"According to your philosophy, all these people apparently fucked up their lives and deserve nothing but miserable penury for their moral failings."
Except I didn't mention anything about those people. I am specifically referring to fast food employees demanding $15 an hour. It's no secret fast food jobs are meant to be starter jobs or something to do while you're in school. They aren't meant to provide a living wage. That's just how it is.
You do not deserve $15 an hour to make hamburgers and tacos.
"Why then am I paid so much more than the cleaners without whom the whole office would descent in to squalor within days?"
Simple. You're educated. You are a professional. You are not a dime-a-dozen employee. Finding someone with your skillset is much more difficult than finding someone who can wipe up a mess. Don't get me wrong, service workers are appreciated. But do you, with (assuming here) certs and maybe even a degree, really think it would be fair to see a cleaner paid the same as you, a software engineer? I don't think so.
" I can't imagine having the sheer brass balls to lecture ANYONE who has a full time job on how they don't deserve to be able to have a roof over their heads or food on their table."
Well, considering you think you and the cleaner should be paid the same rate, that doesn't surprise me.