Why work so hard to stay at the bottom?

Josh Sherman
2 min read
Money Education Career

Not a day goes by that I see a headline about the need for a minimum wage increase. I read about staged sit-ins, protests and boycotts. I see people investing a ton of time and energy to remain the lowest paid workers in the country. I generally keep my political diatribes to a minimum on my blog, but I feel like this needs to be addressed. Why are people putting so much effort into staying at the bottom of the food chain?

Minimum wage was introduced to help protect people from being completely devalued, but no where was it intended as a career path. Minimum wage jobs are ideal for high school students that need a shitty part-time job to fund their extracurricular activities not as a main source of income. Unskilled labor is the pool you swim in when you are starting off in life. The whole point is to acquire skills and better yourself by way of job experience and education.

McDonald’s is a prime example of how minimum wage / unskilled labor can work to people’s advantage as quite a bit of their corporate hierarchy is composed of internal hiring at the franchise level. These are people that have applied themselves and worked their way up the food chain in an effort to not remain a minimum wage earner. You don’t have to eat that swill to respect the availability of advancement in their organization. Minimum wage is a starting point, nothing more.

I’m with Kevin O’Leary on this one, it’s insanity to disrupt existing businesses in such a way that it effects their business model and revenue stream. Sure, perhaps it would’t have that great of an impact on a multi-billion dollar chain like McDonald’s but it very well can hurt the little guy in the worst possible way. Many small business owners already take reduced salaries to keep their business afloat, and a raise in minimum wage could easily push them closer to the poor house.

Hoping I don’t seem too much like an O’Leary disciple but I agree with his sentiments about it taking away the motivation to be a better you and work towards advancing your career. I haven’t faced the struggles of making minimum wage in a very long time but that’s because I wanted more. You don’t have to be materialistic to desire more money, there’s a stability aspect to it. If you aren’t living paycheck to paycheck your quality of life is instantly improved because there’s a level of stress that simply doesn’t exist.

I’m working hard to become part of the 1% and I wish more people did too.

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About Josh

Husband. Father. Pug dad. Musician. Founder of Holiday API, Head of Engineering and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake, and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

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