Audio: McDonald’s Tells Full-Time Employee to Apply for Welfare Benefits

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The video below, released this week by the service employees’ union, shows a concrete example of how private corporations that pay poverty wages profit by imposing part of their labor costs on the rest of us.

In it, you’ll hear an audio recording of a woman who’s worked full-time for McDonald’s for ten years calling the “McResources helpline,” where a helpful operator encourages her to apply for foodstamps and Medicaid for herself and her two children.

In our society, people like Nancy face a significant degree of stigma for accepting public benefits, but the real “welfare queens” in this story are McDonald’s shareholders, who pocket the difference between what the company pays and what their workers’ need to make ends meet. They use their lobbying power to oppose minimum wage hikes, but they haven’t beaten back deep cuts to our social welfare system.

This kind of subsidy is incredibly common in today’s low-wage economy. According to a study released last week by the Labor Center at UC Berkeley…

  • More than half (52 percent) of the families of front-line fast-food workers are enrolled in one or more public programs, compared to 25 percent of the workforce as a whole.
  • The cost of public assistance to families of workers in the fast-food industry is nearly $7 billion per year.
  • At an average of $3.9 billion per year, spending on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) accounts for more than half of these costs.
  • Due to low earnings, fast-food workers’ families also receive an annual average of $1.04 billion in food stamp benefits and $1.91 billion in Earned Income Tax Credit payments.
  • People working in fast-food jobs are more likely to live in or near poverty. One in five families with a member holding a fast-food job has an income below the poverty line, and 43 percent have an income two times the federal poverty level or less.
  • Even full-time hours are not enough to compensate for low wages.

This isn’t how a “free market” is supposed to work. These workers are selling their labor for less than the cost of production – less than what it takes to provide basics like food, shelter and health care. Low-wage employers are in turn keeping the cost of their products artificially low by socializing a chunk of their labor expenses. And while we may be enjoy a cheap burger, we end up paying more for it when taxes are pulled out of our paychecks.

Joshua Holland is a senior digital producer for BillMoyers.com. He’s the author of The Fifteen Biggest Lies About the Economy (and Everything Else the Right Doesn’t Want You to Know about Taxes, Jobs and Corporate America) (Wiley: 2010), and host of Politics and Reality Radio. Follow him on Twitter or drop him an email at hollandj [at] moyersmedia [dot] com.
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  • Matzhue Plus

    But we exist on a level playing field, right? and all those college students working fast food just need to have business degrees if they want out of the industry, right? And giving big business tax breaks only encourages them to dedicate more funds to the public good, right?

  • Anonymous

    If corporations are now considered “persons” why haven’t conservatives insisted on McDonald’s pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps and taking care of themselves? Why are taxpayers footing the bill for food and medical care for this corporate “person?”

  • Anonymous

    There was a time, when I was young, when these jobs didn’t need to provide benefits or higher wages because they were mostly filled with teenagers living at home or college students just making some extra money. But now, because of economic realities, older people are trying to support families on an income that used to be adequate for people just entering the work force. I wonder how many people would continue eating at McDonalds if they raised their prices to reflect the increased cost of offering a true living wage? Because Wall Street sure isn’t going to help by foregoing profits and dividends.

  • Anonymous

    How do you know she didn’t ask for a raise? Or are you just pulling this out of your rear end?

  • Arm of Keaau

    The problem as I see it is that corporations have steered government to take on this lack of responsibility of business to pay employees a living wage and pocket the difference as additional profit.
    Similarly, walking into Safeway (plug in any other corporation) yesterday, there was an employee at the door asking customers to donate to Cancer Research. You can only speculate in the end, what Safeway and the other corporations are doing, is to donate (we hope) that money and then write it off their tax roll as a donation at no cost to them and pocketing the tax savings as profit.
    It’s all about greed! (_: FBI

  • Stephen Acker

    And how do you suppose she affords education trying to support her family? Who’s going to take care of her kids? What manager is going to put his/her job on the line when all they have to do is fire him/her and hire someone else that can’t find a job? Go back to sleep; you’re still dreaming…

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Has this worker tried to ask for a raise????? She’s been making the same amount of money for ten years!!! An ethical employer would at least have offered every employee a 3% COLA, whether they “asked” for it or not. And…let’s see…she needs to concentrate her efforts on “getting better job skills” AND feeding her family AND keeping a roof over their heads AND just being their mom.

    It never ceases to amaze me how much hatred and disrespect we will indulge in when it comes to the poor. If they collect welfare, they’re lazy. If they try to work, but still can’t make ends meet, they’re not working hard enough, not making sound employment decisions or are simply the un-skilled bottom of the employment food chain and don’t deserve better. How in the world did we come to this place where the “I Got Mine” attitude is so disgustingly prevalent?

  • Stephen Acker

    Bob, you need to join disqus. Go back to sleep… You’re not willing to face the light of day.

  • Rstlne

    Good question! I like the way you think.

  • Robert Teiken

    Spot on – I couldn’t have said it better Lisa.

  • Stephanie Eaton Agosta

    Because like the poster above we now have the “Me First, Screw Everybody Else” culture perpetuated by hateful talk show hosts.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Oh, yeah…and they’re a dime a dozen. Workers with impressive resumes who lost their jobs when the economy tanked are STILL unemployed, and this woman should just hustle her bustle and grab one of those millions of “higher paying jobs” out there. What rock do you live under?

  • Lisa Raminiak

    This sounds like back-handed advice to me. You SOUND as if you actually give a damn about this issue, then you make the elitist comment about “what kinds of jobs fast food workers qualify for…” Have you ever worked in food? I spent 35 years in the food service industry, and I will tell you that to be GOOD at it, it takes an amazing skillset that people like you neither value nor possess. You have no idea what it takes to deal with the public face-to-face every day, especially the rude, entitled, aggressive 21st-century American public. And even if today’s fast-food workers are indeed lacking in real customer service skills because they are working in fast food simply because these are the only jobs available, I’m sure they would be happy to go back to manning assembly lines and making a decent living wage. But, oh…that’s right. All THOSE jobs are in India and China now. Guess they’ll just have to emigrate.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Nobody here is piling on the operator. It’s the idea that McDonald’s KNOWS it doesn’t pay its employees enough to live, and evidently it’s much cheaper to create a “help” line designed to point employees in the direction of federal benefits than it is to PAY their workers enough to live.

  • Richard Doneth

    All the wealth in this country goes to the CEO,s LIVE BETTER JOIN AND WORK UNION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • D. Gillespie

    Fast Food Giants are not unlike the Pharmaceutical and Financial industries; corporate management admits to making “portfolio decisions” which they say their shareholders demand. I think these shareholders should be willing to take 1% less of the “gross” profits these industries make (a 50% reduction in executive compensation would be a great start) and require that their companies provide a livable wage, reasonable healthcare and profit sharing to their workers. This would help stimulate our pathetic economy and provide the working poor a modicum of financial choice.

  • Anonymous

    @ThatGuy, the point is that the shareholders are taking too much out of the company (and likely the executives, too). Those who own shares are being subsidized by taxpayers. So that means the business model doesn’t work, not that some workers should move up. The whole thing has to come down, if the taxpayers aren’t going to continue to underwrite the cost of working for fast food stores.

  • Julie

    I agree that Nancy should be able to earn a living wage. I agree that all companies should be required to pay a wage that meets the poverty line. I struggle with the fact that America is a consumer market with no manufacturing base to speak of. Jobs are shipped over seas to increase profits, but please don’t lose sight of the fact that the taxes that are paid by companies, and these are big and little, are ridiculously high, to the point where it puts the little out of business and the big can afford to move. There is no incentive left to build a business in America, there is little incentive to move off of government assistance, as a college degree means little if it isn’t STEM and you move to your Master’s or PhD. But before you attack the BIG Corporations, please take a moment to remember that WE THE PEOPLE vote these clowns into office again and again. Unfortunately our current government is an accurate representation of our society, as it is society that puts them where they are. If real change is to occur, the Good Ol’ Boys club needs to be replaced. Hard to do when just the term politician turns peoples stomachs. Who would want to take their place? Learn about other candidates and ignore the R or D next to the name. Fight for the values you believe in and get involved! We can sit on sites and gripe all day long, but it does nothing to change the status quo. Until WE THE PEOPLE stand up and say enough, we the people are already being represented as the joke we are.

  • Anonymous

    What state are you in?

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Okay. I read through this entire comment. And I totally get what you’re saying, because, as I said, I worked in food service for 35 years.

    The problem with low-paying fast-food jobs is that they were never meant to support families. They were designed to be part-time jobs for high school or college students, or second incomes for households that had an additional (primary) breadwinner. What has happened is that the jobs outside the service industry where “unskilled” (read: workers without a college education) workers could start at the bottom, work their way up and end up making a living wage have disappeared. These were most generally union manufacturing jobs. And we all know that those jobs are overseas and are never coming back.

    Is it McDonald’s fault that our economy has changed so drastically in this way? No, it is not. That being said, a worker who has been with the company for ten years and is still making poverty wages is being taken advantage of by an unethical employer, plain and simple. DO NOT tell me that this woman might possibly be the type who is “constantly late, misses shifts and doesn’t perform.” If that were the case, she would not, SHOULD not, still be working there. One does not keep a problem employee around for ten years, especially in this employers’ market. I could almost guarantee that the culture at her workplace is “in this economy, you’re lucky to HAVE a job.” There are unethical employers out there who count on being able to brainwash employees–especially women– in this way. I have SO been there…

    Now, Let’s talk about your whole “$128 in labor to run a $450 hour” scenario. Back in the seventies, our local McDonald’s were doing $500-$700 hours during peak hours. And that was at 70′s prices. What has happened with McDonald’s is that they took those stores that were doing that great business and built two or three more stores close by. So now. we’re dividing that pie between two or three locations, having to pay three times as many employees, and pay the operating costs on three times the buildings. Basically, McDonald’s has shot itself in the foot–or actually, shot its employees in the foot–with over-expansion. And the fact that McDonald’s has decided it has to be open all hours of the day and night. This is bound to create massive inefficiencies in the operation. And the employees suffer for it.

    And I’d also like to comment on the number of people I constantly see on shift at any given McDonald’s–or any fast food outlet–at any given time. You can walk up to the counter at non-peak hours, no other customers around, and there are at least a half-dozen employees milling around behind the counter. What kind of labor control is that? Why not cross-train the employees, cut back on the number of staff, so you can pay them a decent wage? If I have three cross-trained employees doing the work previously done by six employees who were not cross-trained, I’m now dividing $48/hr between 3 employees ($16/hr) instead of 6 ($8/hr.)

    McDonald’s COULD make changes that would enhance the corporation’s ability to compensate its employees in a way that would reflect its position as one of the biggest corporations/major employers in the country. But it chooses not to. Instead, it sets up a hot line to instruct their underpaid workers in how to collect government benefits. I really don’t think this lets McDonald’s off the hook.

  • Sean Williams

    These people who write articles, make videos, and read the articles and watch the videos arent the majority, they are the minority, and sadly the educated ones. I agree with you in a lot of your reply.

  • Richard

    Find a better paying job? Technical school? educational grants? Hard to climb up and out? Harder to get McDonalds to pay a decent wage.

  • William Eberline

    I’ll tell you how a free market works: If we, the people who are customers of corporations like McDonalds don’t like the way they underpay their employees, and object to being expected to subsidize their corporate payroll, as well as all the other subsidies they draw, then we, the people will just refuse to eat their crappy pseudo-hamburgers! McDonalds, I will never enter one of your stores again!

  • Anonymous

    The maximum corporate tax rate is still the same as it was in 2003 – the lowest it has been since World War II. Kiss “ridiculously high” goodbye. The rate may be lower in some other countries but those companies generally take the difference out of the citizenry. In terms of total tax burden as a percentage of GDP, the U.S. is 62nd in the world, lower than all developed Western nations.

    A study of taxes increase or cuts, minimum wage changes and unemployment since 1950 shows no correlation between the unemployment rate and changes in tax rate or increases in minimum wage. Sometimes unemployment goes up slightly; sometimes it goes down; sometimes it doesn’t change at all.

    In 1968, the minimum wage was $1.60/hour. In order to have the same buying power today, the minimum wage would need to be $10.74.

    At the beginning of the year, it was estimated that the top 100 U.S. corporations were sitting on about $1.2 trillion in cash and cash equivalents. That would have been enough to hire every person then drawing unemployment, give them a full-time job paying more than $16/hour and keep them on the payroll for three years without having them do any productive work at all. Imagine the boost to the economy if they were making things?

    McDonald’s is already changing its dollar menu to add higher-priced items as other items drop off or have their prices increased to more than a buck. Mickey D’s says giving a raise would force them to raise their prices (which they are already doing without paying their employees more) and make them uncompetitive as if the folks at Wendy’s and Burger King have figured out how to absorb the cost increase without raising prices. Of course, it’s quite possible some of the price increases are due to the company’s need for another executive jet.

    The alternative to kicking some serious legislative and industry butt is to create a permanent class of unemployed people, something that has been explored in science-fiction stories such as E.M. Forester’s “The Machine Stops” and Philip K. DIck’s “New Riders of the Purple Wage.” It doesn’t turn out well, but I don’t think we’re ready for “Soylent Green” either.

  • Anonymous

    I’d be willing for him to do it just to see if anyone did follow. I actually don’t care if anyone follows, just as long as Rush leads the way.

  • Anonymous

    She’s free to walk on water, too. Except for this one itty-bitty detail: she can’t.

    Not long ago, a McDonald’s franchise in Massachusetts made the news when it advertised for shift workers. A college degree was required.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, Julie, but you must get your misinformation from Fox News. Corporate taxes are now quite low and some corporations, such as GE specifically, have gone years without paying a dime in taxes on billions in profits. What we need to do, is go back to the pre-Reagan tax structure and then not elect anymore Grover Norquist loving Republicans. That will result in quick and steady progress at paying down the deficit.

  • Anonymous

    Denial.

  • Anonymous

    You do know that some of our richest corporations actually pay no taxes, right? A corporation can get a huge tax bill, and after their attorneys find every loophole and ta cut possible, they actually end up paying little or nothing. The primary purpose of the overall corporate agenda since the 1980s, utilizing measures from NAFTA to mandatory (super-cheap) workfare replacement labor has, in the proverbial nut shell, been to “break” American labor. Year by year, step by step, Americans learn to accept wages that cover less and less. Of course, we no longer have any choice but to accept whatever we can get.

  • Anonymous

    The business model hasn’t worked since Reagan’s deregulation frenzy.

  • Anonymous

    Most of us are very effectively prevented from unionizing. What little is left of organized labor has severely limited its influence by deciding to turn middle class workers (incomes in $50k range) into a gated community, utterly alienating the working poor masses, and those who are even worse off.

  • M Abarca Galeana

    That´s one of the thousand of reason why Mc Donald´s and other franchises come to Mexico and open their units everywhere: here we pay the same cost or higher than in US when the salary is much more lower here.

  • Anonymous

    Times have changed. Dramatically. Companies requiring high-skills employees largely either ship their jobs out, or hire someone from a foreign country to come to the US. In the more advanced nations, even ordinary people are able to obtain higher education (without spending years deep in debt, if they are able to get the loans at all). There is nothing unusual about learning that the person bagging your groceries has a college degree.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, that’s a point that middle classers didn’t get. Of our primary welfare program, AFDC, over 80% of recipients were able to quit welfare for jobs by the time their children began school.They secured jobs, worked their way up as people always have, paid taxes, ultimately repaying every penny of aid they had received. To extend on this, we can point out that their families/relatives also worked, paying taxes, paying into the system. Welfare was never a “handout” from an overly generous Middle Class. Recipients, themselves, paid for it, as well as for covering the costs of the 20% who had significant barriers to employment. Welfare was just like any other kind of insurance.

  • Anonymous

    Well, Occupy did have every chance of changing that. Unfortunately, what began as a historic people’s movement that could have changed the course we’re on was quickly redefined (largely by liberal media) as a movement of middle class workers alone, the better off. So, the rest of us walked away, and Occupy died.

  • Anonymous

    Well, plenty of former workers have asked for raises. How much can low-wage workers risk in a primitive society that has no safety net? A large chunk of today’s workforce is entirely disposable.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you! You hit the nail on the head. The only thing I would point out is that no one collects welfare. Welfare (general assistance and AFDC) were ended by Clinton by 1996. There are no cash benefits. Food stamps are not an entitlement; regardless of your situation, you might or might not be able to get a few (based on your earnings, assets and the determined cost of the most basic needs). TANF is a marginally subsidized super-cheap equivalent of a temp help replacement workforce, steadily phasing out those earning middle class wages. IMO, the greatest harm has been the result of a progressive media that was so successfully taken over over the Dem Party, representing only the better off, the middle class, effectively dividing and conquering the “masses” (the poor and middle).

  • Anonymous

    Oh heck, a few million people would even help him jump off, giving him a champaign farewell party.

  • Anonymous

    I think most low wage workers know that if they ask for a raise, there’s a good chance they’ll be “let go.” With nothing to fall back on, people just can’t take that risk. And employers know it.

  • Anonymous

    But this is all what the middle class has fought for for decades. Granted, they thought only the poorest would suffer, but in the real world, poverty trickles up, wealth doesn’t trickle down.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, this is the norm. No matter, this generation’s response is to condemn all those who are very low-wage or worse off.

  • Anonymous

    Get real. What we actually have is a free-from-rules market. This is the 21st Century, and times have changed. We’ve locked an entire chunk of the population into poverty labor with NO way up, dramatically “enhancing” corporate profits at the expense of the country.

  • Anonymous

    I read that some 80% of middle classers support super-cheap workfare replacement labor. What did they expect? Getting tough on the poor has steadily been phasing out the middle class.

  • Anonymous

    And in a country that has shipped out the bulk of its manufacturing jobs since the 1980s, we don’t even bother considering all those “fellow Americans” who are pushed out of the job market entirely.

  • Anonymous

    The pro-corporate right wing, in jaw-dropping hypocrisy, then lambasts Obama as being the ‘food stamp’ president while concurrently endorsing policies that perpetuate the very use of food stamps.

  • Anonymous

    ….Yes. The first step in admitting McDonald’s has problems. And it’s not just the food.

  • Justice4PortDrivers!

    This speaks to the very heart of the challenge the American workforce faces today. People work hard expecting to be able to provide for themselves withour assistance. Port truck drivers stand in solidarity with fast food workers who are organizing to earn a livable wage. For us, the large problem is that 80-90% of America’s Port truck drivers who transport goods to and from America’s ports, are misclassified. Employee misclassification is scam where port truck drivers are labeled as “independent contractors” even though they do the job of employees. This enables trucking companies to cheat taxes and other employer responsibilities, as well as push driving costs onto the drivers. After a week of work, a misclassified port truck driver may
    receive a paycheck of less than $0, actually owing a trucking company money,
    leading to the phrase “sharecroppers on wheels.” Workers are tired of being taken advantage of and have been organizing and supporting one another because we share of the goal of just wanting to work hard and support our families. With fast food companies exploiting their workers and scams like misclassification to be in play, it’s no wonder why the American workforce is struggling and our economy is slow to recover. Follow us @PortDriverUnion

  • http://www.aivtoronto.com/ Artists Innovators & Visionari

    I really don’t understand it. The fix to this is SO blindingly simple. With every dollar you spend at any of these places, you support everything they do. I do not agree with such places as McDonalds on a lot of levels. So therefore, I don’t spend my money there. I support the local “Ma & Pa” places in my local neighborhood. The local shawarma shop that opened up a couple years back. The local sushi shop run by one Japanese family. You get the idea. Also it creates a sense of real community. You get to know the family running the place you go regularly for food. They in turn treat you really well for coming back over and over, and bringing in new people. You choose what you support by what you buy. You can choose to support real people. Or you can choose to support a system of modern day slavery that has the side effect of serious health problems. This is the reality of a consumer based society. So stop being such ignorant consumers! YES…you have a choice. YES….you should use that freedom. All the big companies success is based on volume. When you stop giving them the volume in droves, they will go away pretty fast. Do I need to explain why they are still so successful?

  • dave

    Consumers have great power .. but sometimes the local mom and pop pay less than McDonald’s or Walmart….

  • Stewart Moore

    Judges are so corrupt now that they are going after the working poor to serve their rich masters.
    Workers who lost their jobs outsourced to slave labor countries and whose wages have gone down having to compete with cheap third world immigrants find themselves not able to pay their credit card debt. If they can get money for a lawyer to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will think the problem is solved.
    Not so. Judges are now allowing credit card banks to garnish poverty stricken, part time workers paychecks even though they had already filed for chapter 7 just because their lawyer did not list them on the list of predatory lenders. Both parties are owned by multinational corporate CEO’S that demand more immigrants to force your wages down and keep you afraid of your boss.

  • Annie

    Where are these people going to find a better paying job? Are you hiring?

  • Bob H.

    Imagine the boost – to our country’s morale, as well as the economy – if the wage-earners, presently scraping by at a survival level – carried with them “discretionary income” and the ability, after paying monthly bills, to shop, to consume – to spend money at, for example, restaurants, department stores, book stores, music performances, and/or depositing in savings accounts. What Capitalist could dislike that?

  • That Guy

    Lots to reply to.

    Again, I don’t know Nancy, but I don’t think it’s unfair for me to say that there is a possibility shes not a high performer, when I also said there’s a possibility she’s a great one, I don’t know, was simply making a point. However, I have come across plenty of employees who have been around for years with little to no work ethic, so it is possible. There has been a dramatic drop in McDonalds applicants over the past year, meaning many stores either keep the low performers for the sake of having bodies, or the people leading those stores just don’t have the balls to pull the trigger and cut them loose.

    To me it sounds like Nancy works for a privately owned store where the owner sets their own wages, and prices. I may be wrong, but they may not be required to give wage increases. My wife took a part time job at the mall to get out of the house. They told her straight up that she would never receive a raise unless minimum wage increased, and there was no opportunity for internal advancement. It sucks, but that’s their right I suppose.

    As for new stores, you have to understand that it’s a business. There is supply and demand, and with that comes the need for growth. If the company doesn’t build more stores, it can’t meet the demand of the increased customer flow. How many Starbucks do you have in your town? I have 5 within 8 minutes of my home, hell, two are in the mall. There’s 3 of the same big chain grocery stores within a 5 mile radius from my home. That’s how business works, you’re supposed to expand. Arguing that this is causing them to deflate their wages is inaccurate. If they had less stores, they would still pay the same.

    Your comments on labor control are correct. At times there is an absurd misuse of labor, and that falls on the management of those individual stores. Should it work like a constant well lubed machine? Yes, but it doesn’t. There’s always a new obstacle to over come, but that’s not JUST McDonalds, that’s everywhere. I’m sure every business has areas where profitability could be managed better. I don’t think that would result in the company offering higher starting wages though.

    McDonalds is a business, and the hotline is a benefit to the staff to help them in anyway they can. The hotline isn’t going to give me a raise, they don’t have that power, they’re simply going to direct me to the right people to help me overcome whatever issues someone may be going through. Never has the company said, “call this hotline and get yourself some welfare!”, that’s absurd.

    McDonald’s is controlled by the shareholders. It’s those who own the
    stocks that demand more money, and demand the company to bring it to
    them by any means necessary, and every year, they want more. That’s the
    reality of publicly traded businesses, it’s not just McDonalds. That’s sadly how big business runs…..everywhere.

    Lastly, is it really my employers fault if I can’t pay my bills?

    Doesn’t matter what the business is, that’s not their problem, that’s MY problem. I’m the one responsible to try to find a way to earn more, isn’t that what the American Dream is all about? If that means I have to get government assistance for a while, or pick up a part time, job, or take some online courses, or even start my OWN business, that’s on me. If it were easy, we’d all be millionaires. We all have our own obstacles to face in life. Pointing the finger and blaming someone else for the situation I may be in is stupid if I don’t do anything for myself to attempt to better the situation. That’s the overall point I’m trying to make.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Rosensweig/1713932137 Michael Rosensweig

    Capitalism is always touted as being good for everyone..show me..It is an ideology that has failed. Capitalists are the problem with capitalism. They are far too greedy to do this world any real good.. It needs to change. Get rid of all those big bonuses..No CEO gets any more then his salary..Investors are restricted to amount they receive. Once a company is up and running and making a profit, then the investors get their money back with limited return. Once that is done, they are out of the picture and the company is run by people who don’t sit around all day figuring out how to better rip off the public.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Let me address some of your points:

    1.) “There has been a dramatic drop in McDonalds applicants over the past
    year, meaning many stores either keep the low performers for the sake of
    having bodies, or the people leading those stores just don’t have the
    balls to pull the trigger and cut them loose.” The past YEAR? How would this explain that Nancy has worked for the past TEN years without a raise? It doesn’t. AND this statement also possibly indicates that folks are indeed fed up with working for sub-standard wages at fast-food outlets. Unfortunately, this comes too late for Nancy. She’s already invested ten years of her life into the industry.

    2.) “That’s how business works, you’re supposed to expand.” No…that is not necessarily so. Business works by supplying goods/services for which there is a demand. I can name off the top of my head at least a half-dozen businesses that tanked, or nearly tanked, after a meteoric debut in the market place, simply because they attempted to expand too quickly, either by trying to open too many new locations or by taking on too much debt by purchasing other entities to grow their “share” of the market. Mrs. Field’s, Linens ‘n’ Things, Circuit City, Borders, Wild Oats…even old standbys like Sears and KFC have been found themselves teetering on the edge of oblivion when they tried to “save themselves” through ill-advised expansion. The basic tenet of business is to supply the demand. Expansion becomes necessary when the ability to supply the demand becomes compromised. Unfortunately, many businesses in today’s marketplace use expansion as a gamble to attract shareholders with rosy projections of future earnings.Sometimes this pays off. Often, it doesn’t. And then consumers and employees are left holding the bag.

    3.) “I’m sure every business has areas where profitability could be managed better.” So am I. I’m also sure that a gigantic conglomerate like McDonald’s has more than enough resources to dedicate to working on that problem. But McD’s has been around a long time, and such companies have a tendency to place way too much value on the old maxim of “We’ve always done things this way.”

    4.) ” Never has the company said, “call this hotline and get yourself some welfare!”, that’s absurd.” Not so absurd. That’s exactly what the hotline is for. Why not be honest about it?

    5.) “McDonald’s is controlled by the shareholders. It’s those who own the stocks that demand more money, and demand the company to bring it to them by any means necessary, and every year, they want more. That’s the reality of publicly traded businesses, it’s not just McDonalds. That’s sadly how big business runs…..everywhere.” The point is, in this rampantly capitalistic society we have created, the human element has been downplayed to the point of non-existence. And that is really not okay. Contrary to what business believes or would have US believe, life is NOT all about the money.

    6.) “Lastly, is it really my employers fault if I can’t pay my bills? ” Let’s assume Nancy WAS able to pay her bills with the money she earned when she was first hired. In the ensuing ten years, we can assume her costs of living have gone up substantially, even if she has been living in the same place and doing the same things she has always done for the entire ten years. She still shows up and does her job. But her compensation has in effect DEcreased because it has not kept pace with her costs of living. How is that NOT her employer’s fault? Further, I suspect McDonald’s KNOWS it bears responsibility here, otherwise they would not have felt it necessary to develop this hotline to begin with.

    Clearly you have no idea what it’s like to be in Nancy’s shoes, and you have no desire to find out. You do a pretty good job of blaming the victim here, even though you keep claiming, “I don’t know Nancy and I don’t know why her situation is the way it is…” The playing field is NOT level, my friend. It’s very easy for those of us on the uphill side of it to disrespect those who are working as hard as they can just to keep from falling off the bottom. And we do a crackin’ good job of that, here in the good ole U S of A…

  • Lisa Raminiak

    I appreciate that you have worked hard, my friend. I appreciate that you have “brought yourself up by your own bootstraps,” so to speak. Congratulations. But the mere fact that you have been able to DO these things speaks volumes to me about that unlevel playing field I mentioned. Obviously, there are opportunities, wherever it is that you and your wife reside, AVAILABLE for you to take advantage of. And you have done so. Good for you!

    The unfortunate thing about people like you is you seem to have less empathy for the poor, because YOU had a hard life and YOU managed to fix it, so ANYBODY can and should do likewise. What you need to understand is that opportunities the like of which you have taken advantage don’t exist everywhere. Maybe Nancy is a single mother who is lucky to be able to carve out the time to work ONE full-time job and still have time to parent her children. Maybe Nancy lives in an area of the inner city where there ARE no “better jobs.” Maybe she would have to travel twenty or thirty miles to find better employment, and she doesn’t own a car, or the cost of the commute would negate any additional income she could make. Demographics and job availability aside, I’m pretty sure you have no
    idea what it is like to be a WOMAN trying to support a family. Maybe Nancy has been doing everything she could to try and hold things together, and called this help line as a last resort.

    The fact is, fast-food businesses are in a position where they can legally pay poverty wages to the people who work for them, and they take advantage of that situation to the hilt. With shareholders to satisfy on top of just making the business itself profitable enough to support an owner, costs have to be cut somewhere, and the employees get the shaft. It may not be the FAULT of McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, etc. that they can legally pay slave wages to their help. But they are as free to NOT indulge in that method as they are to do so. And yet, they choose to do so. So that SOMEbody can live in a nice home in a nice neighborhood and drive a Lexus, while pointing their underpaid workers in the direction of federal benefits. Is that fair? Who knows? Is that ethical? Absolutely not.

  • Valerie Etter

    Too many Capitalists as they continue to behave in the fashion that they do. Right-to-work laws need to disappear and the people must force the government to hear them that it is time to return unions or else.

  • Valerie Etter

    Based on what research … where are your statistics to support this claim? Are you saying you support corporate greed over small business America???

  • Valerie Etter

    Ready for unions to return!

  • Valerie Etter

    That is why collective action must take place all across America while working with progressive political leaders. No time like the present.

  • Valerie Etter

    You are incorrect. The politicians “representing” our country are a result of gerrymandering from 2010 when the Tea Partyers rode in on white stallions to save the country. Repugs changed so many districts across this country that even though 1.4 more Americans voted for Dems and Progressives in this country, districts were so sleighed toward Tea Partyers, the Tea Partyers won the House of Representatives which is not a true presentation of Democracy. Remember that the majority of the will of the people did not happen thanks to the gerrymandering of the Repugs in 2010.

  • Valerie Etter

    DHF – we do have choices. We must organize like those brave souls from the mid-20th century. We are just as brave. We should not take exploitation lying down. Ensure that everyone gets to vote their conscience for themselves and their loved ones. Educate those that do not know. Make phone calls, knock on doors, finance progressive candidates, work for them. We don’t have to accept these current terms at all. Let’s begin the good fight against what is reminiscent of this country back in the 1910′s and 1920′s. Look what the Capitalisst did us back then. The Great Depression. We shall not repeat this, we are much smarter now.

  • Valerie Etter

    Let’s push those in Washington to support Head Start and pre-K. This can stop ignorance now against the wealthy corporatists!

  • Valerie Etter

    Let’s face it, we have to shop very specifically at franchises for very specific reasons. Boycotting Walmart and McDonalds is a good start.

  • Valerie Etter

    We’ll need regulations to get that done realistically. That is why we must get out the vote.

  • Valerie Etter

    You speak in defeatist language as if this not worth working hard for. Select a local progressive candidate and work your heart out for them. This is worth the fight for the soul of most Americans, including yourself.

  • Valerie Etter

    Admittedly, I made it through 50 – 60% of your monologue. You have lost touch with the front line workers making full-time salaries of $16k yearly with no good health insurance in sight. You have placed on rose-colored glasses because you feel as though you have MADE IT because you can support your wife and child. You go down to the bottom again, visit the front line workers, live off of their wages for one month and then come back to the remainder of us and honestly answer our questions of what you discovered. Tell me one thing right now, Fantasy Dreamer, why are so many 10′s of millions of full-time McDonald’s workers having to be on Medicaid and Food Stamps. Because you corporatists propagandists have no scruples once you have made some promotions and have removed yourselves away from real world. When do we the taxpayers have to bail you out so that you can make your corporate millions while most of the workers live in poverty and qualify for taxpayer paid safety net programs. Shame on you!

  • Valerie Etter

    You are on a fool’s errand. We as Americans deserve much greater respect as working folks to have higher wages for working full-time and receiving sick day, holidays, and health insurance and NOT depending on taxpayers to feed them or insure them. The corporation must do that, this is their primary responsibility. You need to work on getting rid of the shareholders and allow the workers to invest as shareholders into your company. But no! You don’t want something that looks like a drastic “union”, you’d rather lie and dance to the tunes of wealthy elitists called shareholders in which you must meet their demands. This sucks all over! And I am embarrassed for you that you would hold such an argument to excuse your corporation! You have definitely sold your soul to America’s enemy. “I may be in stupid if I don’t do anything myself to attempt to better the situation.” Try being a mid-30′s year single mother of 2 children who she dreams of her children completing high school and by a distant dream attend higher education. When does she have the time by working 2 jobs and still being on welfare to have the opportunity “to better the situation”. God, I have never met you but I can’t stand you already!

  • Valerie Etter

    Your eyes are turning more deep brown by the moment by your bs. Stop defending yourself as there is no defense for you. Your wife worked part-time in the mall for extra income, not for needed income. You need to step down and revisit the front line workers and live off of their lifestyles for one month, and then you might have a position to argue from. As for right now, you are a loud clashing cymbal that does not resonate with love and compassion for those of the workers that help support your lifestyle by their working slave experiences. They matter much more than you ever could, until you step into their shoes. “You appreciate the debate” while McDonald’s workers are going hungry during the interim. Again, shame on you!

  • Valerie Etter

    Read Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle”. Maybe you can begin to get a fighting spirit within you to fight the oppressors.

  • Valerie Etter

    The 1% have already woken up and they like what they are benefitting from. It is the 99% who must stop drowning in beer and hee-haw football games, get off their rears and organize to march on Washington and their state capitols. Don’t ever rely on the 1%; they are profiting magnificently!

  • Valerie Etter

    After 10 years of working very hard for a company like McDonalds (and that work is hard), she should be paid affordable living wages of at least $15 hourly with full benefits. Why should she have to grasp for higher learning especially at a McDonalds? Maybe there are still blue collar workers who are satisfied with their hard work, that does not deny them from living wages and healthy benefits. They deserve it for the many years of dogged hard work for the company. It is the company that has let the workers down, not vice-versa. Stop blaming the victim. Tired of it, and it is going to turn against conservatives like yourself.

  • Valerie Etter

    This needs to change, DHF. Stop the dooms-Sayers language, please and do something.

  • Valerie Etter

    Not a “champion” farewell, but a “big fat-a## buffoon” farewell. Good riddings to utter and complete evil.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    I don’t think this has been a “witch hunt” at McDonald’s expense. I think that many of us see this as just another example of how the “good jobs” have gone away from our economy, and what is left is service industry jobs where a large part of the business plan has always been to pay workers as little as possible. It didn’t used to matter, say, forty years ago when I first started working in food service. I understood what the parameters were when I started, and I GOT that the pay was lousy, the work was hard and there were no benefits. But because mine was generally the second income of our household, those things didn’t matter to me, and I accepted the reality of the industry with the job. As you say, there ARE perks in working in food that are not necessarily good pay or paid vacations or insurance. There were many times when the food I was able to get for free or half-price at the places i worked saved us money to make car or house payments. And there were always plenty of jobs, and I never had trouble finding work. But I’m afraid we’ve gone beyond the place where those perks could make a tangible difference for a person trying to use fast-food wages as the primary income for her family.

    Now, however, that our economy has shifted so heavily toward a “service economy,” and service jobs are often all that are available in some demographics, it has become a problem that service jobs don’t pay living wages. What we who come here to make comments in support of Nancy object to is that the people who are screaming about “entitlements” and the “lazy” poor soaking up so much of our tax money are often the same ones that will come here and make comments like, “Nancy is NOT a victim, and she just needs to work harder/be smarter/figure out a way to make ends meet.” These people hate the poor for being on welfare. And they disdain them when they work yet still can’t make enough money to live because employers are not required to PAY them living wages. I don’t think YOU are one of these hard-edged, “I Got Mine” idiots, but still, I have to ask you–What are the poor supposed to do, when they’re damned if they don’t, and damned if they do?????

    McDonald’s and fast food restaurants are not the only employers guilty of taking advantage of the fact that they can pay their workers less because they can count on their employees being supplemented with government benefits. Walmart is the biggest offender in this regard–don’t get me started on Walmart.

    My feeling is that if a business plan does not allow for paying employees a living wage, then the business plan is faulty, and the business should not BE in business. And perhaps the country would be better off if companies like McDonald’s and Walmart were NOT in business–at least not to the market-dominating extent that they are. How much do we REALLY need cheap, fatty food and cheap, poorly made imported merchandise? And how much do we really need huge corporations that serve mostly to increase the divide between the “haves” and the “have nots?” At the very least, the government should quit subsidizing these mega-corporations, and force them to come up with a viable, ethical business plan that provides for an adequately compensated workforce AND profits for the business owner. I’m sure big business could figure out how to function within ethical parameters if we MADE them…

  • Allen

    Not every community has the local mom and pop to go to. The community I live has very few mom and pop shops. The ones we do have, I shop at; however, we only have large chains like McDonalds.

  • Andrew

    Valerie, based on what research? I don’t see Dave saying anywhere in his two-line comment that he “supports corporate greed over small business America”. Where are the sources to support this claim?

  • SoTiredofAllThisWhining

    Front-line jobs running a cash register or a fry machine at places like McDonald’s and Walmart are basically unskilled labor. They are not meant to be full-time jobs that support a family. These are jobs that are best left to teens, college kids, moms who just want to get out of the house a few days a week, and retirees looking for a little extra spending money. It’s sad that there are many people doing these jobs and trying to support a family. It’s also sad that many of these individuals made horrible life choices at a young age – like dropping out of school, getting pregnant as a teen, etc. – and are now paying for those poor decisions for the rest of their lives (just like their parents, teachers, etc. told them they would). Don’t like the wages at McD’s? Don’t work there.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Oh dear…I was wrong. You ARE one of those “I Got Mine” idiots who disdain the poor no matter what they do. And a union hater to boot.

    We so often forget that unions came into existence because unethical employers were allowed to do EXACTLY the kind of things that are happening to Nancy and others in the food service and retail industries. The unfortunate part of this equation is that employers WILL treat employees as poorly as they can get away with, and when you combine that tendency with the 21st-century American economic reality that retail and fast food jobs are increasingly all that are available in many areas, you have the components of the scenario you see here. I see it as kind of a “Norma Rae” moment in the American service industry, and it comes not a moment too soon.

    I don’t know where you got your “information” about Nancy, her situation and this video, but by posting it here you have kind of shot your own arguments in the foot. Nancy is real, her story is true (and it doesn’t matter that she works for a franchisee–McDonald’s name is on the door!) and the help line she called truly does exist. Why shouldn’t she become a union activist? At this point, she’s not just trying to help herself get more money. She’s speaking out to help ALL the “Nancys” out of the situation they are trapped in. People like you–the “I Got Mine” folks–have no comprehension or appreciation for someone working to improve the lives of OTHERS. All it means to you is that they’re wasting time that could be used to help themselves. Tsk!

    You can hate on unions all you want, but if employers would treat employees fairly without being “coerced” by unions to do so, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

  • Anonymous

    ” Pointing the finger and blaming someone else for the situation I may be in is stupid if I don’t do anything for myself to attempt to better the situation.”

    In this case, going to the press and trying to change the employment environment IS an attempt to better the situation. Bravo to her for speaking up, and making people aware of the exploitation! If we all work together, we CAN better the situation.

  • Poe Lou Chan

    Biz 101: Ages ago after 6 months at first job as dishwasher I asked for the 25 cent raise mentioned when hired. Boss laughed and said ‘We don’t give dishwasher’s raises, we just get a new dishwasher.”

  • Mark

    If we start paying these guys higher wages it’ll inflate everything… A quarter pounder will soon cost 12 dollars.. Tell them to go to school… These types of jobs were never meant to be supporting children and full families…

  • David

    Too bad the average age of a minimum wage worker is 30 so that doesn’t quite fit your ideal fast food worker. I’m sure working at McDonald’s isn’t their ideal job either but when you have bills and other mouths to feed you do what you need to get by.

  • That Guy

    Think whatever you want about me, at this point, I simply do not care.

    There are pros and cons to Unions, personally never having worked in one I don’t know if it would be better. From what I’ve read, it doesn’t sound like something I would personally want to be a part of, but that’s just me.

    My problem is with the Fight for 15 campaign specifically. This isn’t their only video, there are two others, I believe you even made a comment on the discussion board of their you tube page. I watched those videos, and the things claimed in there are either misleading, false, or uninformed. These people are using this girl to promote an agenda based off of lies. I doubt it was Nancys idea to go protest the President of McDonalds speech. I imagine it was the idea of the FF15 guys, which ultimately got her arrested. Her store is privately owned! If she wants to protest someone, protest the real bad guys in this situation, he GM, her Supervisor, and ultimately the guy who OWNS the store she works at! That’s something I could probably get on board with. That’s not the route they went though. They spread false information and used this person as a patsy for their personal agenda. That is why I cannot have an ounce of respect, or support for the FF15 campaign. If any of that is incorrect, by all means show me the evidence.

    Nancys situation is not the same as every single McDonalds employee. Nancy just has a really crappy owner. She claims she loves her job. She has the right and power to transfer to a corporate store, or even a better franchise store, with a different owner, where she could get more money, regular raises, and an opportunity to move up. Those are facts. So, with so many options out there that she is choosing to ignore, why should I feel sympathy for her?

    I didn’t realize adults are supposed to be coddled by society.

    Feel free to follow up on the information I’m discussing. I found the FF15 FB page from the you tube channel. From there I googled FF15, read the multiple stories about Nancy Delgado (most of which are the exact same story). Found what I think is called Real World News, who did an interview with Nancy. I also read interviews from the reps behind FF15, their success rate, etc. Lastly, for my own information, I read up on Unions in general, both for and against.

    Keep trying to pass me off as the uncaring bad guy. I know who I am, and defend what I believe. I’ll hear out an opposing view, but I will not support a campaign like this.

  • Pamela Drapala

    I will boycott McDonalds 4ever. They need to grow up and stop being so greedy.

  • Teri Towse

    If you are working for the worlds largest retailer full time or the largest hamburger chain full time the point that it isn’t meant to be a full time job with benefits is not the issue. These corporations have made certain the manufacturing jobs have been sent to China and India. These corporations have purchased the government to make certain they are entitled to exploit our country and have stolen not only our human resources but have tax havens to avoid paying their fair share of taxes and use our tax dollars to fund their employees healthcare and ironically food stamps. Both corporations should be brought up on charges, fined, and dismantled with CEO’s and stockholders imprisoned. Yeah, I am generous. China would cut off their heads.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Yeah…let’s tell them to go to school, with money they don’t have, so that they can have a DEGREE and be flipping burgers. Yeah. School is the answer to everything.

  • Guest

    Their labour policies are as disgusting as their, unhealthy to the economy & the body.

  • Anonymous

    Their labour policies are as disgusting as their food, unhealthy to the economy & the body.

  • Joseph Covelle

    I am impressed with most of everyone’s comments. I am glad that people are standing up for what is right. Corporations don’t have souls individuals do. The individuals that run McDonald’s and 95% of all other corporations have no souls either. The human soul is not good for corporate consumption. Corporations want as a direct line as possible to the money in their customers pockets. Its the vacuum effect. The more money that they make the more that their stock price goes up. The more money they make the bigger the dividend they pay out to the investors. The more money Wall Street gets the happier management is because they get better salaries, bonuses and stock options. The more the 1% get the less everyone else gets. It’s a circle of greed.
    .

  • Nadine Gizak

    “In 1968, the minimum wage was $1.60/hour. In order to have the same buying power today, the minimum wage would need to be $10.74.”

    a better measure is the living wage. http://livingwage.mit.edu/

  • http://twitter.com/gbanker2 Art Thornhill

    McDonalds sells 4500 cheese burgers a minute which is 270,00 per hour which at .10 cent increase in price comes $27000 per hour in additional revenue (assuming the math is correct) . McDonalds has 670,000 employees so do the math on how much increase in salary each employee would get with a .10 cent increase in price. Now see what a $15 minimum wage might mean to some of the workers..unemployment. The solution is not that simple unless you want to pay a whole lot more.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/talking-numbers/15-hour-wage-mean-mcdonald-170436977.html

  • http://twitter.com/gbanker2 Art Thornhill
  • http://www.aivtoronto.com/ Artists Innovators & Visionari

    I was really just giving a general lay of the land with what I was saying. A mindset so to speak. Not everyone is going to have the same options everywhere. The point is to keep it in mind & always do what you can. More importantly, keep in mind where your money goes and what’s behind it. My Mother used to tell me constantly growing up, “you vote with your feet and your wallet primarily”. As I get older, I see just how accurate that simple statement is.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Yeah…everybody who works at McDonald’s is a drop-out, drug addict, or teenage single mother. NOT. You people just don’t GET that many of our living-wage middle class jobs have been shipped overseas, and what is left are jobs in the service industry. In many places, THERE ARE NO OTHER JOBS. If our economy is going to be a “service economy” because we have let big corporations ship the GOOD jobs to India and China, the service industry has to start paying a living wage. Period.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Maybe we DO want to pay a whole lot more. Maybe we DON’T want cheap, unhealthy food served up by underpaid workers who now also have to EAT it because it’s all they can afford. It is a vicious circle and it needs to be ended.

  • Valerie

    It’s not just fast food that pays minimum, or just over minimum wage. I worked at Macy’s over Christmas last year and was paid $7.50 an hour. I didn’t even work full-time hours, it was a temporary job for the holidays and it was the only job I had because I lost my job in May of 2012. I’m still not working and I’ve applied there for Christmas again this year. I loved the people I worked with at Macy’s, just wish it would pay more because what I’m getting in unemployment isn’t paying my bills.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    At one Fight for Fifteen strike, the workers presented a letter to the management of a Chicago McDonald’s restaurant. The letter read, in part: “The hard-working employees at your location ask that you make the
    following changes immediately: 1) Stop requiring employees to pay
    out-of-pocket if their cash registers are short 2) Show respect to your
    employees — less shouting and insulting language. 3) Air conditioning
    in the kitchen 4) Permit employees to drink water when the kitchen gets
    too hot. 5) Give raises and provide living wages 6) Stop requiring
    employees to pay out-of-pocket for food that is returned by customers.” These are some pretty unreasonable demands, don’t you think?

    If folks have to make requests like this of an employer bearing the name of one of the largest corporations in the world, I think it’s obvious that they NEED a union. Obviously, bad pay is not the only crap they have to put up with…

  • http://twitter.com/gbanker2 Art Thornhill

    Lisa are you the same person who runs the Old Town Cafe & Expresso in Scapposse, OR? If so would you mind sharing what you pay your staff? In any case you are certainly are one active liberal activist which explains your position on minimum wages without regard for unintended consequences.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    So…you have google skills…
    We closed the restaurant in 2011. Staff were hired at Oregon minimum wage (which, I believe, was $8.50/hr in 2011) or higher, depending on experience/responsibilities. We had employees making from minimum to $13/hr. And we had a tip pool which added $2-$3 per hour to their pay each week. We had a generous free meal policy and offered flexible scheduling based upon what our employees wanted/needed to work. No one got rich working for us, but we did our best to compensate our employees the best we could.

    And, oh…by the way. One of the reasons we closed the restaurant was that in five years, I took less than $5000 in salary. My husband took none. And we banked no profits. We paid our bills, paid our help, met our commitments and walked away with our heads held high and a $40,000 second mortgage on our home on which we are paying still. Not that it’s any of your business

  • zat759

    Never under estimate the power of money. It makes many a good person bad and bad person’s even worse. The statement made by an old philosopher; “KILL ALL THE LAWYERS” , points to the root of the problems we have in most areas in our financial lives. We are hostages of laws we did not ask the Law makers to make. They protect big money corporations, stymy small business and re leave us of true investment power and a fair chance at financial security. the lure of cheap prices for our consumables stops use from doing anything about the injustice it creates. Just as I am doing here, talk but no action.

  • Anonymous

    What about this:

    If your business isn’t viable without subsidies (& unmonetized externalities—a kind of subsidy), then maybe you don’t have a business. Or (since corporations hold public charters), maybe you shouldn’t have one.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    In Australia the minimum wage is $15.96 an hour and a Big Mac costs 6 cents more than in does here in the U.S. We are so sorry you can’t afford an extra 6 cents so other people won’t go hungry.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    In Australia the minimum wage is $15.96 an hour and a Big Mac cost 6 cents more there than it does here. We are very sorry if you will have to cut back on Big Mac consumption. Perhaps you could switch to some brain food in order to combat your independent thought loss. Because clearly you will believe anything you are told by big business.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    Tired of saying this, but if the corporations hadn’t shipped the real jobs overseas no one would be working at McDonalds. You talk like getting a job is super easy. In some places in the United States it is nearly impossible. Even teen agers deserve a fair wage, but the average age of a McDonald’s employee is 29. In Australia where the minimum wage is $15.96 a Big Mac costs 6 cents more than it does here. I would never actually Eat a Big Mac, but if I did I don’t think 6 cents would stop me. You are selfish, ignorant, and thoughtless. Get empathy.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    They already run their restaurants with less people than can actually manage the work so they would not be able to cut any workers, nor would they need to.

  • Paul the Fossil

    I truly don’t get the logic of this meme, which is also often deployed as a criticism of Walmart and of Target. Are we saying that federal assistance programs are supposed to be only for those who don’t have jobs? Are we thinking that such welfare programs haven’t in every society including this one always been accessed by millions of people who also were doing work for wages? Are we criticizing the McDonald’s staffer for trying to help the worker get assistance to which she and her children are entitled?

    Are we imagining that the absence of those federal assistance programs
    would force low-wage/low-margin employers like McDonald’s to raise their prices and in turn increase the wages they pay? Well gosh let’s take a glance at the wages which such employers pay in societies that don’t have those welfare entitlement programs….! (Not to mention in this society in past eras.)

    “The cost of public assistance to families of workers in the fast-food industry is nearly $7 billion per year.” — Hmm, well $7 billion is actually pretty much a rounding error from either perspective, either the annual cost of those federal programs or the annual payroll of McDonald’s. Also it might be instructive to examine how much tax revenue McDonald’s _generates_ per year including sales taxes, property taxes, the employer’s payroll taxes which directly help pay for those entitlement programs…but in any case what exactly is the point of the factoid?

    “Low-wage employers are in turn keeping the cost of their products artificially
    low by socializing a chunk of their labor expenses.” Of course by this logic _every_ employer in the entire country, and in every other OECD country, is “socializing a chunk of their labor expenses”. So? That is a deliberate choice of those societies and it is a progressive choice…and actually the cost to taxpayers from “basics like food, shelter and health care” is _higher_ per fulltime wage-earning worker in say Sweden or France. So are we going to blast those Swedish and French employers for “keeping the cost of their products artificially low” by socializing an even-larger chunk of “their labor expenses” than does McDonald’s?

    Makes no sense.

  • Jude Hislop

    Makes no sense…for you. The examples you give make no sense.

  • Alice Wonder

    They now have machines that can make a burger on demand including fresh cutting of the ingredients etc. – it is estimated that at current wages, the machines will pay for themselves in a year.

    What do you think will happen if wages double? We’ll see a lot more people unemployed and a lot more machines making the burgers. But they generally come out better, so it isn’t all bad.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Of course you “Don’t understand the logic” of this meme. You came here with a bunch of intelligent sounding “facts” and unintelligible opinions ($7 billion is a “rounding error?” What does THAT mean, exactly…?) Are you one of those paid Fox commenters we hear tell about?

    Your sneaky little figures about Sweden and France include, I’m sure, the cost of socialized health care as the bulk of that _higher_ cost to taxpayers. We aren’t talking about socialized health care costs for workers here (yet.) We’re still trying to get McD’s to pay their workers enough to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table and obtain medical care as it IS currently available in the US (and we all know the “medical care” part of this equation is probably the highest single cost anyone faces in the US.)

    “Are we criticizing the McDonald’s staffer for trying to help the worker
    get assistance to which she and her children are entitled?” Nobody is criticizing the staffer or the information she dispenses. We’re criticizing McDonald’s blatant declaration that any full-time employee needing to support a family is going to need federal assistance programs in order to do that on what McDonald’s is willing to pay.

    Your insinuation is that we begrudge Nancy the benefits to which she is entitled. But we who come here to comment on Nancy’s side of the debate are not saying that, and you know it. Unfortunately, many of the folks who come here to argue the opposite viewpoint WOULD say exactly that. They are the same people who leave comments on posts about welfare reform, to the effect all people who access federal assistance programs are lazy shiftless drug addicts who drive Escalades and buy steak and lobster with their food stamps. Then they come here and argue that gigantic, uber-profitable entities like McDonald’s and Walmart shouldn’t be burdened with the cost of actually paying their employees a living wage. They cry that a decent minimum wage would be the end of life as we know it. They basically say to the poor, “We spit on you if you don’t work, and we spit on you if you do.”

    WE would like to see our national policies reflect that, as a society, we are better than that.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    …if they “have machines that can make a burger on demand,” they’re going to fire people whether people’s wages double or not. And if you think that burgers cranked out by machines aren’t “all bad,” you are welcome to them.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Folks like you always claim that profits are good because they CAN be re-invested into the economy. When is that going to happen, exactly?

    “I’m sure you’re an investors (sic) too.” Oh, yes! 401k’s and retirement accounts have replaced traditional pensions over the past thirty years as a way to send even more money in the direction of the 2%: They force employees to invest THEIR OWN money into retirement plans if they want any hope of an income beyond social security (which is relentlessly attacked by Big Business) when they retire, and subsequently force us to become “players” in the stock market when those monies are invested. I would prefer NOT to play that game, but I have not been given a choice.

  • Deliboy

    Well done Lisa.

  • Paul the Fossil

    So to sum up your post: there is no actual logic involved here, it’s just the usual Fox News-caliber mix of ad hominem attacks, straw men and reactionary rhetoric. Sigh…wish I was surprised.

  • Paul the Fossil

    Um, “first thing we do is kill all the lawyers” was actually coined to make exactly the opposite point. ”The first thing we do, let’s kill all the
    lawyers,” is uttered by a character named Dick the Butcher in ”Henry VI,” Part II, act
    IV, Scene II, Line 73. Dick the Butcher was a follower of the rebel Jack
    Cade, who thought that if he disturbed law and order, he could become
    king. In other words that “old philosopher” Shakespeare was saying that becoming a despot would be easier if there were no lawyers.

    To which I (not a lawyer just for the record) would add that many, many of the greatest progressive advances of our time have been and continue to be enabled by the fact that we are a society ruled by lawyers.

  • Paul the Fossil

    Actually in Australia that minimum wage applies only to employers that have not reached an “enterprise agreement” with the government. All large employers do reach those agreements and they can allow much lower hourly wages than the minimum. In McDonald’s case the hourly wage for workers age 21 and over is more than $17/hour and then it gets much lower as they are younger. E.g. McDonald’s restaurants in Australia pay 15- to 17-year olds $7 to $8 per hour. So the fast-food franchisees there have a huge incentive to hire teenagers ahead of adults. (I wondered whether that may actually be an intentional policy choice, to promote youth employment?)

  • Paul the Fossil

    Actually in Australia that minimum wage applies only to employers that have not reached an “enterprise agreement” with the government. All
    large employers do reach those agreements and they can allow much lower hourly wages than the minimum. In McDonald’s case the hourly wage for workers age 21 and over is more than $17/hour and then it gets much lower as they are younger. E.g. McDonald’s restaurants in Australia pay 15- to 17-year olds $7 to $8 per hour. So the fast-food franchisees there have a huge incentive to hire teenagers ahead of adults.

  • Paul the Fossil

    Sounds like you absolutely should be holding your head high — you and your husband are the sort of entrepreneurs which are this society’s greatest strength. I hope you decide to give it another go as we need all the folks like you that we can get.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    So to sum up your comment: “I’m going to use big words to make everybody think I’m highly educated, and as such, I wished to come here and engage in irrelevant debate on abstract concepts. But nobody took the bait, so I’m going to pack up my thesaurus and my Advanced Economics textbook and go home.”

    Sigh…wish I was surprised.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    But, you know what Paul? The reason we had to close was that we were not able to compete in the marketplace. We were not able to purchase goods at the same prices as large chain restaurants.

    We were constantly dropped by purveyors–from our bread supplier to our dairy suppler to our liquor supplier– because our account was “too small” to bother with.

    We dealt with erratic costs/availability on everything from coffee to beef to canned pumpkin, due to the “new” practice of investors speculating in food products to make a quick buck (remember the 2008 rice “shortage”?)

    The economy tanked halfway into our tenure as restaurant owners, and we literally hung on by our fingernails until our five-year lease expired and we were able close our doors and liquidate.

    What we are (were) Paul, was exactly the sort of entrepreneurs that the business climate in the US–the climate that panders to the biggest of the big at the expense of everyone else–is causing to rapidly become extinct. WE are the ones driven OUT of business by the McDonalds and the Walmarts and the Home Depots, and the big banks who monkey with investments schemes that nearly ruin the global economy, but definitely result in drying up the stream of revenue that small businesses need to grow, or, indeed, survive.

    If you want us to be “this society’s greatest strength,” then “this society” needs to do something to curb the rampant growth of huge corporations and help us to remain competitive in our own small markets.

  • Jon

    Back in the 80′s and 90′s one of the arguments for exporting our low wage jobs was that economic efficiency would increase the net wealth in society and that we could use that excess wealth to support and prepare our unskilled workers for the future. It partially worked. We increased societal wealth, but it aggregated only to the wealthy. Rather than tax that excess wealth, we lowered their taxes and cut benefits to the poor. So now we are in a situation where a government, starved for revenue, complains about unskilled labor needing federal assistance.

  • Paul the Fossil

    Heh! Now that’s not bad, well played.

    (Though if anything I wrote there strikes you as either “abstract concepts” or “advanced” economics, well…yea we’re probably not ever going to be able to truly converse.)

  • Paul the Fossil

    I feel you Lisa, truly I do. I hear your frustration and appreciate it from firsthand experience. I’ve been the person meeting a small payroll more than once, including right at the moment actually, and including one case which ended just as painfully as is possible. [If you've never been the guy who had to sit down with bankruptcy attorneys and figure out how much damage your personal credit rating and family finances were going to take from parceling out some pitiful fractions of wages owed to a dozen people who you considered to be dear friends as well as employees, well...try to avoid it.]

    That experience did do one good thing for me though, it was as mother used to say a learning experience. In particular it left behind a burning focus on objective fact as the only basis for forming conclusions about the economics of the world we live in. Eyes wide open for good and/or ill.

    So for example while it absolutely does feel from down here as if the largest companies (who are indeed mostly corporations) in the U.S. have been rampantly growing as a share of our economy that isn’t particularly accurate. The Census Bureau collects that data very thoroughly and they report that employers having at least 500 employees accounted as of the early 1990s for about 47% of all private-sector jobs; today the same percentage is about 51%. Mid-sized employers (100 to 499 jobs) have held steady as a share of national employment as have smaller employers (20 to 99 jobs).

    This means that the smallest enterprises (under 20 employees) have indeed shrunk as a fraction of national employment, but only slightly. The share of our economy represented by the medium-to-big has been rising but only slightly, and the small-to-medium sector is holding its own. (The feds report that the onset of the recession did not altered those long-term trends particularly. And that rings true when we remember that the banking/finance sector alone shrunk by a million jobs most of those coming from the implosions of a bunch of very-large corporations, etc.)

  • Lisa Raminiak

    The problem with census statistics, Paul, is that they are snap-shots. They deal with the CONCEPT of small business, not the reality. Are these “smallest enterprises” that represent the concept in 2012′s snapshot the same ones that existed in 2011′s? Or 2013′s? Maybe we had 50,000 “smallest” businesses in 2013, but only 10,000 of these were part of that figure last year. The other 40,000 have gone OUT of business and been replaced by 40,000 DIFFERENT crazy-ass folks who have decided to gamble on this theory that “small business is the heart the American economy and will be at the heart of the recovery.” This is not by any means an indication that the smallest businesses are alive and thriving in America. It simply indicates that the revolving door is well-oiled and functioning at high capacity.

    What MY experience has taught me is a fanatic distrust for “facts.” Oh, OBJECTIVE facts would be nice, Paul. They would be excellent! Invaluable! More precious than gold! But THEY DON’T EXIST. I challenge you to PROVE that any fact that you cite here, or anywhere, EVER, has not been spun, twisted, mutilated, taken out of context, or politically bastardized. Not necessarily by YOU, but by any source you have chosen to believe.

    I have learned that there are all sorts of sources out there disseminating “facts” to the public–a public that would sooner believe these sources than their own experience. People WANT to hear that God is in his heaven and all is right with the world, and are more than happy to believe it if that is what some “reliable source” tells them– even if the seas are boiling, the mountains are crashing into the sea and the dead are rising from the grave before their very eyes.

    So I tend to rely heavily on my own experience to judge the veracity of “facts,” rather than relying upon “facts” to inform my experience.

  • mnmomma

    The work of raising and supporting children financially falls on the shoulders of women in single parent households. Women remain stuck in the cycle of poverty when they have multiple barriers: lack of affordable childcare, access to jobs, transportation, community resources, and medical benefits. Women often only have access to low paying jobs. They must choose between work and caring for their children. In order to remedy this child care should be universal and available at no cost for all working mothers.

  • Paul the Fossil

    Well gosh Lisa…yikes. Don’t think I’m actually qualified to respond to that overall.

    I’ll just offer one more thought: total agreement that “any fact that you cite here, or anywhere, EVER, has been spun,
    twisted, mutilated, taken out of context, or politically bastardized.” Couldn’t agree more. It doesn’t actually have anything to do though with the usefulness of the hard data. You’ll notice that I didn’t quote any filtering or spinning of the hard data but rather just some original unfiltered facts.

    That is in my life experience the only way to go. Our echomedia, our politicians, etc are never ever trustworthy sources for any hard conclusions about the world we live in; that’s why I now take seriously facts only directly from provably careful and nonpoliticized sources such as the Census Bureau. (“Skepticism is a process not a position” as the saying goes.)

    The good news is that nowadays it’s easier than ever before in history to bypass the spinners and framers and reach our own conclusions direct from the source. [e.g. there's no reason anymore to ever reach conclusions about Supreme Court decisions from any source other than reading the Supreme Court's decisions which are always instantly posted online without any editing. Many other examples on diverse topics are now out there and more coming every day.] The tough thing though is that the radical democratizing of hard original information which we are now living through is only as useful or relevant to us as we allow it to be. We have to be willing to have our eyes and minds truly open to where the unfiltered facts lead even when the answer doesn’t turn out to be what we always thought. (Which often suuucks….!)

    It also means forcing ourselves to move past anecdote and impression and the “eye test”. And that’s hard. Damned hard because we are impressionistic and emotional critters by nature — I am, you are, we all are. So this approach doesn’t come naturally, not at all! Sure as hell doesn’t for me anyway and I’ve never met a non-autistic person for whom it did…but if we can get ourselves to that place at least a lot of the time it’s a great place to be. It’s an approach which has never — truly literally never — before been at all practical at the everyday level for average people in any complex society. No humans have ever before been so empowered to tune out the noise which you so well described and hone in the signal. It’s a change that’s worth the effort to take advantage of.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Well, no, Paul, you DIDN’T quote any filtering or spinning of the facts. You took things you judged to BE facts and then filtered and spun them here for us, in order to back up your OPINION. Which you seem to unshakably believe is THE correct opinion, since you have researched all these facts. You are welcome to your opinion. Just don’t confuse your OPINION with the facts you used to form it.

    And why, exactly, is it important to “move past anecdote?” All the “facts” in the world mean nothing if I cannot test them through experience. This is why, in an earlier comment, I accused you of coming here to argue abstracts. Inhabiting a world of “facts” alone is no more useful than inhabiting a fantasy world. Without practical application, the results are the same.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Yes, this owner sucks if he is allowed to get away with these things. But evidently he IS allowed to get away with these things. And has been for at least the ten years that Nancy has worked for him. And since McDonald’s name is on the front door, it would seem that McDonald’s does not do a very good job of policing its franchisees.

    For one who has never worked for a union, you seem to have a lot of knowledge/opinions about what unions are and what they do. You’ve chosen to use examples of businesses you claim are unionized, but who don’t seem to be treating employees any better than union shops.

    Starting wage is not the only place where unionization can positively impact workers. Most unions negotiate contracts that include benefits like health insurance, vacation/sick time, yearly COLA wage increases (if Nancy had been getting 3% COLA’s each year, she would be making over $11/hr by now even if she never received a merit raise.) They also negotiate things like working conditions–those pesky air conditioners you mentioned. (And, btw, in Oregon, employees working with food are allowed by the health department to have drinks at their stations. as long as the drink is covered to prevent spillage. So not allowing people in a hot kitchen to drink water is NOT a universal health department decree…)

    I’m all for “personal accountability,” but I think maybe it’s the business owner here. and McDonald’s, who are demonstrating a dangerous lack of THAT particular commodity…

  • Deborah Marshall

    No you did not just state say that it is the Presidents fault for all the greed going on let’s look back shall we and see whom it started with lets say about 40 years ago with a Republican President who got the ball rolling on all this by letting lobbiests filter money into politics essentially congress because they wanted their interests heard so they bought and sold congress then the Supreme Court followed it up by saying that Corporations such as McDonalds are people too well this is why we are in the mess that we are in now because of greed not because of President Obama you should be ashamed of yourself for blaming him. Not his fault it is the fault of the man at the top of the corporation that is allowing this to happen. And by the way it is not a handout or entitlement to get food stamps or to get unemployment you pay into it by working for it you may want to get an education I noticed that you have a few spelling and grammar errors. You are truly backwards on your thinking.

  • James Lesley Jones

    Simple, Boycott McDonalds until they raise their workers wages.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    And is this a bad thing? 15 to 17 year olds are in school and have homework. Most won’t work more than 20 hours a week, and can’t work for a large part of the day. They don’t usually need a lot of money. They also are mostly not great workers, with exceptions. Those exception usually find better things to do than flipping burgers. I think the Australian way is excellent by all accounts. We could learn from them. I do believe in graduated wages by age. I don’t think most fast food places would suddenly start hiring the young and inexperienced because it is cheaper. They might try it, but they would soon discover it didn’t work that well for them.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    So does this machine check you out at the register and fill your coke? Listen the machines are coming to take our jobs and have been for years and years. They will come no matter what the wage is, but for most service jobs there is no profit in replacing people with machines. Don’t you just love talking to a machine when you call a business? I thought not. This is an excuse the rich make to keep you poor, and you’re buying it and repeating it.

  • Alice Wonder

    The machines have already taken jobs, many jobs. And actually yes, register jobs are at risk. You can already order and pay with your smart phone at some restaurants.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    They will still be finding your order and handing it to you Alice. The alternative is one of those weird vending machines that they have been making for decades that never really caught on because they are just awful. And again the paying with your phone is coming whether or not they are paying their workers a fair wage. Period.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    You’re a nice person. Do you hear yourself? “If McDonald’s has a heart?” Do you think there is any chance at all that they do? The answer is of course they do not. They are a corporation. It is up to the people to force them to do the right thing. Big government is the boogie man right now so I guess the fox is still in charge of the hen house. We should learn from Australia and other countries who do the right thing, but we won’t because here in the U.S. we are always right, and never need to listen to anyone else.

  • Alice Wonder

    Yes, but the number of employees will be greatly reduced. They won’t need burger flippers and cashiers and yet a third employee to call my number when the order is up.

    The higher you drive wages the more incentive there is for restaurant owners to find ways to reduce staff, because the unfortunate reality is they are running a business, not a charity.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    Again, Alice, they are going to do that anyway. NO MATTER WHAT. As to running a charity Alice did you work in any of these places as a teenager? I never worked at McDonald’s, but I did work at Pizza Hut when I was in college, and believe me there was no charity on their part whatsoever. I make easily 10 times as much per hour now, and don’t work nearly that hard.

  • Alice Wonder

    No, they aren’t. I personally know of business owners who did not want to outsource or mechanize but had to in order to stay competitive. Business owners aren’t heartless people, but they have to compete in the market.

    Most fast food restaurants in the United States are franchise, meaning McDonalds Corporate doesn’t own the individual restaurant, a local business person does. By buying a franchise license they are allowed to save costs on training materials, uniforms, ingredients, etc. but they are owned by local business people. In fact where I live, the guy who owns the has station also owns the fast food restaurant across the street and lets the station attendants eat there for free because he understands they are minimum wage and don’t have a lot of money.

    But when costs go up like radical increase to minimum wage would demand, their only choice is to automate more and lay off people or sell the business to someone else who will do that.

    When I worked in the tech industry as a programmer, know why I lost my job? It was simple economics. What they were paying me, they could hire a whole team of programmers in India and not have all the related payroll taxes. That allowed them to price their products low enough to compete with other companies. They didn’t like laying us off but it was either that or go out of business.

    I’m sorry that some people are raising families on minimum wage. Minimum wage jobs should be entry jobs. What we really need is a way to make sure people who need more money get the required job training to obtained skilled labor jobs. Radically increasing minimum wage will only put even more people out of work.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    Alice, you keep making my case for me. They did it, but they didn’t want to. Does it matter at all if they want to mechanize or outsource? Does it make them feel better to say they didn’t want to? I don’t care what they want to do. I care what they will do. It is government’s business to give them incentives not to do the things they do…that are counter to the interests of our country and its people…like outsourcing. There are ways to stop that, but large corporations bribe our politicians so they can have things their way so they can make more money. There are ways for government to pressure companies to pay living wages with tax incentives to those companies for doing it. We pay one way or another because McDonald’s and WalMart’s employees all live on Welfare and food stamps. There is no other way they could survive. The government raises our taxes to pay those benefits. Not the corporations taxes, but yours and mine because we are in no position to bribe anyone. A high minimum wage rather than making hard working people ask for charity is the right thing to do. Doing the right thing is always just the right thing to do!!!! You are being fooled into thinking people will go bankrupt if they have to pay high wages. It simply is not true anymore than it is true that people in India can do your job cheaper and better than you could. What corporations want, corporations get.

  • Alice Wonder

    And when you radically increase minimum wage they will have to do it more often when they don’t want to because they will have no choice.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    Oh, by the way I was a business owner myself for awhile. I paid my two employees more than I paid myself, but I did fine. I quit doing it because my lease fell through, and I didn’t want to relocate. They both found great jobs and never missed a beat. If they had any problems I would have stepped in. I never missed a beat either. I know the fast food joints are franchises because when I worked for Pizza Hut the owner used to come in and chase me around the salad bar trying to grab me. No one thought much of sexual harassment back in 1973. I had to quit over it because there was nothing the manager could do to stop him. Not all franchise owners are nice I assure you.

  • Anonymous

    Congress needs to close this “corporate welfare” loophole, instead of slashing Social Security, which is a contract between employer and employee!

  • Paul the Fossil

    I didn’t suggest that it was a bad thing. Was just clarifying what the reality is in Australia since it was brought up here as a comparison.

  • Anonymous

    That’s right. McDonalds is chemically induced garbage anyhow, and their greatest fear is people no-longer coming back and eating it.

  • Anonymous

    That’s right. McDonalds is chemically induced garbage anyhow, and their greatest fear is people no-longer coming back and eating it.

  • Anonymous

    “Oh, the poor franchise owners! Feel sorry for the franchise owners. If they have to pay for slightly hire wages, they may go out of business and now those employees won’t have a job at all! It also means the consumer will end up paying $7.00 for a Big Mac.”

    Don’t buy it. A capitalist driven economy depends upon the consumer which means that there will always be supply and demand. Higher middle class wages equals more discretionary spending. Mitt Romney may able to pay for a $50,000 hand made refrigerator from France and think he is contributing something, but thousands of people buying $500.00 refrigerators from Best Buy have a greater impact.

  • marty

    As soon as they let all the illegals stay. It will be apply for unemployment?

  • Anonymous

    This is only one of many reasons I do not patronize McD’s. I can count on one FINGER the number of times I have had anything from there in the last ten years. Stop poisoning your kids, please!!!

  • ClearThinker

    And yet, go figure, there’s probably 2-10 applicants for every job opening. Just like jobs at Walmart. Even with these “unfair” wages, people are lining up to work there. If there’s a willing supply of labor at that wage it would be irresponsible of McDonalds to pay more than they need to.

  • Paul the Fossil

    (a) “Inhabiting a world of “facts” alone” — nice straw man there. If you ever come across someone who actually suggests such a silly idea you’ll be ready for them eh?

    (b) Testing is certainly essential to rational decisionmaking about the world that we live in! However if you genuinely believe that personal anecdotes represent meaningful testing of facts through experience…well I’m afraid that the real world is going to keep disappointing you. You’re far from alone in that trap of course, but you seem to have a lot of real passion and drive so I really hope that you do some day find your way to a healthier understanding.

    And this has all been a slice but it seems pretty clear that we’re never going to find common ground about life its ownself or the original topic of this item. So, cheers and good luck in all your future endeavors.

  • something

    You have zero right to the property of other human beings. You on the other hand have every right to refuse an employment contract that doesn’t meet your required/wanted wages using your own free will.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    So if you are stuck in a bad job it is because you aren’t aspiring for more. Look into a student loan lately? You lack empathy.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    So if you are stuck in a bad job it is because you aren’t aspiring for more. Look into a student loan lately? You lack empathy.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    They aren’t asking for our stuff. I have stuff. I pay taxes proudly. I am a patriot. I care about people especially children. Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. All successful societies levy taxes. That isn’t giving them your stuff. That is paying your share.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    I really object to the way you characterize “flipping burgers,” or, it seems, ANY part-time job, as a waste of time for a sixteen or seventeen-yer-old. I may be as much a fossil as Paul, but when I was in high school, we all got part-time work doing SOMEthing while we were still in school. In fact, we couldn’t wait to be old enough to work.

    It didn’t compromise our schoolwork, our grades, or our ability to go to college…in fact it taught us that life is NOT all about school. And it gave us pocket money. In those days, parents’ jobs were NOT to make sure we had all the expensive toys we wanted. If we wanted toys (by this, I mean electronics, musical instruments…and automobiles) we had to figure out how to get them with our own money. I truly believe this prepared us for life much more adequately than the system we have now–where kids are not expected to do anything except go to school (where they don’t learn by 12th grade graduation what I learned in junior high, by the way…)

    The fact is, jobs like flipping burgers at McDonald’s are custom-made for high school kids or college kids trying to work their way through school. That is, I would argue, exactly the workforce those jobs were designed for. Now, we teach our kids that they are “too good” to work behind a counter at a McDonald’s. But they aren’t too good to sit on their butts and soak off Mom and Dad until they’re twenty-five. Is this a good thing? I think not.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Wow, Paul! Way to climb WAAAAY up on that high horse and look down your nose at someone who disagrees with you! I think the air might be a little thin up there, though. This last comment was not particularly logical or factual. Surprising for one who claims to be so grounded in facts and logic.

    It has, indeed, been “a slice.” Maybe we’ll go another couple of rounds on some future comment thread. But I doubt it.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    I have plenty of points left to make, but I’ll spare you the brunt of my liberal fervor. LOL!

    Honestly, I think we’ve had a relatively decent debate here, and I think we have each developed a better respect for the opposing argument. This is the way it should work. Thank you for the conversation.

  • Disgusted

    Many military families are also on welfare and food stamps. That is even more of a disgrace. What is wrong with this country?

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Yeah, they’re lining up to work there because there’s nowhere else TO work. Duh.

  • Jordan Louis

    Please stop driving on the roads that the rest of us paid for with our tax dollars, if that’s what you believe. Thank you for not taking what belongs to other human beings by complying with my request.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    When did we export LOW wage jobs? Seems to me we exported the living wage jobs (we turned them into low wage jobs in some other country) and KEPT the low wage jobs. That’s where everyone is working NOW…

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    I never said it was a waste of time. You took my better things to do as laying around playing video games. In my family my nieces and nephews all eventually got computer jobs that were way better than McDonald’s. I said the opposite of what you think I said and that is that children should work. I did, (and it did hurt my grades. I went from straight A’s to getting pneumonia and having to drop a couple of classes because my employer demanded 35 hours a week- Pizza Hut. I was lucky to leave those classes with B’s. I had no choice my parents would only foot part of the bills, and were too wealthy for me to quality for most help.) My children both flipped burgers before getting better jobs while still in high school. All I meant, and all I believe I said was that the burger chains would not find hiring high school kids that satisfactory because they are not available all day, nor do they stick with them past school for the most part. Some will, but they are the exception, but the burger joints need those exceptions. I am a teacher. I would not hire most teenagers I know. I hate to say that, but it is just a fact. Most don’t need the money like an adult and their work ethic shows it. I think you are trying to start an argument with me over stuff we would totally agree about. I have no idea why. I have argued with a lot of people on this site, and I have always understood what they were arguing about with you I have no clue.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    All I am going to say is you act like getting a job is a piece of cake. How nice for you that God blessed you with that. Not all are equally blessed. I have a niece with profound Down’s Syndrome. I don’t think she will be getting anything real great in the way of employment, or that she will be negotiating her way out of poverty. She is an extreme example of the crosses people are given to bear. Again how nice for you that you are so well off that you aren’t even in touch with that idea. Starving people to death and their children is okay if they are willing to work for anything clearly we should pay them even less. When they stopped showing up because they have no home and no transportation we can just replace them with another worthless human you care nothing for.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Let me just say this, Janet:

    Back in the 90′s, I was the manager of a store in a food court in a mall in a college town. My employees were almost all high school and college kids. They worked hard, excelled in school, most went on to get their degrees. I always arranged their hours around their school schedules and (some) of their leisure activities; in return, I expected them to make the job SOME kind of priority in their lives, and they did. I had a great group working for me, and I am still in touch with many of them today.

    Fast forward to 2006. I owned a cafe in a small town in the exurbs of Portland, OR for five years between 2006 and 2011. I couldn’t hire high school students, because they literally had no time to work. If they were involved in extra-curriculars or sports, the coaches/faculty advisors of those programs literally monopolized every minute of their time outside of the classroom. Practices, meetings and/or games were scheduled for almost every night of the week and often on Saturdays, and having to work was not an excused absence. If you missed a practice or game, you were off the team. What is up with that? Is that a healthy, well-rounded way to teach children to deal with recreational activities? I finally gave up trying to hire high school students at all.

    I could hardly get college kids to APPLY to work for me. Food jobs weren’t “good enough” for them. If they did condescend to accept a position from me, work was right there at the bottom of their priority list, below school, sports, travel, going to the movies or hanging around with friends. If any of my college kids got a better offer on a weekend night, they could be counted on to blow off their shift.

    As you can see, this is a sore point with me, thus my negative reaction to your suggestion that the GOOD kids find something “better to do” than flip burgers.

    I blame this on parents who so indulge their kids that the kids have no need to take on the responsibility of employment in exchange for the cash to acquire things they want. I blame this on the media and swell comedy skits like, “You want fries with that?” The work I do, have done for many years, is respectable work. It is fine work for a young person who lives at home but needs her own money. No one is asking for these kids to make a career of flipping burgers, but with attitudes like yours, it’s no wonder McDonald’s has to hire so many Nancys.

    You say you are a teacher. And then you make a remark like “I would not hire most teenagers I know.” I’m surprised that, as a teacher, you don’t know that most kids will live up to, or down to, your expectations of them.

    I get that you and I agree about most things surrounding this issue. But I don’t think we have to be in complete agreement about every point in order to be on the same “side.” And I simply felt I had to point out my frustration with the attitude that part-time jobs in the food service industry just aren’t “good enough” for today’s teen-agers. Or that today’s students aren’t “good enough” to deal with part-time jobs.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    You, evidently,. have never worked in a restaurant. The works is NOT easy, the pay sucks. and the people who are in direct supervisory positions over workers often treat them like crap. A manager at a McDonald’s close to where Nancy works was given a letter containing the workers requests during a one-day fast-food “strike” in Chicago. They asked these things: 1.) That they not be required to pay money out of their own pockets to make up for cash shortages in their tills; 2.) That they not be required to pay from their own pockets for food returned by customers. 3.) That they be treated with respect, rather than with name-calling and verbal abuse; 4.) That the franchisee should install air conditioning in the kitchen area (temperatures at one McDonald’s in New York reached 114 degrees in an un-air-conditioned kitchen area during this past summer’s heat wave.) 5.) That they should be paid a living wage and receive regular wage increases; 6.) That they be allowed to drink water when the kitchen gets hot.

    So if you think that working in a 114 degree kitchen with no water while the manager screams at you and degrades you and makes YOU pay for the burger someone brought back because his kid dropped it on the floor is EASY, or if standing at a counter for eight hours dealing with cranky patrons only to have to cough up over two hours of your day’s pay because you got hit by a quick-change artist is your idea of a walk in the park, why don’t YOU try it?

    Really. How DARE you disrespect the work someone else does to put food on the table and a roof over her children’s heads? There are words for people like you, but if I use one, this comment won’t be published.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Janet–I wrote a long answer for you, but it disappeared into the ozone, apparently. Let’s just say I’ve worked in food service for over thirty years, owned my own restaurant, managed several. And the idea that the “good” teenagers get “better” jobs than flipping burgers kind of pushed my buttons a little. It’s honest work, it teaches many intangibles–not just how to flip burgers–and kids could do a lot worse: like sitting on their butts playing video games and living at home off Mom and Dad until they’re 30. I’m not trying to start an argument with you, just defending the industry in which I have labored for most of my life.

    Incidentally, you say you are a teacher, yet YOU wouldn’t hire most of the teenagers you know. That IS sad. Kids have the most unerring ability to live up, or down, to our expectations of them. I think today’s teachers, parents, media, just about everyone–don’t ask enough of kids. And it shows.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    I am sorry for being glad my nieces and nephews didn’t have to work in fast food, that I might want more for them. A possible prejudice is that I don’t eat fast food, and don’t believe in it. Junk like McDonald’s is really bad for anyone especially children. You have your experiences, and I have had mine. You come across as angry. I know I do too when people say things that strike me as judgmental or just uninformed or misinformed about others. Let me say that I am not a full time teacher anymore, I retired from full time to work at a very nice private school ten minutes from my house. They give me as much or as little work as I request. I had stage 3 cancer at age 49, and since then my husband does not like for me to work. I enjoy being around the children very much, but we have grandchildren so he would rather I stayed home and spent time with them. My cousin died at age 44 of cancer, and never got close to retirement so this has impacted our attitude about retirement. My husband plans to retire at age 62. We know the ability to make that choice is not that common. We will not retire wealthy, but we will be able to retire early. We are grateful people. God blessed me with a husband who makes a very fine living.

    As a sub I refuse to be responsible for the attitudes of children I might only see once every three to six months. You definitely implied that I had caused what was wrong with them. I taught first grade when I taught. My experiences with older children have all been as a substitute. I have been subbing off and on since 1987. Perhaps I am selling teens short. I am just in a position to see what I see. I don’t think I am clouding it, and I have no ax to grind about it. The world is a fast changing place. The world these children see and operate in is very different from the one I grew up in. I do not know if that is good or bad. It is just different.

    I owned a small daycare operation many years ago hiring a dear friend who has spent her life as a teacher’s assistant and her disabled husband who was in a terrible car accident through no fault of his own. (He was a passenger in a car full of boy scouts. A child was killed and he was horribly injured, but his own child escaped without a scratch). They are fine people, and I worked hard to keep my business open as long as they needed the work. After about 9 years he recovered enough to go back to his former profession after many prayers and tears.

    So now we have explained ourselves. I hope this helps both of us temper are words if we communicate in the future. I certainly hold no ill will toward you. God Bless. I look forward to speaking to you again cordially. Janet

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    I agree with that Liza. They don’t ask enough of them. I also agree that there is nothing wrong with working in fast food, but I do think it should pay a living wage. I like the idea of a staggered minimum wage according to age. I don’t believe for a moment that higher food prices wills stop people from eating out. My experiences in fast food were all bad. From sexual harassment to being expected to work 35 hours a week when I was very clear that I was a full time student, and needed no more than 20. Again we all have our own experiences that cloud the way we see the world.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Social Security is a self-sustaining program that pays out monies from the Social Security Trust Fund, monies it receives from payroll deductions from employees and funds collected from employers based on the number of qualifying employee hours/dollars. It has nothing to do with spending your tax dollars, or balancing the federal budget, for that matter.

  • Jon

    Yeah, its a typo on my part change “wages” to “skill” or “value added”

  • NeitherSide

    Anyone who participates in such a horrible industry as the fast food industry deserves what they get from it. If you make yourself a part of it than you are just as guilty for all the terrible crimes committed against humanity by these corporations such as the destruction of the rain forests, the torturing of millions of animals in factory farms, the tens of thousands of children who die from unpublicized cases of food poisoning, the manipulation of children into eating such unhealthy garbage food and so on.
    If you moralessly support such and industry by making yourself a part of it then you deserve to suffer the same suffering you help to create.

  • NeitherSide

    Regardless of how poor or desperate I may become I would NEVER EVER work for the fast food industry. Just like Mike said, its their choice to be there.
    If people weren’t trying to force MacDonalds to be a great place to work, it would eventually implode in on itself, which would be a good thing to happen, and which is how the free market can work in weeding out bad businesses. But instead here is a movement to use the government to force MacDonalds to stay in business, to make it continue on with its dirty and disgusting deeds.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Okay…then all the folks who are breaking their necks to try to make a living any way they can at whatever jobs are available should just quit these jobs and go on welfare. People at the “subsistence” economic level do not have the luxury of making political statements with the kinds of work they will “accept.” Come down out of your ivory tower and live in the real world for a few months.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Okay. The government “pays for college.” Do they also pay Nancy’s rent, buy her food, take care of her kids while she’s in class? In the olden days, there WERE grants that could help poor people with an education. Have you not been paying attention to the news–the part where the cost of higher education has gone through the roof, government grant programs have been cut to the bone, and Congress won’t act to lower interest rates for student loans? Most likely, Nancy COULD go to school, but she would come out of it with a huge debt hanging over her head. Subtract that from the “great wage” she will be making as a college-educated whatever, and she might just be worse off financially than she is now.

    You might be correct, non-management fast food wages may never have been meant to pay enough to support families. But you don’t see McDonalds et al refusing to hire people with families to support. And regardless of whether there was an expectation of being able to support her family, Nancy went TEN YEARS without a raise. What kind of ethical employer would do that to anyone?

  • Anonymous

    Some people just need a pay check and fast food might be the only place hiring. If you haven’t noticed the economy isn’t great and most people cannot find a job, let alone one that lines up with their moral beliefs. Is the fast food industry evil….Yes….is it the fault of employees just try to feed their family’s…NO. You’ve obviously never been to poor to feed or shelter your family. You need to wake up….”they deserve what they get”….you are a terrible person if you really believe that.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah I was talked into attending a two year program and it did nothing but put me further in debt. Worst mistake of my life. I couldn’t work full time while I was in school, so bills just kept racking up. Now that I have completed my schooling there are no jobs to be had and I have over $16,000 in student loans still to pay. So yeah great solution Elaine….why oh why doesn’t every Mcdonalds employee just go get a two year degree.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, great idea, Elaine. You just solved everything for the Poors. She should just go “get” a two year degree while the friendly government takes care of her child care and tuition needs for free. Because that’s totally how it works. Sheesh.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, clearly people (like “THIS WOMAN”, shudder) should just *aspire* to lift themselves out of entrenched poverty. The working poor are so tiresome that way, aren’t they?

  • NeitherSide

    So according to your argument if a person can not find any other work and the only option was to sell their child into the sex industry then child prostitution is justified, because its the only way they claim they can feed or shelter their family. Child prostitution is similar to the fast food industry by how it targets children. According to you the excuse that only pedophiles are hiring makes it ok.

    If someone can not find work and they resort to becoming part of an organized crime ring, robbing people and businesses, do we protest their imprisonment or their death if they were killed by someone in self defense? Again, its similar to the fast food industry by how it victimizes people but, if that person can’t find any other work then is it ok for him/her to be a part of a criminal organization because they are breaking their necks to try and make a living any way they can?

    Instead of being part of the P.R. campaign for MacDonalds everyone should be educated as to why they should avoid that industry in every possible.

  • Anonymous

    Won’t SOMEONE think of MCDONALDS!

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Your over-the-top “worst case scenarios” do not advance your purpose. No sane person equates flipping burgers at McDonald’s with selling children into the sex industry or resorting to organized crime. You invalidate your own argument when you resort to such extreme “apples to elephants” comparisons.

    And claiming that fast food “victimizes” children is disingenuous. Even if McDonald’s DOES market to children (and I personally see more fast food commercials during televised sports events than on cartoon shows) it isn’t the CHILDREN who run over to their local McD’s and pony up for a burger and fries.

    At any rate, this debate is about a full-time worker not receiving a raise in ten years, and being told by her employer to go get federal assistance if she can’t pay her bills. It has nothing to do with your psychotic view of the entire concept of fast food.

  • NeitherSide

    Have you ever seen what this company does? Have you ever seen the hundreds of indigenous people pushed into such horrible and horrendous conditions to where they are starving to death because the land they lived on was raped of all of its resources by this beloved company which you are so dearly trying to protect?

    Entire villages of people have been decimated into such dire and horrible impoverished conditions. You have the internet, go look at what McDonald’s has done, look at all the suffering they have created in other countries but yet you say its more important for an American to make an extra $2 an hour while people in the other part of the world starve to death and die of disease.

    And you compare the lives of these other people to apples. People are still people regardless of what part of the world they live in and how selfish and how arrogant is it of you to say that the working conditions of someone who does have a choice, who can go and do something different with their life, is much more important that the lives of hundreds of other people who dont have a choice, and who are suffering in severe conditions because the same company who P.R campaign that you are on destroyed their land and made them into slave laborers.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    All of a sudden this has become a matter of someone abusing the system? She’s not ON welfare,dear. McDonald’s basically told her if she couldn’t make ends meet on what she was making working FULL TIME at McDonald’s, she would need to GO on welfare. So now, you not only dis “Nancy* for having the audacity to expect a full-time job to pay her a living wage, but you’re also heading in the direction that if she DOES go ahead and apply for assistance, she’s a mooch.

    I love how people like you who have absolutely no idea what it is like to walk in the shoes of a person like Nancy seem to have all the answers. She should have advanced in the company, she should have gone off looking for another job, she should get an education, she had no business having three kids, she had BETTER not now start collecting benefits on YOUR dime, because she’s in the situation she’s in because she’s lazy and stupid and…a whore?

    This story is not about Nancy applying for welfare, so your little holier-than-thou tirade about where “your” tax money goes is non sequitur here. (Incidentally, if you make $50k a year, less than $50 per year of “your” tax money goes to assistance programs. Think you can spare it?) This story is about a woman working ten years for a company that treated her like crap and could legally get away with paying her poverty wages.

    You have no idea what Nancy’s situation is. Just because YOU have “nieces and nephews” who worked at ‘undesirable” jobs until they found “better” ones does not mean that opportunity is available to everyone. I’ll bet your family does not live in the inner city where employers like McDonald’s take advantage of people that are so poor they are direly afraid to do anything that might upset the apple cart of any job they can lay their hands on. You cannot judge others, or give the kind of haughty advice you offer, until you have walked a couple of miles in their shoes. And I’d be willing to bet you’d be afraid to walk a block in Nancy’s neighborhood.

  • NeitherSide

    No, I haven’t? Are you sure about that? Regardless of how hard things get people always have a choice. Every newspaper in this country has their classifieds section posted online, find one, just one, where the only place hiring is McDonalds, Go on career builder, monster.com, any employment agency’s site, any temporary staffing agency’s site and see if the only option is McDonalds.
    McDonalds makes it shamelessly and publicly known that they are a heartless industry who cares nothing about people. Everything they do shows that they could care less about the lives of anyone but themselves and WTF did these people expect when going to work for a place like that? They walked in there and filled out the application knowing it is a heartless corporation that will take from them all that they can.

    If everyone boycotted working for this company it would eventually shut down and there would be one less evil in our society.

  • Anonymous

    Dare we say that the Clinton Dems wiped out welfare? What became known as AFDC was actually first written into FDR’s Social Security Act. Clinton also began dismantling Social Security as we know it, targeting certain seriously ill/dying and disabled workers. There was virtually no progressive media willing to detail how much damage Clinton did to the safety net, and subsequently the economy as a whole. In short, the policies implemented by Bill Clinton have created a situation where there is simply no way to rebuild the economy we once had. Get used to that. We cut the rungs off of the ladder out of poverty while, at the same time, shipping out the bulk of our manufacturing and tech jobs.

  • Anonymous

    I see you’re one of the privileged with no comprehension of real life out here. The poor have a choice of getting ANY job available, or having their children taken from them “indefinitely,” one aspect of Clinton’s welfare “reform” that was largely ignored by media. People don’t have choices anymore. It’s down to bare-bones survival for an entire chunk of the population, the masses that media can’t seem to see. Would you be willing to give up the son or daughter you love rather than work a McJob?

  • Anonymous

    Ha! Do you have any concept of how much of the population doesn’t have computers, or has even had experience with one? We’re the un-education nation. People don’t have money to invest in education/training, much less start a business. Temp help jobs (and I know this from experience) are two-tiered, with professional slots on one hand, and bottom-wage (lower than McDonald’s) on the other. No, people do NOT have choices. In the past, they could fall back on welfare for a few weeks to tide them over (and yes, the overwhelming majority of recipients were short-term). That’s no longer an option. Every day that you’re out of work is a day without a paycheck.

  • Anonymous

    Damn. I’m always baffled that so many people didn’t notice that there is no welfare. General Assistance aid was ended, then AFDC. That was what we called “welfare.” Both have been gone since 1996. TANF is a job program, more of a govt run temp help agency for cheap labor. Regardless of circumstances, we got rid of the citizen’s entitlement to poverty relief. Social Security provides an income for retirees and fully disabled workers. Food stamps do NOT go to the very poor. To qualify, one must be elderly, disabled or employed in very low-wage jobs. This generation got tough on the powerless poor, and the falling life expectancy of US poor (something not seen in the more advanced countries) stands as proof of just how tough we got.

  • Anonymous

    Tell you what. Have middle classers give up their jobs to the poor who are now stuck at McDonalds, and that should solve the problem. Also, have middle classers stop eating at McDonalds; their purchases keep the company in business.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, by the 1980s, the middle class grew resentful of the poor being enabled to obtain education and training required to work their way out of poverty. They feared that the poor would become competition, and the fact is, there’s a very ugly streak in the American character that demands inequality — a scapegoat.

  • Anonymous

    We’ve never had a full-employment nation. Since the 1980s, we’ve shipped out most of our manufacturing and tech jobs, the wiped out the social safety net, keeping people desperate for any job at any wage. We no longer have options. People with college degrees are bagging groceries today. The only way you could keep your former job was if you moved to Mexico, Pakistan or wherever your job was moved. The American people built our corporations, and the corporations have royally screwed the people.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, that’s no longer true. There have been dramatic changes in the US job market since the 1980s. The majority who take bottom wage jobs are no longer able to work their way up. They are usually put on “indefinite layoff” when their wages reach a certain level, and then must find another job, back at the bottom again. On why people have kids that they can’t afford today: A massive number of American men, married or not, have abandoned their families with this economic downturn. Too bad we never talk about that.

  • Anonymous

    What welfare? Our two welfare programs, AFDC and General Assistance, have been gone since 1996. One can get food stamps if elderly, disabled or employed in very low-wage jobs. I’m not sure how broadly we’ve expanded the meaning of “welfare,” but it had always previously referred to General Assistance and AFDC. In fact, this generation does utterly turn its back on those in greatest need. For example, if one becomes seriously ill, unable to work, they can apply for Social Security Disability, but it normally takes up to three years before one receives a disability check. How do these people survive until then, now that there is no welfare system for them to fall back on? Well, Americans don’t care.

  • Anonymous

    If your choice is to accept what’s there or die, is that a real choice? If your choice is to take the only job available to you or give your children up to the state, is that a choice? Sorry, but the Reagan-era worship of corporate power no longer sells. People can see how much they’ve been screwed over.

  • Anonymous

    (NeitherSide is merely ignorant and/or deliberate provocative. No need to take its comments seriously.)

  • Anonymous

    What kind of welfare do they get? There isn’t any for civilians. AFDC and general assistance have been gone since 1996, and TANF is essentially a temp job placement service. Those with low-enough wages can get a small food stamp subsidy. When it comes to our poor, we don’t discriminate — they are all condemned equally, regardless of what they’ve done in life. Since the Vietnam War, the military, for most, just uses people up and spits them out.

  • Anonymous

    McDonald’s is really no longer an entry-level job, and more a career, such as it is. They dangle promises of eventual management positions in front of their employees. Something middle classers can’t grasp is that when you’re working full time, it’s difficult to also be out applying for jobs at the same time. (One must apply during businesses hours, when they’re at work, and then be able to answer any calls to come in for interviews, etc., during work hours.) We do have a crisis of fewer jobs than there are people absolutely desperate for jobs. When you can get anything, you’re afraid to risk losing it by missing a day of work.

  • Anonymous

    The last I saw, there are roughly 7 jobs available for every 10 people in desperate need of jobs. Tearing out the safety net ensured that people would be desperate enough to accept deteriorating wages/working conditions.

  • Anonymous

    Reagan’s deregulation frenzy gave us the conditions we enjoy today. The public was told that “burdening” corporations with actual rules would result in massive job loss. So, we got rid of those pesky rules and regulations, expecting to see “an explosion of good, family-supporting jobs.” Didn’t quite turn out that way.

  • Anonymous

    We can’t rebuild America without considering the unemployed and unemployable. At best, families try to take in relatives who hit on hard times, and this increases hardships for all concerned. The bottom line is that while the US was in the process of shipping out the bulk of our manufacturing and tech jobs, we took an ax to the poverty relief system, with no concern about what becomes of all those left out. There is always a high price to pay for social neglect. Demanding higher wages is a problem when anyone can be replaced with workfare labor by the end of the week.

  • Anonymous

    There is no free will when the choice is to take the job that’s available or become homeless and having the state take your children. You do what you have to do.

  • Anonymous

    Funny that they never complain about the unprecedented chunk of the budget going into war(s) of choice and the massive surveillance system.

  • Anonymous

    Have you been asleep? Welfare has been gone since 1996. Unless elderly or disabled, one can’t obtain food stamps unless employed.

  • Anonymous

    No, there are low-skills jobs. What got shipped out are the bulk of our factory and tech jobs.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, it is illegal to hire undocumented/illegal workers. Period. Might consider enforcing the laws… Job applicants are, obviously, required to fill out job application forms, stating their place of birth, citizenship status, etc. Employers are required to verify this information. When they fail to do so, they are breaking the law. I don’t know if many business owners are willing to suffering the consequences of being caught, assuming anyone enforces these laws.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Let’s dig real deep into our revisionist history and blame all this on Bill Clinton now. Brilliant. Can’t blame it on Obama. It was already f’d up by the time he came around. Must’ve been Clinton. Yep.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    First Clinton, and now the middle class. Now we poor chumps in the middle are the bad guys. Well, you won’t have to wait too long before the middle class disappears entirely and then you’ll have to come up with another scapegoat.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    If that’s so, you are a prime example of that ugly streak.

  • NeitherSide

    Again another B.S argument made on assumptions, why not argue back with facts, show that McDonalds is the ONLY out there. You have the internet, use it to prove there is no other employer out there.
    How did they get the job at McDonalds? Did McDonalds come to them? No they probably walked in there which means they can walk into every other business and ask if they are hiring and if they don’t want to buy a $0.50 paper they can pick one up laying around at the train station, or on the table at a coffee shop.

  • Allen Barclay Allen

    How come with this disingenuous Liberal Democratic last ditch campaign saver,The Minimum Wage, for these entry level Employees Stock options as an increase to their income is never discussed. It would benefit the employer and Employe.

    In their Hypocrisy is their intentions exposed. Paying someone more than their worth to that corporation does nothing to improve the Employee’s life in a reality of competitive industry that exist all around them for the rest of their lives. It only builds servitude to keep them in poverty to a Democratic slave owner party. Their Slave owner Democrat’s have infiltrated our Public Schools to prevent them from knowledge of how to write and read a real estate contract, process their own Income tax forms, and do their own Accounting in a responsible way with savings and investment in real property. Clearly these Liberal Democrats are the Scribes, pharisees, and lawyers of the past that only purpose is to keep the law under lock and key to enslave the poor.

    Teach a man to farm give him the tools and the seed he will feed his family. Educate him to farm he will make his own tools find his own seed and feed a hundred families. Introduce him to the Creator the educator of us all and he will educate a hundred farmers to feed a million families.