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McDonald's, the Corporate Welfare Moocher


McDonald's, the Corporate Welfare Moocher

Jake Johnson

A recent New York Times editorial — accompanied by the catchy headline, "At McDonald’s, Fat Profits but Lean Wages" — noted precisely what its title implies: That a company posting large profits is still failing to pay its workers a livable wage.


The immigrant workers who pick tomatoes for McDonald's have it even worse than those that query the customers if they "want fries with that?" The immigrant issue won't be solved by The Donald's wall or any other draconian measure. Why? Because the corporate cabal is addicted to immigrant labor and all of the externalities they provide the CEOs. Bitch as they might about immigrants, the conservatives LOVE them--in their gardens, in their kitchens, minding their children... McDonald's and WalMart are but the tip of the iceberg of labor injustice in this country.


"welfare queens". In the 1970s, Canadian federal New Democratic Party opposition Leader, David Lewis, spoke of "corporate welfare bums".


David lewis was one of the last NDP leaders who embraced Socialism.


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Once an employee gets out of the polyester uniform and puts on a red cap and a tie, the pay grade goes up. Franchises and corporate-owned (McOpCo) stores pay their people (in management) pretty well. Back in the early 80s, I did 5 years at a McDonald's store; managers were paid in the low 30s, while a group Supervisor could make as much as $70,000.00/year. Sure, that entailed some "grunt" work once in a while, but they got paid much more than the polyester-clad did. When our 5 stores were traded for franchises in the Scottsdale, AZ area, we went McOpCo. I lasted another few months; had to fight, unsuccessfully, for a nickel raise. McOpCo just wouldn't pay $5.00/hr.... then. Everyone under management was just a stiff.


Along with those low wages many social programs are being slashed such as food stamps even as the price of everything rises. The inflation numbers as provided by the Government in the US are bogus.

Here in Canada I know for a fact that food prices rent and costs of utilities go up faster than the official rate of inflation.

This has lead to some 50 million households in the USA being deemed "food insecure". During the Great Depression , contrary to official claims , there was widespread hunger in the USA and food riots. This was one reason FDR was prompted to introduce those relief programs.


Here is an article describing a home invasion by people looking for food. The right wing answer to this is everyone should have a gun and shoot dead such intruders. This going to get worse before it gets better.


The process for cooking the egg to fit the muffin uses a metal ring to contain the egg. I use a thick slice of sweet bell pepper sauteed a bit to soften, then use that in place of the metal ring. Makes an OK MickMuffin, a tasty home substitute with that adaptation.


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There are three things wrong with this analysis.
1. Americans tend to define the 1950's as "normal," when it was in fact the most abnormal epoch in history. The U.S., the only intact major power, had the rest of the world as a captive market. There is nothing "normal" about having the affluence Americans had then, or a single wage-earner being able to support a family comfortably, or someone with few or no skills earning a good wage. Those were very special circumstances and even back then, some people were warning it wasn't sustainable. So maybe we can have high wages for the unskilled and cap the earnings of the very rich, but it will take a constant battle to keep it that way.
2. CEO salary is a handy lightning rod, but it's not the root of the problem. The real problem is the doctrine of "shareholder satisfaction," which decrees workers and society take second place to shareholder earnings. Ordinary shareholders are content to have a piece of a solid company with good prospects and reasonable earnings. Vulture capital funds like RMoney's Bain buy into a company, pressure management to cut expenses to the bone to give them a quick return, then leave the empty husk and move on.
3. With normal welfare, the recipient returns nothing to society. Pretty much all corporate "welfare" provides goods, services, and jobs, if the company actually produced anything to begin with. I knew a woman from Latin America who lived off welfare, but all her kids ended up becoming productive professionals. She, I submit, is a welfare recipient who DID return something of value to society.


Like the Meat Loaf song, "two out of three ain't bad". I agree with #1 as the sort of middle class affluence experienced post WW2 is a historical abberation. I agree with #2 in that the "needs"of shareholders are given far more consideration than that of stakeholders - to the detriment of society in my opinion. But I cannot agree with #3. Welfare recipients spend their money, which helps keep local businesses going, whereas corporations tend to hoard their money, particularly in off shore tax shelters.


I was stumbling down the street, drunk, back in 1977 at 3:00 am. As I passed a McDonald's I realized I was feeling a bit hungry so I stepped in for a burger. I continued on my way, intending to eat my acquired Big Mac while walking. I took a bite and the taste was awful. I noticed a starving stray dog in an alley way and figured he needed the food more than I did so I got as close as I could to him, set the burger on the ground and backed away. This animal was a bag of skin and bones and I expected him to snarf the offered food item down in one gulp. He approached it, sniffing warily, finally touching his nose to it. After two or three sniffs, he turned and ran away. I have never eaten anything from McDonald's since.


No, I'm not familiar with "shelly canners." Please elaborate.