The so-called “fight for 15” — the movement to raise America’s minimum wage to $15 an hour — might as well be called the “fight for unemployment” or the “fight for no jobs,” since that’s pretty much what it does.
However, there has never been any shortage of people willing to convince themselves that 300 years of applied economics either simply don’t exist or can be abrogated at the ballot box. This includes fast food workers in Southfield, Michigan, who recently rallied outside City Hall for the hallowed minimum wage of $15.
Southfield is in the Detroit metro area — a corner of our nation which, as I’m sure you know, is flush with cash and opportunity to make this happen.
Even though Michigan’s minimum wage is being increased to $9.25, activists think that fast food restaurants in a city adjacent to a metropolis that resembles Belgrade circa 1994 can somehow afford $6 an hour above the state minimum.
“When we cry out for elected officials to stand with us, here you have the city of Southfield’s mayor, Mayor (Ken) Siver, standing with us saying, ‘You all deserve $15 an hour and a union,’ and this is why we’re here today,” event organizer Pastor W.J. Rideout told WJBK-TV.
However, a reporter with WJBK, Roop Raj, had an interesting question for one of the protesters. He noted that many paramedics don’t earn $15 an hour, and asked them why they thought they should be earning more than a paramedic.
“Because we do too much,” Lekecha Jackson said. “We do more than we get paid.”
I do hate to break it to Lekecha and her fellow fast food workers, but she’s remunerated fairly for what she gets paid to do. She does a job that requires significant (although not exactly exigent) levels of physical work to make up for the fact that it requires little training, experience, knowledge or talent.
There are plenty of people who can do fast food jobs. Most Americans, in fact, could do fast food jobs. With that level of competition, especially in a geographic area that’s economically depressed, there isn’t going to be a generous salary for fast food positions unless they add a great deal of value to the organizations.