The next time you purchase a McDLT with cheese from McDonalds, it may cost you $7 billion. Ok, that may be an extreme example but according to a new report commissioned by the University of Illinois and University of California, Berkeley, over half of America’s fast food workforce depends upon some form of public assistance.
“The Public Cost of Low-Wage Jobs in the Fast-Food Industry” states that between 2007 and 2011, Americans spent an average of seven billion dollars providing some form of government aid for fast-food workers.
So, just briefly, this means that some of America’s largest corporations pay their employees enough to eat off of a competitor’s dollar menu.
The report goes on to detail how many workers live at, near, or below the poverty line, how full-time fast-food workers still require public assistance while working 40 plus hours per week, and Medicaid and food stamps make up a large portion of the provided government assistance.
For the fast-food industry, the devil is in the details: Its time to change the way the business operates.
America’s “Great Recession” may have technically ended because the Gross Domestic Product is no longer in a free fall, yet for those workers making minimum wage or a little above, the recession is still real.
That reality slapped many of those workers in the face when it was reported that the government shutdown would potentially jeopardize programs like Head Start, WIC, and TANF to name a few. Each entity was in danger of losing its funding because of the shutdown and its duration.
But even with the shutdown finally over, what is Washington doing to ensure the security of these individuals? With so many complaining that users of government services are a drain on America, shouldn’t companies who fail to pay a living wage to their employees face some sort of reprimand from consumers?
Maybe we’ve reached a point in America where we listen to intently to partisan rhetoric, so much so that we’ve been conditioned to drown out the voices of those who matter.
No way should America tolerate news that workers who serve their subsistence needs are dependant upon the federal government for assistance.
Chew on that the next time you are asked to wait an extra five minutes for the chicken to fry.
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- Low-Wage Fast Food Jobs Cost IL Taxpayers $368 Million A Year, Report Finds (progressillinois.com)
- Public assistance for fast-food workers costs taxpayers, reports say (kansascity.com)
- Raise The Minimum Wage – Being Poor In America – ‘FAST FOOD, POVERTY WAGES: THE PUBLIC COST OF LOW-WAGE JOBS IN THE FAST-FOOD INDUSTRY’ (thelastofthemillenniums.wordpress.com)
- Study: Majority of Texas fast-food workers on public assistance (star-telegram.com)