On Thursday, August 29th thousands of minimum-wage employees from America’s multi-billion-dollar fast food industry walked off the job in a nation-wide strike demanding a minimum wage pay increase from $8 per hour (California) to $15 an hour. From the Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area to Chicago, Atlanta, New York, and around the country, these underpaid and underappreciated titans of immediate-gratification-grub championed the cause to have their wages “supersized” in attempt to keep up with the exorbitant price tag placed on the most basic of necessities – housing, food, transportation, education, and health care.
This should not be too much to ask given the fact so many American families are only one pay check away from residing inside their automobiles, living below freeway underpasses, sneaking naps on subway trains or barely subsisting within unlawful tent communities.
Thanks in part to Hollywood and Silicon Valley many are unable to afford California’s high price tag. Relatively few are paid a living wage. Yet there are more part-time positions and unpaid internships on the employment horizon than there are well-paying, full-time jobs with some semblance of health & social security benefits. Is this one reason California’s crime rate is three times the national average?
The entire Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area has become both a very challenging place to make a living as well as a very expensive place to live. A new apartment building in Mountain View premiered this summer boasting of one-bedroom units renting for $3,500 monthly. Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more common to find a $1,000,000 price tag on a single family, one-bedroom house in the Bay Area. We, as a nation must question why it is easier to find illicit drugs than it is to find affordable housing? Why is it easier to get automatic weapons than a college education? Why must people demand that which is obvious – a living wage?