well with the nurses either!

flip86's avatar

@SamandMax $15 an hour would be minimum wage. What part of that makes you think a nurse would get $12.50 an hour? The minimum wage would be across the board for everyone. Also, why is flipping burgers so bad? Food service employees work just as hard as anyone else. If you’ve ever worked in food service you’d know it is a very demanding, fast paced job.

ragingloli's avatar

@_Whitetigress because of simple human dignity.

johnpowell's avatar

I always find this funny. When people organize for unions or for a better standards and others bitch it usually boils down to what I see as jealousy. How dare the lazy and stupid make almost as much as what I do? Seems like jealousy to me. But the thing is they could fight just like the fast-food workers for better conditions. But instead of doing that since it requires work and discomfort they want to push people below them.

And the Republicans blame liberals of being jealous of the wealthy. It seems like they are jealous of the poor that fight for better conditions and might end up making more then them.

ragingloli's avatar

There is a German novel about this type of person, called “Der Untertan”.
Someone that kicks those below him yet prostrates in front his superiors.
Someone who has a slave mentality and expects others, especially his inferiors, to also have this slave mentality.

johnpowell's avatar

And I should add that a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger at Wendy’s cost the same here as it did in 1996 before our minimum wage doubled. Still 99 cents. Rent is about the same too.

JLeslie's avatar

Just think about the countries around the world. Do you want to be like the ones that pay shit wages to the poor? Think third world. Or, do we want to continue to maintain a strong middle class and not have people in the lower-middle falling down into poverty? Seriously, look at the history of the nations, the prosperity, the living conditions, the social structure, the crime rates, the people you risk being elected into office when the poor are in huge numbers. You will get a real socialist, forget the accusations that Obama is a socialist, if their numbers get big enough. Look at Venezuela. To me that is the same as people organizing into unions. They can’t get a break, because the wealthy hold so much of the wealth and power, so they want a fair shake and they vote in Chavez! What a fucking nightmare in my opinion.

I would rather pay more for a burger and less for taxes to support people who don’t earn enough. It gives the person doing the work more dignity and a stronger work ethic.

I am in no way saying everyone should make the same wage, I am only saying the distance between minimum and executive salaries is too vast and profit is out of control. I would gladly give up 10% of our household income if it would be spread to people making the lowest wages. I do not want to pay it in a tax and distrubuted in social services. I want it to be for the work they do.

@SamandMax What nurse is making $12.50 an hour? All the nurses I know make $20—$40 an hour. If they are charge nurses or have a specialty they make even more.

@KNOWITALL Maybe the service is horrible because they aren’t paid well. I have seen a relationship to service and payscale. I don’t have scientific data, but the places I have lived, usually places that pay crap have bad service. Being paid better the person has more pride in the work and cares about the company, they have more loyalty and more commitment.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Our cost of living is crazy cheap. I’ve worked for 11 years HARD for $11 pr hr. Cops & teachers pay is $30k or less.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seekingwolf I agree children are a lifestyle choice. Many couples are THINKING now, it’s fabulous! Self-awareness.

jca's avatar

@SamandMax: Where I live (right outside of NYC) RN’s make around 90k. LPN’s may make about 60k.

@KNOWITALL: Around my area, cops make around 45k to start, plus OT. After some time, they make around 80k plus way more with OT. Public school teachers in my town make (after 30 years) 127k teaching kindergarten. I asked a Q on this site a few months ago, because I was astounded to find out what I thought was astronomical pay. All public employees have their salaries online (as I do, as I am a civil servant) and it’s all public info. Granted I live in a ritzy school district, but still, no teacher around here make “30k or less” as you stated.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Of course I do. I grew up in a time without strong unions. Therefore, I have to really work and struggle.

Most of the negativity you are seeing towards this strike is from the very young, who don’t understand what paying people well does for the overall wealth of the nation, or those of an age whose parents benefited from unions, and don’t appreciate how much better their lives were for them. I mean, they grew up spoiled, so they don’t understand why people who grew up poor think they deserve any help.

The world stunk in the 30’s, so we made unions. The economy was amazing once unions were strong and people were paid a living wage. Their children decided unions were crazy and destroyed them. Now things suck again. But the spoiled brats who want to pay themselves well and their workers crap will tell you unions and a living wage were the problem. Seems like you are impressionable enough to believe them in spite of all evidence to the contrary.

Supacase's avatar

@jca I’m certainly for teachers being paid more, but Kindergarten teachers are making twice as much as some police officers and nurses?! $15 to work fast food around here is absurd. Ads for administrative work, paralegals and the like are offering $10—$12 per hour.

But, damn!

What’s with all the hate for fast food workers? These aren’t just student jobs. Maybe they offer the flexible hours people need so they don’t have to pay daycare or so two-income households can share one car. These jobs are keeping many people just above the need for welfare. It says a lot that they would work fast food for minimum wage when they could easily stay home and live just as well off of the system. We can’t all be doctors. The world has a lot of unskilled labor work that needs to be done and who are we to look down on the people who do it? Are we seriously criticizing people for doing an honest day’s work because their jobs are “beneath” us?

jca's avatar

@Supacase: In the example I gave of the kindergarten teacher, she has probably been teaching for 20 years. However, yes, she would be making more than the base salary of a cop, and the two jobs are pretty different (cop is more dangerous, teacher requires more education).

Around here, an administrative assistant might make 30 or 35k to start.

talljasperman's avatar

The only way I can afford to work at fast food was to live at home rent free. As I reached a higher pay the cost for everything else went up… That when I realized that a higher pay doesn’t mean you are getting a real raise. Inflation makes most raises useless. The only way to earn more is to have more raises than the local average.

_Whitetigress's avatar

@KNOWITALL Actually it was during the Romantic-Era that young adults for the first time in large numbers were thinking about holding off on kids until graduation of college and on a steady career path already. :D So “they’re starting to think, again*”

livelaughlove21's avatar

Cops here start off at $29K-$35K. Teachers here start off at $25K-$30K. These people need pay increases way before the guy handing me my McFlurry through a drive-thru window does.

jca's avatar

Pay increased for public workers (cops, firemen, teachers) comes from a different source (taxes) than pay increases for fast food workers does (profits from a large corporation, i.e. McDonalds).

livelaughlove21's avatar

@jca I’m aware of that. The fact remains that public service workers like cops and teachers deserve more money than fast food workers, regardless of where the money comes from. If anyone should be striking, it’s them.

Probation officers make about $30K per year here. Take home pay: about $800 every two weeks. That means they make about $10/hr net. You need a Bachelors degree to get that job. And fast food employees want $15/hr? For what?! What service are they providing aside from serving Americans food they probably shouldn’t be eating in the first place?

ragingloli's avatar

@livelaughlove21
Then tell them to strike, but do not tell the fast food workers not to.

jca's avatar

@livelaughlove21: Oh, see, here it’s different. CO’s make around 45k to start and with raises and OT their pay can easily double that quickly. So for us in this neck of the woods (one of the wealthier areas of the country) a fast food worker should make around $12 in order to live. A studio apartment here can run a person $1000 per month, a one bedroom around $1200 a month, so in order to live, a worker would need significantly more than minimum wage.

Yes, what @ragingloli said.

Workers should not begrudge other workers a living wage and decent benefits. Rather, it’s something all workers should strive for. If workers need to unite and bargain as a whole, that should be their option.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@ragingloli Oh, they can strike all they want. I’m just saying demanding more than you deserve is fruitless and stupid.

Don’t shit where you eat.

ragingloli's avatar

It is my opinion that anyone that proclaims that fast food workers, who are treated like refuse, deserve to be treated like refuse, deserve to have sperm on their burgers.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@ragingloli Did I say they should be treated like refuse? No, I did not. However, they don’t deserve $15/hr for what they do. That’s ridiculous. They deserve a wage that is proportionate to the service they provide.

flip86's avatar

@livelaughlove21 What is the difference between a fast food burger flipper and a burger flipper in a casual chain restaurant? Both do the same tasks. They each prepare food and each have the same skill level. Why should the restaurant worker be treated better than the fast food worker? Each work just as hard as the other. It’s a double standard.

ragingloli's avatar

@livelaughlove21
Saying that fast food workers should not get paid enough to survive because they do not serve it, is saying they should be treated like refuse.

ragingloli's avatar

*deserve

johnpowell's avatar

Public employees also get thing like great health/dental/pension/holiday and so on. So it really isn’t a fair comparison.

And in 2011 McDonalds made 5.5 billion in profit. Look on page 9 of the PDF. And that is on 27 billion of revenue. I think there is some wiggle room to pay the workers a bit more.

If you go down to page 27 current payroll and benefits is 4.6 billion per year. But that includes all the corporate and management people too who have good healthcare and matching 401k plans. I would imagine the people in the restaurants probably get around 25% of that. And I am being generous with that number.*

*I’m not sure how franchises fit in here.

ragingloli's avatar

@johnpowell
Which means they could basically double everyone’s wages and benefits and still make 900 million in profits.

johnpowell's avatar

I know, that sounds horrible. ~

livelaughlove21's avatar

@flip86 Restaurant burger flippers have low pay rates too. Who says there’s any difference?

Ok, give McDonald’s employees $15/hr. And cops and teachers can make $100/hr. Give nurses $200/hr and doctors can have salaries at $1M.

Yeah, that’s be nice, but tough shit. Ain’t gonna happen.

johnpowell's avatar

Who died and left you in charge of wages?

The workers are asking for what is fair for them. If McDonalds doesn’t like it they can bargain. McDonalds can fire them all in one shot. Of course they would be shut down for a few weeks while hiring and re-training everyone.

Seriously, don’t be mad that they could end up making more than you do. Try to organize something yourself.

edit :: All becomes clear.

flip86's avatar

@livelaughlove21 You are being ridiculous. Why would wages of those getting above $15 an hour need to change? They are already making enough money to survive on quite comfortably.

Any person who puts in an honest days work, no matter the job, deserves to make enough money to survive on without having to resort to government handouts.

JLeslie's avatar

Pay in America has more to do with supply and demand than order of importance. A teacher who not only teaches, but takes care of our children during the day is not the most difficult degree to earn, and so they don’t make as much, because a lot of people can do the job, and for a while there were many available teachers. In places where it is difficult to get teachers, their pay tends to be higher, sometimes they even get a kind of hazard pay for teaching in urban areas where it is difficult to get teachers. It also was traditionally a female job, so I think that probably affects the pay.

In most cities there are not enough nurses for the amount of jobs out there, and their 4 year degree is pretty tough. They get paid more.

Being a cop doesn’t require a degree as far as I know, but I know many positions in law enforcement do require it. Cops are underpaid in many many cities, there is no doubt about it.

Trash collectors get paid very well, I would say it is less complex then cooking burgers, although can be brutal out in the elements, but not many people love the idea of that job, but the pay scale and benefits are attractive.

I used to pay the woman who cleaned my house $20—$25 an hour.

Football players can easily make several hundred thousand a year for playing a game, let alone the ones who make millions.

No matter how we try to compare jobs, there will always be someone who seems over or underpaid.

I think the point being made by those who argue for a minimum living wage is, if at least everyone makes a wage to live on, we get rid the burden on society to support them because they can’t fully support themselves. Imagine. Less paperwork through the medicaid system, more taxes paid into the government, more purchasing power for them, etc.

CWOTUS's avatar

Well, you would think “that’s ridiculous”, @flip86, because to a rational, reasonable and intelligent adult it is ridiculous on its face.

However, in the real world…

When contract renegotiation time comes up in the construction craft unions, each union watches the others to see what they will settle on in terms of hourly wage and benefit increases. And while no one says so “out loud”, those of us who work with the crafts know that “the pipefitters will never settle for less than the boilermakers”, and “no ironworker will accept less than a laborer” and “millwrights are always more highly paid than carpenters” (even though, funnily enough, carpenters and millwrights are in the same union).

So, yeah, it’s foolish and ridiculous, but… it’s real life, too.

johnpowell's avatar

And this is awesome. They have the poor fighting amongst themselves instead of fighting the real fucking enemy.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@flip86 What’s ridiculous is saying that $15/hr is what they need to live.

johnpowell's avatar

So give them the minimum needed to survive. People at McDonald’s don’t deserve a trip to the dentist, that is a fucking luxury that should only be afforded to bank tellers.

Seriously, why are you so invested? Do your parents own a McDonalds franchise? Are those the appliances they offered to pay you to clean?

and only pay $7.25/hr

And you are super smart so you must know that these are in major cities where people are asking for more. Places like NYC where you need to go out a hour on the train to find a shitty studio for 1K a month.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@johnpowell I’m not invested and I certainly have no connections with McDonald’s. And yes, I’ll be working for $7.25/hr soon. And you know what? I won’t be bitching about it. I won’t be doing $15/hr worth of work, so there’s no reason I should earn that much. As for the bank teller comment – I didn’t have benefits at the bank.

I’m simply stating they’re striking for a completely fruitless cause. I can almost guarantee that McDonald’s won’t be paying their employees $15/hr anytime soon. Whether they deserve it or not, therefore, is a moot point. I just wasn’t aware until now that my opinion was so damn important to all of you. I’m flattered, really, but let it go.

flip86's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Every bill that suggests raising minimum wage gets struck down by the republicans. Every. Single. One. That is what is ridiculous. These politicians in their cushy jobs, collecting tax payer money and corporate handouts don’t give a shit about the common guy trying to support his family.

You yourself even refuse to get a job that pays minimum wage. You think you’re too good for it? Someday the reality of the world will slap you very hard across the face and you’ll wish you had that $7.25 an hour job. It could be more if people like you had some empathy for others.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@flip86 I think I’m too good or minimum wage, and yet that’s what I make. That makes a lot of sense.

I’m not a Republican and I’m certainly not rich.

flip86's avatar

@livelaughlove21 I hadn’t seen your response before I posted mine. Still, in the question linked by @johnpowell you showed disdain at the thought of possibly having to accept a minimum wage job. You acted as if it was below you.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@flip86 I never said it was below me. Going from $11/hr (who knew I was so poor at that rate? It’s not even a living wage!) to $7.25/hr is certainly an adjustment. Going from office work to cleaning nasty refrigerators is also an adjustment, but I’ll do what it takes to make the money I need. If I had more availability, though, I wouldn’t settle for minimum wage simply because I wouldn’t have to.

CWOTUS's avatar

@johnpowell your questions could be turned back on you. Why the heat and hate? Did you get thrown out of a McDonald’s dumpster during your dumpster-diving days?

What does it matter to you or to anyone else how “Papa John” Schnacter lives? I can understand your envy, if that’s what it is, since that’s a natural enough human emotion. But you presented the link to a snarky article about him and pointed him out as “the real fucking enemy”. What makes him an enemy? If there were no Papa John’s, would all of the employees “trapped” in his pizza chain have their own chains of pizza joints? Their own mansions?

As a matter of fact, I don’t have anything invested in this, either: I don’t eat at McDonald’s more than a couple of times a year; I don’t own a franchise and I don’t own any stock in them or their competitors. I more or less agree with Romney’s comments on the website you provided: “Everyone should live like this.” Maybe everyone shouldn’t like “exactly like that” (how boring would that be?), but everyone should live according to their desires. I agree with that.

I don’t care if burger flippers do make $15 per hour… or $150, for that matter.

However, economics is all about resource allocation, because we can’t all have everything all at once. And when US currency becomes devalued to the point where we think that $15 per hour for flipping burgers is reasonable and rational, in other words, a good value for the money, then others’ wages will rise proportionally. It’s the way the world works, after all. So in the world where burger flippers are making $15 per hour – and good luck to them in their demands, I say! – then Papa John and others of his ilk are just going to be proportionally richer, too. Just chew on that for awhile. Enjoy the thought.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I’d also like to add – I am not only earning minimum wage now (or am about to be), I just finished my second summer working for absolutely no pay. In fact, I had to pay $1500 to work for free during my internship. I got three class credits, yes, but I didn’t actually need them, as I was doing it for experience. And I wasn’t the “go fetch me coffee and a bagel” intern, I was practically a real probation agent and worked my ass off for over 500 hours over the course of two summers. So saying I think minimum wage is “below” me is the furthest thing from the truth.

augustlan's avatar

@CWOTUS Why does it have to be that way? Couldn’t folks like Papa John realize that there is still plenty of money for them, even if they reallocate some portion of it to higher wages for their workers? They’d make a bit less, sure, but would it really impact their lives? On the other hand, the extra money the workers make will impact their lives, in a positive way. At some point, you have enough money to last several lifetimes, and could easily afford lower profits to pay your employees more. That would help the economy much more than another billion in your pocket, you know?

CWOTUS's avatar

You’re right about that, @augustlan. He can do whatever he wants with his money, including give it away. But why should he? He earned it through voluntary exchange with customers buying pizzas on the one hand, and his exchange with employees and suppliers and building contractors and government agencies with his other… um… 4 hands. I care just as little about what Papa John does with his money as I care about his employees. They’re not my problems.

However, were I Papa John, and if I paid much attention to the hatred and class envy that those like @johnpowell want to stir up against him because he’s “the real fucking enemy”, then I’d want to accumulate more cash to improve my home’s defense capability.

The whole point is “voluntary exchange”. If McDonald’s workers feel that they are underpaid, then they have a perfect right to demand more in wages, and a perfect right to go to Burger King, Hardee’s, KFC, Taco Bell and all of McDonalds’ other customers competitors, where they must already be paying those wages, since no one seems to be mobilizing against them.

My point is, why should Papa John or McDonald’s pay people more than what it takes to get them to come in every day and do their jobs? Do you routinely pay “a little extra” on your water and power bills “just to be fair”?

augustlan's avatar

@CWOTUS “why should Papa John or McDonald’s pay people more than what it takes to get them to come in every day and do their jobs??”

Because it’s the decent, humane thing to do, for one. Secondly, it would boost the economy and anything that is good for the economy is likely to be good for their businesses, too. Thirdly, I’d bet it would increase employee loyalty and dedication, while decreasing employee turnover. If the first point is just too touchy-feely for you, the second and third points make it a logical decision, too. And I’m pretty sure Papa has quite enough money for excellent home defense right now.

johnpowell's avatar

“However, were I Papa John, and if I paid much attention to the hatred and class envy that those like @johnpowell want to stir up against him because he’s “the real fucking enemy”, then I’d want to accumulate more cash to improve my home’s defense capability.”

Or he couldn’t have flipped out about obamacare and 14 cents per shitty pizza.

And no, your violent mind that thinks everything must end in violence isn’t what I was thinking. Fighting the enemy meant not buying the shit pizza. As I have done. Hopefully my support of other places that respects their workers will hire up the staff Papa doesn’t need anymore.

CWOTUS's avatar

Because it’s the decent, humane thing to do, for one.

So you do include extra money on your light bill, “just because”, @augustlan? How odd.
——
And no, your violent mind that thinks everything must end in violence isn’t what I was thinking.

That’s quite at odds with the link you posted and the language that you used in the post I commented on, @johnpowell. But if I read you right, what you’re saying is that if they raised the prices on the “shit pizza”, then it would be more attractive to you.

You guys have awful strange ideas about economics. I guess that pretty much explains the economy that we’re dealing with right now, since it’s a guy who shares your weird ideas who wants to the the Economic Czar.

johnpowell's avatar

I’m not sure how you get “But if I read you right, what you’re saying is that if they raised the prices on the “shit pizza”, then it would be more attractive to you.” I NEVER BOUGHT IT IN THE FIRST PLACE SINCE IT IS SHIT. The obamacare thing was just a bonus for not giving any of my money.

And you lost me Fox News and Economic Czar. Do you still think I wish physical harm against the guy? If you do that says more about you than me.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
JLeslie's avatar

I add extra money when my maid (when I had a maid come to clean) winds up doing more work than typical even though she isn’t charging me. Yes, I try to do the decent thing and treat others as I would want to be treated. I paid a friend’s kid $20 and hour to help me in my yard and it was more money than he had ever made per hour. I did the same for another friend, because I had hired a company it probably would be even a little more, and the workers make probably less than $10. I don’t always try to skimp if I can get away with it. Those people should know their worth and feel fine with charging a reasonable amount. In TN I saw more than anywhere I have lived people who ran businesses charge ridiculous amounts and workers paid crap. If you wanted to walk through a house model they charged for it. All sorts of things I was not accustomed to. Charging you at every turn. Service was dissappointing more than any other place I have lived in. Low paid workers were just, I hate to stay, often stupid and unmotivated and untrained for that matter, which I blame on management.

augustlan's avatar

I don’t know how adding extra money to my light bill would be compassionate. If I could earmark the extra to go only to employee salaries, maybe I would, but that’s not the case. (I doubt many utility employees make minimum wage in the first place.)

If I had any employees, though, I imagine I’d pay them as well as I could – while still being able to live a decent life myself.

To answer the question you posed to JP, I would have been more than happy to pay 14 extra cents for a Papa John’s pizza, to make it so his employees didn’t suffer from his foolishness. Unlike, JP, I actually love Papa John’s pizza, but haven’t ordered one since he made an ass of himself.

augustlan's avatar

Meant to address the above to @CWOTUS.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Economics works on supply and demand. I am skimming through this thread and wondering why nobody is discussing it in these terms. Maybe the laws of economics have changed, maybe since Reagan we have all decided that economics works solely on supply.

If large numbers of workers form unions, the average person gets paid more. It temporarily hurts a business, because the CEO and shareholders have to pay more for labor. After awhile, workers have money. They buy stuff. The economy gets into a virtuous cycle and we can send people to the moon and pay for a generation to go to College Gratis. We have a historical precedent of this happening.

We also have historical precedents of what happens when we focus on Supply side (see the Great Depression, Great Recession, et. al.).

Supacase's avatar

Actually, @augustlan, we have a program in the area that allows customers to pay extra on utilities and earmark it for bills of “families in need.”

Seaofclouds's avatar

Jumping in late, but I just wanted to add a bit to the discussion.

I’m very torn on the idea of entry level McDonald’s employees making $15 an hour for a couple reasons. When I first started working as a nurse (a LPN to be exact), my starting rate was $17 something an hour. Now as a RN I make more, but I want to talk a bit about that LPN rate. The area I lived in had a reasonable cost of living (compared to what I’ve seen as we’ve moved around the country).

If we were to raise the entry wages for employees such as those at McDonald’s, other professions would have to look at their entry level wages as well to have an incentive for people to go through the further education and cost of college. I am sure some of the LPNs I worked with in the past would have skipped out on becoming a LPN (collecting the student loan debt and being legally responsible for the lives of others) for just $2 more than the entry level employees at McDonald’s.

I think making a blanket raise of minimal wage to $15 an hour would have a major effect on the cost of living in those areas that do not currently have a high cost of living because other things would shift to keep up.

annabee's avatar

2.1 million total to invest in a Mcdonald franchise. 85% of Mcdonalds restaurants are owned and operated by franchisees.

On average, a Mcdonalds franchise owner takes in 10% of the total yearly sales. The average sales per Mcdonald franchise is around 2 million. That comes out to about a $200,000 salary for the owner before taxes. After taxes, that comes out to around $134,000.

The lowest sales franchise was $491,000. After taxes, the owner of that franchise, depending on if he/she is married or not, gets $42,000 or $37,000 per year. Keeping in mind that this is with the current minimum wage salary. Average Franchise has about 4–8 workers, I believe.

So for example, if you raise the minimum wage in NYC from $7,25 to $15, you increased the franchises expenses from $58,000–116,000 to $120,000–240,000.

Take a lucky guess on how much the $134,000 or $42,000 profit gets reduced to? While they’re at it with these bright ideas, might as well set the owners house on fire, and pour sugar in his gas tank.

JLeslie's avatar

@annabee I know a few franchise owners and very few own only one unit. The McD’s owner I knew only had three, not very many, so that would be $600k income with your numbers. The guy I know who owns Sonics has 6 I think.

Also, I would assume not all employees are making minimum wage. Some of the wages are already higher. The revenue per restaurant in NYC probably are way off the mean average of sales. I am not saying $15 is the perfect number, I said above I would expect it to wind up in the middle somewhere. Certainly there is room for some wage increases, even if it means raising prices for their food a little bit.

@Seaofclouds I hope salary is not the only motivating factor for a LPN. I have enough distress with medical personell to begin with, and annoyed enough that I think many doctors go into medicine to make a lot of money.

annabee's avatar

3 Mcd’s is $402,000, not $600,000.

Even if they own 2–3 franchises on average at a $15 an hour standard minimum wage, that is only $240,000—$360,000 a year. That is not a lot of money to support a wife and kids with all the personal debts/expenses in a high cost-of-living location.

augustlan's avatar

@Supacase I consider that charity, and when I can afford to, I do that. But that isn’t about helping utility employees (who may or may not need the help in the first place).

jca's avatar

@annabee: There may be McDonalds that are in out of the way places that don’t do well, and the lower end of your examples would be good examples of. However, when you mentioned NYC McDonalds (where prices are higher than regular McDonalds) that is a poor example. Any McDonalds in a busy area, especially ones that are in NYC (as with other busy areas such as Orlando FL), do an incredible business and I’m sure the franchise is owned by a corporation making tons. These McDonalds are probably the most profitable of all of the franchises in the country, as they have a pretty much guaranteed 24/7 business.

If owning a McDonald’s franchise were not very profitable, and did not offer the franchise owners a decent living, then nobody would own one.

tom_g's avatar

@annabee – I agree. We shouldn’t increase the cost of the product at all. I also agree with you that people shouldn’t buy a McDonald’s franchise. It’s not worth it. These poor franchise owners are suffering more than the people doing the work for them! I also agree with you that it’s impossible to pay people a reasonable wage without living comfortably. And finally, I agree with your assessment of capitalism. It does suck.

jca's avatar

To those wondering about the viability of a McDonalds’ franchise, according to this website which is geared specifically toward franchise ownership, McDonalds is one of the best franchise opportunities available, so no, it’s not sounding especially risky or like something that the owners will suffer from financially. Read on:

http://franchisewisdom.com/mcdonalds-review

flip86's avatar

@annabee Are you serious? $240,000 a year is more than enough to support a wife and kids. You can live comfortably without having to live in excess.

JLeslie's avatar

@annabee Why are you using after taxes? No one talks salary after taxes, and you certainly aren’t doing it for the staff’s wages.

$600k is a very nice sum of money annually. I know I would be overjoyed with half of that. I don’t know how you can say $600k isn’t very much when $7.25 annually is just over $15k. I mean seriously, both people are working hard. I am not directly comparing the positions, obviously the owner took risks, business accumen, more responsibility, etc, etc., But, try standing on your feet all day taking orders or flipping burgers. Maybe you do work on your feet, but if you don’t you have no clue. When I went from retail to sitting at a desk I could not believe how easy it was physically and in other ways. I was not in a high power position, but even if I had been, still, I would not feel like I was hit by a truck during holiday season, and the environment was so much calmer. As an administrative assistant I made between $16 and $20 an hour depending on the job.

That owner has a thriving business because other people toil for him.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JLeslie I wish I could say all nurses are in nursing for the right reason, but I know many that entered nursing for the money. Majority of them did not last.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seaofclouds And, why should I care if those nurses decide they prefer to flip hamburgers?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JLeslie Some of those nurses that enter nursing for the pay are great nurses. Also, some people that really want to be nurses may be put off if their pay is that close to an entry level McDonald’s employee who doesn’t have the legal responsibilities or difficuties that a nurse has. There are some areas that already don’t have enough nurses, this could make it worse.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seaofclouds The major cities where the McD’s employees are striking the nurses are paid much much more. I agree that money helps solicit people into the nursing field and if other jobs pay the same they might make a different choice, but in NYC nurses make $20—$60 an hour easy, and other jobs that employ nurses with 4 year degrees pay well over $100k a year. If the person wants to make a lot more money in the future the McD’s job isn’t going to cut it, unless they move on into upper management or ownership. LPN’s make maybe as low as $15 an hour starting, but it goes up really fast. They also get on avearage more like $30—$40 an hour.

tom_g's avatar

@Seaofclouds: “Also, some people that really want to be nurses may be put off if their pay is that close to an entry level McDonald’s employee who doesn’t have the legal responsibilities or difficuties that a nurse has.”

Find me someone who loses sleep over a nursing vs. McDonald’s career choice struggle.

@Seaofclouds: “There are some areas that already don’t have enough nurses, this could make it worse.”

I’m not sure how true this really is. I know that here in Massachusetts, it’s tough to find a nursing job.

Also, are we really talking about $30k as though it’s a ton of money? You couldn’t live off that here in Massachusetts. If you have a family, you’d be really struggling to live off 3 times that.

tom_g's avatar

Seems like it’s a bit unrelated, but while we’re discussing nursing salaries, this site lists average RN salaries by state (mid-way down page). So, there does appear to be a large difference between Massachusetts ($80k) and some place like Iowa ($50k).

jca's avatar

In the neck of the woods I live in, RN’s make about 90 k to start. That in no way compares to a McDonalds salary.

Seaofclouds's avatar

It does vary a lot based on location. My point was, raising all minimum wage to $15 (which was suggested by some in this thread) could lead to issues with other professions depending on their entry wages and locations.

augustlan's avatar

I assume that raising the minimum wage will adjust most salaries upwards. Those at the upper levels, where the gap is the widest, shouldn’t get the increase, IMO.

jonsblond's avatar

I just came across an aritcle from Time about the subject and I thought I’d share it here:

Too many Americans think that the plight of the low-wage worker has nothing to do with them. In fact it is both a preview and a parable. The fate of the middle class rests, in part, on whether more Americans learn to see the fate of fry cooks as their own.

Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2013/08/07/what-mcdonalds-has-to-do-with-the-fate-of-the-middle-class/#ixzz2bKbmL5Kt

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond I basically agree with the article about the purchasing power of the middle class and that it helps our economy. When I was reading your article though, it reminded me of how I kind of wish the bigger salaries were lower, so maybe everything was more affordable. I am talking about a much bigger percentage than the top 1 or 2% of the popuation. I feel like our double income, pursuit of money makes it impossible in so many cities to live on one salary. The people with money push up prices on housing, one of the biggest expenses for people, and even things like cars are more expensive in the US, because we have more wealth.

There are almost separate worlds and economies in the US. Go to an extensive neighborhood and their grocery stores are more expensive and their property taxes and many ther goods and services. Their schools might be better, and if someone wants their kid to be in that school district they better earn the money to be able to afford the neighborhood. I constantly feel like that is just out of control. Mostly housing prices make me feel that way. I am probably going to build a house, and I was talking to the realtor who used to own a business building houses and she told me how now subcontractors and builders are increasing their prices in the last year because they can, because the market will pay it. It gives me a little bit of sick feeling, because as much as I believe in capitalism and profit, this type of stick the consumer while you can bothers me. I feel like it puts the economy n a roller coaster ride of highs and lows, and forces the American family and individuals to be under ridiculous fnancial stress all the time.

So, a part of me wants the middle class to stay middle by not overpaying the top earners rather than the other way around. Or, maybe some of both is best.

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