Thursday, November 14, 2013

McDonald's Knows What American Workers Need -- It Just Doesn't Want to Provide It

McDonald's and America working together: Wages + food stamps = a living!

McDonald's, one of the most successful American brands in history, has developed a very successful business model to sustain it: make cheap but comfortable food -- a perfect balance of salt, fat, and sugar -- and vastly underpay your workers to deliver it. Result? Bulging profits and soaring stock prices.

That doesn't mean that McDonald's doesn't think its workers don't require more income to live with basic dignity, it just means that its business model demands that it not be the one to provide it. From a New York Times article on Switzerland's flirtation with a guaranteed income for its citizens:
The advocacy group Low Pay Is Not OK posted a phone call, recorded by a 10-year McDonald’s veteran, Nancy Salgado, when she contacted the company’s “McResource” help line. The operator told Salgado that she could qualify for food stamps and home heating assistance, while also suggesting some area food banks — impressively, she knew to recommend these services without even asking about Salgado’s wage ($8.25 an hour), though she was aware Salgado worked full time. The company earned $5.5 billion in net profits last year, and appears to take for granted that many of its employees will be on the dole.
Absurd as a minimum income might seem to bootstrapping Americans, one already exists in a way — McDonald’s knows it. [...]
McDonald's is not alone in adopting this approach, which amounts to taxpayers underwriting their profit margins. Much of the restaurant, hospitality, and retail industries thrive on this model. The only surprise here is that conservatives tolerate this wholesale theft of public moneys.

Oh, wait, conservatives have attacked this formula: massive cuts to food stamps and welfare programs. Problem solved.

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