Week in Review
If you’ve heard the left talk about the urgent need to raise the minimum wage you would think half the nation is languishing under pauper’s wages. While rich business owners are lighting their cigars with twenty dollar bills. As they rest their feet on the back of a minimum wage worker. But it’s not quite that bad (see The Cost of the Minimum Wage: $20 for a Burger posted 4/24/2014 on E21).
McDonald’s high turnover rate shows that most of its workers are using the job as a stepping stone to other careers or as a transition position between jobs. One in every eight U.S. workers has been a member of McDonald’s 750,000 person workforce. Economics21 director Diana Furchtgott-Roth entered the workforce scooping ice cream at Baskin Robbins at about $3 an hour. She never intended to have a career in ice cream…
Ninety-seven percent of American workers make more than minimum wage, not out of the kindness of employers’ hearts but because this is the only way that employers can retain employees. Low-skill workers need jobs, wages, and work experience too, and if the minimum wage rises, these people will be priced out of a job.
So only about 3% of all workers at any one time make the minimum wage. And the 3% from 10 years ago are most likely included in the 97% of workers today. Because minimum wage jobs are entry-level jobs. And what makes them so valuable is their low pay. For these workers gain some skills and work experience. And then get the hell out and join the 97%. And go on to do great things. Even become CEOs and directors. Which they never would have done had they stayed at those minimum wage jobs. Which they might have had if the minimum wage was a more comfortable living wage.