Minimum Wage...or Minimum Work?

Minimum Wage...or Minimum Work?

In September of 2013, +Forbes had published an article that ...Welfare Pays More Than Minimum-Wage Work in 35 States. This was based on a study performed by +The Cato Institute and subsequent results published by Michael Tanner and Charles Hughes in a document entitled The Work Versus Welfare Tradeoff: 2013 (link provided). Basically the government has made it more prosperous to be poor than employed.

"The current welfare system provides such a high level of benefits that it acts as a disincentive for work." And that's straight from the horse's mouth! It reminds me of a line from Office Space; "Why
should I work any harder? So Initech ships a few thousand more units? What's in it for me?" Why work harder than you have to when you're getting paid MORE to do LESS, in 35 states at least.

Then there ARE some people who try to compare apples-to-apples which is where I like to dwell... Let's talk about the "average" worker who earns minimum wage. And I'm going to stick to fast-food establishments to make it easy. I realize that there are tons of secretaries and delivery people on the same boat but, let's keep it simple. The +NCSLorg (National Council of State Legislatures) lists minimum wage by state and includes all future amendments in a table. In Florida, for example, Federal minimum wage will go from $7.93 to $8.05 in 2015. But back to the average guy... This is the person who shows up on-time, does their job, leaves on the dot, and doesn't incur foolish workman's comp fees. Sure, minimum wage for that guy! He did "the minimum" required for his job to KEEP his job. What about the "above-average" worker? The one who's early, preparing for the challenges of their day, always polite and professional, finds busy-work to do, and generally the epitome for others to follow? I say give that person a $2/hr raise! And why not?! They've earned it!

My point is that if you keep everyone on the same pay-level/scale then you're going to have a workforce of mediocre operators. If everyone in the military got paid the same, no one would be motivated enough to accept the challenges of leadership! Yes, military members are ALSO monetarily stimulated. Think about it though; what if you hired a complete shift of workers at +McDonald's and paid everyone in 50-cent to $1 per hour increments, from the bottom up? Your manager makes the most and your register-person makes the least. Of course I understand that this wouldn't work in a perfect world since all team members are capable of filling in any position at any time, but think about it like this for me and tell me your thoughts. What IF you had a system established on rewarding achievements by rewarding pay?

<------------  I love this image. It illustrates my point exactly. Let's say that they've all received a boost. No one is making minimum wage in this example, illustrated by all boys standing on a box. The tall boy is enjoying the game and might catch a foul ball. The middle boy thinks it's a good game to watch and enjoys his view while the shorter boy can't see the game. He sees how much the other two are enjoying the game and is motivated by their perception of their individual success (seeing the game). He is motivated to work harder and goes out finding another box. The boxes equal hourly wage and the height of the children represents their potential/desire to succeed. In the left picture, the wages are the same (box height) and the taller boy is thinking "why should I work any harder, I'm getting paid the same and have a better view!" While the shorter boy might also think, "no matter how hard I work, this is the view I'll always have!" Certainly you can expect the quality of their work to differ but what's the motivation?

The picture on the right illustrates the effect of differing wages. Now, all workers have the same view. The shorter boy (harder working/better quality of work) is reaping the reward of his work. The taller boy who is performing to "minimum" standard now receives minimum wage and the others are being paid according to their performance level. Why don't we do this?

Well, business is business. If you pay someone more then the money has to come from somewhere and that's the shareholders. They certainly don't like missing money but at the end of the day it's the worker that suffers so how can we affect that change? BE the change! Perform to our best! Do our jobs with a smile knowing that everything you do affects everyone around you. If you mop the floor and you're too lazy to put out the 'wet floor' sign and someone slips it's going to be your fault! What YOU do affects everyone, everyday! When it comes to setting those wages though, businesses have to look at your "value". What are you bringing to the table that will enhance their business? How is paying you more going to make them more money? +Entrepreneur published an article called How to Set Salaries. While you may not own the business you can certainly arm yourself with the knowledge that other business-owners will judge you by.

My final position is not that minimum wage should be $15, but certainly raised to cut tax benefits that continue to empower people to NOT work whereby making it more lucrative to remain on government assistance than staying employed. For your situational awareness there's a website at that will tell you roughly how much you would make based on an hourly wage. It's pretty eye-opening and I encourage you to check it out.

This handy chart tells you how many hours you need to work to afford a one bedroom apartment. Pretty amazing when you consider the "reality" of the above graphic and compare it to the graphic at left.

Ultimately I feel that this attitude of what I call "owe-er ship" stems from our establishment of childhood values. I've spoken with several parents who give their children money as an allowance but they don't do any chores. I've also spoken with parents who have practically "slave labor" for no allowance! I prefer to meet somewhere in the middle... Our 4 children make their beds, brush their teeth and hair, and put their clothes in the dirty hamper; these are their mandatory duties. While two of them are too young to understand value, and not just in the mathematical sense, of money they can still earn "points" towards rewards such as a movie date with my wife or I, sleep-overs, junk-food Fridays, or other rewards. Their points come from extra duties we assign them. Google has tons of chore charts and ideas for this but my input is that it MUST be visible! Put it somewhere the kids can see it and directly correlate how their behavior affects change.


#minimumwage #hourlyrights
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