Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Whopper of a Price for a Big Mac

A Whopper of a Price for a Big Mac
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 1, 2013

The union driven surge for fast food employees’ recent demands of a raise from a $7.25 an hour minimum wage to an unconscionable $15 an hour is demonstrative not of their ignorance, but of their desperation to keep alive a class warfare battle, that is really a product of poor education.

SEIU (Service Employees International Union), a huge supporter of Barack Obama throughout his political life, is the driving force behind this irresponsible demand of a $15 an hour wage for entry level workers, for whom a career should not be stunted, but launched.

Fast food employees of Burger King, KFC, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s in seven cities, New York, Chicago, Milwaukee, Kansas City, St. Louis, Detroit, and Flint, MI are taking to the streets thinking they are indispensable in their minimum wage jobs. All managers should be on alert and have full staffs ready to step in the moment the current staffs walk off their jobs. Walking out is tantamount to job abandonment and currently unemployed folks will gladly take a $7.25 an hour job.

Make no mistake, I am not diminishing the workers, but the reality is, this is not brain surgery. No one mistakes fast food counter/kitchen jobs as anything more than what they are – either a temporary job for young people or a means to an end for someone wishing to have a career in the food service industry. No one gets rich in these jobs. They are an opportunity to garner experience in the work world, put some money in the pockets of the workers, and with hard work and diligence, could lead to promotions that will earn more money.

SEIU, as are most unions, is desperate to retain membership (translation, dues) and public relevance, thus their involvement, if not impetus, of the fast food workers’ arbitrary demands. The union knows this demand is unreasonable, because they understand the ramifications of what this demand would do to the fast food industry and the far reaching effects on the economy as a whole – they simply don’t care.

Were the fast food businesses foolish enough to more than double the pay of their workers, they would also need to raise the prices of their entire menu. Gone would be the dollar menus, budget menus, affordable children’s meals, snacks, and other treats. Fast food workers already complain they can’t afford the food they prepare and serve. Imagine the prices when paying workers $15 an hour.

Continuing to assume the stupidity of the fast food businesses, once they raise their prices, they will see a concomitant shrinking of their customer base, thus leading to the eventual laying off of those very workers making $15 an hour, who will then be earning zero dollars an hour. Those unemployed workers will then want to collect unemployment from the government, thus making more people dependent upon government, something with which unions have no problem.

Unions do not serve the purposes with which they were intended more than 100 years ago – fighting for workers’ rights, preventing children from being injured or killed in mines or jobs with small spaces and gears where only a child could fit, purporting the importance of insurance for workers, as well as calling for race and gender fairness. The government has taken over those purposes with child labor laws, as well as the advent of the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Safety Administration).

Today, unions, by and large, are ubiquitous, unscrupulous, greed heads, lining their own pockets at the cost to society’s detriment – be it SEIU, any teachers’ union, or any union protecting bad workers and unnecessary jobs causing jobs to be lost overseas. An American worker employed at $7.25 an hour is better than an unemployed American worker whose job has been outsourced.

And as alluded to above, unions rely upon the uneducated and undereducated to pad their rolls. Educated people understand minimum wage jobs are dead ends should they treat them as such, instead of the potential stepping stone within a company or industry should a worker be ambitious, industrious, and possess a strong work ethic. This type of worker is a product of a good education and even good examples set at home by parents.

Once again, the structured family unit, a good work ethic, and a good education are the keys to success, not the weak demands of a union seeking to create a deeper divide amongst the classes. Without corporations, such jobs don’t exist, raising unemployment and making people more dependent on government. Without workers making unreasonable demands, such jobs will keep people employed and on a road to success, if they follow the above model.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

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