Stark contrast In Fast Food Wages Overseas

Online cooking school students in America may be more aware than the average individual of the problem surrounding the wages of our nation’s fast food workers. The reality of the situation seems to be more and more that these individuals are simply deeply underpaid, often to the degree that they can’t even afford basic staple such as rent, utility bills, food and clothing without falling behind on something else. Many argue that this self perpetuating system can only be rectified through the raising of labor wages, but employers argue that it isn’t their responsibility.] Similarly, some politicians insist that raising minimum wage too high will undermine the distribution of wealth in America, only creating more poverty. Still, some of these fears seem suspect when viewed in contrast to the minimum wage culture overseas. According to the New York Times, in fact, many Danish chain restaurants pay their employees the equivalent of $20 an hour. Take a look at some of the facts surrounding the situation:

American fast food wages
There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that, despite some level of popular belief, American fast food wages are simply not high enough to sustain oneself on. For example, a 2013 study out of the University of California, Berkeley, found that $8.90 an hour is the average wage earned by fast food workers. This creates a series of additional problems, beyond the fact that it isn’t a sustainable income, in that it leads to a higher demand and strain on public support programs. The same study reported that 52 percent of fast-food employed families rely on some form of public aid. That number is more than double the rate of those in the overall workforce who require these assistance programs.

European fast food wages
Denmark serves as a prime example of the difference in wages between the U.S. and Europe. Danish workers earn nearly $20 each hour on average, enough for them to live a comfortable lifestyle. What’s particularly fascinating about this, though, is that this entirely decent pay is not required by law or dictated by a minimum wage, as it is in the U.S.. Rather, there’s simply a fast food workers union that has negotiated the price with their various employers. In return for their pay rate, the employee unions promise not to strike or protest. The two groups have effectively created a scenario where neither can afford to lose one another.

While it’s unclear if this sort of arrangement could be replicable in the U.S., it’s worth doting on the comparison when considering the recent protests for higher fast food wages.

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