On Wednesday afternoon’s edition of “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” host Neil Cavuto said that U.S. workers are spoiled and greedy because they want a higher minimum wage. He pointed to his own first job making two dollars an hour as an example of a job that Americans should be thankful to take.
“Get ready,” he said, “for me to sound like the old fart that I am.”
“It’s like jobs aren’t enough these days,” he opined. “They damn well better pay well or folks just really going to apply for them at all. Did I ever tell you that when I was a kid, you’d be grateful for any job you could find. Now a lot of kids are just the opposite, turning up their nose at fast food jobs that go begging at 11 bucks an hour. It’s true!”
“Only in America today,” he continued, “can our politicians bemoan a livable wage, forgetting a lot of folks would be grateful for any wage, any chance, any job, anytime. All I know is as soon as I turned 16 and heard a fast food chain called Arthur Treacher’s was opening a store in my town of Danbury, Connecticut, I stood in a line for a position — any position. I got the job, and soon rocketed to relief manager, then weekend manager, then by 16 and a half, full-time store manager! And it all started at two bucks an hour. And all the fish I could eat.”
Mother Jones writer Tim Murphy said, “That’s a good story. But the math makes the opposite point Cavuto intended.”
Adjusted for inflation, Cavuto’s two dollars an hour in 1974 would be about $9.47 today, which is 28 cents more than the highest minimum wage in the country, Washington state’s $9.19 per hour. In Connecticut, the minimum wage is only $7.25, meaning workers who start at that same Arthur Treacher’s restaurant now earn about $1.40 per hour in 1974 Cavuto-dollars.
Mother Jones noted that Cavuto’s summer job at 16 — living with his parents and having only discretionary expenses — is a far cry from the situation faced by most fast food workers today. The median age of men working in fast food restaurants in the U.S. is currently 28. For women, it’s 32.
Watch the video, embedded below via Fox News: