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A Different Perspective On the Minimum Wage Argument | U.S. PATRIOT NEWS & REVIEWS

A Different Perspective On the Minimum Wage Argument

The minimum wage has become a major debate nationwide. Politicians from the President to local mayors have called for an increase, saying the current level of $7.25/hour is not a “living wage.” But how does the current minimum wage, and the proposed increases, stack up against military pay? Are the young men and women being asked to defend our nation making a “living wage?”

Many of the current arguments concerning a possible raise in the national minimum wage utilize fast food workers as their shining example of how scores of workers are being taken advantage of, unable to sustain their families or even rise above the poverty level. A review of current or proposed legislation, including a plan backed by President Obama, suggests raising the minimum wage to $10.10/hour. During a national rally organized by fast food employees it was suggested that they be paid as much as $15.00/hr.  However, no one is discussing a similar raise be granted to our military. No one has even compared the income of the average fast food worker to that of a young man or woman serving in the military during a time when many have been, and may again be, called to defend our nation.

Minimum Wage BootcampAccording to an April 2014 National Public Radio article supporting the blight of fast food workers the author claims the average for these workers is $9.00/hour. Compare this to the 2015 military pay scale and you will find that an entry level E-1 with less than four months of service, a recruit in bootcamp, earns $1431 per month or an average of $8.94/hour. After four months of service this same E-1 sees a slight raise to $1547 per month, or $9.66/hour, only slightly more than the average fast food worker and below the proposed minimum wage of $10.10/hour.  It would take a promotion to E-2 before service members would find themselves above this new standard, at $1734 per month or $10.83/hour. If, by some miracle, the minimum age were to reach $15/hour, every service member from E-1 thru E-4 would find themselves earning less than the average server at their favorite burger joint for the length of their first contract. It would take an E-4 six years to reach the new “living wage.”

Of course, when liberals see such figures, they are quick to point out that military members also receive numerous additional “perks” such as housing and food allowances, medical care and uniforms – all of which need to be considered in addition to their monthly salary. However, these same liberals should also consider that the our military service members rarely work an 8 hour day, never earn overtime for more than 40 hours per week and are often forced to supplement their issued equipment out of pocket. Plus, I have never heard of a fry cook being disfigured by a hidden IED or a cashier having to leave their family for months at a time for their next shift.

While I appreciate every worker wanting to make enough money to provide for their family and achieve the American Dream, I find it shameful that in doing so they would make more than the young men and women who are willing to die to protect that same dream.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell

1 thought on “A Different Perspective On the Minimum Wage Argument

  1. As a service member, I would appreciate the inclusion of BAH and BAS and possibly some estimate for the medical and dental benefits. I feel that Ignoring these benefits reduces the integrity and validity of this argument. I do agree that enlisted service members should be paid more, specifically NCO’s, whose pay table should curve up more sharply with rank and time in service.

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