Earn What You’re Worth, Don’t Ask The Government
Published: September 9th, 2013
By: Ashley Babbitt

I don't cut hair. I offer a person who has that skill something in exchange for keeping my hair however I decide I'd like it cut. I don't know how to put new rotors on my car, I pay someone to do that for me. I'm not a skilled painter, therefore if I needed some work done, I'd hire a capable person.

People have varying skills. I'll take a shot in the dark and say the vast majority of humans possess a valuable skill that's in demand. Just the other day I had some sort of weird washing machine malfunction. Water was all over the place. Luckily, I know someone who is skilled in all sorts of areas and was able to help me out over the phone to stop the madness that was causing me a pretty big headache. Said person was out of state, but provided a service to me and deserves (and will receive) compensation for the help given.

At any rate, when you have a skill – be it electrical, culinary, cleaning, art, lawn maintenance, dentistry, shoe-shining, dog walking … anything – you need to put yourself out there, offer your services, and make yourself some money.

Now, I haven't been following this whole fast-food workers strike thing too closely, because it's been an awfully busy week, but I have the basics figured out in my head, and while I could get pretty in depth with numbers and whatnot, I'll leave it easy to follow.

Fast-food workers are striking because they feel they need $15 per hour to “make ends meet,” according to a woman's statement in another media report. This woman said she has a child to take care of, and is struggling.

Okay, maybe I'm naïve, but it seems like an easy fix to me. If these fast-food employees feel as though the skills they possess warrant $15 per hour and they aren't receiving those wages at their current job, then walk. Why stay and strike? Raising the minimum wage won't help a damn thing.

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First, the food you're serving is disgusting and unhealthy, in my opinion. I couldn't tell you the last time I ate fast food. It's been years. I will admit I stopped at a drive-through in Vermont for a coffee at 4 a.m. when I was driving home from New Hampshire, and that really bummed me out ... and it was yucky. But I digress. Yeah, you're providing a service that people all over the world for some reason enjoy, but if you're not receiving the compensation you think you deserve, move on and prove that your skills are good enough for you to receive the pay you desire.

Maybe it's just in my little dream world where all fast food workers would walk out, and the masses would start consuming food a little bit better for their bodies.

Secondly – and I'll keep this short and sweet – a federal minimum wage increase is not the answer. In 1964, the federal minimum wage was $1.25; five silver quarters (a US quarter dated 1964 or earlier is made of 90 percent silver). The current melt value of silver, as of midnight Monday, is $23.70 per ounce. Therefore those five quarters are worth $27.98. The issue isn't with minimum wage, the issue is with our money.

If you're not familiar with the Federal Reserve – and I mean actually familiar – I suggest you do some reading, because I don't have the time to break it all down. Essentially, fiat currency (what you'd call money - it’s government issued currency with no intrinsic value) just gets printed and printed and printed and there's nothing to back it. With more “money” in circulation, prices of goods increase; inflation. The Federal Reserve is not a government agency but akin to a private banking cartel of sorts that is not only responsible for creating the social welfare state we seem to be in, but also for funding wars and creating turmoil on way too many levels to write about here. Basically, it's just a disaster.

Inform yourselves about the Federal Reserve, it's actually super interesting and really frightening.

Also, there are alternative forms of currency out there. I purchase silver whenever I notice it’s a wise time to buy, and I’ve actually been able to use that silver to purchase actual goods. A tie-dye I got at Blues Fest was purchased with silver quarters from the Suns of Liberty mint that say “Trust in yourself” rather than “In God we trust.” I love that.

Anyway, a federal minimum wage of $15 dollars is ridiculous. Sure, a lot of us struggle to make ends meet. I have a car insurance premium that is way too high, and I give way too much of my paycheck to pay for my cell phone. Don't even get me started on taxes - of any kind. I can't imagine what it'd be like to try to raise a kid or seven in this day and age.

Nevertheless, I'm sure you have something useful to offer society. Stop marching around with a sign demanding the government to give you something you think you need and get it yourself. If you are an employee of a fast-food chain and you think you need more money, get on your feet and prove you're worthy. Offer your service skills somewhere. Start something up on your own. Show a businessman or woman you've got what it takes and see what they'll offer you. Word of mouth works well if you're good at what you do. If I have a friend whose washer malfunctions and water is gushing all over their house, I know who I would recommend.

If you try to say there is nothing out there, then you haven’t tried hard enough.

I don't mean this to sound insensitive because it's not intended that way. I know folks have a hard time making ends meet. I'm trying to be optimistic about a horrible situation, thanks in large part to the Federal Reserve.

So I see two options here: “End the Fed” and free the markets, removing the monopoly on coinage … a.k.a. “fixing the money,” or get your feet out there, showcase and offer your skills and earn what those skills warrant, without demanding the government to give you what you say you need to survive.