It is highly unlikely that McDonald’s corporate elite were quaking in their boots when a horde of Fight for $15 derelicts descended on the company’s headquarters in Oakbrook, Illinois. Most of us were working that day so we couldn’t join in on the fun. Besides, protesting for higher pay is for idiots. There are better ways to occupy your time that will achieve the same thing. The problem is that it takes effort.
A message to Fight for $15 protesters
Determined to Fight for $15? Are you lazy? Stupid? If you have time for protesting your low pay during a workday you have time to do something to deserve that $15.00 wage. Do you really think a company is going to hand you more money just because you want it, or that Washington is going to force employers to almost double what you are making (see: Everyday Average American Won’t Fight for 15)? That’s not how this country works unless you live in a state governed by like-minded idiots who will give you something for nothing.
Assuming you are not terminally stupid and incapable of doing anything but the lowest paying job on the planet, you can separate yourself from the pack of protesting idiots standing alongside you, hoping someone will shell out for lunch. Try one of these things:
1. Learn some computer skills. You can do it on the Internet. Most people own a computer. So do public libraries. Office jobs pay a lot better than burger flipping jobs and you don’t smell like grease when you get home.
2. Finish high school. Too many working age Americans still don’t have one. No high school diploma and no GED are not goals on the road to success. They are goals on the road to a minimum wage job.
This is what no diploma gets you according to the Department of Education:*
In 2012, the median earnings for full-time year-round working young adults ages 25–34 with a bachelor’s degree was $46,900, while the median was $22,900 for those without a high school diploma or its equivalent, $30,000 for those with a high school diploma or its equivalent, and $35,700 for those with an associate’s degree.1
That $30,000 income? It’s a little less than $15.00 per hour. If you stayed in school long enough to learn simple arithmetic you probably figured that out. The good news is that it can be a stepping stone, not a dead end that relies on the government.
3. Look for a better job. Protesting may be for idiots, but unless you really are an idiot you should be able to find something better than a minimum wage job intended for high schoolers. If you have time to protest for pay you are never going to get, you have time to look for something more profitable.
4. Stop having sex. Just kidding, but how many kids are running around your living room?
5. Learn a new language. There are lots of opportunities for people who speak more than just English. You can learn online, for free. If you don’t speak English, this is America. Get with the plan.
6. Take free community college classes. Yes, they offer them. Yes, you need a computer. See #1. You voted for Obama, he didn’t raise your pay, but he seems to like community colleges, so you might as well cash in on something.
7. If you are headed for Cleveland or some other flashpoint to amuse yourself with protests that have nothing to do with your income, STOP. If you are not African American, trying to show solidarity does not make you look cool and is not going to make you black. If you are African American no one respects your outrage. Given what happened in other cities it’s too late for that. Better to spend your protesting time trying suggestions 1-6, or maybe this:
8. Join the military. Seriously. Unless you are weighed down with kids you can’t afford or are completely devoid of worth you might learn something and – surprise! – get some help going to college.
Protesting is for idiots. Change the way you think.
Even people making that $31,200 income you are protesting for did something to get where they are. They probably finished high school, maybe took some community college courses. They probably don’t believe that they deserve a bigger income just because they are breathing and aren’t making as much as they want. Putting your faith in entitlement, like protesting, is for idiots. There isn’t enough money to go around. When you are valuable enough to contribute to a business you will earn more. In the meantime, enjoy living on the minimum wage.
*2012 figures reported in 2014