Calls for wage increases aren’t about one kind of employee making more than another, or about the civilian labor pool making more than members of our armed services. It is about how popular protocol in a corporatist economy has been one in which gain has been privatized and loss has been socialized.
For all of the progress that has been made and all of the increases in productivity we have seen, the working class has seen virtually none of that reflected in their wages. This isn’t about what a hospitality worker makes against what military personnel makes, but what we all take home versus the ever-increasing income of those by whom our labor is exploited.
None of this is to say that managers and owners in the restaurant industry don’t have incredibly valid points to make, or that they are right or wrong. It is to suggest I have seen this conversation shot down entirely by the presentation of false “us versus us” dichotomies. Working class people aren’t inherently the enemies of other working class people.