workers freedom

economics as if workers mattered

Financial Advice for Workers

McDonald’s continues to provide useful financial advice to its workers, in an attempt to counter the growing movement for a $15 hourly wage for fast food workers. First they advised workers to get a second full-time job, turn off the heat, and live in a flophouse. Then they suggested workers cut meals into tiny bites so that it will seem like they’re eating more. They’re advising long-time workers to apply for food stamps and other welfare programs. And they suggest workers sell their Christmas presents for a little bit of pocket change.

More than half of U.S. fast food workers earn so little that they rely upon food stamps and other public assistance to survive. Many more are eligible for benefits, but don’t claim them. McDonald’s flacks try to spin this by point out that more than 40% of their workers earn $25,000 a year or more. That’s probably true, but it includes managers and marketers and executives in corporate HQ. And it tacitly admits that more than half earn less, which suggests that even under the U.S. government’s very conservative definition, most McDonald’s workers live in poverty.

But the CEO and the shareholders are doing just fine, and the Dow Jones average is setting new records day by day.

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