We went to McDonalds for a bite to eat the other day.


Don’t judge.  We all make mistakes.


It’s the first time I’ve been in there in years.  What a bizarre experience it was, considering it was the same McDonalds where I had my very first job at 16-years-old.


We walked in and instead of being greeted by people… we were greeted by kiosks.  You put in your order, take a number and have a seat. Soon after, someone brings out the food to you.


“Ohhhhh,” I thought.  “So THIS is what $15 an hour minimum wage looks like.”


Ok, folks.  Buckle up.  Time for a little real talk.


Lazy Adults Are Ruining Jobs For Teens


Let’s start with a disclaimer, lest I accidentally hit someone I know with friendly fire.


I don’t have a problem with those working in fast food or at entry level jobs.  There are lots of amazing people out there, and many have found themselves looking for some part time work on the side.


I’m talking about people who whine and complain about the pay at places like McDonalds.  I don’t want to hear it.  You don’t deserve $15/hour for giving me French fries.


Here’s what happens. You refuse to search for a better job. You and your friends protest and demand states pass higher minimum wage jobs.


Business owners like me come along and say, “oh – I’ve gotcha.  I’m going to replace you with a robot.”


And boom.  You’re gone – but unfortunately, so is that entry level position for a teenager.  And next thing you know, there are no jobs for teens.  And then everyone is complaining that kids are coming out of college with no work experience… and they wonder where the hustle and drive and work ethic went.


Entry Level Jobs Are Called Entry Level For A Reason


The pay sucks.  The work sucks.  That’s sort of the point.  It makes you want to work harder so you can get a better position and better pay.


Entry level positions were meant to be that – entry level.  They weren’t meant to be careers.  They were meant to teach you about work ethic and responsibility.


People who talk about them giving a “livable wage” aren’t exactly geniuses.  Because there’s a little concept it ignores.  It’s called “meritocracy”.


It means that if you want more money or a better job, you work harder.  Those who work harder get better opportunities.  Those who are lazy and make demands for more money simply drive innovation… in the form of automation.


A recent study commissioned by Seattle found that boosting the minimum wage has cost jobs for the lowest-wage employees.


It’s simple math. The money comes from somewhere. Many small businesses don’t have the margins to eat a substantial hike in minimum wage – we’re talking about, in many cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.


So what do they do? Drastically increase the cost of goods or services? The free market determines what they can charge … and they need to remain competitive, or sales drop off and they have to lay employees off. So they slow down or stop hiring new employees and consider laying off the lowest-wage employees that they have.


Consider this:  you’ve been in a position for three years. You’ve worked your way up from $10/hour to $12/hour. Now a new employee comes in at $15/hour – and you get boosted to the same wage of $15/hour. Talk about a blow.


Business is a meritocracy – the hardest working deserve the raises. If we remove the motivation to outwork and outperform … business suffers.


Let’s also keep in mind that naturally low minimum wage keeps you HUNGRY to outperform everyone else. You want to earn that raise. You want to grow into that next position. And so you outhustle everyone to gain more skills and to showcase your own abilities. We remove the need to do that … and suddenly employees aren’t concerned about personal development.


Morale of the story?  Less complaining and more grilling.  All of this ranting is making me hungry, and someone’s gotta make my burger.  Just don’t think it’s a job worth $15/hour.


Kyle S. Reyes is the National Spokesman for Law Enforcement Today, founder of The Whiskey Patriots and Chief Executive Officer of The Silent Partner Marketing. Reyes is also an acclaimed keynote speaker on patriotism and leadership, entrepreneurship and marketing by storytelling. You can follow him on Facebook.