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Minimum wage/fast food rally. Two men holding signs, one saying
As McDonald's workers in three states sue, claiming they've been paid less than is legal in various ways, let's put McDonald's pay practices into some context. The workers say they've been made to work off the clock, denied overtime pay, and forced to shoulder costs for their uniforms that pull them below minimum wage. But buying or caring for a uniform doesn't put you below minimum wage unless you're making poverty wages to begin with.

Mother Jones offers a fast food wage calculator showing how many hours a fast food worker with one child would have to work—or how much they'd have to be paid—in metro areas across the country to have a "secure yet modest living." In New York City, it's 144 hours a week. But, you may object, New York City is really expensive. Maybe a fast-food worker in a less expensive city can make a living.

Not so much. In Syracuse, New York, a fast food worker with a child would have to work 112 hours a week—or be paid $25.05 an hour, which doesn't make the $15 an hour fast food workers have been organizing around seem like so much—to have that secure yet modest living. In Detroit, where workers also filed suit, it's 106 hours or $23.65. This is why so many fast food workers require food stamps and other government assistance to get by—an estimated $1.2 billion for McDonald's—and why McDonald's actually acknowledged that fact when it told a worker to apply for food stamps and offered a sample monthly budget that required a second job and still only had room to budget $20 a month for health insurance. (Sure, if by "health insurance" you mean a bottle of aspirin and a box of Band-Aids.)

The wage theft McDonald's workers allege is illegal. Minimum wage, overtime, and paying workers for all the hours they work are not optional under our system of laws. But wage theft isn't the only problem these workers face. One of the biggest problems of poverty wages is far more basic, is true for the overwhelming majority of hourly fast food workers, and is legal. That's why it's time to raise the minimum wage.

Sign the petition: Join the call for a $10.10 minimum wage.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 08:41 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Why is this so hard for the big shots to (5+ / 0-)

    understand?
      Workers deserve a living wage. Period.

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 09:32:01 AM PDT

    •  If you paid workers a living wage there would (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shoeless, BlackSheep1, elwior

      be more money spent by those workers thereby stimulating the economy. That's bad for repubs. I think they understand that perfectly.

      "Onward through the fog!" - Oat Willie

      by rocksout on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:49:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are a whole list of benafits we need to give (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AlexDrew

      to american minimum wage workers.

      Worker education so that they may find a better job

      Enforcement of work safety standards.

      Rights to overtime

      Rights to organize

      etc.

      But There simply is no way to make minimum wage a livable wage for a family's breadwinner.

      When you go on about how someone should be able to raise a family based off a Mc Job you've jumped the shark.

      A Mc Job is a Mc Job. it is not sustainable employment for an Adult. Its a stepping stone for children. Its a position for a greasy haired teenager getting their first job,  or a college student earning a few extra $$ for text books.

       Minimum wage laws have always recognized that there is a difference between an adult's position and a child's position.  Examples of this, paperboys and internships.

      a McJob is one step above delivering the paper, but it is not all the way into adulthood.

      You can not force that square peg into a round hole and expect it to work well.

      When an adult has the need to enter into a Mc Job there will be problems. The best way to fix the problem is to ensure that you dont have to fit the square peg in the round hole for long.  Working training and placement's are the correct solution

      There is something to be said about raising minimum wage for all.

      There is also something said for a more advanced minimum wage system that recognizes that the minimum wage for a mechanic should be different than the minimum wage for someone's 16 year old kid working their first job.

      •  Education, in the sense that you mean it, is (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mr Robert, solublefish, elwior

        no solution to this problem.

        Someone has to flip burgers and mop floors.  They won't get paid more for doing it as a result of getting a degree.

        Work safety standards have been less and less enforced for 34 years.  The same goes for overtime rights and the right to organize.  Having these rights on paper means nothing when most employers will fire anyone they even hear has spoken positively about unions in a general sense.

        If you don't think that happens, I don't think you've ever worked in the same sectors of the economy I have.

        A Mc Job is a sustainable income for a small family in many countries - notably, in countries where the right to organize is actually protected.  We're talkin 17 bucks an hour start in Aus.

        Unpaid internships are a disgusting abuse of vulnerable young people.  Pointing that evil doesn't strengthen your case that the evil of a minimum wage far below a living wage ought to be tolerated.

        Paper boys are a thing of the distant past.  Newspapers in the US today are delivered by adults.  We once consented to kids working in mills, too, but that's not relevant to this discussion except as a cautionary note.

        "Work training" and "placement" won't bring high paying manufacturing jobs back to the US.  What we've got are service industry jobs, and what we face is a choice about whether or not the people who do those jobs deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and paid a fair wage for an honest days work.

        You seem stuck in an America that hasn't existed for 20 years.  I suggest visiting a fast food joint mid-day during the work week.

        Tell me it's staffed with "16 year old kids on their first job".

        Welcome to the Whole Foods of the blogosphere.

        by JesseCW on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:22:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It may ironically be a good thing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW

          that the "education gap" is diminishing as it is, since it may help more people realize the real truth of what you just said:

          Someone has to flip burgers and mop floors.
          That's the kind of revelation around which one can build a morally awake political movement - a movement for a just and equitable society.  Let us recognize that ALL persons deserve a living wage, REGARDLESS of their occupation. No exceptions.  Because in any complex, industrial or post-industrial society, there will have to be "burger flippers" and "floor moppers".

          Once we can all recognize and agree to that, then we can really start eliminating all the bullshit - because if the richest nation in the history of the world is incapable of providing ALL its citizens with a decent living, then there is clearly a problem with THE MANAGEMENT.

          •  I really do blame a lot of this on the schools. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            solublefish

            Many of us grew up with "Unless you want to wind up flipping burgers" sneered at us by teachers.

            Freshman year of high school, a kid in one of my classes wound up expelled because he trashed the room after an English teacher said that to him.

            His mom worked three fast-food jobs, even though she was asst. manager at one of the three places she worked.

            There's this prevailing notion that some jobs are "meant" to be a punishment for the less virtuous.

            Welcome to the Whole Foods of the blogosphere.

            by JesseCW on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:13:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well said (0+ / 0-)
              There's this prevailing notion that some jobs are "meant" to be a punishment for the less virtuous.
              It's an idea that was widespread in the Gilded Age in the US (not sure if it was really prevalent before that, when fewer were wage workers).  I don't think it has gone away; only perhaps receded a bit from time to time - or been beaten back, I should say, by the successful struggles of LABOR against it.

              Certainly the notion has done good service in insulating the economic elites from criticism or revolt:  on the one hand, we claim to value equality (of laws, of opportunity, etc) and liberty for all - on those values we established our polity; on the other hand, we face vast inequalities of wealth, along with commensurate inequalities in social and political power, all of which belie our commitment to democracy.  Blaming the poor for their poverty resolves the paradox and does so in a way that does not threaten but actually helps legitimize the wealth and power of the elites: they are better than us, the "best men", the aristoi.

              But this notion is also widespread as well among ordinary people - the "99%" (many of whom vote, argh, Republican).  I believe the reason the idea hasn't gone away is because it is "inherent" in the structure of the socio-economic system in which we live: money is the principle measure of value and some occupations pay substantially less than others.  I fear that as long as you and I - the ones who have a choice - choose 'professions' that pay more than 'occupations' which do not, we are 'acting out' our own agreement with the very idea we pretend to abhor - we are facilitating the perpetuation of a system of inequality.  

              In other words, the social Darwinist idea does not go away because, on a certain level, we 'agree' with it. I suppose one might quibble whether we act in accord with it because we choose to or because we are constrained to - but I don't see any point in that, if we can at least agree on a solution - perhaps like this one:

              All working people, without exception, should make a true living wage

              And the super-rich should be taxed out of existence.

      •  You're not seriously using... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rduran

        ...the most minimum wage workers are kids argument, are you?  You can't do an age-tiered wage either because then places will fire the adults and hire the kids.

    •  because their first obligation is to the share (0+ / 0-)

      holders and to justify their annual bonuses.
      After all, for many CEOs, their annual bonuses equal or exceed their base salaries.  Then, of course, many franchises are sort of pyramid schemes where each level derives its wealth by squeezing the layer below themselves on the pyramid  

    •  Henry Ford wanted to pay his workers well enough (0+ / 0-)

      that they could buy what his factories turned out.

      This was NOT rocket science (and Ford was no paragon of virtue) then. It's not rocket science now.

      A living wage in the part of Texas I'm from would be $13.50 an hour, by the way.

      That's the wage I made, in a good job, from 2001-2005, with a college degree and several years' experience in my field.

      To do as well now as I did then I'd need a $17.75 wage. It ain't happenin'.

      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 Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:13:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I Agree Absolutely !! (0+ / 0-)

      Anything to be able to support yourself.

  •  Stay in school (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WillR, Rikon Snow, AlexDrew

    Is a lesson here. When your skills are significantly low enough that pretty much anyone off the street can do your job, your in a bad place economically.

    You best believe it does

    by HangsLeft on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:42:54 AM PDT

    •  I dunno. My father had a seventh grade (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      unclebucky, Dodgerdog1, varro, JesseCW

      Education and was able to support his family through hard, blue collar work.  Of course, that was when we had blue-collar jobs . . . You know, back in the 40s, 50s, 60s. Before the conservatives "saved" he economy.

      ". . .as singularly embarrassing a public address as any allegedly sentient primate ever has delivered." - Charles P. Pierce

      by Rikon Snow on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:46:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  different day, different time, different rules (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rikon Snow

        My oldest son was dragged kicking and screaming through the education system including private schools, boarding schools and summer schools with tutors all so he could get that high school diploma.
        So far what he has discovered is that most doors are still closed to him except the most basic jobs.  The jobs with opportunities for management are out of his reach.  He has still not figured this out but I still hope he realizes at some point that advanced vocational training is an absolute necessity in our society which is moving more and more to accreditation in various skills.

        For example, I can remember  in the 1980s, social workers did not require any sort of accreditation while physicians were not required to be board certified.  Try to enter either field today without advanced certification

      •  Dad's 5th grade education let him do (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rikon Snow

        long division in his head.
        A mechanic, he supported a wife and three kids on one wage (until an industrial accident sidelined him).

        Yes, that was the 1959-1980 period.

        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 Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:15:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  But don't get a liberal arts degree! (0+ / 0-)

      You are better off studying welding.

      I kid, sort of. But the President was not.

      Darling, you didn't use canned salmon, did you?

      by JrCrone on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:48:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not kidding! (0+ / 0-)

        There's a serious shortage of welders looming as the average age of welders is high (I think it's now over 55) so many will be retiring soon and the industry is very concerned about how they will be replaced. This will likely make the "supply and demand" equation very attractive to welders over the next thirty years.

        There are, of course, many types of welding jobs including on-site construction, heavy equipment manufacturing, and underwater (the latter requiring additional specialized "orthogonal" training). Many of these jobs are dirty, hot, and physically demanding but pay well and offer room for advancement early in one's career picking up new skills and honing one's expertise. Compared to trades like plumbing, welding probably doesn't offer as many obvious paths to starting your own business and growing it however.

        Many routine "assembly line" type welding jobs have been/are being replaced by "robots" or have been/are being eliminated via evolution of manufacturing materials and techniques that eliminate the need for traditional metal welding - but those were the boring jobs anyway. Thus, it's probably a good field only for smart, motivated folks who like working hard, like building stuff, and like learning new things.

        Our public education system should be encouraging and fostering students with a native aptitude and interest in the trades and with a corresponding lack of native aptitude and interest in "academic" fields. However, the "trades path" should be as rigorous and demanding (perhaps more so at the minimum level - it shouldn't be a dumping ground for the discipline problems or the "dumb" kids) as the "academic" path. Indeed, much of the math curriculum in perhaps 4th through 7th grade is very important to someone going into the trades - sure, you can just learn the 3-4-5 rule in trade school, but the person who knows the more general and easily applied formula a2+b2=c2 is the one that is ultimately going to be more likely to advance. Somewhere around the 7th grade I think the math curriculum should diverge substantially and not just "dumb" vs. "smart". In the trades, it is quite useful to know and understand the basic trig functions and how to apply them comfortably and intuitively but it's probably completely unnecessary to have a clue about what an imaginary number is (most people, except in a very few advanced fields, ever run into an imaginary number).

        Most jobs that require a liberal arts degree are not hot, dirty, or physically demanding of course. But there just are not enough of them so most people with such degrees end up not using most of the specialized knowledge or skills they learned so the pay does not reflect any value for that knowledge or skills. The degree often just satisfies the "college degree required" checkbox and give the employer confidence that the applicant can read and write at a (real) high school level or better.

        (Yes, I know, tl;dr)

        •  Encyclopedic (0+ / 0-)

          As a person whose partner is in the trades, I hope that my somewhat glib comment did not come off as insulting.

          What I am wondering, however, is why this looming shortage of welders isn't being used as a big argument for the guild-knowledge aspect of trade unions?

          This is an enormous opportunity for trade-unionist Democrats to speak up and say that "Overcharging Tech Trade College" that offers you lots of student loans to get the education is not achieving what a solid public education and union shop got before the systematic war on unions began.

          Darling, you didn't use canned salmon, did you?

          by JrCrone on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:12:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Welders *start* at $12.50 an hour in the oilpatch (0+ / 0-)

        and that doubles after 40 hours in the same work week.

        My younger son was a plumber's helper for several collegiate summers, and was able to save money toward his honeymoon (a whole week in Ireland) from just one such summer.

        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 Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:17:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's OK with you? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, BlackSheep1

      It's OK that people who do unskilled or entry level jobs can't make the basic living?
      Manual labor does not require higher education and it's necessary work to keep the rest of society functioning. Should those people be forced to scramble to make ends meet every month?

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:58:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  problem is that education does not pay off (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rikon Snow, varro, JesseCW

      Even advanced degrees today don't guarantee job access.  From the 1970s, I can personally state that certification, education and experience requirements for even entry level positions have increased.  Today, even being a military veteran does not carry that much weight with many employers.

      Bottom line from my mole eye's view of the world is the best way to find a job today is to rely on nepotism.  While some studies reflect that only 30% of millionaires inherited their wealth, at the same time, other studies have indicated the best predictor of vocational success is the father's vocational success and has been thus since the post war period.

    •  Perhaps *you* should have paid attention... (0+ / 0-)

      ....in elementary school spelling.  

      Don't you mean "...you're (you are) in a bad place economicaly"?

      You can't spell "Dianne Feinstein" without "NSA".

      by varro on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:14:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Organize and fight for higher wages is the lesson (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1, brae70

      people who actually care about others take from this.

      Tens of millions of Americans have to do service work, no matter how many "stay in school".  

      Welcome to the Whole Foods of the blogosphere.

      by JesseCW on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:24:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Where's the Democratic bill in Congress (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, BlackSheep1

    To assess fines or taxes against employers to recover the welfare costs needed to sustain their low pay scales.

    Oh. well.  never mind.

    ". . .as singularly embarrassing a public address as any allegedly sentient primate ever has delivered." - Charles P. Pierce

    by Rikon Snow on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:43:45 AM PDT

  •  Not 10.10. READ: 15. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

    by unclebucky on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:47:43 AM PDT

  •  Apples & Oranges (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless

    As I see it, the unfortunate truth speaks to the fast-food jobs were never intended to support families. They were entry-level jobs for students to fill so there was no "social contract" built in—they were lucky to have the experience was the prevailing attitude. That is so 60s!

    As a business coach, I believe, frankly, any company that leaves a business in the hands of teenagers without solid management is asking for trouble. They don't have the experience, especially with minimal training if any, to advance the company. (Take notes when you visit a drive-through restaurant.)

    The wildcard here is the drooping economy where all bets are off. Adults are filling these entry-level jobs out of necessity. They may not have the skills for higher pay so they are trapped, and the cycle continues. This trend was evident to me long before the economy tanked.

    As a culture, we do not put a value on education as evidenced by how we treat teachers. We must learn from successful school systems and other countries' programs. The social climb starts in school so people want to advance beyond entry-level jobs. We must do a better job of tracking skills to real job opportunities rather than leading people to dead ends. MC

    Positive Potentials LLC shortens your learning curve! Michelle Cubas, Enterprise Business Coach CPCC 480-510-7166

    by Michelle Cubas on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:48:12 AM PDT

    •  I understand your point, but those (0+ / 0-)

      Blue-collar, low sill jobs still exist . . . But not in America.  Textiles, manufacturing . . . All now in Asia or Mexico.  And all for the benefit of finance capital.  Other models work. Germany, Scandinavia . . . We could do better.  

      If the jobs we have are fast-food, and we'll never overcome that . . . Then let's start fixing it.   I don't care how.  Minimum wage, unionize, fine, tax . . . Whatever.

      Any conversation that fixates on wages or education is just too narrow.

      ". . .as singularly embarrassing a public address as any allegedly sentient primate ever has delivered." - Charles P. Pierce

      by Rikon Snow on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:58:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your entire fantasy of "climing" leaves (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1

      millions out from the start.

      There are no "entry level jobs".  There are just jobs.  Someone has to do them.

      Someone has to live on the wage they pay.

      Unfortunately, far too many Americans have for far too long bought into the same big lie you do - that poverty is some transitory phase that people ought to suffer through in order to incentivize them to "make something of themselves".

      The fastest growing employment sector is service jobs.  That's where the work is.  

      It's either going to pay a living wage or people are going to suffer dire poverty.  "Tracking skills" and prattling about "real jobs" (because cleaning a fucking grease trap isn't a real job to some) won't change those trends.

      Welcome to the Whole Foods of the blogosphere.

      by JesseCW on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:31:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Automation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlexDrew

    I am just waiting for the food service industry to find a way to start automating to cut jobs.

    Just as I have seen stores increasingly going to check yourself out lines to cut down on cashiers and baggers, the day is coming where fast food places figure out how to slash their workforce through automating the process of making fries and burgers.

    That is the rock and a hard place situation behind mandating living wages for things like fast food.

    I think it is abhorrent that companies pay poverty wages to these people, but at the same time I am not blind to the fact that at a certain point if workers become expensive enough they will figure out ways to cut out the need for them and then everyone loses but the fat cats raking in the profits.

    •  They've repeatedly tried to automate the (0+ / 0-)

      ordering process.  Consumers continue to reject it.  

      They are always in the process of increasing productivity behind the counter.  A pathetically low minimum wage hasn't stopped that.

      But, guess what?  Twice the wage at each part-time job while working one job instead of two is not a loss for us morlocks.

      Welcome to the Whole Foods of the blogosphere.

      by JesseCW on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:35:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  John, d'you mean (0+ / 0-)

      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 Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:20:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I expect it... (0+ / 0-)

      ...will be quite a few years before we see a lot of "end-to-end" automation in the actual core production (I think they may call it "cooking" although I wouldn't use that term) of food at fast food places. Doing so seems to require a fairly high capital expenditure (esp. considering that most fast food places regularly change their menus by adding stuff - sometimes seasonal, sometimes just trials) and even at $15/hr, it's probably cheaper to pay humans to do the work than to incur the high capital costs and ongoing maintenance/upgrade costs of automation. Of course, advances in technology (including reductions in cost of computing and algorithmic improvements in various areas required for effective robotics such as real time image recognition) will continuously and inexorably tilt the equation towards implementing more automation in the core food production side and the speed of that evolution will be influenced by the hourly net cost of employees.

      However, many (perhaps most) of the workers at fast food joints (I must admit I probably only visit such a place once or twice a year now so I may be missing something) seem to work in the "front of the house" - esp. taking orders and handing food to customers.

      However, the ordering part, and some of the "pickup" part, is just a few keystrokes away from being automated right now.

      It's true that automated ordering has often been rejected in the past by customers. For example, Arby's, IIRC, tried it many years ago via in-store kiosks and it was a failure (but, then, once Arby's started serving press-formed beef in the very late 60's or early 70's they were the definition of "fail" overall IMNSHO).

      However, vast swaths of the population (and more every day) are increasingly comfortable with ordering online, comfortable with using their smart phone for financial transactions, and comfortable with "self checkout". Many customers would value the time it saves them and the accuracy of the order that would result from "self ordering".

      For example, the ability to place your order (esp. if, it's your "standard" order that you can do with one click and not forget to say "hold the onions" or "extra mustard") from your phone before you leave work, have the app track your GPS coordinates and estimate (in conjunction with real time traffic reports) your arrival time so your order is ready just as you pull up to the "drive up" or walk to the pickup counter would be very attractive to some. If discounts were offered for cutting out the counter worker who really provided no added value anyway, even more people would utilize "self ordering" via their phone. With the customer's consent, the business could benefit from offering you customized deals based on your ordering history (perhaps BK notices that you stopped ordering as often and suspect that you might be going to the new Wendy's that opened down the street last month and offer you some great deals on BK in hopes of regaining more of your business).

      Such online ordering may also allow for significantly more efficient work flow "in the back" as upcoming orders would be more predictable and there has to be some optimization possible as a result. Presumably the software could instruct the "cooks" more precisely with this knowledge and result in "fresher" "food" for all customers -- no more "It will be a couple minutes before we have a fresh batch of fries, thank you for your patience" (yea!!!).

      Also, imagine how much more efficient it would be to have a centralized call center to respond to an "online" customer who wanted to talk to a human about a particular special aspect of their order that couldn't be accommodated directly by the app. There are three time zones in the continental United States and these correspond rather nicely to the breakfast/lunch/dinner rush hours - as the lunch rush is wrapping up in ET it's starting in CT and so on. When the lunch rush is wrapping up in PT, the dinner rush will soon be beginning in ET. This would accommodate people working full time jobs with regular hours at a call center. This is complicated a bit by the current franchise model that most fast food chains operate under today, but it could be an optional service managed by "corporate" that each franchise could chose to utilize or not and could be charged back per call or something to the franchise owner.

  •  I think they have taken down the site or at least (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW

    their recommended budget for their workers where workers are advised to get a second job or third job so they can afford to pursue their careers at McD's (that is snark on my part)

    At any rate here are some discussions of the proposed budget their workers should live on
    http://www.nasdaq.com/...
    http://money.cnn.com/...
    However the defenders of the elite were quick to defend the budget:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...
    http://www.businessinsider.com/...
    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/...  

  •  You deserve to be broke today (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW

    Their new motto.

    I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

    by jhecht on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:58:36 AM PDT

  •  I don't eat fast food or shop at Walmart (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW

    Because of the labor practices.  Why boycott isn't at the center of progressive action on this issue puzzles me.

    ". . .as singularly embarrassing a public address as any allegedly sentient primate ever has delivered." - Charles P. Pierce

    by Rikon Snow on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:02:17 PM PDT

    •  'cause in many places now, particularly (0+ / 0-)

      places NOT named San Francisco or New York City, Wal-Mart's what there is.

      Which sucks.

      I go to other stores for everything I can, but there are some things nobody else carries.

      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 Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:22:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There must be data that show exactly how much (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, BlackSheep1

    food stamps and other government assistance is used by people who are employed by the big corporations.
    As noted above, this amounts to a subsidy for those companies.
    There should be a way to recapture that subsidy through corporate taxes.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:03:04 PM PDT

  •  Forget about 10.10. It should be 20.00 (0+ / 0-)

    Armed! I feel like a savage! Barbarella

    by richardvjohnson on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:33:31 PM PDT

  •  You just revealed the big secret (0+ / 0-)

    and perhaps you did not realize it.  Your excellent post shows that the fast food industry operates like Walmart operates: by using public money to support its underpaid workers, Walmart effectively imposes an indirect tax on ALL Americans.  Walmart's profits are subsidized by the US government, which is funded by you and me.  But what your post also shows is that the petition will not come close to solving the problem in the fast food industry:

    [T]o secure a modest living ... In Syracuse, New York, a fast food worker with a child would have to work 112 hours a week—or be paid $25.05 an hour
    $25/hour, not $10.10/hr, or even the $15/hr that would bring us close to 'parity' with the minimum wage in 1968.

    And therein lies the secret: the problem is not that the fast food industry relies now on taxpayer subsidies to survive; the problem is it always did.  The fast food industry is a cancer on the body politic, not only because of the crappy food it serves, but because of the very way it does business (as Eric Schlosser showed in Fast Food Nation).

    But it never could have done any business at all paying workers $25.05.

    Perhaps the only reason the fast food industry exists at all is because it was able, at its origin, to exploit youth and "first time" workers.  (After that, maybe women joining the workforce combined with expansion of outsourcing.)  The more deeply established the industry became, the more politically powerful it also became - it was too late for the USG to inflict real justice on them in the name of a living wage: it would have killed the whole industry.

    So now we're going to settle for $10.10?? And this is some kind of victory??? Let's not kid ourselves.

    If this is true of the fast food industry in general - that it exists only because it is fed by public subsidies (hence, taxes on the people) - then it may well be true of Walmart: could they 'exist' as they are today without the tremendous public subsidies that have covered not only the cost of their labor, but also of the maintenance of their physical plant (tax breaks), not to mention the  privilege conferred on them of destroying the competition (the "Main Street" stores inevitably driven OOB by the proximity of Walmart), in rank violation of the spirit of antitrust law???

    And what about other industries? I think a very strong case could be made that the US oil industry could not exist without the immense and continuing public subsidies provided them - and I am not talking about tax breaks alone. How about the roads? How about the military that supports the property claims and investments of the oil companies around the world??

    We have bought and paid for these industries: they do not exist without us. They are creatures of society, and subject to the regulations the society would impose upon them through its agent, the USG. Why let the USG off the hook with a measly $10.10?  Whose government is this, anyway?

    To hell with $10.10, I want $25.05.

  •  Short answer, solublefish: NO. (0+ / 0-)
    If this is true of the fast food industry in general - that it exists only because it is fed by public subsidies (hence, taxes on the people) - then it may well be true of Walmart: could they 'exist' as they are today without the tremendous public subsidies that have covered not only the cost of their labor, but also of the maintenance of their physical plant (tax breaks), not to mention the  privilege conferred on them of destroying the competition (the "Main Street" stores inevitably driven OOB by the proximity of Walmart), in rank violation of the spirit of antitrust law??
    Wal-Mart could not have made itself a nationwide presence without the ability to rely on taxpayers' bailouts. They're too big to fail because of that.

    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 Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:25:35 PM PDT

    •  This is what I presumed, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1

      more or less. Has anyone actually put together the math on this, though - I mean on the real economics of Walmart? Or of the oil industry? If so, I would love to see it all laid out in one place.  If not, sounds like a good project for a math-and-econ-savvy researcher.

      •  I'm NOT that researcher (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alypse1, solublefish

        but I can google:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...
        has this key quote:

        Since the release of The Wal-Mart Effect, journalists, economists and others have documented additional Walmart effects. In 2013, the Democratic staff of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce released a report called Walmart’s The Low‐Wage Drag on Our Economy: Wal‐Mart’s low wages and their effect on taxpayers and economic growth, which analyzed Walmart's effect on U.S. government finances and concluded that each Walmart store costs taxpayers between $900,000 and $1.75 million per year for social services for its workers, such as healthcare, Section 8 housing programs, subsidized school lunches and earned income tax credits.[10]
        apparently backed by Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/...

        but Forbes also discounts the "politicization" of that report via having it "first released" to Huffington Post. Still ...

        There’s important stuff in here:

        The most recent decade proved to be a “lost decade” for most working families the average family’s income is lower today than at any point in the last 10 years. Income inequality is more extreme today than at any point since before the Great Depression, with the top 1 percent of income earners receiving 93 percent of income gains in the recovery. In the third quarter of 2012, corporate profits reached $1.75 trillion, their greatest share of GDP in history. During that same quarter, workers’ wages fell to their lowest share of GDP on record.

        We need to have a serious discussion about what constitutes a living wage with benefits.

        That's an inconvenient, and incontrovertible, truth.

        Further info listed here:
        http://www.ilsr.org/...

        Key quote (the article's every bullet point is a click to a study):

        (In addition to these studies, see the book Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses for a look at the far-reaching impacts of large retail chains and the advantages that accrue to communities that opt for locally owned, independent businesses instead.)

        Economic Impact of Local Businesses vs. Chains:
         Studies have found that locally owned stores generate much greater benefits for the local economy than national chains do.

        Retail Employment Studies
         conclude that the arrival of a big-box store decreases the number of retail jobs in a region.

        Wages & Benefits Studies
         have found that big-box retailers, particularly Walmart, are depressing wages and benefits for retail employees, and that median incomes have risen faster in places with more small businesses compared to those dominated by big businesses.

        Existing Businesses
        These studies look at how the arrival of a large chain impacts local retailers and other nearby businesses.

        Poverty Rates
         Counties that have gained Walmart stores have fared worse in terms of family poverty rates, according to this study.

        SmartPlanet has more: http://www.smartplanet.com/...

        and a Forbes editorial in praise of destroying living wages and local businesses: http://www.forbes.com/...
        Key quote (and a great explanation of the POV of the uber-elite):

        Well quite. That is indeed the point of this entire capitalism/free markets thing. Whatever the specific task is we want to continually find ways of performing that task while using less human labour. This allows that human labour to then go off and do something else which makes us all richer. We end up with both the first task completed and also whatever the output of that something else is. This isn’t a bug in the system it’s the very point of it.
        Think Progress has the same Congressional report:
        http://thinkprogress.org/...

        So I'm thinking yep, there's documentation to bolster the argument that in point of fact Wal-Mart is the opposite of desirable and progressive.

        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 Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:16:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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