Would you pay more for a burger to give the folks making it a boost?
That's what this whole minimum wage hike comes down to. Whether you'll pay more to give them more.
History suggests you won't.
But that hasn't stopped those pushing higher wages and insisting you will.
They say you'll gladly fork over a few extra bucks for a value meal because this is about bigger values.
I'm not so sure. Because every time McDonald's has raised the price of those value meals, valuable customers suddenly started disappearing.
Does that mean those customers are heartless? More like, cashless. They're pretty stretched these days, so let's just say it's a stretch to think they'll stretch even more for this.
Just look at Walmart. And its latest earnings warning consumers holding back and more price-sensitive than ever. And that's with wages the way they are now.
Apparently shoppers are seeking out even lower price venues, like the dollar store.
But it does make you think about dollar menus. And what happens when they turn into $2 menus, or $3 menus.
And even assuming restaurants resist passing along all the added costs of higher wages.
Can they resist the temptation to automate their stores because of those higher wages?
Think about it. We're already getting our own soda, sometimes even picking out our own food.
What's to stop these guys from eventually having us scan and pay for that food?
Look, it's no secret the number of fast food workers has been declining. Do you really think paying those workers more is going to reverse that slide?
I'm all for a higher minimum wage, and one finally pegged to inflation to end this ritual rage once and for all.
But hiking it nearly 40 percent right now? And not thinking prices are going to have to go up at least half that soon? Let's just say wholly unrealistic now.
And I'm not even mentioning those pushing for a $15 minimum wage, or the California legislator pitching a $25 one.
Sure, unions looking for new members love it.
They're the ones getting these workers riled up to protest. But are they really pushing them right off the plank?
And when they say such raises will pay for themselves because the workers will spend it all right where they work.
Isn't that assuming they'll still have a place to work?
So you tell me?
Who's really callous?
And who's really clueless?
And when it comes to all those burger workers.
Who's really getting kicked in the buns?