Minimum Wage

Are *You* Worth Double Your Salary? Nick Gillespie on Fast-Food Wage Strikes

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Last Thursday, writes Nick Gillespie, protesters in over 100 cities stood outside of fast-food joints and called for doubling the wages of burger flippers and fry-vat operators from $7.25 an hour (the current federal minimum) to at least $15.

Regardless of how much solidarity or sympathy you might feel about the people who assemble your Triple Steak Stack or your Cheesy Gordita Crunch, this sort of demand is economic fantasy at its most delusional and counterproductive. Doubling the wages of low-skilled workers during a period of prolonged joblessness is a surefire way not just to swell the ranks of the reserve army of the unemployed but to increase automation at your local Taco Bell.

If you're reading this on the job, take a look around and ask yourself if your workplace could soak up twice its labor costs without seriously trimming the number of employees. While you're at it, ask yourself if you're worth twice your current salary.

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