A long time ago, I used to be among those with the opinion that it was ultimately pointless to raise the minimum wage because what would end up happening is that companies would have no choice but to raise all of their costs to support it, which would then trickle back down and make the rate hike a moot point because what’s the sense in getting $10/hr if Big Macs now costed $10 instead of $5.
That was before I had spent much time working for big corporations, where I started to notice the real issue here … despite an always impending necessity to cut costs and maximize efficiency at the sake of employee wages and headcount, these businesses always managed to turn a profit. A big one. So when a company like McDonald’s posts an annual profit of $5.5 billion, but has employees clamoring that they’re not making enough money to survive without second jobs, or the can’t afford basic healthcare, or what have you, it begs the question of why doesn’t the company take a lesser profit and use some of those proceeds to help support their own employees better???
Of course, the reason is because for many corporations, its shareholders are more important than its employees … or at least the rank-and-file ones who actually have to wallow in those grease pits in order to collect all of that profit one customer at a time. This is nothing new – a lot of people tend to look down at minimum wage earners as if they’re somehow beneath them … you can definitely get that attitude from some of the anchors quoted in that segment when they start citing that “minimum wage shouldn’t be cushy and make them never want to leave” … as if that’s even a thing that could possibly happen!
I’ve never worked a fast food job myself, but my first job was sweeping floors in a warehouse for minimum wage, and there were slow days or days before I learned other tasks that I pretty much did nothing but sweep for hours on end, and it sucked. Anyone who thinks that these entry level jobs are easy should try doing one – not for a day or two, but day in, day out for months and years on end, because that’s when the fatigue starts to set in when wallowing in grease (or dust, or whatever) for 40+ hours a week is what you do to support yourself or your family.
I mean, people always comment about these types of jobs being something that anybody can do when you’re unemployed or down on your luck, but when you’ve worked for years in a comfy, white-collar job where you eat more of your meals at tables than from counters, and you’re used to being able to take lunch whenever you want, and not getting timed like a hawk when you go to the restroom on your break … I think a lot of people who’ve never really done that type of thing become disconnected for just how much fun those jobs really aren’t, so then if you also see that you can’t even make ends meet at your shitty, minimum wage job because the minimum wage hasn’t kept up with costs of living that have skyrocketed in the last few decades?!
“If the economy were strong, McDonald’s would be paying higher wages.”
As John so perfectly puts it – yes, because that’s how capitalism works.
P.S. And if you think that FOX News quote is atrocious, I think that “$250,000 is not rich … it’s actually close to poverty…” pretty much takes the cake. I’m not sure that outside of smacking her across the face with a fish there’s any other reasonable way to respond to a statement like that.