The green monster

WCC campus

 

 

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By TAYLOR ROBINSON

 

Money. The root to a sustainable future and, unfortunately, the root of all evil. When a person stops to think about it, money is the driving force behind most peoples’ lives. We need it to provide food for ourselves and loved ones. We need it to quench our daily thirst. We even need it to sleep, to make sure we have a sturdy roof over our heads. And ironically, it keeps some of us awake at night.

As the cost of housing, food and education continue to rise, it’s no surprise that those who are not in the top 1 percent of earners are starting to request higher wages. What frenzy the “Fight for $15” has caused.

In November 2012, fast-food workers walked out of their places of employment in New York, demanding higher pay. Since then, the cries have only grown louder.

I know what a lot of people are probably thinking. Why should people who cook burgers and fries get more pay than some professional chefs or a dental assistant? The answer is they shouldn’t. The answer is if those workers start to get paid more, then other businesses won’t have a choice but to raise their wages as well.

Otherwise, cashiers, nursing assistants, personal care aides and others will quit those jobs, throw on a McDonald’s cap and start flipping burgers, too.

This isn’t something that will magically happen overnight. Economically speaking, if businesses all of a sudden increased wages by double, then, yes, there would be some problems. However, steadily increasing wages over time would allow the economy to adjust.

People are upset. Not just those who demand more money, but also those who feel they had to work to get to where they are today and finally live comfortably. They didn’t get $15 per hour when they started out. They had to pull themselves up by their bootstraps since the average age of 16 and work.

But did they get enjoyment out of that? They know the struggle better than anybody. So why would they want the same thing for those people? Why watch history repeat itself?

I work in the service industry as a waitress and have been doing so for the last seven years. Although I don’t get minimum wage per say, and instead rely on tips (as long as I get those refills fast enough and your steak isn’t overcooked.) I empathize with those who struggle on a daily basis to provide for themselves and their families.

I thank the fast-food workers who realize people don’t get paid enough regardless of the jobs they have. According to a “Fortune” article published in early April, 42 percent of all U.S. workers make less than $15 per hour. Fast-food employees clearly don’t make up nearly half of American jobs. This means other people who have jobs that required higher education still aren’t getting paid accordingly. I say, rock on #Fightfor15 and thank you.

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