Someone Has to Work at McDonalds


There has been some talk over the recent months of employees, most specifically those at Walmart and McDonalds, demanding that their minimum wage pay be increased from around $7.25/hr to a living wage of about $15/hr. When one of the first news stories broke on this, one of my friends sent me a meme of a side by side comparison of a McDonald's worker striking for higher pay and an EMS worker, that said, that the EMS worker doesn't even make that much, so why should the McDonald's worker get that much. To that, I said well, someone has to work at McDonalds!

Someone Has to Work at McDonalds

I think even the most bone headed of us can say rationalize that working at McDonald's isn't saving a human life. In fact many many people would argue its quite the opposite, but why are we demonizing people who are just like you perhaps, with families, going to or trying to go to school, trying to pay their bills, etc. like everyone else. It's not enough to just say, well its poor life choices and they could be a doctor if they wanted to. Not everyone can be a doctor and even those who do become doctors are saddled with years worth of debt, so its not just connect the dots from A to Z. You may turn your nose up at the McDonald's employee, or the construction worker, or the janitors of the world, but without them we'd all be f'd. When these people strike you see, "just how useless they are." They can easily cripple cities and offices just like that.

The EMS worker, the McDonald's employee...they both need to earn a living wage. $7.25 in 2015, soon to be 2016 is not enough to live. This country so infrequently increases minimum wage as compared to other countries. You cannot expect people to live and function on the same wage that people made 20 or 30 years ago because we have inflation which naturally drives prices of everyday items...gas, food, etc. up. Most people on this earth need a job to earn a living wage, and McDonald's is a job like any other. Sure it may not be stopping someone from bleeding out, but this idea that they don't somehow deserve it is essentially saying, you don't think these people deserve to live and punishing them for doing what you may do, waking up every morning, and going to a job vs. sitting somewhere and doing nothing. Minimum wage is something that affects all these jobs that haven't increased wages in decades. If there had been a slow and steady increase over the years to match with inflation, we wouldn't be in the situation we are now where the increase needs to be so dramatic.

Someone Has to Work at McDonalds
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  • Anonymous
    As much as I feel that it would be nice for those who make minimum wage to have an increase, because we all know how expensive living is. It most likely won't help solve all of our problems. Unfortunately with the increase in minimum wage, anyone who was making below the 15 dollars would get a raise. I truly believe they deserve it, everyone deserves to be able to provide for their family.

    However it will only drive the costs of everything even higher and then people would be making 15 dollars an hour, but a loaf of bread would likely cost 10 bucks or some other ridiculous cost. People would find it harder to provide for their families because the cost of everything would have to go up substantially to cover labour costs. Some people would even find themselves laid off or fired because they can't afford to keep them. While others struggling to find work would find that there are less jobs because the wage for the average worker has almost doubled.

    I think a better solution is to rework the tax system so that richer people pay more taxes. Let's start putting more money into social housing, child care and other programs that can help the people in need.

    I think society as a whole needs to start working on how they can help out their communities. Shopping local, buying from local farmers, shopping at local shops and supporting small businesses is going to help give people a chance at a life.

    The problem is that minimum wage jobs are supposed to be a stepping stone into the working world for young people or for people who have been out of work for a long time or are changing careers. People get those jobs to gain experience, make a little bit of money and hopefully move onto a better paying job eventually.

    I think we need to invest more into programs that help people move on from those types of jobs. We also need to encourage companies to hire people with less experience and train them so they can contribute. Right now I feel the biggest problem is that there are tons of people who are eligible to retire or are close who are refusing to give up working. I see their reasons, but there are a lot of qualified young people who work at McDonald's who can't get entry level positions in those companies because people won't leave.

    So those young people are affected and now take jobs that were meant for high school kids. And so high school kids and even young adults still have to rely on Mom and Dad because they can't afford a place of their own.
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Most Helpful Guy

  • meowcow
    Someone has to work the job at McDonalds, true. But they should not be full grown adults. These jobs require no skills at all. Since a 15-year old kid can figure out how to put a hamburger together or work a cash register (smartphones are more complicated than a cash register), this essentially means that every single able-bodied human being can do this job. Which is why it should be sourced to teenagers learning the ropes of the real world.

    Minimum wage jobs are not meant to be living wage jobs. It would be ridiculous if you could work at McD or Walmart or doing a newspaper delivery route and expect that you could afford a home and support a family. If that were the case, why the hell would anybody go to school? Every 15 year old kid could drop out of high school and earn a living wage flipping burgers.

    A few things also to consider... a nationwide increase in MW to $15/hr will drastically increase inflation. Everything will be more expensive to buy, and your existing savings will decrease in value. This will hit pensioners, your parents, grandparents very hard, since everything they worked for and saved in the bank, or their home value and investments will drop 5-10%.

    To raise minimum wage by doubling it, essentially makes middle and high income people poorer, while providing no benefit or solution to low income people. Yes that's right... no benefit. Even at $15/hr, everything will cost more so their purchasing power remains the same. They are still earning minimum wage, no matter how many times you increase it. In fact, you're creating more minimum wage people, because everybody earning $10-15/hr today will suddenly become minimum wage lackeys. It would really suck for the office worker making $15/hr today to suddenly become fitted among the lowest-income bracket.
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    • Blueeyes81

      Most of what you say is true. But inflation occurs regardless. If I remember my economics roughly 2% a year. I agree that a minimum wage increase would have an effect on inflation, unless the money loss was absorbed by the corporation that employees them and not passed on to consumers. Easier said than done. For the past 40 years we have seen the pay for top level executives sky rocket while the workers pay increases don't even match inflation. I receive a 1% pay increase yearly. By adjusting for inflation that means I make less than the previous year. Unless we level out the pay disparity within corporations, what you say is true.

    • Thor696

      @Blueeyes81 2% inflation? With the wrong economic policies it can go much higher. In the '70's, under Carter - it was 10% or more. Inflation was the only thing they talked about during those years.

      As far as CEO's go - who cares? Their pay doesn't do squat for working men one way or another so why care about that? If you're only getting 1% pay raise a year - you need to find a higher paying job. I just don't understand why some people think it should be a law that their pay keeps pace with inflation. Sure - it would be nice... but if you can't pay the bills you need another job - or another career.

    • Blueeyes81

      @Thor696 2% on average. And ceos and top tier execs have seen massive pay increases over the last 40 years that have cut into the working man's wage. And as far as people seeking higher paying jobs do you not understand that if the market gets flooded with with applicants that wages decrease. It's demand that keeps most well paying jobs that way. As more people pursued degrees welders saw their wages skyrocket. As more people seek a well paying job welders wages will decrease once again. I used to receive a 3 to 5 percent raise. But in a record profit year for my company they slashed the starting salary. And gave us a 1% lump sum payout. So technically I didn't even get a raise. I understand that bad policy can skyrocket inflation.

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • Red_Arrow
    Is $7.25 a living wage? No. But it is suitable for youth that have not yet learned a craft or career. And for those who have retired and are living on SS or retirement pay, but need a little extra. And the ones who have learned a skill through school or other training, such as the EMS workers, should be making more than the fast food workers.

    But while considering such a large jump in minimum wage, consider that $15 an hour is what many people in many states earn that is considered mid range. An increase in the minimum wage would effectively put them put the low end suddenly. That would be the kind of thing that generally would happen all over.

    And more important that that... look at the circumstances of the retired. Their income is set. Whether it be Social Security, retirement pay, savings, dividends, whatever, their pay is stuck where ever it is. they have worked all their lives to earn a savings or investment income that was supposed to support them. Suddenly the lowest pay jumps way up, most other pays would soon also be increased, and the retirees (huge numbers of our population) would remain at whatever they had. And because the rest of the country is making more money, the prices of everything would go up to match the wages, and the retirees will suddenly be screwed and destitute.

    Raising the minimum wage is okay, but increases have to be slowly to allow those on fixed incomes to be able to live.
    Like 5 People
    • Anonymous

      Yes, that was my point at the end... had we raised the minimum wage incrementally over the last couple of decades, the idea of $15/hr wouldn't even need to be a thing, but you simply cannot go 20 years or however long and not raise it at all. I personally think at bare minimum we should at least be at $10/hr. Some states have raised their MW incrementally every year and done well as have other countries.

    • Red_Arrow

      Well, any increase now will be great for people working for minimum wage, especially compared to those earning Social Security who will get NO increase this next year.

  • Thor696
    What if I told you... that people weren't supposed to work at McDonalds for a lifetime?

    What if I told you... that people MOVE UP AND OUT of that kind of a job?

    Did I work at McDonald's once? Yes I did... for $2.25 an hour.

    Here... 40 years later... I have a job that pays $100K, a retirement check that pays $3K and my wife is a rocket scientist and she makes $100K. And since, combined - we make over $200K - the government wants to tax the shit out of us because we are...


    If I had been "comfortable" working at McDonalds...


    By the way... I have no college degree. The one my wife has - well I put her through school to get it and we had some pretty lean years. And we had kids during that time too.

    But we didn't go on Welfare or Food Stamps.

    If you raise the minimum wage to $15 dollars - it will simply increase the unemployment rate because McDonalds will hire fewer workers.

    As a matter of fact... McDonalds is already testing an "employee free" facility that's essentially staffed by a computer.

    So now watcha going' do?
    Like 5 People
    • nalaa

      Well that's the thing. That was true when you were young, it's not for our generation. McDonalds used to be student job but students can barley get them because old people are grabbing them up. And they're doing that because they have other opportunities and need to work.
      Regardless of that, you shouldn't have to collect welfare when you work full time? I mean who do you think is picking up that tab? Your tax money. While Mcdonalds/Walmart is making billions in profits. I mean do people think that is a good idea?

      I think baby boomers are often hypocritical when it comes to stuff like that. You now want low tax rates, low minimum wage, anti union...
      When in most countries those things were at all time high during those years. Like you said you worked at McDonalds 40 years ago for 2.25, well that's 4300 a year (assuming a 39 hour week ) when median HOUSEHOLD income was 11000 (in 1975), so that's like 5500 per person. It's lower than average but bad. Whereas 7 an hour is 13000 a year

    • nalaa

      when the median household income is 51k. Top tax rate in was at like 70% and now it's not even 40%
      Cooperate tax went down similarly but guess what tuition, healthcare costs and all that stuff went up

      Well obviously this isn't your fault personally but your generation put us in this position and you keep wanting to make cuts.
      Truth is you had it better than your parents and your very likely to have it better than your children as well. So I don't understand why people your age are so against welfare and raising minimum wage when you had those things at a reasonable rate and went and cut them out for your children. And now your children want them back and that's a reasonable request I think

      And lastly self check out is nothing new. I do all the time. And eventually, hopefully they will replace mcdonalds jobs and they shift to more qualified profession, such as engineering the software that does that. But until then people should be able to live off their wages even at McDonalds

  • nakedalligator
    This is one of the things I've always found ridiculous about the USA. In Canada are minimum wage is around $10.75 I think and it's still only just enough to live on. The states may have a stronger dollar and some cheaper options (of much lower quality) but I don't believe it's enough. Not to mention some server jobs in the USA have a lower wage of $5 an hour as they are supposed to make tips, though they can not control how much tips they make, and tips should be something extra you make for working hard not something that's taken away from you if some assholes don't tip.

    Minimum wage is meant to be the least someone should make for any work, the least you need to live, and all the company's that pay minimum wage can certainly afford paying their employees that little bit more, the CEO's certainly don't need it, and it just shows how little they respect their workers.

    Not only all that, but increasing minimum wage is good for the economy. It allows people the ability to have a little bit more to spend on things they normally would not, helping businesses.

    Besides when you increase minimum wage, other wages naturally go up as well, due to competition.
    Like 4 People
  • RationalMale
    In all seriousness... I don't think anyone has to work at McDonalds, really. There are a lot of jobs that go wanting, especially at that low level. I'm pretty sure there is, in fact, enough room elsewhere.

    I agree on minimum wage, but it's only part of the problem. The government needs to take steps to make the USA more business friendly, and make moving business overseas an uglier idea. Simple example, cut the HB1 visas. We're bringing in foreign help when college grads in those same fields cannot find work.

    Even lower level work can afford a living wage, done right. Simple example--Allied Barton pays contract guards about $10 an hour around Atlanta, roughly. Companies hire them because it's cheaper and saves liability, etc. Armored car workers, who get killed fairly regularly, earn about $12. Also contractors.

    Home Depot has security guards at their call centers, except those guys are just another department working for the company. Same unarmed guards. Except, those guys make $16 an hour a mile away from contract guards earning $10.

    A small difference, but a big impact for the workers.
    LikeDisagree 3 People
    • Anonymous

      There are tons of minimum wage jobs, but they basically all pay MW so McDonald's is just in this case, the most vocal on this issue. If over the years we'd been slowly increasing the MW, we wouldn't be in this position now. When I was just starting out an old job, I worked myself up from MW to full time employee, and then into management, but having started at the bottom and having to struggle, having no benefits, having to try to figure things out every month was extremely stressful and I was at least lucky that I had help. It didn't make sense that there I was working 39 hours and had little to show for it. I pointed out that we were spending more money in some instances on supplies that went unused for years, then we were on the employees. Before Obama care we fought for health care for our part times and for a raise, and over a 2 year struggle, we got it and a lot of things vastly improved. That 2, 3, 5 dollars more, those benefits make a huge difference, and it can be done.


      the future is robots


      Maybe, or maybe robots will be banned. Governments might realize--you replace even 20% of jobs with robots, what happens to all the unemployed people, unless some new field opens up? Welfare? Organized crime?

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  • dartmaul15
    the economy doesn't work like that. Everything is connected

    The wages may go up, but so will also the cost of everything. There will ALWAYS be minimum wage jobs. And they will ALWAYS be almost impossible to survive on. That's the rule of capitalism.
    Like 6 People
  • vishna
    Minimum wage should reflect the times. Wages should be equivalent to the cost of living. 7.25 is not reflective of the cost of living in America.

    In America people are being paid less than minimum wage legally and that's not right either. Waitresses can legally be paid $2.13 an hour, which is ridiculous.
    Like 3 People
  • Botchie
    Rather than increase wages, why don't we decrease the cost of living?
    Like 8 People
    • Anonymous

      can we get you a podium and a mic sir, b/c I don't think enough people heard you

    • Botchie

      We can't afford one due to budget cuts hahaha. I'll just speak up a little louder.

    • Anonymous


  • nickstaa
    The Minimum wage is only $7.25 in America? That's really bad, I'm from a poorer country where the minimum wage would be about $10.00 USD an hour and that's considered low here.

    Big companies especially ones like McDonald's which pollute the world with their crap should be at least paying a couple of dollars more than minimum wage.

    And if workers are still lazy and slack just get rid of them.
    Like 1 Person
    • SonicDare

      There is no standard in the U. S, as in each State can vote to pay more if they so choose. The Federal Minimum is the minimum rate of minimum wage. The City of Seattle has the highest minimum wage in the country.

    • Red_Arrow

      @SonicDare - There is a standard in the US. "The Fair Labor Standards Act requires a minimum wage of $2.13 for tipped workers with the expectation that wages plus tips total no less than $7.25 per hour. The employer must pay the difference if total income does not add up to $7.25 per hour." So whether tipped or not, the minimum is to be a total of $7.25 an hour. Many states set a higher minimum, but they cannot go lower.

    • SonicDare

      @Red_Arrow NO, that is the minimum to which they have to be paid. In Seattle they chose to pay more, therefore it varies by region/state.

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  • wingattebaby16
    When my dad worked at Taco Bell like 30 something years ago, the only adults a any fast food place were the Managers and some moms that worked during the day.

    Everyone else was a teenager.

    The only person at the Taco Bell that spoke Spanish was my dad and the other teenagers that were taking Spanish classes at school.

    Now you only see hispanics at most the fast food places AND they are trying to make 40 hr a week jobs out of jobs that were spozed to be like 3 or 4 hour shifts teeanagers work. Many of them work slit shifts to get 40 hrs.

    So how is it that a job that is unskilled deserves to be paid the same as somebody that is going to college OR has their degree?

    My grandma and grandpa remember their parents back in the 1930's working in the lettuce fields in Calif and they were white people. Now since we let so many illegal aliens in from mexico mostly, those jobs kids used to get AND the jobs white people that were not skilled used to do, are gone.

    Sure nobody wants to work as a janitor, but i know so many white people on welfare that WON'T work coz it is easier to get a handout!

    i am against paying minimum wage so high. Minimum wage jobs like at Walmart, Burger King, and Mcdonalds are for people that dont havr skills. Those jobs dont pay much coz they aren't spozed to, unless you get skills and become the manager!
    Like 1 Person
    The minimum wage has not been "the same wage that people made 20 or 30 years ago". It has been increased 7 times in the last 30 years. (see ) There already has been a "a slow and steady increase over the years to match with inflation".

    As for increasing it again, I say that will only hurt the poor. I was a Carl's Jr worker in 1996 when it increased $.25 an hour. The first thing done was my hours were cut and the prices went up. I ended up with less money and higher prices. It hurt me not helped me. However, since the increase was minor I could still live on my earning.

    However, a $15 an hour minimum wage, will be devastating to the poor and everyone else. High minimum wages have consistently backfire as a poverty fighting tool.

    For example, In 2001 in Nicaragua, the average minimum wage increased to the equivalent of a $15 minimum wage (based on the median income), there was huge decline in the number of jobs available. Most jobs in Nicaragua simply lost there job. Nicaragua went from a 4% unemployment rate to a 12% unemployment rate in less than a year. Simply put, if we do this in the US, employers aren’t going to go bankrupt to pay a $15 minimum wage, so they are going to lay off workers and raise prices. They already are, just look at McDonalds and Chili's. They are already replacing workers with self service ordering and checkouts.
    Disagree 1 Person
  • gotc147
    Lol Bernie Sanders is the loudest voice calling for $15/hour minimum wage, yet he only pays his staffers $13/hour.

    No, people at McDonald's don't need to make a "living wage" as it is not a job people are supposed to make a living off of. It is a job for kids to take their first step into the workforce and get experience working, if they want to move up the ladder there then I say go for it and you can reach a mangement position that does make a living wage, otherwise you should want out to move onto bigger and better things.

    $15/hour is beyond outrageous for such a job.
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  • hellionthesage
    Yes its a crap job that doesn't pay the bills but then again raising the minimum wage won't help. The second it was brought up McDonalds cut jobs and replaced them with machines (computer ordering). You raise the minimum wage and you won't get fair wages you'll just lose more jobs or hours to compensate. The problem is the people up top are not going to sacrifice their paychecks for the people at the bottom.
    Like 2 People
  • Ihav2fart
    Minimum wage WILL be $15 dollars in San Francisco by 2018...
    I think it's ridiculous! I am all for improving lives, but they gotta be deserving of it.
    I can't stand shitty employees not doing shit, while their co-workers work their ass off only to get paid the same..
    Like 4 People
  • Nice_Guy_Last
    Yes, someone has to work at McDonalds. The thing is, minimum wage employees should be 16-18 year olds. It is not a career. It is not a lifestyle. It is money to pay for someone who's life is centered on the bare minimum, not someone who has a family, who is trying to make their way in life.
    Raising the wages for minimum wage jobs increases the value of employment at some jobs, like McDonalds, but it devalues jobs that already at the level that they have been at. What will happen is that companies that have minimum wage employment will raise their prices so they can meet the same profit margin. At the end of the day, the only thing that really happens is that the American dollar becomes disproportionately devalued, and when that happens, people who have life saving will see their saved money's value plummet.
    Raising minimum wage is not the right course of action. What we need is an influx of medium wage jobs and something to make college more accessible to more people. This way, people who do jobs that not only earn them more are also doing jobs that increase the value of American business, as well as increase the number of higher education graduates and thus more high-tech jobs that help our society develop unique products that can only be made in America because of the level of technology we are using. If only we can make it, therefore, we are the only ones who people can buy it from. Thus, greater inflow of money.
    Disagree 1 Person
  • M_A_X
    Yes, someone has to work at Mcdonalds. The problem is that people don't realize that all of the economy and this is graded on a curve. You don't have to make the most money in the world, you just have to be making more than the people working the worst jobs.

    These people, after high school, forget that they're in competition with one another... or maybe it's high school that makes them think otherwise
    Like 1 Person
  • Accipiter
    I live in a state that inflates the minimum wage every year. It pays about $9.25 per hour and it will go up again in January. I think that wage increases should be given as rewards for hard work and dedication to the job, not just because the government says it should.

    The lowest wages would be livable if we had less taxes and federal spending that constantly rob from every hard working American.
    Like 2 People
  • QuteQueen
    I think it depends on the overall professionalism and reputation of McDonald's workers. I feel like everywhere is a stepping stone until you can improve in life and I believe McDonald's is more like a stepping stone to get back on your feet or more of a teenager job.
    i understand about the low wages but they just need to accept it and live accordingly. live with family, share expenses, carpool, use public transportation, get a 2nd job, etc. they can't expect their employer to make sure they have a decent life.
    Like 5 People
  • _feeeyaa_
    In Canada, our minimum wage is near $11. And keep in mind the Canadian dollar has dropped badly. $15 would be a LOT in Canadian dollars. McDonalds is not a PERMANENT career, it's a JOB. it's temporary.
    Like 1 Person
  • rjroy3
    Do away with income tax. Problem solved.
    Minimum wage goes farther of the government would stop taking their money. Why force employers to pay out more, when the government could just take less?
    Everyone would win, not just minimum wage employees.
    Like 2 People
    • rjroy3

      Federal income tax is 10% at the lowest bracket and that's on top of any state income tax. Throw in paying for Medicare and social security regardless of whether or not you use it.

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