Why are we giving “unskilled” laborers as much pay as “skilled” workers who earned their wage?

UPDATE 08/25/2021: OnlyFans backpedaled on their decision to ban porn 1 day after I published this article.

We’ve seen the news talk about a labor shortage for months, and some of us have joked on socialist[1] media that: “there isn’t a labor shortage, people just don’t want to work for you.”

In response to this labor shortage, many major employers are offering absurdly high hourly wages to attract more employees. Most of the people who benefit from these absurdly high hourly wages didn’t earn a degree in college. Most didn’t spend 4-6 years to acquire a bachelor’s degree to land a high paying job. (Nor are they in debt to pay for that education.) Most of these people didn’t spend years of networking and ladder-climbing to build up a career either.

How did this happen, and what will come?

This is happening because of a new lower-class movement focused on improving their livelihoods. This is nice and all, but we’re just handing these laborers wages they really don’t truly deserve. And it’s the participation trophy generation (my generation), who are fanning the flames to push this absurdity into reality. We are so focused on making everything equal, that we are forgetting that most people make the salary they deserve because of their hard work.

So why are laborers getting paid equally or more, than people who put in the time, energy, and effort to get where they are in their careers? Why are they getting a free pass to higher wages when the rest of us had to work for it?

But, at what expense to we hand these unskilled laborers a virtually free lunch? Do we alienate and impoverish those who served their time in the college system just so they can get good jobs? 

I’m okay with increasing the federal minimum wage to $10 an hour. I may even approve of it getting bumped to $15 if I get at least a 20% increase to my own pay. But $22 or almost $50 for unskilled labor?

Hell no! 

To misuse a Star Wars: Mandalorian quote: “This is not the way!”

Paying undereducated and unskilled laborers wages they haven’t earned is going to cause several things to happen in our country.

  1. Skilled professionals are going to quit because they’ll start asking: “What’s the point of doing this job when I’m getting paid less than that laborer who’s mindlessly moving products? If I can get the job, I’ll get paid more and get more exercise as a bonus.”
  2. Housing is going to spiral out of control when landlords figure out tenants can afford to pay more rent. Which will eat into that newly acquired salary.
  3. Employers are going to be forced to move jobs overseas, compounding unemployment. This has been going on for nearly a century for raw materials and consumer goods, but the practice will increase very shortly.
  4. Employers are going to be forced to spend capital on automation, further compounding unemployment. We already see this in many fast-food restaurants. You can walk into most Taco Bells, and nobody will be at the counter to take your order. You have to use a kiosk to place an order[2]. This was tried at Jack in the Box about 10 years ago successfully, but they dropped the concept. I’m pretty sure they’re reconsidering kiosks right about now and we’ll see them in stores very soon.
  5. It’s going to drive prices for basic products through the roof, because the labor costs more to make the goods.

Rinse and repeat the above, and you’ll see it’s an endless spiral.

Even if we give the unskilled laborers everything they want, they still won’t be happy. There will always be a very loud minority of unemployed and unemployable[3] who are going to rattle the cage and rile minimum wage workers in perpetuity. They can and will do this because they have the free time on their hands to lament how unfair their condition is instead of working to improve themselves. 

Please notice that I said, “a very loud minority”. Most unskilled laborers are hard workers, but many cannot (or will not) spend the extra time, energy, and money to improve themselves. I understand it’s hard to raise a family on minimum wage, but the reason most people get where they are is a consequence of their own actions.

Yes. You can argue the various unique circumstances (rape, poor upbringing, family obligations, moral obligations, etc.) until the sun goes nova. But the bottom line is, that everyone makes the wage they deserve based on their own actions and life choices. Unless the person has a genetic disease, suffered an accident or assault, or had any other physical hardship forced upon them.

I myself am a product of my past actions:

  • I don’t have a job at any of the major oil or energy companies because I refuse to play the patronage beauty contest. Meaning, I can’t make nearly as much money doing the same work as my peers in my profession.
  • I chose not to adopt any children and probably won’t in the future because I enjoy having my fun lifestyle and a healthy savings account. And now I live with the small lingering fact that I won’t have anyone to depend on when I become elderly.
  • I chose not to invest that extra cash, which means my extra savings will not grow as quickly as it could in the market.
  • I choose to run up credit card debt, even though I have the money to pay for my needs. Now, I have to spend several hundred dollars a month to pay interest and pay off debt.
  • I chose to stare at a practically naked runner while riding my bicycle instead of watching the road. I got a busted lip and a broken tooth, which were expensive to fix (even with good health and dental insurance).

Most of the minimum wage laborers are in the positions they are because of their own life choices, and we shouldn’t cheapen the accomplishments of those who earned their positions and rates of pay by giving higher wages to those who didn’t earn it. I applaud the single mothers and fathers who work all day and commit to night schooling. I applaud those young adults who spent several years earning a bachelor’s degree with no support from their families (it took me a decade to get a “4-year” degree). These are examples of people who decided to work to improve their lives and earn a better paying job. These aren’t people who were given more pay in response to an emergency. These aren’t people who’re taking advantage of a hopefully temporary pay hike in a temporary labor shortage.

To wrap up on a humorous note, I’m glad OnlyFans is banning porn. Because, hopefully, when the (sexy) laborers lose that source of income they’ll return to conventional jobs. This will cause the labor shortage to subside and drive wages back to reasonable rates. Then we’ll start seeing the higher paid laborers who benefitted from what will then be called an emergency rate, get laid off because they cost too much when compared to the rest of the market.

I bet you didn’t think of that long-term possibility. Did you?

[1] Yes, you read that right. I called it socialist media.

[2] I personally prefer ordering using a kiosk, solely because I dislike having to yell at someone so they can hear me to place an order. 

[3] Unemployable is defined as unskilled, potential, workers who cannot get past the interview process because of: no address, no SSN, no valid ID, no cleanliness, and no positive demeanor. 

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