Minimum wage: The Wage war

Danny Celiz, Staff Writer

Danny Celiz/Staff Writer

Danny Celiz/Staff Writer

A huge debate is happening right now throughout California and everyone is willing to put their opinion forward.

The topic up for debate is whether the state should increase minimum wage to at least $15 an hour. Many supporters claim that the modern lifestyle is just to expensive with minimum at just $9 and claims that the increase would “Provide a comfortable lifestyle.”

Those who oppose the idea simply disagree that someone who “Flips burgers” should make as much as someone who saves lives or teaches. While both of these arguments are poor at best, others on both sides have made much deeper claims on the matter. Raising wages would increase the price of goods. Raising wages would increase more people to re-enroll back into school.  Raising wages would discourage students to finish school. Raising wages would help reduce crime.

All of these and more have been debated in this hot button case with most providing facts, charts, even historical proof when the same issue arose in the past. The issue has gone as far as to intertwine in social media. Starting a new wave of hash tags to promote or disagree on the issue.

I am against the wages increase. I know this is a weird statement considering I work two minimum wage jobs, but allow me to explain my personal reason behind my choice.”

— Danny Celiz

Because social media is just that, social, many people have voiced their opinions on the matter and it has now got the attention of prominent figures such as the President of the United States.

Obama has stated that even he has worked to increase wages, but has found it to be a challenge to get measures passed. As of now, no one knows how the event will play out as the issue is in a stand still. Seeing how the issue is still up for grabs, I asked students to give me their personal opinion on the matter.

After talking to dozens of students the clear action everyone is going for is the increase of wages. Most students claim that the increase in money would allow them to have a more steady life and make living alone easier. One student, Kelly, stated, that if there was an increase in wages, that he would feel more secure in his life. “With the extra money I could even take a risky class and may find a new major,” said Kelly.

While what seems to be a large percentage of the school that was for the wage increase, there were still others who were against it.

“If wages go up, everything goes up,” stated an economics student. “Even if wages go up and everything is fine and dandy I really believe that jobs would be cut, hours would be cut, and companies could go out of business.” The debates continue on campus among students.

I even took time out of my job as a server to ask people at my tables about their take on the issue. Honestly, the older generation seems to be against the issue as they all agree everyone needs to complete school.

The young adults and even adult guests I talked to seemed to side more on the increase side. Some young adults even tried to get me to join their hash tag line of, “#Fightforfifteen.”

So after hearing everyone’s personal opinion on the matter and doing some research of my own, I came to my own conclusions on the matter. I am against the wages increase.

I know this is a weird statement considering I work two minimum wage jobs, but allow me to explain my personal reason behind my choice. Let me start by using my own personal information that I learned by talking to people.

After the question of wages was answered, I followed my question up with two more questions just for the younger adults. Did you finish your taxes and did you spend any money if you earned any back? The question was a bit out there, but sure enough they told me that the taxes were filed and that the money was spent.

Most admitted that the money was used during spring break, most likely spent on hotels, drinks, or any other party essentials. Most were embarrassed by their answer and some railed against me by asking how I spent my taxes.

I simply stated, “The money is in my savings not touched at all.” My reason behind the question wasn’t really to get personal or weird at all, but to see how the younger generation can handle more money. Needless to say, they failed.

This isn’t meant to generalize all of the younger generation. Some said the money went to better and personal things. Others saved thier money as well, but the main target was the youngest ones that body painted hash tags that claim to be a supporter.

Of course I didn’t just experiment with just one side of the issue, I also had some for people against the issue. You see, I disagree with those who don’t want wage growth as well.

Most of those against the wage hike use the “Burger Flipper” story each time. I work at a diner that makes about a thousand orders of burgers, salads, and fries a day. It seems these people think that the employees that work in food services just flip and stack burgers.

After the question of wages was answered, I followed my question up with two more questions just for the younger adults. Did you finish your taxes and did you spend any money if you earned any back? The question was a bit out there, but sure enough they told me that the taxes were filed and that the money was spent. Most admitted that the money was used during spring break, most likely spent on hotels, drinks, or any other party essentials.”

Needless to say, most of them never worked behind a grill in their life. Lunch rush and dinner rushes are some of the most stressful events of the day. Orders pile in by the minute and one wrong step could be the difference between a happy customer or a bad review on Yelp.

The amount of skill and training needed to handle the rushes are some of the most draining experiences I have ever experienced. The amount of patience needed to work in food services is beyond what the average consumer can comprehend.

Needless to say, people demand perfection, yet are still willing to belittle the work of those in the food services business. Some guests just flat out don’t care and even run out on bills, or don’t even tip, yet are quick to put down those trying to make a living on what is only available as a job in their life at this moment.

Let me say I am against wage increases for a different reason than most. Sure there are many who work dead end jobs and have no where else to turn and they would love to make more money, however the majority of young adults just see this as a way to get more money and thus bandwagon along.

I feel like the hash tags and the rallies are showing the childish side of the work force and I can’t get behind it. On the flip side I dislike those who feel that because they did things one way, that everyone else has to do it the same way.

For that group of people that put down those who are really working hard and asking for an increase, let me leave you with a quote from Franklin Roosevelt himself. “Do not let any calamity-howling executive with an income of $1,000.00 a day, who has been turning his employees over to the Government relief rolls in order to preserve his company’s undistributed reserves, tell you that a wage of $11.00 a week is going to have a disastrous effect on all American industry.”

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