“…I also think that there is an entitlement that is starting to emerge that I think is unhealthy for people and unhealthy for our country.” – Ashton Kutcher
I’m not sure just where the entitlement mentality comes from, but it’s something that’s spreading like a virus. We have all had moments in which we behaved in an entitled way. There are times when each of us has felt entitled to something. And in some ways, that’s not unhealthy. There are times in life when we do deserve certain things, and that feeling of being owed something isn’t inherently wrong. If you work for a company that is contracted to pay you, and you don’t receive the money for which you worked, you are owed that money. The entitlement that I’m bemoaning isn’t legitimate, but one that has sprung from an undeserved, and inflated sense of self.
Over the last year or so, there has been an uprising of workers in the fast food industry. These men, and women have held numerous protests across the country demanding a “living wage.” The number being thrown around by many in the movement is $15 an hour. I’ve written at length about why this number is not only outrageous, but arbitrary, and a recent interview confirmed my notions.
During Thursday’s Jose Diaz-Balart on MSNBC, fast food worker Adrianna Alvarez gave a very interesting answer when asked why $15 an hour was the demand:
“For now … it’s fair, for now. I mean, everything is going up, it’s been like four years that the minimum wage hasn’t gone up. So, we have to start somewhere.”
It’s fair. Alvarez said it’s fair, so, we can all go home! Pack it up! I’m curious to know just who is defining what fair means, and if those who define fair are divided. Are there those who say that fair is $10 an hour, or $25 an hour?
“Fair” is a word that gets thrown around quite a bit by leftists, because it’s vague. Anyone on the left can say “thus, and such is fair,” and no one can really argue with them because the word “fair” has infinite definitions depending on the circumstances in which it is used. The word “fair” shares the same warm feeling as the words equality, and justice. It is universally positive. No one uses the word “fair” in a negative way. So, we hear someone say that $15 an hour is fair, and we think, yes, that sounds right. We think, well, it helps the poor to live a better life, and it’s not that much, really. What’s the harm? But when you take a moment to examine the consequences of “fair,” things don’t look so rosy.
A recent report by James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation dared to ask the question: what would food cost if wages were raised? Here are some highlights:
- A Big Mac meal before the increase: $5.69. After: $7.82
- A Chipotle steak burrito bowl before: $6.65. After: $9.14
- A Subway turkey breast footling before: $6.50. After: $8.94
According to The Daily Signal:
“Such an increase, Sherk said, would drive away about one-third of these restaurants’ customers.“
Now, let’s do the math. If prices are raised, and about one third of customers stop eating, what happens to the employee base? When revenues shrink dramatically, people get laid off. Even if prices were not raised, businesses would have to lay off a percentage of their employees to offset the nearly 95% increase in employee income.
There’s no free lunch. People don’t seem to understand that money isn’t free, and costs must be offset somewhere. But the entitlement mentality of many Americans has blinded them to basic facts. They feel that they are owed $15 an hour for a job a stoned teenager could do, yet they would be outraged if they were fired to offset the cost of increasing the wages of their fellow employees. This would then likely lead to a demand that the government force businesses to keep all employees who were employed prior to raising the wage, regardless of the consequences. This would then lead to numerous businesses failing.
The entitlement mentality doesn’t wonder about the consequences, it is simple greedy, it doesn’t want to advance, it only wants more for doing the same job. For the record, I say that $15 an hour is paltry.
Why not ask for $30? Fair is so relative that no one can tell me I’m wrong for demanding $30 an hour, because what is fair to me may not be the same for you.
I have a question for those who are demanding $15 an hour to flip patties: can you tell my why $30 an hour is too much? If you cannot, you cannot also fervently demand $15 an hour. Additionally, are you willing to accept the consequences of your fairness? Lost jobs for many, and possible bankruptcies? If no, then you cannot demand $15 an hour.
Entitlement has no basis, and therefore, it cannot argue with reason.