I have a nursery. I hire people to work in it. Black, White, Hispanic, Male, Female.
I usually let them get their feet wet at an hourly wage. Then at some point I offer them a raise from the Ten Bucks an hours I pay to start.
I offer them Piecework. If you don't know what piecework is, it is you do work, we count how many you did and we pay you for results.
Right now is weed pulling time. It lasts about a month. To get the ball rolling today I brought the crew together and found the weediest bunch of plants I could find.
I weeded for 15 minutes. Did 33 plants. Then I took 5 more minutes to pick up the scrap weeds I had pulled and put them back in order carefully. 5 to a row. Ten rows wide. Then a new set. 1/3rd of an hour.
Then we had the discussion. At $10 per hour, how much should you be paid to do this work if it were equal opportunity. They all agreed that at the rate I worked about ten cents each. I was doing this at the rate of 99 per hour.
OK, I hustled. I knew that at the end I was done demonstrating. I also pointed out that I am more than 3 times any of their ages. AND My wife who helps is faster at this than I am. She's fearless.
I offered to have her come out and demonstrate. They declined.
Then I made a big offer. I said, not ten cents per plant, but twelve cents. That way they can make Twelve dollars per hour bonus CASH over their hourly without any trouble if they work about my pace.
I have done this every year. Here's the most interesting part. They won't all make it. I usually lose half by this, the ones remaining are pretty good if they survive.
The ladies can't keep up. They run out of steam. It's hard stoop labor. The young guys don't know how to pace twelvemonth and wear out quickly. The Hispanics run circles around the rest. And sadly my black friends who offer to work, never come back after one day. Other things "Come up".
So the question is, if the Hispanics earn $16 per hour under this system, the Ladies $7 per hour, the white boys just under $9 and the brothers end up equal with the ladies at $7, would they all deserve a minimum wage? Isn't there such a thing as merit pay? IF a person can produce more, shouldn't they get more?
This is NOT about race, it is about the results of when piecework reveals work ability and ethic.
It is about the insanity of forcing companies to pay everyone equal.. if it must be equal, let's lower it to allow kids to learn to work.. these boys, the fellows from Aurora, never got that basic how to work training.
We are not doing ourselves any good with a minimum wage.