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McWages: They're about value

In New Hampshire, you can feed two children for $12 or less at numerous fast-food establishments. This is possible because of the efficiencies of the fast-food business model. What would happen to the price of those kids' meals if every restaurant had to double the pay of its low-end employees?

On Thursday fast-food employees around the country rallied for higher wages, marching under the "Fight for 15" banner. That would be a $15-per-hour federal minimum wage, up from $7.25.

It takes little skill to flip burgers, dip fries and take orders. In the blue collar world, pay is commensurate with skill and responsibility. It's not about caring; it's about value. It's why master plumbers earn more than apprentices — and why union bosses earn more than rally organizers.

Fast-food wages are not meant to support whole households. They are merely compensation for work that is so elementary even teens with no previous work experience can do it with minimal training. Fast-food workers who want better-paying jobs should look for work in other industries rather than ask the government to force their employers to pay them more.


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