"Joke", "Slave Wage", and other sensational epithets aimed at pay rates don't really change the fact that some jobs are entry-level and the labor performed in those jobs isn't worth much.We're not talking entry level wage at the current minimum wage Astro. You'll have to admit that $7.25/hr is a slave wage, and a joke, because not even high school students working part time are willing to work for that (not where I live anyway). The homeless won't work for that because they can make more money than that panhandling on the street. 25 years ago I wasn't able to hire unskilled part time employees for under $10/hr to start, then I had to train them, and then I had to give them a raise to keep them. The $7.25/hr minimum wage is WAY outdated for the times, it needs to be raised. IMO if a business can't make money without using $7.25/hr slave labor, they need to raise their prices or find something else to do. Now days, many businesses are unable to fill entry level positions for less than $12/hr, and that is a fact. Burger places like McDonalds are advertising jobs for $12/hr to start right on their marquis signs.
A surgeon makes several thousand an hour. Their skills are worth that.
A cashier at McDonalds isn't worth much. If a kid doesn't want to work for $12/hr, then that is their choice, but the simple fact is that many of those cashiers have already been replaced with a flat screen ordering interface that doesn't need training, never calls in sick, quits, or shirks working.
Somewhere in the middle, the skills that a worker has acquired makes them worth an higher, or lower, amount per hour. It is a market. My labor was worth $27/hr* as a first year airline pilot. It was worth $180/hour as a fourth year pilot. Then $67/hour as a seventh year pilot because the industry was squeezing out costs through bankruptcy court.
That is how labor markets work. IF the demand for that skill is there, labor commands a higher price. If the demand changes, then the labor rate will change along with it.
Now, in my case, I thought my labor was worth more, so, I went back to Active Duty. I sold my skills to a different employer. I went back to the airline when they were willing to pay me what I was worth.
Finally, all three of my kids worked for $10/hour when they were in high school and college. That was their summer job. Scooping ice cream at a local shop. A modest addition from the tip jar (labeled "College Fund") but basically, $10/hour. If kids in your area think their labor is worth more than my kids, then, I think they are suffering from a breathtaking level of entitlement.
But that's just my opinion.
My kids went to college (two graduated, one is still a junior) and changed their skill set. Their skills now command a different wage. But when they were in high school, scooping ice cream was worth about $10/hour. Setting the wage much higher than that as a matter of law doesn't really work, it raises the price of a cone, and might cause the shop to close as fewer people are willing to buy that expensive cone.
*Pilots don't get paid for a lot of the work they do, and they don't get paid for 2,000 hours/year as most labor does. They get paid when the airplane is in the air, so, the hourly rate is a distortion. It’s closer to 900 hours of pay annually. Further, an entry level airline job required a college degree, and extensive flying experience, for which I qualified with 11 years experience, including two combat deployments, of flying in the Navy.