Most of us would agree that different jobs should be paid different salaries. If jobs for which you need a specific education paid the same amount as jobs for which you don’t need qualification, that would be unfair as qualifications are earned with hard work and should be rewarded. But that doesn’t mean that unqualified workers aren’t worth a decent wage that they can live off of.
It seems that not everyone understands this. A congressman tweeted a photo of a fast-food place which was closed due to staff shortage and was looking for new employees. The congressman was of the impression that there was no one working there because of the stimulus payments, but other people on the internet were convinced that it had more to with very low wages at the place. The tweet got 2.9k likes, but almost 15k people had something to say about this.
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David Rouzer saw a sign saying that Hardee’s is closed due to no staff and explained that it is happening because nobody wants to work when there are unemployment benefits
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David Rouzer is an American politician who is currently the US Representative for North Carolina’s 7th congressional district. His tweet sparked a heated debate on the internet about jobs that pay so little that nobody wants to work there.
David Rouzer shared a photo of a sign put on a fast-food place window. In it, the restaurant Hardee’s says that due to no staff, they are closed and that they are hiring. The politician thought that the sign means that people don’t want to work because of unemployment benefits and a $1400 stimulus.
People on the internet were strongly disagreeing, saying it has nothing to do with the unemployment benefits
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Their view was that fast-food restaurants need to pay more—then the staff shortage problem wouldn’t exist
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However, other people couldn’t agree. Many Twitter users were saying that it’s because the wages are so low and the working conditions are not ideal, especially with the pandemic, that nobody wants to work there. Furthermore, there are other jobs that don’t require qualification and pay more.
They suggested that the solution for the lack of staff is simple–Hardee’s just has to pay more and adapt to the market. Of course people will apply to other jobs that pay more. For example, the minimum wage in the US is $7.25 for an hour, but at Costco, the starting hourly wage was increased from $15 to $16 this year.
Also, people said that $1400 isn’t enough and doesn’t last long enough to make people not work
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Others were surprised that this politician thought that $1400 is enough to survive for a month. They reasoned that it wouldn’t even be enough to pay for rent. Not only that, the benefits apply to those who lost their job and not to those who just decide that they wouldn’t want to work at a certain place.
Another issue people saw was that these workers not only are not paid enough, but also looked down upon
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Some people pointed out that workers at fast-food restaurants were always looked down upon, that this kind of job was never considered a life-long career, but more as a way for teenagers to earn some money, because there aren’t any specific skills you should have, you just learn on the go.
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And now, when these people don’t want to risk their health working in places were there are a lot of customers and a higher risk of getting sick when they would get only minimum wage for it, they are blamed for abusing the unemployment benefits.
The politician’s tweet did not get many likes, but it got a lot of responses of people proving that the problem here is the employers not wanting to pay a decent wage and not the employees’ laziness
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Some Twitter users went as far as to make some calculations to show how hard it is to survive getting only minimum wage, making a point that politicians don’t understand the hardships the people they represent go through.
A business owner seems to be on the same page with everyone, saying that they got an abundance of applications, which proves that people want to work, but they are just looking for a better offer.
Twitter users gave some examples of unqualified jobs in other places which pay better and have other benefits
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The discussion was actually pretty one-sided. The comments were flooded with people arguing that people do get jobs, just better ones and that businesses not paying enough don’t deserve to have employees. If a person has a job, it should be enough to have one’s ends meet.
From these reactions, you could conclude that David Rouzer missed the point
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What do you think about the politician’s interpretation of the sign? Do you think he’s right, or do the people responding to the tweet have more reason? Let’s start a discussion in the comments!