“McWages” and the Middle Class

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from NCPA,

Phil Hickey, chairman of the National Restaurant Association, says his first job was at age 14 washing dishes at a Big Boy restaurant in his hometown of Detroit. He says it was a job that gave him a strong work ethic and taught valuable skills that helped him move from the kitchen to eventually owning nine of his own restaurants.

This experience is not uncommon.

The first job held by nearly one in three Americans is in the restaurant industry.

In addition to teaching personal responsibility, teamwork, discipline and accountability, these positions provide workers with opportunities for successful careers.

Protesters at fast-food restaurants around the country in recent weeks have alleged that fast-food workers can’t survive on $7.25 an hour, the national minimum wage, and that restaurants must pay all of their employees a “living wage” of $15 an hour.

The majority of workers who earn a minimum wage in the United States work outside of the restaurant industry.

Efforts to devalue the industry and mandate changes, like raising the minimum wage, hurt workers by preventing businesses of all sizes from creating more jobs. As the U.S. economy continues to recover, let’s focus on preparing workers for high-growth positions and helping businesses expand — not on implementing policies that would eliminate jobs and shutter local businesses.

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