Matt Walsh explains:
It’s come to my attention that many of you earnestly believe — indeed, you’ve been led to this conclusion by pandering politicians and liberal pundits who possess neither the slightest grasp of the basic rules of economics nor even the faintest hint of integrity — that your entry-level gig pushing buttons on a cash register at Taco Bell ought to earn you double the current federal minimum wage.
I’m aware, of course, that not all of you feel this way. Many of you might consider your position as Whopper Assembler to be rather a temporary situation, not a career path, and you plan on moving on and up not by holding a poster board with “Give me more money!” scrawled across it, but by working hard and being reliable. To be clear, I am not addressing the folks in this latter camp. They are doing what needs to be done, and I respect that.
Instead, I want to talk to those of you who actually consider yourselves entitled to close to a $29,000 a year full-time salary for doing a job that requires no skill, no expertise and no education; those who think a fry cook ought to earn an entry-level income similar to a dental assistant; those who insist the guy putting the lettuce on my Big Mac ought to make more than the emergency medical technician who saves lives for a living; those who believe you should automatically be able to “live comfortably,” as if “comfort” is a human right.
To those in this category, I have a few things I need to say, for your own sake:
First, let me start with a story. It’s anecdotal, obviously, but then this whole #FightFor15 “movement” is based entirely on anecdotes.
I submit mine: I’m 28 years old now. I started working when I was about 15. I did hourly, customer service-type stuff at grocery stores, snowball stands and pizza places, never making much more than the bare minimum at any of them.
When I was 20 I moved out of the house and got my first job in radio. Starting out as a rock DJ in Delaware, I made $17,000 a year, or about $8 an hour. I lived off of that, earning a few small raises through the years — having to eat fewer meals, buy fewer things, and, God forbid, even forgo cable and Internet access in my apartment — right up to when I got married at 25.
Around my 26th birthday, over 10 years after my first job, I landed a position in Kentucky that paid me around $40,000. It was the first time I’d ever made the equivalent of $15 an hour or more. Again, this was after 10 years of working. Of course, our newfound wealth soon had to be split between four people, as my wife became pregnant with our twins within a few months of me starting the job.
After finding out that we were expecting not one baby, but two, I started my website. I wrote every day for six months before I made much more than a dime on it. It wasn’t until August 2013 that I earned my first significant chunk of money. By my 27th birthday last year, I was finally making a “comfortable living.”
It took me over a decade to get here.
You think the jobs I had when I was 16 should have provided me with the comfortable living I just established in my late 20s? Frankly, I think you’re delusional.
To understand how delusional, consider that a $15 an hour full-time salary would put you in the same ballpark as biologists, auto mechanics, biochemists, teachers, geologists, roofers and bank tellers.
You’d be making more than some police officers.