Illustrating the Unpopular

Posted: October 23, 2021 in Uncategorized

I know just yesterday I posted about staying in my lane. but then I saw something that just really frustrated me. A friend posted a meme suggesting that the minimum wage be raised to $25 and the meme alluded to this being for McDonalds employees. My wife tried to respond in good faith and received all kinds of things about the deserving poor including why high school kids deserve to earn $25 per hour. She was right. Here’s why it won’t work.

If the McDonalds employee currently earn the minimum wage and is moved to $25 per hour, that roughly triples the owner of said restaurant’s labor costs, labor being among the highest costs of running a business. For the moment let’s just look at one possible solution. He raises the prices. The current cost of my favorite McDonald’s burger, the quarter pounder with cheese is $3.79. Now the owner saves a little money with me because I think onions are nasty, but I digress. Let’s say she is feeling magnanimous and decides to take a financial hit (something she is not obligated to do) and decides to only double the cost of my burger goes to a whopping $7.58. I look at the doubled cost and have a decision to make. McDonald’s burgers are a convenience, not a necessity, and I begin to think I can make a substantially better burger for much less at home. You see while the employee just got a 300 percent raise, I got more like 1/100th of that. So my decision to cook at home, means a 100 percent loss for the McDonald’s franchisee every time I make it.

Now the franchisee is faced with a decision. She can go out of business, which is what will happen if enough others join me in my choice, or she can find other ways to cut her costs so she doesn’t have to raise the price. She can’t cut the cost of supplies or ingredients. There is really only one expense that it makes sense to cut costs on, and that is labor. In come the kiosks and out go the employees. Bye Bye $25 per hour.

There are no bad guys in this scenario. The franchisee likely scrimped and saved and worked like a dog and went into debt to raise the money to buy her franchise. She took all the risks for the purpose of a reward. As a result of her risking her investment, she provides entry level jobs for people entering the workforce, and/or looking to climb the ranks into management and possibly even a franchise of their own one day. I’m also not a bad guy. I’ve worked most of my life to attain the amount of money my friend wants to bestow to every person who gets a job at McDonald’s. My increases will never be 300 percent and so as prices rise, I have decisions to make and one of the first things I will be cutting is an $8 hamburger, when I can make and arguably better burger for substantially less. Lastly the kind at McDonalds is not a bad guy, because if someone offers him $25 an hour to flip burgers, he’d be insane not to take it.

The bottom line is this. Minimum wage jobs are entry level jobs. They are where you go when you have no experience and are learning things like a work ethic, sealing with people, etc. Usually one of the things we learn from entry level jobs is what we DON’T WANT TO DO. From there you should be seeking to advance to something that is rewarding and fulfilling. Why am I sharing this on a blog for people interested in creative ministry? Because this is the world we live, work and create in. These factors will effect us going forward. What we provide is a luxury to many of the churches and organizations we serve and we are going to need to be really creative (not to mention depending on God) going forward.

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