I’m just some random 19 year old. What do I know about working in a minimum wage job.
I know plenty. I worked in one.
Yep, back room team member at the Target near my house. I worked there for five months, gathering money for college.
Now that I’m at college, I’ve left that job. But it’s safe to say that I understand working in a minimum wage job.
“If you did, why are you against higher wages?”
There’s a lot that goes into answering that question. But simple put, I’m A) not entitled and B) recognize the economics that goes into deciding job wages.
Let me explain…
High Supply Equals Low Demand
Minimum wage jobs like stocking, cashier, and burger flipper all suffer from one of the four rules of supply and demand.
If demand remains the same, but supply increases, the price goes down. (Click to Tweet)
Applied to low wage jobs, that means that the demand for burger flippers hasn’t increased, but the people available and willing to work such jobs has. Which means the wage for being a burger flipper goes down.
The larger the workforce is for burger flippers, cashiers, and stockroom employees the lower the demand becomes.
Why? Because the employer isn’t worried about filling the position since anyone can fill it.
Think about it this way. Burger flippers aren’t iPhones. There isn’t a limited supply, and they’re not one of a kind.
Burger flippers are more like socks. There’s ton of them, they’re pretty mundane, and they’re cheap. (Click to Tweet)
…I mean no disrespect to burger flippers.
Anyone Can Work These Jobs
Why do you think Walmart, McDonald, and Target employees get paid so little? It’s not because the evil corporations want more money. It’s because the skill level required to man the cash register is extremely low.
Working in the back room of Target showed me that. It didn’t take much to get the hang of the job. Anyone could do.
You can’t expect to get a high wage for something that your brother, dad, neighbor, and high school buddy could do. Why do you think Biomedical Engineers, software engineers, and Petroleum engineers get paid so much? Skill level has everything to do with it.
Burger flippers, cashiers and stock room positions are low skill. Don’t expect to get $15 an hour. Your job doesn’t deserve it.
It Doesn’t Matter How “Hard” You Work
I don’t care if you sweat your guts out in the stock room. It doesn’t mean you should get a paid more.
Some people tend to think that since these low level workers work so “hard” they should be paid more.
Sorry, but that’s not how it works.
Cutting the neighbor’s grass back in high school was hard wasn’t it? How much did you get paid for it? I’m guessing it wasn’t much.
Labor intensive work doesn’t equal higher pay. Skill level and supply and demand do.
The funny thing is, people who argue for the whole “hard work” mentality also argue that CEO’s don’t work at all. Apparently, they’ve been a CEO before and know how it works. Again, no understanding of what the job entails, or what education and training is needed.
A $15 hourly wage isn’t realistic when you’re working in low skill jobs. It’s also unjust because companies will be forced to pay you a wage that your labor doesn’t deserve. In the end, you don’t deserve such a wage.
This Might Sound Harsh…
Ok, I’ll give you that. It is harsh, but maybe it’s harsh because you’ve never heard of this before. Maybe you’ve been taught that you’re owed a specific set of wages and benefits.
Maybe you’ve been taught that companies will take advantage of you if there’s no regulations. That would explain why you believe in the minimum wage.
It might sound harsh regardless of what you believe, but you’ve got to remember that it’s fair. A company hires you for a specific job and they pay you based on the skill level of that job.
If you don’t like “what’s fair” you can find a job that pays more, or maybe work to improve your skill level and education…. Instead of, you know, whining about it.