From the New York Times on one of the workers who will participate in the fast food workers’ one day strike:
Simon Rojas, who earns $8.07 an hour working at a McDonald’s in South Central Los Angeles, said he would join Thursday’s one-day strike.
“It’s very difficult to live off $8.07 an hour,” said Mr. Rojas, 23, noting that he is often assigned just 20 or 25 hours of work a week. “I have to live with my parents. I would like to be able to afford a car and an apartment.”
Mr. Rojas said he had studied for a pharmacy technician’s certificate, but he had been unable to save the $100 needed to apply for a license.
On Aug. 29, fast-food strikes took place in more than 50 cities. This week’s expanded protests will be joined by numerous community, faith and student groups, including USAction and United Students against Sweatshops.
If the license is really the problem in his attempt to move up the economic ladder, perhaps we should do away with state licensing rather than have one government intervention help solve a problem created by another?
On the other hand, if that license really is his barrier to a higher paying job and a better life, shouldn’t an entrepreneurial young man be able to come up with a hundred bucks despite that low wage? I certainly don’t want to pick on someone in such a difficult economic spot, especially given my respect for those who work tough jobs for low pay. So perhaps we need more microfinance here in America to help young people like Mr. Rojas? I bet there are people who would loan him $100 if he was a good bet to really improve his life (and provide greater value for others) as he thinks he could by getting that certificate.
But I’d really like to get rid of the state licensing regime first and rely on businesses to confirm whether their technicians are properly trained and are not security risks. And by the way, at least according to this website, that licensing fee is a very small part of the cost of getting licensed in the state of California. Check out all of the requirements placed on these people by the state: here.