The War on the Burger Flipper

The classism and bigotry exhibited by many in the minimum wage debate is disturbing. So much talk about what type of work or person is deserving of the princely sum of $15 per hour. Here are some comments from Facebook:

I will be DAMNED if any [fast food] worker deserves $15 an hour.

I don’t agree that fast food workers deserve 15 an hour though.

IMHO…there is no fast food worker alive that deserves $15 an hour. I do not eat ff…but I will go on a crusade to make sure no one else does either if this becomes a reality.

If you don’t want mediocre pay, don’t be mediocre.

In no world does unskilled labor deserve $15 an hour

You are so right $15/hr for flipping burgers or dropping fries…. No way…

Lots of denigration of the lowly burger flipper and outrage at the nerve they have for wanting to earn enough money to support themselves. Mostly from Middle Class folks because humans love nothing better than having someone that the whole world acknowledges is not as good as they are.

Not a question of whether they are worth it but a definitive judgement that they aren’t.

They don’t DESERVE it.

I grew up with a father that often worked 3 jobs to put food on our table. He often provided food or money or whatever was needed to other friends and family who had less than we did or a need at the moment. Not all of those jobs were glamorous. Some fall into the category that nice middle class people are declaring aren’t worthy of making a living wage. He never complained. He just kept doing it.

Every one of those jobs was honorable.

Work has its honor not in itself but in its purpose. If you work to help and support and protect those you love, your job is worthy.

If the only reason you work is to have more than others and place yourself above them, not so much. What you think is pride in your work is actually a conceit you don’t deserve.

My first real job was digging ditches outside of the East Tallapoosa County Medical Center in Dadeville, AL. It was summertime in Alabama, I was 17 and I was digging ditches. I made minimum wage at the time. Alongside of me were men up to the age of 60. Stooped and bent from decades of hard work. Much of it spent digging ditches like those I dug that summer. All Black men with hands that testified to the fact that work like this was all they had ever done.

I told them I was returning to Colorado for college at the end of the summer and that I was going to be an Engineer.

You should get use to this because all that you’ll ever be able to engineer are ditches like this. College? Hmmph.

Cruel? Nope.. Just reality where they were. The reality that comes with people telling you that your work AND you are worthless all of your life. Therefore, anyone doing the work you do is worthless. Anyone that looks like you must be worthless, also.

I went on to college and more work that these folks would call “undeserving”. I cleaned morgues. I washed dishes and cooked pizza for a man that told me I couldn’t be a waiter.

Folks don’t want niggers touching the plates with food they are going to eat.

All the while earning minimum wage and DESERVING more. Just keep on working.

Every one of those jobs was honorable.

They were honorable because they fed my family. They were honorable because I did them to the best of my ability. Folks looked down on me but that did not change those facts.

By the way, a job is worth whatever you are paid to do it. That is capitalism.

Your job doesn’t make you better or worse than anyone else.

Eliot

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