It’s always much easier to blame someone or something else for our problems. I was not raised that way. If I did something wrong, I learned to step up and accept the consequences. I understand that tons of changes in everything have happened since my growing years (the 1960s & 1970s, in case you are wondering), but someone had to speak up.
I grew up on a farm = tons of work, long hours, and little pay (but there were so many other rewards).
I worked many blue-collar jobs = waitress, bartender, and factory worker.
I was also raised knowing that if you are going to do a job, do it to the best of your ability.
The federal minimum wage jumped from $7.25 per hour in 2009 to $15.00 per hour in 2022. WHAT!?!
( Minimum wage in America: How many people are earning $7.25 an hour? (usafacts.org) )
My parents owned bars and restaurants during my middle and high school years. My first bookkeeping jobs were doing the books for a couple of them in the mid to late 1970s. I know waitresses and waiters work off a different plan than regular workers. They must report their tips, which get added to a base wage per hour, and then must match the minimum wage requirement. So they get screwed no matter how you look at it. If they are good at their job and live in an area that appreciates all their hard work, they can make fantastic tips – HOWEVER, they get screwed on the paycheck because of how they get paid. Now, with the wage being SO much higher, so fast, it has messed up our complete system.
Since employers must pay so much more, they must increase their prices. This all starts at the very beginning of it all with supplies. Ingredients must be grown, gathered, and stored. The companies that make or gather these things must increase their wages by over double their previous charge just to meet the minimum wage requirement.
Then the price per item goes up from there. Here’s an example:
1 LOAF OF BREAD:
- Wheat seed growers now have to pay their employees more for planting, growing, and harvesting the seeds. They also have to pay for all the heavy equipment to grow and process the base product.
- Flour makers have to pay more for people to process the seeds into flour.
- The company that provides the packaging materials to put the flour in for sale has to do the same wage increase, so they must pass that on to the flour maker to survive.
- The flour maker takes in that extra cost for materials and passes that on to the company that buys their flour.
- The company buying the packaged flour has to pay a higher wage to their employees to process and ship it to the stores.
- The shippers also get higher wages, BUT the cost of gas also went up, so they have to pass on that extra expense.
- The cost of gas is not just the higher minimum wage effect but also a supply-and-demand thing since the world got shut down due to the pandemic (not going into that right now).
- Then the store that agrees to carry their flour product has to pay their people to stock shelves and take care of customers – AGAIN – at the higher minimum wage.
You can see that there are at least seven hike areas that come from creating anything to sell anywhere.
I agree that many people were underpaid for their hard work. However, to complain about how they can’t pay anything and want more money now, just creates a vicious, messy cycle. We need to do better than this.
Perhaps it’s time to take a deep look at why it’s happening and what “other” ways can be used to cure the source problem instead of just bumping wages? It does not stop people that can’t feed their kids, pay their rent, and own nice things from doing this unless they can learn to budget. So maybe our current school children should be taught more about budgeting, the basics of cost-of-living, supply and demand, and how it all works together?
There were specific subjects that were mandatory in my high school that I believed helped with basic life skills. I understand that much of them have been lost (Art is, to me, a life skill also – if we can’t express ourselves to ourselves, how are we expected to express things to others?).
- Home Economics.
- Balancing a Check Book
- Understanding a Budget
What good are the major classes if you cannot survive the minor requirements in life?
Bottom line: We did this to ourselves, so it is up to us to fix it!
You can also check me out at: https://helbergfarmstories.com/ for fun stories from our farm.
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