Editor's note: Jack Temple is a policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project, a nonprofit organization that works to promote policies and programs that create jobs and help unemployed workers regain their economic footing.
Don't let McDonald's new "Dollar Menu and More" distract you. Although an order of McNuggets might cost more than a buck now, the truth is that the Dollar Menu was never a bargain.
In reality, whether you eat the fries or not, fast-food companies such as McDonald's actually shift billions of dollars in hidden costs onto taxpayers every year. How? These costs flow directly from their business model of low wages, nonexistent benefits and limited work hours, which force millions of fast-food workers to rely on public assistance to afford basic necessities such as food and health care.
To see this business model in action, take a look inside the employee break room at many McDonald's restaurants, where you might find a poster displaying information for a 1-800 "McResource" hotline designed to offer counseling to employees who need financial, housing, child care or other help.
Read - How McDonald's sends taxpayers the bill
How about just stating McDonalds is allowed to give such low wages because of government programs, instead of attacking consumer surplus.
We could also mention that businesses provide goods and services and companies compete with each other to offer the lowest price. These companies employ unskilled labor and pay that labor a minimal amount. People who work unskilled labor do so by CHOICE. Let me restate and clarify that. People who work low paying jobs with little to no benefits do so of their own free will. These jobs are not meant for the breadwinners and family supporters of the world. They are meant for the teens and people just looking to make a few dollars to supplement something else. It's a supplementary income, not meant for anything more. When you can go out on the street and grab a person and train them for a day and have them be just as skilled as the person working the job for 10 years, THAT'S unskilled labor. And it doesn't pay. it never has. That's why people go to school and get a degree of some kind. Not necessarily a university or college. Even a trade school will do and allow you to have a great paying career. And there are PLENTY of government programs willing to help people do that. They helped me. I got student loans and worked those low paying jobs to get through school and now I have a REAL job. I didn't come from a rich family or having my tuition paid for me, I actually worked myself through school with the help of the federal government that I'm now paying back. ANYONE can do that. ANYONE. I hate paying my taxes and seeing them go to welfare programs to people who don't have the will to change their course. Who settle for what's easy and then demand to be overcompensated for it. But I will be FINE with seeing my tax dollars go to helping those people who are trying to help themselves. Let them go to the single Mom putting herself through school. Let them go to the small family trying to start their own business. I'm all for supporting people who are trying their best to improve. I'm against supporting people who refuse to do anything more than the minimum (wage).
Just defund welfare programs. Then the tax payers would not pay for that dollar menu. I'm sure all those deprived of welfare dollars will find money for food and shelter, somewhere.
Your statement makes no sense.
OK, this. Without welfare programs tax payers will not be paying to help people with low paying jobs make ends meet. Those starving homeless people will then have to scavenge the countryside for food and a place to stay. They might even come to your house looking for a handout. You having plenty of money since you do not not have to support McDonalds' burger flippers.
Not really, they are more likely to turn to making money illegally, possibly by robbing someone else's house. Then taxpayers would be paying for their incarceration and living in a society that is more dangerous overall. Starving people don't just beg, they take.
My wife dropped out of 12th grade to get married. Our daughter is a PhD English professor in Central Floria. Our son a lawyer for a German multinational. I knew my family business would support me. If flipping burgers is all see in your future don't have children.
Sarcasm? I hope it's sarcasm.
Yes, that's why there's a comma between shelter and somewhere. I should have used .....somewhere to infer roving bands of starving ex-food stamp recipients
A job is a job. I would rather see people work at McDonald's, then greet them in my house late at night. For some strange reason many people esp. today's youth, feel it is a shame to work.
Milennials have no work ethic. I had two open positions to fill last month. ALL of the candidates under 35 were pretty lacking. They're great at tweeting and facebook though.
If they want to essentially double their pay, then I want mine doubled too. No way flipping burgers should get the same pay as someone who went to school to get a quasi-decent paying entry-level job. I worked fast food all through high school and I worked retail all through college. Now with a degree all I can get are entry-level jobs at $12-$17 per hour. So if they get their pay doubled I want mine to double too!
It sounds like you made a very poor choice on which degree to complete if that's all your getting paid. That is a self-inflicted wound.
I wonder how many of the farms and ranches in America that these fast food places own also collect farm subsidies. More profits in a plan to keep food prices steady for the family owned farms is turning into huge profits for the corporate farms!
Do you have an reference for what farms are owned by fast food companies? I would like to read about that.
I would watch this great documentary Food, Inc. if I'm not mistaken it's listed in the doc.
What we need to solve everything is a universal minimum wage of $25.00 for EVERYONE.
Why not make it $100?
Probably not practical, but a minimum wage of $25.00 for ALL Americans (working or not) would help to pull out of the economic misery we are in today.
Ok.. Show of hands.. who prefers to get paid 25 dollars an hour to do "nothing"???? I seriously hope you are trying to make some joke because I find it difficult to see how anyone would think this was a good idea! So.. just let me pose this question.. let's say on the "off chance" someone is willing to actually work for the $25/hr instead of sitting on their behinds (which is a much more likely choice). Businesses will need to raise the cost of their goods and services. Rent will cost more. Food will cost more. Houses will cost more. Clothes will cost more. Stuff at wallmart will cost more. Ohhhhh Nooooo now that $25/hour isn't going as far as it used to. So.. now we have to raise that minimum so people can earn a "living wage".. oh.. then the cost of goods and service go up again! ACK!! We haven't created a better economy.. we have created INFLATION. How about this little gem of an idea.. Do NOT expect to support your family flipping burgers. In fact, you should probably not expect to be able to live in a house by yourself, have a fancy Iphone, cable tv and have a late model car with a minimum wage salary. How about you work hard, develop skills that an employer values so he will pay you more??? Flipping the burger is not a highly valued skill. People are only willing to pay so much for a flipped burger. Fast Food is not costing taxpayers anything.. the workers who glom on to handouts are doing that! The employer doesn't owe them anything more than the fruits of their labor are worth.
It should be the government. Much like we pay unemployment benefits today. This would be akin to "supplemental wage insurance"...Makes sure that things are fair to all.
i just think alot of people need a reality check, fast food workers are no different than people stocking shelves at stores, or ringing you up at the register, or slicing your deli meat, or pharmacy workers or anywhere else, they are all working people paying taxes trying to support themselves and their families..but so many want to think they are better because they might have higher education! what fast food workers get paid or whoever has nothing to do with what your employer chooses to pay you..if you have a problem with your income take it up with your boss instead of thinking someone else should get paid less..like someone else said at least they are making a living by working instead of selling drugs on your street corner!
I was getting 9.25 at a grocery store. raise the wages but not that much. Thats just crazy.
What fast food workers really need to do is to form unions, so they can demand higher wages and better benefits. It worked really well as Hostess, not to mention Detriot.
@realist Can u imagine how bad customer service at Wal-Mart and McDonald's would be if the they were operated by teenagers only. We already get bad service as it is. These are billion dollar corporation that need adults to running their business. I strongly believe in better wages for working people that are trying to make a living the righteous way. Better wages=less crime, think about it
So.. are you saying that we should be blackmailed into paying higher wages.. pay more or we are gonna jack you up? Just so you know.. we were robbed by three gentlemen who were all recieving govt assistance at the time. Paying off the lazy so they don't rob you doesn't work. Oh, and yes, I understand not all people who recieve assistance are criminals.. and some truly need it for a short term but too many people are fully reliant on it and don't do anything to help themselves improve or do anything to reduce their need for it (like not having kids they can't afford!)
The McDonalds in Hailey Idaho is all illegal mexicans. They drive nice cars and have as many babies as they can on the Welfare dime. Our gov. makes my family pay for this just as oblome care is not for illegals. Their health care is free for them and paid for by me. Disgusting System!!
then the fault is on that 1 mcdonalds and the ones doing the hiring ...every mcdonalds has different managers who run them, also not every mcdonalds is run by the same corporation...here we have some that are mcdonalds, and others that are cullen management because they are bought and run by other people
Rick how do you know they are all illegal? Do you do the hiring at that McDonalds? People like you who make assumptions to further your hate disgust me.
Good Lord-how naive are you?
I don't mind raising minimum wage; however, anyone who is in one of these jobs that thinks they should be paid $15/hr is crazy. There are many jobs requiring much more skill or education that don't pay that. It only harms your case if you make your demands that unreasonable. Someone said earlier in the thread that it's not their fault they couldn't find a better job... okay but that doesn't mean that Wendy's should pay you more. Pay is based on experience, worker skill, dedication, and skill level required to do the job. Someone with a Bachelor's Degree who is flipping burgers can't expect to be paid for that Bachelor's Degree.
They usually start up that high and then come down during the negotiation process. I wouldn't expect them to get that either.
These people want $15 an hour? We all remember that term in high school if your not smart enough or won't get all A's you'll be flipping burgers. So what do these people want? A corvette or a 4 by 4 with a large house they seen on TV? I wanted more money with my low wage jobs so what did I do? I spent it online researching for products to sell and took me over a year. Now I make over $3,000 a month with my side project and my job $2,000 so a total of $5,000 per month. I went out there and did something about it. These guys are just lazy and dumb wanting more money for nothing. It's not the company, these fast food jobs are for high school students, and college students to just pass by now to buy a nice car worth $50,000 + a house worth $300,000. These people need to go back to school at night and become a Dr. or get a degree in life. Come on you work at a fast food what do you want? A million dollars? These people already spit in your food and do things and want more money? PLEASE go take night time classes nothing comes easy in life!
You may think it's alright that these billions of dollars in profits come straight off of the backs of people that were hired BECAUSE of their economic condition and lack of a master's degree but I don't. These employees are the front line for them, raking in billions for these corporate greedsters. Your arrogance and sense of being upper class is simply disgusting. What should matter is the amount of money they are making for these conglomerates and the fact that they are not recognized for it. It is insulting and demeaning. First you all complain that you are supporting deadbeats and welfare recipients, and when these people demand what they deserve you complain that they aren't educated enough or of your caliber. This country has embraced a class system since the TeaParty was bought and paid for by KOCH billionaires and it has to be crushed. It's called slavery by corporation and those of you that endorse it should be ashamed.
well said maritzka...i hate that people are labeled as lower middle or upper class because of their job, pay , or whatever. we are all trying to make it in this world and would never judge someone based on how they live..plus all this complaining, each boss or employer makes the choice what to pay their employees, so if people have a problem that some people make more than others take it up with their boss, not the people who work hard to make those billions for companies. like you said they are not recognized .
Oh we recognized them alright. Okay that guy is always late for work, that guy is always sick for work, that guy always complains about others when he doesn't do his job, that guy always has a problem with others. ETC! GET BACK TO WORK PEOPLE!
Melodrama, much? "Working straight off the backs...."
I worked fast food as a second job while going to college full time......pressing buttons that are pictures of food and taking money is not exactly back breaking labor.
Please don't add drama to try to convince us of a point...it is a deflection method rather then using straight up facts. Dumping and salting fries, while requiring some lifting, is not back breaking labor
Thank you, and this guy here I give props he went to school had 2 jobs he will make it in life! Unlike the others who complain! They don't like it? CHANGE YOUR JOB!
No those billions were made cause these people, worked hard to get there. Those customers who buy and workers are their own faults. If I had a larger business then now and earned $200k a month why should I split all my hard work? I already hired someone to work for me and they are slow lazy, don't come to work on time and wants more time off and I give them extra money and pay them $14 an hour already! Do you know that 99.99% of people are lazy and want everything handed out to them? I want it, I go work for it! You call me earning $5k a month upper class? WHAT A JOKE! I struggled for 1 year before I made a dime! You are just a low life! Then don't work buddy and get on welfare!
Without the buyers and workers you wouldn't have a business ...those billions can't be made without those so called lazy people working and buying the product!
And by the way David, I didn't call you upper class, I said that I hate people are labeled as lower middle or upper class! The name calling is so mature with your name calling...I don't care if you make 5,000 or 500,000..I treat people like people..I don't judge them by where they work or what they make,!
If people want $15/hr for working at a fast food place they should ask for that during the interview process.
Now we live in a society where people can make an agreement – start working on that agreement and because they realize they made a bad decision (to try to support themselves, family etc.) with a low paying job – they are going on strike and putting it on the employer?
I always hear stories of people who worked a bunch of jobs to get themselves through college and graduate school – no one is rushing colleges searching for kids living on raman noodles. It's called WORK FOR WHAT YOU WANT. We live in America where an education is basically handed out to people who are poor – so they can work for higher wages like most people do.
No – we are going to demand that fast food locations pay $15/hr because they make so much money and can afford to pay more. Well – if it's good for fast food – it should apply to other aspects of our country... (congress vs. military pay – first responder pay vs. all of our pay) and I can keep going.... sheesh.
There are quite a few jobs that required 4 or more years of college level education that don't pay $15.00 per hour. Why should an uneducated fast food worker make more than those jobs? I understand that they want to make more money and have benefits, but they are asking for a wage that is not in line with their skills and education.
sara...obviously you need to do your research...uneducated? really? mcdonalds gives part time jobs to kids in high school to get them started and many other people who work there are sometimes there because it may be all that is available in their town at that time...further more my boyfriend is a manager of one of them, he has a high school education, has worked many jobs in his life, and is a very smart educated man. where a person works has nothing to do with education, i know people with barely any education who work construction and get paid more than mcdonalds workers..they are working people just like anyone else with a job! one more thing, mcdonald workers do not get no $15 an hour.
Missing Sara's point...her point is you are paid based on skill level of your job. If you are an expert mathematician, but your job is to scrub toilets all day, should you be paid $20.00 an hour simply because you are brilliant? No, its based on what you are paid for. The market has decided for many, many years now that someone who merely presses buttons on a cash register that is already pre-programmed (worked three years fast food in college) is only worth getting paid for their skill level, or minimum wage.
A person who operates said cash register should not be paid the same as a medical assistant working in a high-level physician's office, because the medical assistant required more training and requires more skill usage in a day-to-day setting. The cashier, presses the minus sign, then the onion picture, when someone asks to leave the onions off. No comparison.
Ok, now bring out the people to yell at me, accuse me of being a tea partier (which I am not, pure moderate), and call me names rather then legitimately discuss with me. If you disagree with me, awesome, tell me why, but keep it civil
i get what you are saying,but to say an uneducated fast food worker...and i understand every place is different, but here a fry cook at mcdonalds makes 7 something an hour,i see comments all the time about fast food wasnt meant to be a career and people being downed for working fast food. alot of people dont have many options for jobs because it may not be enough jobs available where they live, but at least they are working.also the article its self says" dollar menu is to the tax payers, the people working there are tax payers too. comments of fast food making people obese, no one forces them to eat it all the time, its a choice. everybody wants more money no matter what job they work..prices of things we have to buy everyday are raised but pay is not, making it harder for everybody to make ends meet, and thats why some people have to rely on public assistance...and low pay makes it hard for people to afford health insurance too, everyone has an opinion on things but life is life..if your working and your bills are paid, dont worry about what anybody else makes, at least they are working
VladT, I completely agree with you! I'm a full-time employee while putting myself through an ivy league graduate education. I work in a position that requires a minimum of a 4 year college degree. I DO NOT MAKE $15 AN HOUR. I hate to put it this way, but people need to buck up and do something to better themselves. Any person has a chance to better their lives, he or she may just have to work a little harder... Put fourth a bit more effort. God forbid we have to work for our money!
At Swana......I agree with parts of your point. For one, I didn't want it to come off that I was disparaging fast food workers. I was one, and gave it my best when I worked there. If people have a job and try their best, I would never begrudge them
its not hard to be a manager at a fast food business.... you work there for 10 or 15 years till they offer it.....
Uhm....i didn't think McDonalds wasa career choice? I mean, i can see corporate, being financing, or if you are the purchaser of a franchise. But i thought being a fry cook was a job for: high school kids, college kids, and maybe in between jobs, but never a career. get off your ass and do something about it. shit even within McDonalds they have programs to get to managerial positions. but most cases of going to these places, i see the employees have no desire to even work....
i dont get why people want to say mcdonalds or being a fry cook is suppose to be for high school kids or an in between job..a job is a job...people want to think they better than others because of where they work..i could give you a whole list of people who have higher schooling but work fast food because not many jobs are available in some areas..so obviously they are off their ass doing something as long as they are working , at least they not sitting at home refusing to work just because their education level is higher than a fast food job!
I wouldn't mind paying health care tax if it is attached to all these dollar menus and all the fast food choices, I will enjoy my dollar menu knowing that if I ever suffer a heart attack, at least I know that I am covered.
I like the use of the word "force" here – as if these people are forced to work at McD's. You know what? McD's isn't doing anything illegal with its pay scheme, and until they do, THEN complain. If you don't like the money you're making, feel free to quit and work somewhere else. The entitlement generation is going to be the death of us all.
This is what happens when someone who takes a job that was designed for high school kids and college students and tries to make a career out of it. Raising minimum wage will not help society. It will in fact result in more people on food stamps etc. Think about it, the higher the minimum wage, the more education and experience you will need to get a basic job. You can't get a decent job without an education and experience. How can you get experience if you can't get a job in the first place? Minimum wage or not, you will not get a job that pays $10.00 or better without an education unless it is extremely labor intensive. The problem is that some people don't have their priorities straight. How can you have children that you cannot afford to take care of? Don't tell me that you can't afford to go to college. I did it and they can too!
@Realist Its no secret Minimum wage has not kept up with inflation. boosting minimum wage can however pump more money into the economy, some people are not able to afford college. Some people dont have the determination it takes to be in school for 4 years. Some people have been to college and become very ill and now are forced onto a minimum wage job (my case). If we boosted minimum it would mean that more people can take care of themselves instead of criticizing them and ridiculing them for not having the ability of finishing a degree. but of course the only reason why you made the comment you made is because you finished school there are a lot of people that are not as fortunate, i believe they deserve a decent income too.
No one "deserves" a decent income...you must earn it. If I deserve a decent income, I will quite my intense job and be a part time cashier at the dairy queen, where I will get my "deserved" $50,000 a year job (if you believe what you are actually saying)
That depends on what you consider a decent wage.
I was in the military for 4 years, then spent 4 years in college (which was paid for by the VA). While I was 3/4's of the way through that, I had an internship that paid $12 an hour. The next summer I had an internship that paid around $20 an hour. I now make a decent income, but that's after 8 years of hard work (not including highschool were I also worked).
I don't think people should starve, but we can't hand them salaries where they make more than people who have worked for a decent salary.
Every ones situation is different. It don't matter weather their educated or un educated, or weather they have babies or not, or where they are. the price on everything is going up including foods, rents, and everything else. As long as prices keep going up then so should minimum wage and all other pay rates as well. Minimum wage is long over due for a raise...For all of you people that criticize people for working at a fast food chain, stop complaining and be thankful theses people are not on your corner selling drugs to get by. And yeah people have a choice, and these people made a choice to work instead of robbing, stealing, scheaming, or selling drugs. if thats all thats is available when you need a job then you take it. Not because you want to, but because theres nothing else available at that time... and its only the ones that never walked in them shoes that have nagative comments to say. Stop judging and start helping. only then can the world be a better place. yes i am all for raising minimum wage... $15hr is reasonable considering how high everything else is nowadays.
Who criticized fast food workers? Saying someone who presses little food buttons all day doesn't desevre $15 an hour isn't critical, its realistic. Should they really be paid more than a medical assistant, simply because minimum wage is "unfair," or whatever?
P.S. *Whether, not weather. And uneducated is one word
Hopefully this will end up doing the same for retail workers. Most I know are stuck in the $7.25-8.00 range.
Walmart has been doing this for ages! Really, are people surprised by these tactics – it's not just McD's, Walmart, it's every single place that pay employees nada, gives them nada benefits, keeps their hours just short of the time that would make them eligible for benefits. Honestly, how do you all think these prices are so low, yet they're still churning out billions in revenue every year?
consumerism has given rise to more than required number of anything. in general the business model should be demand and supply however in america the model is supply and then create demand. end result is creating competitive advantage over rival businesses and thus lower prices and lower wages. the regulation that govt must put on companies is that no employed person (full- or part-time) must go on such assistance program for the period of their job with any employee and employee has to provide all that is needed to retain that worker, be it partime or full time.
Every time we want to pay less and less for something, think about the effect in the local economy. But local, patronize businesses that invest in your community and provides descent wage jobs for local workers. I hear people complain about quality jobs all the time and yet the same people are shopping every week at Walmart,Target etc... they buy out of state just to save a couple of hundred dollars but don't realize how it affects their community. Time to get smart and think more collectively rather than individually which is what big corporations want us to do.
i don't mind paying more if it means paying workers fair... but the states needs to get rid off this tipping system and pay fairly anyway
Personally I was hoping for a longer article but that's just me.
Do some searching across the internet. Independent news outlets and bloggers have been talking about this for months.
I think that's rather a good idea. Fast food companies make millions even billions every year combined. Fast food is one of the primary reasons why we are obese, which is loaded with cheapest lowest quality ingredients, high fat, sugar, and salt to make it very addictive. I heard that fast food restaurants are now opening in Africa! We are making the entire planet obese and unhealthy! We will pay for it with our healthcare which costs in billions!
Raise the wage and the company is forced to raise the fast food prices. Then we just might be forced to eat less! Major problem solved in our fat society!
Wrong....fast food is not why we are obese. People eating repeatedly at fast food is making them obese. Does a gun kill someone if no one pulls a trigger?
Also, to agree with your premise, one must believe that an obese person, when not eating at fast food, eats nothing but celery, whole grains, lean protein, etc when at home. Do they? Probably not....
It's called taking responsibility....Sorry, a pet peeve of mine is when people blame other things for their choices.
"I didn't hurt the pedestrian by drunk driving, the whiskey made me intoxicated."
But dropping out of tenth grade to have a baby seemed like such a good idea at the time. All the girls on MTV turned out fine.
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