Last week, fast-food workers staged a one-day strike in 60 U.S. cities to demand aminimum wage of $15 an hour, more than double the current federal minimum of $7.25. The nationwide effort, “Fight for 15,” was organized by the Service Employees International Union.
I feel bad for those who are relegated to a minimum-wage job. I feel worse for those who want a minimum-wage job as a steppingstone to something better and would be denied that opportunity by the imposition of a higher wage floor. A higher wage is great for the workers who keep their jobs; it isn’t so great for those who wouldn’t get hired because McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) starts asking its existing workforce to do a bit more. With a higher minimum wage, the cost of automating certain tasks suddenly becomes more affordable.