Younger people deserve better pay

I recently visited a local fast-food restaurant and I was waited on by an employee with no name tag. I asked this pleasant young woman if she just started and she affirmed that she did and her name tag was not ready yet.

She also mentioned that while I might find her at the restaurant in the evening, during the day she worked for a local business that I choose not to name. She also mentioned that her husband also had a full and part-time job. Amazing.

She was actually so cheerful that you would want to revisit this restaurant just to see this young lady again. I did mention to her manager that he had indeed hired a good “people person” for this position. Having been in the position of restaurant management many years ago, I know what a positive thing that is for business to have a pleasant and outgoing person in this position where the customer gets their first impression of the business itself. I can only assume that this person is just as pleasant and outgoing in her full time position which also entails initial contact with a customer.

Now as people who regularly read my letters know, I have another point to this letter — the main topic, should we say. That topic is to ask, why does this lady need two jobs to survive in America? Why is her husband in that same position? Two full-time and two part-time jobs to make ends meet? How times have changed.

And by that, I mean that about 35 years ago, the wages began to remain fairly steady while the cost of living continued to rise. That situation continues. Notice that I said “35 years.” That means that this situation has been the case for about two generations. That also means a young person now must talk to their grandparents to get information on a time when one person working one full-time job supported a family in good stead. Have I depressed you yet? Have I caused you to wonder?

Well wonder this: Why do we have a situation where six individuals in this country have the equivalent wealth of the entire lowest half of our country’s population? Think about that.

And while you are thinking, think about the employers who find it moral and ethical to pay their employees less than it costs to live decently in our country. What is wrong with those people? Are they the ones you sit next to in church on Sunday? Are they the ones you see roaring by on their shiny motorcycle or in their recreational vehicle? If so, all there is to say is shame on them! They do know better, they just do not do better.

One more thing before I go. Do not write a letter whining about your costs, profit margins, etc. Bottom line is if you cannot run a business short of paying inadequate wages, you are a poor business manager, your business is unnecessary or both.

It is time to return this country to where one person, working full-time, can support a family. I have seen this in my lifetime. I hope to see it again.

Treat your fellow man decently in all circumstances and in some of them, it might just come back to brighten your day and your life.


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