(Closed) Fast Food Workers and the Slow Death of Hard Work

posted 6 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 17
Member
291 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

I agree. I did my time in shit jobs on shit pay and they were my motivation to go back and get something decent. I’m now working in a decent job and worked my effing guts out to get there. 

 

 

 

I think it’s important to teach our kids that the world owes us nothing. You work hard and get it yourself.

 

Post # 18
Member
3286 posts
Sugar bee

Also, driving up the minimum wage that much also will drive up the costs of those fast food burgers, and Wal-Crap. Businesses will need to raise prices to pay their workers more money.

Even if you are earning $20 an hour what difference does it make if it now costs you $15 dollars for a burger?  You are no further ahead.

Post # 19
Member
7480 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

Crew members at McDonalds are asking for $15/hr. Heck, I have plenty of friends with degrees who would love to make that much. If they bump it up a few dollars, I would even take a job there and leave my high stress job…

Post # 20
Member
5188 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

I disagree with the bigger picture aspect of this article. More and more college graduates are finding themselves working at McD’s and living with their parents. Does that mean they haven’t tried to better themselves? Just because you have the skills doesn’t mean you’re going to get the opportunity to put them to use. Darling Husband and I both work jobs that aren’t typically “spat on” the way fast food work is, but without combining our salaries we’d never be able to survive outside of our parents’ homes. Maybe it’s because we’re not willing to settle for a studio apt in Camden, where I’d have to be worried about getting held at gunpoint every time I opened the door. I’ve worked in the service industry. I think most people have as teenagers (except the very priveleged ones whose parents didn’t force them to work) and they can attest to the fact that it’s hard work. The customers treat you like shit. You are considered the lowest beings in the work force, and everyone in America knows that “burger flipper” is a derogatory term.

Am I saying that everyone deserves a living wage? Absolutely not, reason being that it’s an impossibility. There simply isn’t enough money out there. But as a hard working college educated person who works in the healthcare field and doesn’t earn a living wage I am personally offended by the snarky nature in which the article was written.

 

Post # 21
Hostess
7553 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

@worldtraveler:  I sypathize with people who are overeducated for their job but I feel like this is another “we’re not the problem” excuse. Why would you choose to invest time and money into a degree that is not employable? There are lots of available jobs, just not jobs in every field and location one may want to work.

A friend of mine got his PhD in Spanish literature and is always attacking “the man” for the bad economy. I want to say “Why would you get a PhD in Spanish lit? It’s your fault you don’t have a job.” Even if you want to work as a professor, you could have chosen a broader field like Spanish or romantic lit.

I couldn’t find a job in my field in the US so I moved overseas. There is always a job or an opportunity if you are willing to sacrifice and work hard enough. 

Post # 22
Member
2515 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Corporations like Walmart and McDonald’s can afford to start their full-time employees at $10/hr and with better healthcare options without raising prices. The only reason they don’t is greed. A 108% increase in pay? No, that’s crazy. I laughed when SO told me about it last night. I don’t, however, like the condescending attitude of those who assume that all those making minimum wage are lazy and unintelligent. Fifty percent of households in this country bring in $45,000 per year. Assuming it’s a dual income household, that means both people are making just a bit over minimum wage.

As for entitlement, I find that those with college educations have their own form of it. They assume that because they have a degree in any subject, no matter how silly, they are entitled to $$$.

1 in 5 people ages 25-29 has a bachelor’s degree. That means 4 in 5 don’t – yet it seems that a disproportionate number of people on this site have a master’s degree and make 150,000+ per year ( which is the top 10% of income for a household in the US. )

Oh, there is also a corporation out there that would be considered a minimum wage employer but isn’t. Check out Hobby Lobby. They start their full-time employees at $14/hr with full benefits. The corporation is doing just fine and is actually growing.

 

Post # 23
Member
12246 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

I feel like the people who write these articles have never actually lived below the poverty line. They’ve never been trapped in the cycle of poverty.

I married out of the cycle. I went to college full-time while working full-time as an overnight cashier (35 hours a week–so no benefits. Thank God I’m healthy!). When my depression got so bad I had to withdraw from the University of Vermont, I was lost. I thought I was going to wind up a college drop out.

I ended up finding a new job, making a comparable amount, and found an online college. I couldn’t afford college, so I sold my furniture piece by piece to pay the monthly tuition.

Still, I was trapped in the cycle until my handsome new Boyfriend or Best Friend (now DH) said “I got a promotion to Boston. Let’s go.”

He basically subsizied my cost of living. Even working full-time with benefits in Boston as a preschool teacher, I was making 22K a year. He made 75K a year back then, and he paid for everything but half of the rent so I could afford to continue college.

If I hadn’t married out of the cycle of poverty, I would still be trapped there. It’s almost impossible to escape.

Post # 24
Member
2450 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Darling Husband also agrees with me… and agrees with the article. And this is what he wrote in August:

 

So, I saw an article about how the SEIU wants to vastly expand strikes against McDonald’s and other fast food joints.

Which makes me ask, “What do they want?”

So I read the article here: http://www.salon.com/2013/08/14/fast_food_strikes_massively_expanding_theyre_thinking_much_bigger/ 

…and they want pay increased to $15 an hour.

So, is that realistic, I wondered. Is that even POSSIBLE, I wondered.

Fortunately, I can do math. And I will show you my figures, so you can check me.

So, I pull up McDonald’s financials from here: http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/mcd/financials

And I find that McDonald’s makes a net profit of $5.46 billion a year.

And I find (per Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonald’s) that all told McDonald’s has 1.7 million workers.

Awesome! That’s what we need.

5,460,000,000 / 1,700,000 = total potential increase per worker per year of $3211.76.

$3211.76 per year / 52 weeks = $61.76 per week.

$61.76 per week / 40 hours per week = $1.54 per hour. (Or $2.47 if they’re part-time working 25 hours.)

What does this mean?

It means that if McDonald’s were to increase wages by $1.54 an hour, it would TOTALLY ERASE THEIR OPERATING PROFITS.

I find an increase of six or seven dollars an hour to be comically unlikely and mathematically and financially impossible, simply by application of basic math.

So should you.

And if you, like me, think that possibly eliminating 1.7 million jobs – even if they are cruddy jobs – is not a great idea. More people need to be aware that math doesn’t stop operating just because it disagrees with your politics.

Post # 25
Member
8439 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@rosworms:  +1000000

Post # 26
Hostess
7553 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

@MsW-to-MrsM:  I hear what you’re saying about corporate greed. However, I don’t think McDonalds and Walmart can afford that since they’re completely based on offering cheap prices. Check above for calculations. We can’t really blame a business for making money though, that’s what they’re there for.

Instead of trying to force everyone to think the way I do by asking for law changes, I love to support ethical businesses with my money. Hobby Lobby is a great example. I hope that more people research ethical businesses and “vote for them with their dollars.” 

Post # 27
Member
1344 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2019

@rosworms:  I was actually sitting here trying to do the math, haha. My engineer SO was helping me.

I worked in fast food for a while, and it sucked; definitely the motivation I needed to bust my ass so I wouldn’t have to go back there again. But I can see the frustration because I feel like the face of fast food isn’t just a bunch of teenagers anymore; more and more older adults are looking to jobs in fast food because they can’t get one anywhere else and then they have no choice but to support themselves or a family on that wage. 

However, I think people really need to consider that their demands could potentially be their undoing (not that I think huge fast food corporations are going to budge). I could be overreaching, but just think about it–say you get that double wage of $14.50 (which is more than I make right now). Well the fast food industries now have to face a choice to cover those costs: raise the cost of their product or let some people go. So the pay you picketed to get you might not even have because, let’s say McDonald’s, has to let you go, or, a hamburger meal now costs like $13, which is about what you would pay at a standard sit-down restaurant.

Now the people who eat that food all the time, or are living off of it, are going to respond with,”Um. Hell no. I am not paying that kind of money for crap. I will cook at home, k bai.” So then you get into another spiral of insanity where McDonald’s is going to have to somehow justify charging that much money or increase the quality of their food–which wouldn’t be the worst thing the world, let’s be honest.

So do I agree with the pay increase? No. Not to mention, it’s basic economics: if you increase wages, everything else will increase in cost, so you get into this cycle of increasing wages to make people happy and consequently having to increase the cost of goods.

I am by no means saying that people who work in fast food deserve to get paid a low wage, but I agree with lots of others here that it’s supposed to be a motivation for you to want to work to get more.

Post # 29
Member
5188 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

“What I need is a girl with a car and a job…” I think that’s the way that Alice Cooper song goes.

It’s a terrible cycle, being over- or under qualified. You need to work to afford school, you need school to get work, you finish school but can’t find work, so you wasted your money on school but if you hadn’t gone you’d be accused of not trying to better yourself. So what do you do? You work at McDonald’s because you have no other choice. You don’t have enough experience to get a good job, but you’re too qualified to get a middle of the road one. So you’re stuck at minimum wage and can’t support yourself. I’ve been trying to find a second job to make things a little easier for us. I keep getting turned down because I’m overqualified.

Post # 30
Member
727 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@BelliniChic:  +1  I did not come from a well-off family.  At all.  Thankfully I live in Canada where it seems we have a little bit more a leg up to move ahead.  I paid for my own university education with the help of loans (mind you, much lower than it seems you pay in the states).  I worked and studied hard to be able to get in first of all, but also to manage to graduate and find myself a job.  I’ve moved up and I’m doing well now.  It is possible but it requires hard work and much motivation.  

 

 

 

@andielovesj:  +1  And the other problem is, if companies have to start paying double the current minimum wage, do you not think they are going to start just cutting jobs all together and dumping more responsibilities on the remaining employees?  So now rather than having all of those minimum wage jobs, there are even less jobs available at all.  It’s pretty ignorant to assume companies will just be okay with paying employees double the current minimum wage and accept any profit decreases.  (Edit, this isn’t a shot at you, I’m agreeing with you and continuing the thought)

 

 

 

 

 

Post # 31
Member
2515 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@AlwaysSunny:  Maybe I should have said “without drastically raising prices.” I don’t know about McDonald’s, but I read that for Walmart to pay a minimum of $12/hr to their employess, it would only cost Walmart shoppers an extra $12 per year. I get this information from http://makingchangeatwalmart.org/factsheet/walmart-watch-fact-sheets/fact-sheet-wages/. Apparently, it’s from a study done by the City University of New York and the University of California. I’m not an accountant, and I don’t have a business degree, but it sounds good to me!

Once I found out about Hobby Lobby, I told all the crafty people I knew. We all make an effort to buy from them now.

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