SNAP (food stamps) actually are not welfare for the workers themselves, who undoubtedly don’t have wonderful lives. What ends up happening is, because the government comes in and supplements egregiously low wages with benefits like food stamps, the companies don’t have to pay living wages. So in effect, your tax money is being used to support corporate margins. (I call these "wage subsidies").
Many of these folks who qualify food stamps spend them at the very companies which refuse to pay them decent wages. Who benefits? CEOs and shareholders. Who loses? The taxpayers (government / society).
Guess what would happen if these companies failed to pay high enough wages and food stamps didn’t exist? There would be massive employee organizing, where ultimately, the companies would have to change their tact. This of course doesn’t happen when the taxpayers makes up the difference, and that is exactly what these corporations want (but without the corporate taxes of course).
Just in case you weren’t already aware of how difficult it is to survive on minimum wage, allow McDonald’s to lay it all out for you. The fast food giant has partnered with Visa to release a budget journal to help their employees to better manage their meager finances.
In a hilariously obtuse budget breakdown, the Big Mac purveyor’s first piece of advice to their employees is: "Get a second job."
Yup, even McDonald’s knows that workers can’t survive on the pittance they make flipping patties and fighting off customers. So tallying up all of these totally realistic expenses, a McDonald’s employee would need to net $2,060 per month to make this budget work. Broken down, that would mean working at least 40 hours per week and making at least $15 an hour pre-taxes to earn the necessary $12.86 an hour. (Currently, McDonald’s workers earn an average of $8.25 per hour, barring any funny business.)
Maybe their employees wouldn't need a second job if McDonald's wasn't paying their workers with debit cards. By the way, as you can see in their sample budget below, it shows $20 for heath insurance. Tell me where can I sign up.
The Official McBudget
Screenshot below from their website
For more on how ridiculous this is, watch this video.Wichita’s richest native son, billionaire Charles Koch, says he knows the real threat to jobs in Kansas: the minimum wage. His tax-exempt foundation has just begun an ad blitz in to expose that danger, and Koch says he’s personally helping fashion this new campaign against “government overreach” in the economy. Koch's current net worth ($43.8 billion) may soon expand his campaign to other cities. Too bad for McDonalds employees. Maybe they'll need three jobs.
- LA Times: McDonald's offers budget tool for workers -- who may need a second job
- Deseret News: Budget guide from McDonald's assumes two jobs
- Bloomberg: McDonald’s Employee Budget Planner Assumes 2 Jobs at $13 an Hour
- The Atlantic: McDonald's Can't Figure Out How Its Workers Survive on Minimum Wage
Vietnam—a country of 92 million whose economy has grown at an average annual rate of 7% over the past decade—began opening to foreign investors two decades ago, but investment rose significantly after the communist-led country joined the World Trade Organization in 2007. McDonald's said it plans to open its first restaurant in Vietnam, after awarding the franchise to the son-in-law of the nation's prime minister. McDonald's said it sees an opportunity to grow in Vietnam as the average income rises. Vietnam will be McDonald's 38th country in Asia. (I guess that means all those Nike factory workers will have somewhere to go on Friday night now. Oops! I forgot, they don't earn enough to eat at McDonald's.)