Work for the Amish.
As both of you know, I'm really happy we have Amish neighbors. They are kind, thoughtful, industrious, generous and more than fair. Whenever we've had them work for us, they frequently work out a trade – I'll cut your fallen tree if you'll let me have the wood, for instance. When we pay them money, it's always a reasonable amount for their excellent craftsmanship, and we frequently give them more than they ask for.
The community is split into two locations. The families who live on our road are only a couple miles away. There's another set of families who live a bit further out, and on the other side of the main highway.
I got a call from one of my neighbors asking if I could fill in for their regular driver this week to transport three little girls to and from their school. Total mileage each day is about 30. Total time is about an hour and a half.
They pay $20 a day.
Which, at about $13 an hour, seems like way too much to me.
And leads, naturally, to the larger issue of just what IS a fair minimum wage? 'Cause $7.25 an hour surely is not. At least in my opinion. (Here's an in-depth piece about the subject.)
Those who would defend it say minimum-wage jobs are for teens, who need to support a family but do need work experience. They say prices for goods and services would rise so high the businesses (mostly restaurants) would have to close.
And yet, Australia has the highest national minimum wage (at more than $16/hour) in the world, but it takes just 18 minimum-wage minutes to buy a Big Mac. Here in the States the minimum wage is less than half – $7.25 – and thus we need to work about twice as long to buy our sandwich. You can see a comparison of other countries here.
Those who favor raising our minimum wage say more money would be available to spend. And seriously? Who in the fast-food drive-thru lane is going to object to spending an extra 50 cents IF prices rise? I don't buy fast food, so I can't say if the additional cost would get me to cook my own burger.
It's complicated, for sure.
I know one thing: When I eat in a restaurant or stay in a hotel, I tip generously. Having been there/done that (when I made $1 an hour, in 1967), I just think it's fair.
Where do you stand on the minimum-wage issue? Have you ever worked for minimum wage, or do you now?