Imagine 27% of fast food workers losing their job overnight because of an increase in the minimum wage. What is even more startling when we examine the minimum wage argument is when the wage is raised, it targets less experienced and younger worker almost exclusively. If the wage is indeed raised, then employers will immediately fire the least productive and least experiences workers on their staff. Those people are usually younger workers and part time workers trying to make additional income for their family. According to the bureau of labor and statistics, in 2011 over half of the people making the federal minimum wage are people under the age of 25.
A potential hike in the minimum wage would also destroy the traditional "mom and pop" restaurants, cafes and eateries that are barely able to make ends meet. The bigger corporations such as Starbucks, Subway and Burger King can most likely take the blow if such a wage hike was enacted. Restaurants that are barely sliding by in the current climate would either have to drastically raise their prices, or forever close their doors.
And perhaps the greatest irony of all is if the workers did in fact get what they wanted, and a $15 dollar minimum wage was enacted overnight, many of them would then lose their jobs. They are essentially protesting for their own demise.
If you were to walk into a fast food restaurant and talk to the owner, chances are he or she started flipping burgers and cleaning booths. Without access to work and experience, the workers of today would have no chance to be the owners of tomorrow.
As the workers picket and yell all throughout today for higher wages and benefits, remember one thing: "The best social program is a job!" When people are working and gaining experience they are more likely to climb out of their current socio-economic bracket and rise to higher income and social standing.
Is poverty a problem and is the middle class hurting? Absolutely it is. The antidote to the disease of poverty and the road to restore the middle class lies in increasing access to work, so they can gain experience and become the entrepreneurs and business owners of tomorrow.