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Last night, Stephen Colbert took aim at McDonald's instructional video to their employees on how to make a budget, which was completely unrealistic in several ways.

Nation, I've always been suspicious of the minimum wage.  I've said it before, minimum is a misnomer.  $7.25?  I can think of wages a lot lower.  $3.28.  $1.19.  A pat on the back and a handful of mints.  There are literally dozens of other things you could give them.  A barn owl.

And when it come to opposing the minimum wage, I'm in good company with guys who own companies.  For example, billionaire industrialist and my future face twin Charles Koch, in an interview with the Wichita Eagle, the cute Koch said he wants to eliminate the minimum wage because it creates "a culture of dependency" and keeps people with limited capital from starting their own business.  He is right.  Having to pay your employees really hurts small business.  I mean, look at our nation's forefathers.  Many arrived with nothing but the blouse on their back, but thanks to no minimum wage, they started a booming cotton industry.

But just try, just try explaining macroeconomics to the 10.4 million working poor.  Some of them actually think the minimum wage is too low.  Especially the 4 million who work in fast food.  Jim?


KEVIN TIBBLES, NBC NIGHTLY NEWS: Since early April, there have been protests by fast food workers in seven cities.

AMY CRAWFORD, FAST FOOD WORKER: We can't afford to live on what we make.

FOX 2 REPORT (7/14/2013): A coalition of groups calling themselves D15 helped organize this protest and others at McDonald's, Burger King, Domino's, and other top chains to demand $15 an hour instead of $7.40.
$15 dollars an hour?  That'd make the guy at fries station the richest man in Detroit!

(audience cheering)

"I say... your fried pomme de terre is ready."

I say that the problem isn't that the minimum wage is too low, it's that the poors out there don't know how to handle their cash.

BILL O'REILLY (4/17/2012): Many of the poor will use the money irresponsibly.

BILL O'REILLY (7/20/2011): There is a reason for poverty in America. ... It's usually personal responsibility.

BILL O'REILLY (10/11/2011): Poverty is not just an economic problem, it is a social problem and a social responsibility problem, personal responsibility problem.  You know that's true.

Yes!  It doesn't matter how little you are paid.  If you're poor, it's your fault.  I get that.  But then again, I'm not poor.  And, if I were, I wouldn't be.  Because I would turn being poor into an oppoortunity.  OK?  Trademark.

And McDonald's agrees with me.  Instead of raising salaries, they're giving their workers something more valuable than money — a website.

DAN MANNARINO, WPIX (7/17/2013): If there's anything we've learned in these tough economic times, it's to budget and save for the future, right?  Well, McDonald's thought it was helping its employees by giving them an example of how to do just that on their limited salaries. ... A website launched by the fast food chain called Practical Money Skills for Life.  The site breaks down how a worker can make ends meet on a McDonald's salary.
Yes, McDonald's is helping employees make ends meet, not to be confused with their delicious burger recipe, which makes end meat.  (picture of cows' asses)

And take a McLook at their McNuggets of McWisdom.  McJim?

McDONALD'S WEB VIDEO: Even small things add up to a lot of money over time.  Think of it this way.  Let's say you go to the convenience store every day for gum, or even a candy bar.  It's only $1, right?  Well, if you multiply that dollar a day times 365 days a year, you're spending $365 dollars a year on snacks alone.
Hold on one second, let me see here.  (punches numbers in calculator)  Times... 1....  Yeah, OK, checks out.

Now folks, the heart of the program is this downloadable budget journal workers can use to track their spending.

McDONALD'S WEB VIDEO: Writing down a journal on your daily spending will help you understand where your money goes.  You might say it's too much trouble to write down everything you spend, but before you say that give it a try.  Try it for one week, and see if you notice a difference in your spending.  Then try it for at least a month to see that you really will spend less.
Then try a year.  Then try a decade.  Then 50 years.  Then ask yourself, "Why am I still working at McDonald's?  I'm 86 years old!"  (audience applause)

All you have to do is follow their sample monthly budget, where they estimate you'll spend $600 dollars on rent, $100 on cable and phone, and $0 on heating.  No problem.  Just accumulate a warming layer of fat on your body, like this employee.

And other parts of their sample budget are equally helpful.  For health insurance, they budget $20.  Now, the cheapest McDonald's health plan is $50...

but for $20, you can get a tourniquet, a bottle of Night Train, and a bite stick.

Now, you might be saying to yourself, Stephen, I can't do all this on a McDonald's salary.  Well, that's... where you're right.  Because the budget assumes you're working a second job.  (audience boos)  Which of course won't be easy, but that does mean two Christmas parties.  Just be sure to fill your pockets with shrimp and maybe a can of Sterno, because remember, you have no heat.

Now, after all the expenses have been paid, you're still left with $800 in monthly spending money for odds and ends like clothing, food, and gasoline.  Luckily, your polyester McDonald's uniform qualifies as all three.

So, if you work two jobs at 75 hours a week, and follow this budget to the letter, McDonald's non-bindingly promises you'll have $100 for savings a month.  Because McDonald's says, "You can have almost anything you want as long as you plan ahead and save for it."

Unless the thing you want is money.  So stop complaining, 4 million fast food workers.  McDonald's may have net a profit last quarter of $1.39 billion dollars, but you get a fair wage, plus all the grease you can breathe.  For Pete's sake, an employee at a Chicago McDonald's makes $8.25 an hour, but the CEO of McDonald's only makes $8.75... million dollars a year.

I mean, $8.25, $8.75, they're practically the same if you don't care about math.  And McDonald's budget proves they don't.  We'll be right back.

Video below the fold.

Stephen also briefly talked about the royal birth and Geraldo Rivera's selfie.
He then looked at Neil deGrasse Tyson's theory about aliens visiting our planet.
Meanwhile, John briefly talked about the royal birth as well, and then looked at Detroit's bankruptcy and the dire consequences in store.
He then looked at the latest on Edward Snowden's potential asylum.
Stephen talked with UCLA's Kjerstin Gruys, and John talked with comedian Louis C.K.

Originally posted to BruinKid on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group.

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Comment Preferences

  •  "...a bottle of Night Train, and a bite stick." (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    merrywidow, Egalitare, BlackSheep1

    That's pretty much my triage kit... although I go for JD if I have the scratch.


    John Boehner: Leading With Behind.

    by here4tehbeer on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 05:44:49 AM PDT

  •  Perhaps most hilarious was the "buddget's" $20 (4+ / 0-)

    allocation for health care (less than half the cost McDonald's charges for its health plan (which I imagine is less then gold plated), and the 0 (zero) allocation for heat.

    "They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy. The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip."

    by TofG on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 06:15:19 AM PDT

    •  I was pretty amused at the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hnichols, historys mysteries

      $600 rent.

      I think that might get you an air mattress in a Public Storage box.

      •  matter of fact if you can rent a (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        historys mysteries, pucklady

        "you keep the key" unit ... you're better off than a third or so of the people in new oil-boom towns.

        But for genuine low-rent what you want is a Craigslist camper (not an RV; you want an overhead camper mounted on a 6-cylinder standard-shift pickup from 1978-1986. Buy the truck first, so you can pick the camper up with it).

        Choose carefully, shine up the truck and outside of the camper to look "vintage" instead of "junky" and you can live in an RV park with running water and electricity for around $400 a month. No heat. No pets, no cable, no Internet. But if you have a cell phone, that's going to be within the limits McBudget allows for your phone/cable.

        Choose that RV park wisely, though, and you can get back and forth to your McJob on public transportation -- usually for around $12 a week.

        So, that's $450 a month for housing and transportation.
        If you are working a minimum wage job and you do actually work 40 hours a week and you have no other expenses (e.g. no wife, no kids, no student loans, no lien on the camper / pickup) ... and the RV park has showers and a laundry facility ... you might not starve to death.

        7.25 is the Fed min wage now. If you have a 40 hour week that's a net paycheck of $290. For a month that works out to $1160, before taxes. There will be FICA, though. Savings? Um, how? Well, you are raking off a princely sum as a minimum-wage earner: $25,520 annually. That's above poverty guidelines for a family of four.

        In Texas a single, non-disabled adult male is not eligible for Medicaid, period. A single, non-disabled, not-pregnant female is not eligible for Medicaid, period.

        Maybe. If you're willing to have $1 coffee for breakfast, a $1 sandwich for lunch and buy a $1 sandwich to take home for your other meal (which you might try eating while waiting for your bus). So that's $3 a day x 30 days or $90 for groceries for a month, before taxes.

        Of course if that cell phone includes an alarm, and you chose your RV park really wisely, you could walk to work, at least part of the time. That would get you more exercise, make you healthier, and save you bus fare....

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:48:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  And it get's funnier today on Forbes (4+ / 0-)

      The Forbes whine today to justify the low salary is to say that these people get FED money, via "food stamps" etc.  

        Somehow, the RW seem to want to call those who are eligible for federal subsidies all sorts of derogatory names on Day 1 and then when a Corporation is under attack for low wages to hold up these federal subsidies to justify the low wages.....hoping that no one sees the bait / switch, based on whatever controversy they want to support, at the moment.  

        And forget entirely the House action on the Farm Bill - please oh pretty please, ignore that entirely.

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