If you learn, then you earn

August 4, 2013 

Who ever said you were supposed to live or raise a family on minimum wage? Since when has working become another entitlement?

Bless Nicole Williams' heart, but the 24-year-old cashier at the East St. Louis McDonald's isn't doing a $15-an-hour job. She's welcome to one, but she has to earn it.

She earns it by working hard. She earns it by working smart. She earns it by advancing her job skills through education.

She doesn't earn it by walking off her job, carrying a protest sign in St. Louis and demanding it because "I feel like that we need this and we deserve this."

Gary Peck employs 315 people at six metro-east McDonald's. He said it better than anyone: "We take entry-level employees with virtually no skill set whatsoever and we train them in house to be a productive member of society. We give them a good work ethic and flexible hours to give income to individuals."

So imagine he decides to nearly double his workers' wages to $15 an hour. Are you going to pay $5.50 for a quarter pounder with cheese? No. Market demands would likely mean Peck could only employ 178 people who get to work toward that better life.

Flipping burgers is a path to somewhere else. We understand that the recession has killed many of those higher-skilled jobs and forced some people back into entry-level jobs, but artificially transforming entry-level jobs into mid-level jobs is not going to work.

We still believe the best way to get yourself out of a dead-end job is to put down your protest sign and pick up a textbook.

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