T Nation

$15 an Hour to Flip Burgers?

So a bunch of my buddies were ‘discussing’ (arguing) concerning the latest issue around NYC with fast food workers protesting for higher wages.

I’ve seen very good points on both sides, and to be honest, I’m hesitant to just throw out my own final verdict on the matter. Still, I can understand people having issues with paying someone $15/hour to perform a task that requires no education, nor real skills. Add to that the fact that it would most likely (and I’m certainly not especially business savvy) result in less employees, or even automation of certain tasks to avoid simply passing on the new expenses to the actual consumers.

Thoughts?

S

My thoughts are most people that flip burgers are just there temporary while they are going to school and looking for something better. They don’t deserve that much money an hour. If they aren’t going to go to school or go into a trade they should work at moving up in the company so they can make more money or move on to a different job.

For me, it depends on how tasty the burgers are and on the vendor. Tip jars for McD’s? No thanks.

I don’t know if it should be $15 an hour but I think it would have been a good thing if minimum wage had risen to match the rate of inflation.

I don’t know where the $15 an hour thing stated in the first place, I don’t think the approach to upping minimum wage should be approached by more than 50 cents or $1 at a time. As for the actual issue, I’ve heard of various low skill employers priding themselves in paying more than minimum wage but none were ever $15 an hour. If willing employers can’t even do 15 then there will be side effects if its forced such as fewer jobs, this means some people doing slightly better at the cost of others doing worse.

If it happens anywhere, I believe more qualified, harder-working individuals will be hired by fast food chains so they can maximize efficiency to minimize the amount they need to bump up menu prices.

I think the 15 was thrown out there as a first step in negotiations; though, it sounds like people are falling in love w/ it. I’m not too sure how it compares to the cost of living in the ny region, but basic microeconomics tells you that if most employees are already paid near that, it won’t really have much of an impact. And yes, as Stu figured, if it is substantially higher than what they are paid, workers will be laid off, service will decrease, and quality may decrease in terms of cooking (rushing, morale, etc.)

In most things microeconomics, it’s best for the government not to meddle w/ such things because it creates the dreaded dead weight loss (basically, keeping people from benefiting in the economy w/out hurting others). However, in this case, where you have just a hand full of companies employing so many people, they have a little bit more power than in a perfect economy and can drive wages down, so it may be justified. I haven’t read any analysis, so I can’t really say which way I lean… but if they start paying 15 here, I will be applying.

$15 an hour to flip burgers? GTFO.

You don’t even make $15 an hour as a paramedic in San Diego which requires years of training and experience. Make more money to empty the fry basket than you do for saving lives? lol

When did it become a company’s responsibility to provide a “living wage”? Why would anyone expect them to pay more than they have to in order to get capable employees? If people didn’t like the pay, why did they agree to work there in the first place?

[quote]gregron wrote:
$15 an hour to flip burgers? GTFO.

You don’t even make $15 an hour as a paramedic in San Diego which requires years of training and experience. Make more money to empty the fry basket than you do for saving lives? lol[/quote]

That sucks but, so does a garbage man and all they do is pick up trash with a truck.

Do they deserve $15 hr I do not know, what I do know is that it is not simply “flipping” burgers. They work registers, sweep, mop, clean table tops, take out trash, hose and clean the parking lot etc. I have never met someone who just worked the register or flipped burgers.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

[quote]pushharder wrote:
I think they should get $45 hour.

Or at least I do when discussing the issue with anyone who believes companies should be forced to pay the $15.[/quote]

The sad thing is all these employees with jobs who make minimum wage end up on government welfare programs, so it ends up coming out of the taxpayer’s pocket.

When corporate management deliberately sets schedules to keep employee’s hours under whatever minimum is required so that they do not need to provide them benefits, a living wage, and health care, all these people end up on the government dole and corporate profits are maximized.

They should call it what is it, and that is corporate welfare, maximizing corporate profits at the expense of the taxpayer.

If you’re looking for a line to draw, put it a public/private. As soon as a company reaches the point where the owners/founders start selling their shares to the public, put the onus on the company to support their employees and keep them off welfare. If you don’t want to do it, keep your company private and do whatever you want. The taxpayer shouldn’t be footing the operating costs of your business.

[quote]pushharder wrote:
I think they should get $45 hour.

Or at least I do when discussing the issue with anyone who believes companies should be forced to pay the $15.[/quote]

Imagine all the people we could lift out of poverty if we paid $45…no, $60 an hour to serve fast food.

Why hadn’t this been thought of before?

I nominate Push for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.

Push, are you currently, or have you ever been a community organizer? 'Cause if so, I’ve got a job for you come 2016.

[quote]theuofh wrote:

When corporate management deliberately sets schedules to keep employee’s hours under whatever minimum is required so that they do not need to provide them benefits, a living wage, and health care, all these people end up on the government dole and corporate profits are maximized.

They should call it what is it, and that is corporate welfare, maximizing corporate profits at the expense of the taxpayer.

[/quote]

Then get rid of welfare and you won’t have that problem, will you?

[quote]OBoile wrote:
When did it become a company’s responsibility to provide a “living wage”? Why would anyone expect them to pay more than they have to in order to get capable employees? If people didn’t like the pay, why did they agree to work there in the first place?[/quote]

Right after people started calling healthcare a “right” and it worked.

So now were in the process of having a “nationwide dialogue”.

God I hate those sappy buzzwords.

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:

[quote]theuofh wrote:

When corporate management deliberately sets schedules to keep employee’s hours under whatever minimum is required so that they do not need to provide them benefits, a living wage, and health care, all these people end up on the government dole and corporate profits are maximized.

They should call it what is it, and that is corporate welfare, maximizing corporate profits at the expense of the taxpayer.

[/quote]

Then get rid of welfare and you won’t have that problem, will you?
[/quote]

We’d have to get rid of poor people first, but then who’s going to flip the burgers?

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Where’s the incentive to better yourself through schooling/internship/apprenticeship if you’re guaranteed X amount of money that is, from what it sounds, fairly on line with what I’ll make in the beginning with my degree?

[quote]hungry4more wrote:
If it happens anywhere, I believe more qualified, harder-working individuals will be hired by fast food chains so they can maximize efficiency to minimize the amount they need to bump up menu prices. [/quote]

My thought as well. $15 dollars/hr will result in a more competitive hiring process and the high school dropouts will have to look elsewhere for employment.

[quote]strungoutboy21 wrote:
My thoughts are most people that flip burgers are just there temporary while they are going to school and looking for something better. They don’t deserve that much money an hour. If they aren’t going to go to school or go into a trade they should work at moving up in the company so they can make more money or move on to a different job. [/quote]

Yes, if you want more pay in your job, show your worth and get promoted to a position with more responsibility and take that opportunity negotiate your pay increase. Be sure not to take the first number offered. I had someone ask me for a raise a while back, and I notified him that we were hiring for training positions and his name was submitted for consideration. His exact response was “Does that require me to have more responsibilities?” My answer-of coarse. He stated “I don’t want more responsibility, I just want to be paid more for what I do now.”