The problem I have with thinking in the long term is that I don't get paid to do that. As in.. I don't get compensated, and given the ability to survive, by complying to things that will benefit the long term.
I worked back when minimum wage was $5.25 an hour. I had two jobs, went to school full time, and one of my jobs paid twice that amount. With a studio apartment, a shit car that was completely paid-off, the cheapest phone service, internet service, no TV, and conservative energy and water consumption... With all of that, I left to Iraq from that situation with $20 to my name.
The problem with 'just getting by' is life throws something at you. Like, for example, when your car gets stolen and wrecked and you have to buy a new one that day in order to get to work so you don't lose your job. Or, like right after that the roommate I relied on left and I went from paying half the bills to all of them. Or when unexpected water damage hit while I was away for a weekend from a flaw in the toilet which ruined half of my stuff. Occasionally people get the unfortunate situations I did where my wallet was stolen and soon after I had over 900$ missing from my bank account, which took 60 days to be replaced. That's not even counting times where the weather made the energy bills drive up to unexpected amounts, or when things like your vacuum cleaner breaks and you need a new one.
I had 16-18 hour days with two jobs and school (so I could get a better job someday and not need two jobs), and I don't count my military service as a job when I say that. Or the freelance side-work I did to make extra money to cover what my two jobs didn't cover. I worked damn hard for everything I had, and there were still times where the neighbor just noticed I was becoming too skinny and started bringing me 'leftovers' (it was obvious she cooked extra food for me..) from her dinners. I had no life, I was isolated from everyone from my schedule to survive. It was not a pretty, or happy, time in my life. At all.
And that was $5.25 an hour, back in 2006/2007.
I'm not saying we just keep upping the minimum wage to suit the needs of everyone.. something has to give somewhere, you are right about that. We can't just keep compensating people with gobs of money when the money doesn't mean as much. But I don't think taking away the right to be paid enough to survive (literally to survive) is the answer either.
Also.. I find it a bit irking that people picked on you with this so much. Your lack of work experience does not make you invalid in proposing theories and discussing them. In some ways you're objective about this because of your lack of experience, whereas I cannot be. Don't ever feel like you can't propose a theory because you'll be attacked, please. But don't get all butt-hurt when you start a topic on a very passionate subject and people become passionate either. Don't get all meek when you start the fire and it burns a bit brighter than you expected. You'll be okay.