15 Dollar Minimum Rage.

So today New York State announced that fast food workers will get paid $15 an hour.  And the country fell, Commies took over, all of our guns and rights were taken away.

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OR people learned to calm down over something that wont happen until 2020.  Five years away.  A lot can happen in five years.  In five years the face of fast food in New York State will be no where near the same as your most recent experience.

First argument is that fast food workers don’t deserve that much money.  “Why should they make more than me?!”  Alright, fair.  Here are your two options.  You could also work fast food or you can get a raise.  Lets take those individually.  You could work fast food.  “I don’t want to work fast food.  That’s a shitty job and people treat you bad and the work sucks and the hours suck.”  Well, lots of jobs suck and this one now pays $15/hour.  “I don’t want to do it.”  And there we are.  You find the job beneath you.  How dare someone get paid more than you for a job that you find beneath you.  How dare the morlocks and mole people and CHUDs of the world ask to be paid well.

Option two is to ask for a raise.  Lots of these fast food workers went on strike.  They walked out and demanded better.  And they got it.  So instead of complaining on Facebook, which does nothing, get together with your fellow workers and walk out.  All the nurses or teachers or soldiers or whatever the job is can get up and join together.  March to your state government or federal or corporate headquarters and ask for more.  If they refuse, they wont for long.

Which brings me to point two.  Everyone’s wages are going to go up.  Have you ever asked for a raise?  “Hey boss, Company B offered me a quarter more an hour.”  Well my friend I want you to stay here at Company A so how about I give you 26 cents more?!  If every fast food place is paying $15 an hour than the department store and grocery store and gas station cant pay less and expect people to work there.  Sure, it might not go up to $15 but it will be 13 or 14.  Some places will want to seem more glamorous than fast food and offer 16 an hour.  Maybe more.  It benefits all.

Except for when it doesn’t.

See, here is how New York State defines fast food:

To be considered fast-food, the restaurant has to be a place where customers order the food and pay before they eat. The food can be eaten at the restaurant, or can be delivered.

(Source http://www.syracuse.com/state/index.ssf/2015/07/new_york_raises_its_fast-food_wage_to_15_an_hour.html)

And this my friends is what we call “an out”.  If only fast food restaurants have to follow this rule, then other restaurants can still screw over their staff with low hourly wages they can make up for in tips.  Welcome to your dining experience changing.  “Is that to go or to eat here?”  I was going to eat it here.  Excellent, someone will be along in about 15 minutes to take your money.  Therefore you are paying after you eat.  Therefore this is no longer fast food and you can maybe leave a tip for your server who is now being paid $8 or $9 an hour or much less because you paid for the same food at a different moment in time.

Think of restaurants that aren’t technically fast food that you pay for first.  Pizza, Subway, buffets.  All of these will now bring you your check.  The legal work will be imaginative.  Order a pizza for delivery, give them your cash, but they don’t ring up the sale for another half hour.  Technically you ate before you paid.  But at least those are spots that just need about five minutes of training to save money on paying fair wages.  How about the McDonald’s and Burger Kings?  Those jobs that those against this believe that any idiot can do.  “A machine can do this job!”  And it will.  Walk up or drive up to the touch screen.  Select what you want.  Two or three people will be inside to “cook” the food and hand it to you.  Are you upset that your food tastes like garbage and the employees seem miserable?  Be upset with the billions in profits corporations make that they don’t want to give up to pay a livable wage to enough employees.

Also, $15 an hour is not as great as you think it is.  “Well $15 an hour times 40 hours a week means…”  Let me cut you off right there.  None of these employees are getting 40 hours a week.  That would require them to be offered health care and benefits.  We cant be having that!  So really they’re getting 20-25.  Maybe 30 hours at most.  Lets take 20 hours a week for an example (actually 25, but I’ll say that 5 hours goes right to taxes).  That’s $300 a week.  Averages being what they are that’s two weeks pay for rent, another week for car/insurance/gas and that leaves one paycheck left for groceries, toiletries, clothes, every other bill.  That’s enough money right?  Of course not.  Sure many of these people live with partners or roommates or family but not all.

In a perfect world this would be the start of an increase in everyone’s wages.  By the time it takes effect $15-$30 an hour could be the new standard.  Unfortunately, most companies only care about the bottom line and all that will happen is less quality resting on less employees and charging all of us more.

(I am well aware I may get crap for my opinions.  So here’s a disclaimer.  If you’re ignorant, rude, hateful, I’ll just delete your comment and no one will see it.  If you come at me with reason and facts I am more than willing to listen.  I have changed my mind before based on facts presented.  It could happen again.)

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