Fast Food Employees on Strike

http://www.upi.com/blog/2013/07/30/Fast-food-workers-go-on-strike-in-seven-US-cities/8851375185076/
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/29/fast-food-workers-strike-wages
Employees of fast food are demanding to be payed $15.00 per hour as a starting wage.
It appears to have started in NYC, and now other cities are seeing it. It’s quite hilarious IMO.
What are some thoughts on these revolutionary brothers and sisters? (sarcasm)

When I was a kid it was only high school kids who took these jobs. We got paid minimum wage and were happy to get it. I don’t really understand their logic. These are absolutely no-skill entry level jobs. I can’t see what justification they have for demanding $15/hr when there are people with more skills in other jobs who don’t make that much.
If there is a silver lining, this would increase the prices of fast food and might encourage people to eat healthier.

Employees of fast food are demanding to be payed $15.00 per hour as a starting wage.
San Francisco copycats, the city and county of San Francisco passed a minimum wage ordinance raising the minimum wage to $12.43/HR. Claiming the cost of living is higher in San Francisco than in most areas of the United States. I would imagine the cost of living in New York is high too.

While I can understand where these people are coming for, if they want anything more then minimum wage, they’ll need to aquire the the skillsets to earn it.

They really don’t know what they are asking for. Raising their pay beyond minimum wage will likely cause 25% of them to lose their jobs. Then they won’t be making anything at all.
That’s like the kid who cuts my backyard demanding that I offer him medical benefits.

I agree, that they should not raise the minimum wage, I think we need to keep these jobs for the teenagers. Today they are competing against immigrant workers for the simplest of jobs.
I came from a town that became a ghost town after the federal minimum wage became law. It destroyed the town and then the only doctor left. The town has never recovered.
Big town laws did not work so well in the small towns, and the government destroyed a big part of the small town American Dream.

I don't really understand their logic. These are absolutely no-skill entry level jobs. I can't see what justification they have for demanding $15/hr when there are people with more skills in other jobs who don't make that much.
A common complaint that shows up in the comments sections and interviews with the strikers is that "they can't get anything better", or "fast food work is slavery". I don't know if that's true or not. I'm inclined to disbelieve it.

First of all, the value of the minimum wage has declined by more than $3.00/hour since 1968. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2013/02/the-case-for-a-higher-minimum-wage.html, and, secondly, the average age of the fast food worker has increased by seven and a half years from 20 to 29 1/2 since 2000. http://www.davemanuel.com/2011/04/21/the-average-age-of-a-fast-food-worker-in-the-united-states-is/ This implies that these are not really entry level jobs for many workers, and means that many more adults, and significantly more parents, are trying to survive on the minimum wage paid by the fast food industry. I don’t know what a fair wage would be for this type of work, but I think there is some basis for the dissatisfaction expressed.

First of all, the value of the minimum wage has declined by more than $3.00/hour since 1968. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2013/02/the-case-for-a-higher-minimum-wage.html, and, secondly, the average age of the fast food worker has increased by seven and a half years from 20 to 29 1/2 since 2000. http://www.davemanuel.com/2011/04/21/the-average-age-of-a-fast-food-worker-in-the-united-states-is/ This implies that these are not really entry level jobs for many workers, and means that many more adults, and significantly more parents, are trying to survive on the minimum wage paid by the fast food industry. I don't know what a fair wage would be for this type of work, but I think there is some basis for the dissatisfaction expressed.
{clapping!!}
First of all, the value of the minimum wage has declined by more than $3.00/hour since 1968. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2013/02/the-case-for-a-higher-minimum-wage.html, and, secondly, the average age of the fast food worker has increased by seven and a half years from 20 to 29 1/2 since 2000. http://www.davemanuel.com/2011/04/21/the-average-age-of-a-fast-food-worker-in-the-united-states-is/ This implies that these are not really entry level jobs for many workers, and means that many more adults, and significantly more parents, are trying to survive on the minimum wage paid by the fast food industry. I don't know what a fair wage would be for this type of work, but I think there is some basis for the dissatisfaction expressed.
Just because someone chooses to make a career out of a job that requires absolutely no skill set or experience does not mean the business owner is obligated to provide the kind of wage and benefits that are customary with other jobs. Consider what would happen if these employees are allowed to unionize and demand $15/hour. Who gets to unionize? Is it all fast food workers or just those who work for companies of a certain size ( ie. MacDonald's but not Joe's Diner) and where do you draw the line? What happens when the economics don't work? If it cost so much to employ people to run a fast food place that the employer can not make a satisfactory profit then investors will put their money into some other business. I think we could be making a mistake if we increased the salary of entry level jobs to a point where they make more money than the people who have jobs on the next wrung up the ladder. Those people may decide that earning the skills or enduring the difficulties required to do their job isnt worthwhile when they could get the same compensation working at MacDonalds. Its one thing to want to help people live a better life. Its quite another trying to circumvent the stark law of free market economics.
McGeyver-Its one thing to want to help people live a better life. Its quite another trying to circumvent the stark law of free market economics.
Obviously you don't view people's right to organize(what's left of those rights..) as part of a free-market economy. It is one of the best examples of free-market economics. I'm also assuming that you are disregarding Jericon's comments about fast-food joints not being so much of an entry level job anymore, like it used to be. Or the fact that the real value of the minimum wage has declined since 1968. McGeyver, what's your viewpoint really about when you couch your comment in: Its one thing to want to help people live a better life People organizing or striking aren't asking for help from other people. They are helping themselves. It's one of the most striking examples of the free-market in action. It's absolutely no different than a grocer raising the prices of apricots.

People whose resources are concentrated in traditional measures of wealth, i.e. cash, stocks, bonds, material holdings, organize to maximize their benefits and we laud that as capitalism. People whose resources are concentrated in their ability to labor organize to maximize the benefits they can gain from their resource and we decry that as socialism, or worse, communism and criticize them for trying to ignore or break the holy laws of the marketplace. Somehow that attitude always seems to carry an odor of hypocrisy.

People whose resources are concentrated in their ability to labor organize to maximize the benefits they can gain from their resource and we decry that as socialism, or worse, communism and criticize them for trying to ignore or break the holy laws of the marketplace.
In the 1910’s organized labor was communism movement in Europe.
In the 1920’s America made Germany give in to organized labor so the Communist would not get voted into office.
In the 1930’s and 40’s organized labor was looked at as a communism type of movement in the US.
The fast food industry using organized labor today is just the tip of the iceberg of new organized labor and labor strikes that we will be looking at the next 10 years as the high inflation hit us.
Do you know who has the best labor contracts, better than the long shore, railroad and teamsters?
Congress.

McGeyver-Its one thing to want to help people live a better life. Its quite another trying to circumvent the stark law of free market economics.
Obviously you don't view people's right to organize(what's left of those rights..) as part of a free-market economy. It is one of the best examples of free-market economics. I'm also assuming that you are disregarding Jericon's comments about fast-food joints not being so much of an entry level job anymore, like it used to be. Or the fact that the real value of the minimum wage has declined since 1968. McGeyver, what's your viewpoint really about when you couch your comment in: Its one thing to want to help people live a better life People organizing or striking aren't asking for help from other people. They are helping themselves. It's one of the most striking examples of the free-market in action. It's absolutely no different than a grocer raising the prices of apricots.
Strictly speaking when people organize to force employers to pay a greater price for their labor than the market values it at, that is not free market economics any more than it would be if all the companies that sold a product got together and demanded more for their product than it was worth. As a physician if I were to gather all the doctors in my area and refuse to work unless we got a certain price for our services we would go to jail for collusion even though the customers we would be negotiating with are mostly large insurance companies. We may have more sympathy for low level employees because they don't make as much money but the concept is the same. Its not free market economics because the parties who are colluding ( or striking) are creating an artificial shortage in supply thereby circumventing the normal interaction between supply and demand that should determine price in a free market economy. Its always a difficult balance between giving employees/unions too much power versus businesses getting too much power. If businesses have too much power they may take advantage of employees but unions have also had periods where they were all powerful and nearly crippled our economy. The police unions in our area have managed to ratchet up salaries for police officers so that they make far more in salary and benefits than most of the people who they are sworn to protect. In response to your other comment, the people who are protesting for the right to unionize ARE asking for our help since we are the government and its the government that will decide if they are going to get the right to unionize. The whole purpose of their protest is to gain sympathy from the public and that's fine but as their audience we need to evaluate the strengths of their argument. I personally don't find their case to be a strong one when they are asking for such high wages for a job that requires no skill at all.
McGeyver-Its one thing to want to help people live a better life. Its quite another trying to circumvent the stark law of free market economics.
Obviously you don't view people's right to organize(what's left of those rights..) as part of a free-market economy. It is one of the best examples of free-market economics. I'm also assuming that you are disregarding Jericon's comments about fast-food joints not being so much of an entry level job anymore, like it used to be. Or the fact that the real value of the minimum wage has declined since 1968. McGeyver, what's your viewpoint really about when you couch your comment in: Its one thing to want to help people live a better life People organizing or striking aren't asking for help from other people. They are helping themselves. It's one of the most striking examples of the free-market in action. It's absolutely no different than a grocer raising the prices of apricots.
Strictly speaking when people organize to force employers to pay a greater price for their labor than the market values it at, that is not free market economics any more than it would be if all the companies that sold a product got together and demanded more for their product than it was worth. As a physician if I were to gather all the doctors in my area and refuse to work unless we got a certain price for our services we would go to jail for collusion even though the customers we would be negotiating with are mostly large insurance companies. We may have more sympathy for low level employees because they don't make as much money but the concept is the same. Its not free market economics because the parties who are colluding ( or striking) are creating an artificial shortage in supply thereby circumventing the normal interaction between supply and demand that should determine price in a free market economy. Its always a difficult balance between giving employees/unions too much power versus businesses getting too much power. If businesses have too much power they may take advantage of employees but unions have also had periods where they were all powerful and nearly crippled our economy. The police unions in our area have managed to ratchet up salaries for police officers so that they make far more in salary and benefits than most of the people who they are sworn to protect. In response to your other comment, the people who are protesting for the right to unionize ARE asking for our help since we are the government and its the government that will decide if they are going to get the right to unionize. The whole purpose of their protest is to gain sympathy from the public and that's fine but as their audience we need to evaluate the strengths of their argument. I personally don't find their case to be a strong one when they are asking for such high wages for a job that requires no skill at all. I'm pretty sure any group of employees has the right to unionize and when it involves jobs in private companies, and the government doesn't have anything to say about it. There are two separate issues in this thread--raising the minimum wage, which is a government issue, and forming a union, which is not a government issue as long as it involves only private companies. Everyone has a right to try to unionize. I would rather see a union formed among fast food employees than raise the minimum wage. A union can then negotiate with the owners and managers of the fast food outlets to see what kind of compromise they can work out. There is no reason that fast food employees should not try for unionization. Other private industries have been unionized and they are still in business. Lois
McGeyver-Its one thing to want to help people live a better life. Its quite another trying to circumvent the stark law of free market economics.
Obviously you don't view people's right to organize(what's left of those rights..) as part of a free-market economy. It is one of the best examples of free-market economics. I'm also assuming that you are disregarding Jericon's comments about fast-food joints not being so much of an entry level job anymore, like it used to be. Or the fact that the real value of the minimum wage has declined since 1968. McGeyver, what's your viewpoint really about when you couch your comment in: Its one thing to want to help people live a better life People organizing or striking aren't asking for help from other people. They are helping themselves. It's one of the most striking examples of the free-market in action. It's absolutely no different than a grocer raising the prices of apricots.
Strictly speaking when people organize to force employers to pay a greater price for their labor than the market values it at, that is not free market economics any more than it would be if all the companies that sold a product got together and demanded more for their product than it was worth. As a physician if I were to gather all the doctors in my area and refuse to work unless we got a certain price for our services we would go to jail for collusion even though the customers we would be negotiating with are mostly large insurance companies. We may have more sympathy for low level employees because they don't make as much money but the concept is the same. Its not free market economics because the parties who are colluding ( or striking) are creating an artificial shortage in supply thereby circumventing the normal interaction between supply and demand that should determine price in a free market economy. Its always a difficult balance between giving employees/unions too much power versus businesses getting too much power. If businesses have too much power they may take advantage of employees but unions have also had periods where they were all powerful and nearly crippled our economy. The police unions in our area have managed to ratchet up salaries for police officers so that they make far more in salary and benefits than most of the people who they are sworn to protect. In response to your other comment, the people who are protesting for the right to unionize ARE asking for our help since we are the government and its the government that will decide if they are going to get the right to unionize. The whole purpose of their protest is to gain sympathy from the public and that's fine but as their audience we need to evaluate the strengths of their argument. I personally don't find their case to be a strong one when they are asking for such high wages for a job that requires no skill at all. ditto

McGeyver, you already tipped your hand with this: “It’s one thing to want to help people live a better life
There’s really no further need to continue.
This is the part I hate…the disconnect in someone’s argument like this.
You tipped your hand and it reveals either an ideological stance, or an incomplete understanding of the issue. Or a mix of both.
Either way, you probably won’t know where you stand if you continue the discussion.
Yes people have a right to organize.
If the workers are successful down the road, McDonald’s has a right to go out of business or fight it in courts which will surely be biased in their(McDonald’s) favor.

People whose resources are concentrated in traditional measures of wealth, i.e. cash, stocks, bonds, material holdings, organize to maximize their benefits and we laud that as capitalism. People whose resources are concentrated in their ability to labor organize to maximize the benefits they can gain from their resource and we decry that as socialism, or worse, communism and criticize them for trying to ignore or break the holy laws of the marketplace. Somehow that attitude always seems to carry an odor of hypocrisy.
Yes, Jeciron. Amazing, you are making the most relevant points here and as usual people are not reading them.
Macgyver: when people organize to force employers to pay a greater price for their labor than the market values it at, that is not free market economics any more than it would be if all the companies that sold a product got together and demanded more for their product than it was worth
I'm not sure I agree. Isn't the essence of free market economics the idea that the relationship between supply and demand determines the value of a product? In order to assess the this it is natural that labor will have to try get the highest wage possible. Laborers can only do this by withholding labor, capitalists do it by raising prices until they exceed the amount individuals are willing to pay. When the value of the labor, or a product is exceeded the market will force an adjustment. If I hold stock in a company which overprices its product, I will experience a somewhat painful adjustment, as will the laborer who overprices their labor, but the only way to really establish the value of a good or service is to push that limit. How is that not a free market exchange?
Macgyver: unions have also had periods where they were all powerful and nearly crippled our economy
I'm not sure the Great Depression can be blamed on unionization, and during the 1950s and 60s a large percentage of laborers were union members at a time when the economy was very stable and productive. An argument can be made that when labor receives a fair wage money circulates more effectively and economic stagnation is prevented. And, I think it's important to remember that people who are involved in unions are as much a part of our government as anyone else, they are not some separate entity asking for a handout. But, I recognize that professional, white collar workers are caught in the middle. They are unable to organize in the way that labor can and I believe that is somewhat unjust. Doctors especially fall into a class of professional who are felt to provide an essential service, one that many feel should be available to all individuals, and I can see how that makes pricing medical care very complex. At root we seem to have some distrust of a totally free market, so we socialize many jobs that are seen as essential, like the military, the police, fire department and to a great degree the jobs which maintain the transportation infrastructure. If we, as a society, feel that access to medicine is similarly essential perhaps we should create a similar structure for it's practitioners. I'm not saying that physicians are improperly valued, but the value of the service they provide may be as difficult to value as the skills and risks incurred by a fireman who can save an infant in the upper story of a burning building. On the subject of minimum wage. I believe deeply that if an individual works at a reasonable pace, to the best of their ability and opportunity, for 40 hours a week they should receive a large enough wage to enable them, and a reasonable number of offspring, access to decent food and housing, basic healthcare, education and some slight opportunity to better themselves. I don't think that's possible for a person working their tail off all day in a hot, greasy hamburger joint and receiving the current minimum wage. If paying workers fairly prices a service out of the market that is the nature of a free market. If we insist on having access to a product and will not pay the laborers creating it a living wage, that isn't a job, it is slavery, and as a society we should be ashamed.
McGeyver-Strictly speaking when people organize to force employers to pay a greater price for their labor than the market values it at, that is not free market economics any more than it would be if all the companies that sold a product got together and demanded more for their product than it was worth.
Nobody forces anybody. They sit down and come to an agreement, then they make a contract like nice people do. It is free-market economy. All the employees get together and incorporate their labor. Like a big company. And they sell their labor to the other company. And there are United States laws that have to be followed in the organization of this "company"(union) and laws concerning the other company's dealing with that union. So it's also perfectly legal. It's all in the Dept. Of Labor's website.
Its always a difficult balance between giving employees/unions too much power versus businesses getting too much power. If businesses have too much power they may take advantage of employees but unions have also had periods where they were all powerful and nearly crippled our economy.
:lol:
The police unions in our area have managed to ratchet up salaries for police officers so that they make far more in salary and benefits than most of the people who they are sworn to protect.
Go take the police test then. Don't you know about upward mobility? Look for the job with more pay and go for it. No, you want the new American way...complain about what the other guy is making, and bring everyone down with ya. Instead of aspiring to improve your lot with the tools society offers. Misery loves company!!
In response to your other comment, the people who are protesting for the right to unionize ARE asking for our help since we are the government and its the government that will decide if they are going to get the right to unionize.
They aren't protesting for the right to organize. They already have that right. I'm sure some suitable large Unions are looking into the matter as we speak. The government doesn't decide anything accept in court to see if any laws were or are being violated.
The whole purpose of their protest is to gain sympathy from the public and that's fine but as their audience we need to evaluate the strengths of their argument. I personally don't find their case to be a strong one when they are asking for such high wages for a job that requires no skill at all.
Yeah, I get it. Your a Doctor and they are just lowly fast food workers who should know their place.