Minimum wage should not be increased, other ways to make decent living

Phil Schurrer and Phil Schurrer

McDonald’s third quarter financial statements have been released and their positive impact is similar to a soggy french fry.

Revenue and profits are down five and 30 percent, respectively, from a year ago. The problem is global: sales are weak in China and Europe, as well as the United States.

In response, the company’s CEO recently said that within a year, the company plans on introducing new technology “to make it easier for customers to order and pay for food digitally and give people the ability to customize their order.”

At McDonalds, as with any business, the customer is king. To survive, any business must make it easy for customers to do business with them.

In the fast food business, there are at least three stages: order acceptance, order fulfillment and order delivery and clean up.

The first could be done electronically; the second with the partial use of robots; the third by a human.

Bottom line: there’s a possible major workforce reduction for the fast food industry in the future. This should concern anyone working an entry-level position.

In 2012, protests began in New York for an increase in the minimum wage paid to fast food employees. These protests later spread to 100 cities across the country.

For some reason, there are those who are convinced that wage increases should be given rather than earned. In their view, workers are entitled to raises, regardless of whether the workforce is more productive or not. This flies in the face of both common sense and economic experience.

This belief may be due to a misunderstanding about the nature of the minimum wage. The minimum wage was not designed to support a family or even an individual. It is a wage paid to entry-level workers with few skills.

So the protesters don’t [or can’t] seem to understand that the minimum wage is not, by itself, a bootstrap out of poverty.

Many minimum-wage workers are under 21 years of age and come from families who are decidedly middle class. Many of these workers receive a raise within a year.

The best entry into the American middle class is to become educated or trained in a marketable skill, secure a job and then perhaps marry and have children. It’s also important that these steps be done in that order. Mixing the sequence is usually economically fatal.

It’s akin to serving french fries before they’re cooked.

Respond to Phil at

[email protected]