$15 an Hour for Fast Food Workers—Entitlement is Killing Us

Steve Maraboli said: “A sense of entitlement is a cancerous thought process that is void of gratitude and can be deadly to relationships, businesses, and even nations.” I’ll be the first to admit that when I hear people mention that their generation–the one that fought in WWII–is the best generation; I become annoyed. How can one generation be defined as “the greatest,” when compared to another? People are people; every generation has greats and not so greats within it. However, upon examination of my generation and those a bit older than I, I have come to the conclusion that my generation is lacking in some areas; specifically in terms of entitlement.

The following news story only serves to confirm what I have come to realize. According to NBC:

“On Thursday, fast-food workers staged walkouts at McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell and other restaurants in New York City to call attention to their plight. Organizers scheduled the job actions to commemorate the day Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated 45 years ago in Memphis, where he was supporting a strike by sanitation workers…’It’s not enough,’ Elba Godoy, a crew member at a McDonald’s just a few blocks from Times Square, said of her $7.25-per-hour minimum wage, which helps support her extended family of seven. ‘They don’t like [that we’re out here], but we have to do it. We cannot survive on $7.25’…Godoy and her colleagues are seeking a raise to $15 an hour and the right to form a union without retaliation. The walkout is part of a national movement by low-wage workers to raise wages and gain rights.”

At first reading, I actually laughed out loud, remarking to a friend about how ridiculous this “plight” is.

1. The effort to raise minimum wage has been moving forward for many years. However, raising the minimum wage raises difficult questions regarding supply and demand, and how much control the government has over businesses; specifically small businesses.

2. Low-wage jobs are low-wage because they require little skill. The more education or training that is required for a job, the more money that profession is worth. That is basic economics. Those who have poured thousands of dollars into an education have earned the salaries they are given. The more expertise that is required for particular professions serves to narrow the career field, because fewer people are available that posses those necessary skills. Not everyone is qualified to be a surgeon; and not everyone can be paid like one. This isn’t a magical utopia.

3. Raising minimum wage forces some businesses–specifically small businesses–to scale back production and growth, because they are not allowed to stay competitive. In short, government intervention prevents growth of industry. What a concept.

4. I’m sorry if it sounds callous, but $15 an hour for flipping patties is insane. Fast food work can be performed by just about anyone; which is why it is often performed by teenagers.

5. Finally, linking their strike with the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. is a bit gratuitous.

Times are tough; I understand that; but this is ridiculous. There was a time when something like this strike would not have been indulged. We are living in a generation of entitled children. People believe that because they are trying, they deserve whatever they ask for. That is not the case; nor was it ever the case. This country is not about being handed everything you want, simply because you think you deserve it; it’s about striving to achieve, without unnecessary expectation of grand rewards.

Our country is dying because of our entitlement culture. The demand for more is dragging us down like an anchor to the bottom of the sea. In no time at all, we will drown in our own self-indulgence.