Burger shop to pay $15 hourly, says it 'feels human'
Moo Cluck Moo, near Detroit, is raising the stakes, and other independent chains aren't far behind.
On Tuesday, The Daily Beast reported that co-owners Brian Parker and Harry Moorhouse will reset the chain's minimum wage to $15 starting Oct. 1.
Granted, Moo Cluck Moo has exactly one store and has been in business less than a year, but Parker says the 25% increase is something his company has been considering since its inception.
"We always wanted to be at $15 an hour," said Parker. "It just feels human to do it."
Silly fast-food entrepreneur: Humanity has no place in business. Even though that amounts to $31,000 a year, or just less than the average $25,000 made by the nation's 4.3 million retail salespeople, that hasn't stopped Forbes from deeming a $15-an-hour minimum wage "absurdity."
Businessweek suggests that $10.50 an hour may be the most reasonable place to start the minimum wage discussion.
Despite all the fretting over what a Big Mac at McDonald's (MCD) would cost if worker wages increased, though, Moo Cluck Moo and other fast-food chains, including In-N-Out Burger ($10.50 an hour starting wage), Seattle's Dick's Drive-In ($10 an hour to start and full benefits for those working 24 hours a week or more) and Pacific Northwest chain Burgerville (health care for employees working 25 hours a week or more), are implying that big-chain customers aren't getting much for their money. That's part of the reason the $15-an-hour figure has galvanized fast-food workers and inspired strikes and walkouts nationwide.
For those who argue that these are stepping-stone jobs not worth the extra pay, the economy apparently hasn't received that message. The U.S. economy has recovered roughly 6 million of the nearly 9 million jobs lost during the recession. However, The National Employment Law Project says nearly 60% of all jobs lost during the downturn paid middle-income wages or better, but roughly 65% of the regained jobs are low-wage.
For those who argue that maybe those low-wage earners should have prepared for better careers, keep in mind that more than 280,000 of them are college graduates. The Center For College Affordability and Productivity reported that nearly half of the college graduates from the class of 2010 are working in jobs that don't require a bachelor's degree. A full 38% have taken gigs that don't even require a high school education. According to The Associated Press, that has dropped the median wage for college graduates significantly since 2000 -- just as those same graduates are getting crushed by record-high tuition and debt.
Moo Cluck Moo's owners seem all too aware that the good-paying jobs aren't there and the glut of low-wage jobs might be undervaluing the people who hold them. The federal minimum wage still holds at $7.25 an hour, but an increasing number of independent fast-food employers are arguing that you only get the quality of employee that you pay for.
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I DO NOT think it should be a Federally mandated 'solution', as it's really not the Feds job to nit-pick who-gets-what in individual industries.
Fact is some jobs are only worth $8/hr or less. I started at $3.35/hr and worked my way up, no help from the government or family. Now I am proud to be in the top 2% of earners.
Why reward low skills? The problem is that between <$8/hr and $12/hr, there is parity due to subsidies. Do away with the subsidies and people will work to survive, we as a society will be better off.
$15/hr to flip a burger is stupid.
To me...if someone in the fast food industry actually would publish the data about how much wages contribute to their total cost, the public would have a much more realistic idea of the impacts of raising wages.
But instead, all we get is spin doctoring, lobbying and other forms of partial information.
go figure. For that matter, when I look at any corporate reporting, you don't really see a line item that is compensation for workers.
Good luck to these touchy feely good vibe morons. Sure, its nice to be nice, but a job paying $15 per hour to a non-skilled worker is insane. I spent the first quarter of my life pursuing higher education, staying in school, working to pay my education (no grants, scholarships) and a $15 per hour burger flipper simply insults me and all the hard work necessary for ME to make $15 per hour. No one with no skills, no experience, and no seniority deserves more than minimum wage.
If these guys are correct they will put other fast food restaurants out of business because they will have the best staff and service anywhere. According to their business model customers will happily pay for that. By their menu you will pay at least 2X more for a meal. Lets see if the market agrees with these businessman. I wish them well.
This does not mean anyone else has to have the same business plan or agree with their assumptions. This is the mistake that government makes---ivory tower economics always fails.
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A basic income policy can actually ensure a decent standard of living for everyone.
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