McDonald’s and Wal-Mart have constantly been written-up for offering primarily minimum-wage jobs (nationally $7.25 per hour). Also, in most cases, many of these jobs are part-time, which means that these employees do not enjoy any benefits, such as health care or pensions. Additionally, they generally need to shuttle back and forth between two jobs to make ends meet. A recently-released study reports that 52% of fast-food workers are on some form of public assistance.
McDonald’s is the largest restaurant company in the World and Wal-Mart is the largest retail store, also Worldwide. McDonald’s 2012 Revenue was $27.6 Billion, and Net Income was $5.5 Billion. Wal-Mart’s corresponding figures were $467.0 Billion and $16.5 Billion, respectively. So, these are two very, very profitable corporations.
The linked column, by Mary Sanchez, in the Kansas City Star, points out the plight of the minimum wage workers for McDonald’s, Wal-Mart and similar behemoths, http://www.kansascity.com/2013/11/22/v-print/4642666/actually-keep-your-advice-ill.html. This is why fast-food workers have held strikes in a number of cities recently and, over the Thanksgiving Holiday, Wal-Mart employees are expected to picket its stores in some 1,500 cities.
If you patronize either of these companies, I hope that you will read Ms. Sanchez’ column. It notes some of the nonsensical tips that each provides on an employee web site. Unfortunately, neither company tries to even understand the situation that many of their employees are in–living two paychecks-to-two paychecks. There’s not even a chance of them building some sort of reserve fund–not when every penny is needed.
Roughly a hundred years ago, Henry Ford doubled the pay of his assembly-line workers. He figured that they would then become advocates for Ford and buy his cars, and their increased income allowed them to contribute to the overall Economy. Due to the “multiplier effect”, the additional wages that Ford employees received were multiplied several times, as his workers became consumers. Taxes increased too.
But, let’s not kid ourselves: McDonald’s and Wal-Mart are not going to increase wages any time soon–unless state or local minimum wages are increased. So, who picks up the shortfall? WE DO! Many of these minimum wage workers are on Food Stamps (S.N.A.P.), Medicaid, etc., and when they get really sick–some enter the local Emergency Room. If you look at your Property Tax Bill, you will see your annual assessment. And, if you rent, the cost of E.R. service is included each month.