Who said dropping out of school and trying to make your way with little education and no skills was going to be hard? Not that long ago, people were marching in the streets and "heigh, heigh, ho, ho"-ing for a livable wage to flip burgers. We laughed when they demanded $15 an hour. Who knew?

The Lexington Service Plaza on Interstate-95 North in Lexington, Massachusetts, is desperate for help. As you can see from the above photo, they are willing to pay for it, and they are not the Lone Ranger.

So now there are gazillions of entry-level jobs paying astronomical sums out there for the cellar dwellers, and they are playing coy. Perhaps when the extended unemployment benefits run out next month, they will be willing to pick up a spatula.

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Think for a moment, what if you are an established employee earning about $38,000 in some company in Massachusetts? The median salary was $37,886 in 2019. Now all of a sudden, some 16-year-old kid is making almost as much bagging french fries. Doing the math, $17 an hour is $35,360 a year, if you do it full time. Now there's social justice. Heigh, heigh, ho, ho!

The U.S. Department of Labor said there were 10.1 million job openings on the last business day in June. That's a lot of french fry baggers. Demand will eventually crush supply when the extended unemployment benefits run out, and many of those folks will rush to fund a job. That may well drive those wages back down to Earth, so you'd better act now.

This is perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a high school dropout or one of those panhandling dudes to earn this much money for having so few skills. The time to job up is now, SouthCoasters, while the gettin' is good.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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