By: Richard L. Polley II
It seems all of a sudden that it is ok to pay someone below a living wage as long as it is masked as a “Starter Job,” and what’s mind blowing is that the common people defend these wages.
“These are for college kids, for a little money while at school,” or “it’s to get them off their feet once they graduate high school,” is the common tongue of the land.
Everyone seems to forget they used to be able to afford college or university tuition at minimum wages. When McDonald’s first opened, the company paid livable wages, but as time passed wage increases slowly rose in the industry and the corporation’s profit margin sky rocketed. Now this isn’t just McDonald’s, this is fast food restaurants across the board. It is a combination of sluggish minimum wage increases, inflation, severe increases in higher education tuition, and taking advantage of the part time job designation.
I would go as far as to say an unpaid internship is better than having a “starter job,” wither it be a fast food joint or regular restaurant’s support staff. At least at an internship you are learning skills that can benefit you for your career job.
Starter jobs give you nothing to jump from and often become a dead end job. Cleaning dishes, cooking, cashier, bussing tables, and customer service are the traits of the job. All common things that people should already be capable of, or takes a few minutes to learn. A starting job without a platform is a dead end job.
Part timers these days are full time workers deprived of full time wages and benefits. Employers use the job designation to justify exploiting them. They can take the money they spend on one full time worker and split it to pay two or more part time workers, yet they work the same hours as full timers.
These labor issues have to be resolved, or else across the nation poverty will surge and spread.
As manufacturing jobs continue to lay off their workers, we will see more citizens thrust into this unjust economic cycle of poverty. Eventually having to take on several starter jobs just to feed the family and pay the rent. College kids are not the major age group at risk, it’s the elderly manufacturing workers who are laid off and do not have the ability to retrain for the high-tech industry that is replacing their jobs.
The only way the more elderly could acquire a high-tech job is by going to school, but if they could afford to do that, then they could just use that money to retire off of. So if they chose to go back to school on burrowed money, all they will receive from university is an unpayable debt.
From youth to the elderly, not making a change to these jobs is catastrophic to all. This slow moving disaster won’t be resolved until it’s too late, unless these issues are picked up on the radar now, rather than later