A phrase that never seems to disappear in news programming or political television is one currently placed on today’s so-dubbed “millennials.” The word is entitlement. It’s everywhere. It’s in your fridge, it’s in your bedroom and it’s even on the very television in which you watch these newscasters proclaim it.
I recently got into one of my infamous Facebook political rants that tend to get me unfriended by at least five people.
It was the day that the unanimous decision to raise the minimum wage for fast food workers in New York was agreed upon. I was noticeably enraged. I couldn’t fathom the fact that waiters/waitresses get paid under minimum wage and rely on tips while in 2018, New York McDonald’s employees will make three times as much hourly as most restaurants pay their wait staff.
Imagine: A waitress attends to seven tables at one time on a busy, bustling Friday night. She sets up and cleans up tables, runs back and forth serving both beverages and food to these tables and even brings items back that people complain to her about, though she did not even cook. She is tipped meagerly and has to split with the rest of the waiters who worked that night and also received inadequate tips. How would a person like that feel if they were being paid that low wage for their hard work and someone who did minimal cooking, no serving and some cashiering got paid three times as much? I have never worked in a restaurant or a fast food place, but regardless, I feel bad for the waitress more than the McDonald’s worker.
In my Facebook post, I had also tried to explicate sacrifices made by my cousin, Jonathan, as he was serving in Kuwait for a special weapons force in the US Army. He had been serving there for nine months and missed our grandmother’s funeral due to active duty. Servicemen and women actually get compensated a lot less than we think, both monetarily and in terms of benefits. So why should people who work so hard get so little for the effort they put in?
Veterans Inc., a company with the mission of ending homelessness among veterans, says, “Veterans are twice as likely as other Americans to become chronically homeless.”
I tend to think it’s because our system is set up so that everything can be a little bit more “equal.” But the problem is that not everyone puts in equal effort at their respective jobs. I also think a lot of people should get paid more than they do now.
The point I’m trying to argue with all these metaphorical situations and real life examples is plain. Although many stereotypes and harsh generalizations are thrown around to try and minimalize economic and systematic struggles held by unfortunate families, some hold weight to how our society functions, how government has acted as a safety net and how some millennials want to take a mile when given an inch.
I for one am proud of the way I was raised and how I will always work harder for a better life instead of thinking it is given to me simply because I am an American.
Email Anne McLean at firstname.lastname@example.org