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Low fast-food wages come at high public cost

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Taxpayers are spending nearly $7 billion a year to supplement the wages of fast-food workers, even as the leading fast-food companies earn billions of dollars in annual profits, according to a pair of reports released Tuesday.

More than half of the nation’s 1.8 million “core” fast-food workers rely on the federal safety net to make ends meet, the reports said. Together, they collect nearly $1.9 billion through the earned income tax credit, $1 billion in food stamps and $3.9 billion through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, according to a report by economists at the University of California at Berkeley’s Labor Center and the University of Illinois.

Overall, the “core” fast-food workers are twice as likely to rely on public assistance than workers in other fields, said one of the reports, which examined nonmanagerial fast-food employees who work at least 11 hours a week and 27 weeks a year.

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As I always say: In reality you save nothing

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that is it??? lol, they missd the whole, health side effect cost. has anyone been to mcd or bk lately?? i went to BK this weekend, at a rest area on a highway, it is not cheap anymore, i left about $35 for me and 2 kids there. also decades ago you would hardly see anyone working there older than 18, may be a manager, now, all workers there were 40 and up.

those jobs were never meant to be more than a temp job\first job for kids in school and colledge. now ppl try to support a family on that wage, no wonder they can't.

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that is it??? lol, they missd the whole, health side effect cost. has anyone been to mcd or bk lately?? i went to BK this weekend, at a rest area on a highway, it is not cheap anymore, i left about $35 for me and 2 kids there. also decades ago you would hardly see anyone working there older than 18, may be a manager, now, all workers there were 40 and up.

those jobs were never meant to be more than a temp job\first job for kids in school and colledge. now ppl try to support a family on that wage, no wonder they can't.

Don't be stupid. You live in the past. The people that work fast food now used to work in manufacturing. Should they have followed thier jobs to asia? Is it thier fault that instead of being able to manufacture cars, computers, heavy equipment etc... they're now forced to take whatever job there is enough of? It is the failure of our government to protect good middle class manufacturing jobs and the greed of corporations and indeed our own fault for continuing to buy products from companies who have gutted our jobs.

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Don't be stupid. You live in the past. The people that work fast food now used to work in manufacturing. Should they have followed thier jobs to asia? Is it thier fault that instead of being able to manufacture cars, computers, heavy equipment etc... they're now forced to take whatever job there is enough of? It is the failure of our government to protect good middle class manufacturing jobs and the greed of corporations and indeed our own fault for continuing to buy products from companies who have gutted our jobs.

it was never a gvmnt job to protect your job. you live in capitalism, not socialism nor communism. you can do anything you want, no one is limiting you, but no one is catching you if you fall either.

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it was never a gvmnt job to protect your job. you live in capitalism, not socialism nor communism. you can do anything you want, no one is limiting you, but no one is catching you if you fall either.

I disagree. It is the job of my legislators here in WA to create a friendly business evironment to prevent companies such as Boeing and Microsoft from moving jobs out of state and out of country. It is the failure of our federal government which has allowed an environment that makes it easier to move jobs than to keep them here. The problem is we have allowed these same companies that have moved our jobs bought our government.

They-Took-Our-Jobs.png

You need to get on the right team here aztek

Edited by OverSword
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it was never a gvmnt job to protect your job. you live in capitalism, not socialism nor communism. you can do anything you want, no one is limiting you, but no one is catching you if you fall either.

If it is not govt's job to protect the people, including their ability to make a living, those who is it govt's job to protect - business, themselves?

"Government of the people, by the people, and for the people."

I don't see any businesses mentioned in there, do you? It's the job of the free market to be capitalist, and while govt should encourage that it is not the job of govt to be capitalist - but to be "for the people".

Edited by Leonardo

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Don't be stupid. You live in the past. The people that work fast food now used to work in manufacturing. Should they have followed thier jobs to asia? Is it thier fault that instead of being able to manufacture cars, computers, heavy equipment etc... they're now forced to take whatever job there is enough of? It is the failure of our government to protect good middle class manufacturing jobs and the greed of corporations and indeed our own fault for continuing to buy products from companies who have gutted our jobs.

There is absolutely no doubt that America has turned into a service industry and no longer a contender in the manufacturing business.

America thrived during our 'manufacturing days' but now we pretty much suck when it comes to 'service' of any kind.

Most of your government jobs are now 'public service' jobs as well and those numbers are growing rather quickly because more and more of the population are requiring service from the government more and more frequently. This is turning into a vicious cycle that will not end well.

I can remember working minimum wage at McDonald's back in 1986-87. I was getting $3.35 per hour. A Big-Mac only cost $1.29 back then, a cheeseburger was $.74, hamburger $.64 and I think a large soda was only $.69.

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It does seem funny that the prices have gone up exponetially, but the wages have been stagnant for decades.

The only people doing good are the uber wealthy. The government has given break after break to them in hopes they'd invest back in America, but the only loyalty that has been returned has been to the almighty profit.

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I disagree. It is the job of my legislators here in WA to create a friendly business evironment to prevent companies such as Boeing and Microsoft from moving jobs out of state and out of country. It is the failure of our federal government which has allowed an environment that makes it easier to move jobs than to keep them here. The problem is we have allowed these same companies that have moved our jobs bought our government.

They-Took-Our-Jobs.png

You need to get on the right team here aztek

I don't think we can blame the government for the loss of manufacturing jobs. The reason many of them moved is because they had to pay $40+/hour for unskilled labor. It is cheaper to make it somewhere else and ship it here than it is to make it here.

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I don't think we can blame the government for the loss of manufacturing jobs. The reason many of them moved is because they had to pay $40+/hour for unskilled labor. It is cheaper to make it somewhere else and ship it here than it is to make it here.

NAFTA type trade agreements did quite a bit to suck those jobs from our country. That is certainly square on the government. Those 'unskilled laborers' could have been working for 10 dollars an hour, and they'd still be undercut by a foreign worker.

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I don't think we can blame the government for the loss of manufacturing jobs. The reason many of them moved is because they had to pay $40+/hour for unskilled labor. It is cheaper to make it somewhere else and ship it here than it is to make it here.

High wages, due to inflation and high cost of living is the fault of the government via regulatory failures and letting the economy get out of hand.

Example: the housing bubble was caused when regulations were lessened making it possible for banks to give risky loans. Government failure pure and simple.

How can people not see this?????

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NAFTA type trade agreements did quite a bit to suck those jobs from our country. That is certainly square on the government. Those 'unskilled laborers' could have been working for 10 dollars an hour, and they'd still be undercut by a foreign worker.

Yes. I had a job in the printed circuit board industry running numerical coding equipment. This industry was a great source of income for decades to many Americans particularly on the west coast. Bill Clinton (that dirty traitor) signed NAFTA and withing 3 years that entire industry was gone. Thanks to the GOVERNMENT.

How can people not see this????? how?????

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If it is not govt's job to protect the people, including their ability to make a living, those who is it govt's job to protect - business, themselves?

"Government of the people, by the people, and for the people."

I don't see any businesses mentioned in there, do you? It's the job of the free market to be capitalist, and while govt should encourage that it is not the job of govt to be capitalist - but to be "for the people".

it is not gvmnt job to protect YOUR job. very simple concept, it is your job, if a plant closed, you learn to do something else, nys unemployment office offers (TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE) classes in trade schools so they can learn a trade that is on the market. i'm sure other states offer something similar too.

but i can see why someone from socialist country with (gvmnt supposed to protect my job, and me from criminals) mentality doesn't see it.

Edited by aztek

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it is not gvmnt job to protect YOUR job. very simple concept, it is your job, if a plant closed, you learn to do something else, nys unemployment office offers (TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE) classes in trade schools so they can learn a trade that is on the market. i'm sure other states offer something similar too.

but i can see why someone from socialist country with (gvmnt supposed to protect my job, and me from criminals) mentality doesn't see it.

LOL at you thinking the UK is a socialist country. While we have a more balanced policy mix than the US, that I will readily admit, the UK is far from a socialism. And yes, people can train for changing trades - but that isn't very useful if there aren't any jobs available to change to.

I never said govt's job is to "protect your job", I said govt's job (part of it, at least) is to protect your ability to make an income. And not only is it their job to do that, it's in their best interest to do that.

Edited by Leonardo
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but i can see why someone from socialist country with (gvmnt supposed to protect my job, and me from criminals) mentality doesn't see it.

It is the governments job (in part) to protect jobs, indeed to protect entire industries. Do you think the only thing your government is for is to protect corporate interests overseas or to write laws to throw you in jail, or to collect taxes based on incomes that they have no responsibility to protect????

DUH

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Our people don't care enough to buy American. America has little brand loyalty left and to a large degree, that is a result of the free market. Our own attitudes reflect our politicians. We really are to blame for this mountain of exponential debt curve some of us are still comfortably ignoring.

Our politicians, the government, the parties, all of it, are there because of us. The US is suffering from a collective ignorance of what we're doing to ourselves. The lion's share of the blame is in the mirror I'm afraid.

A movement to NOT VOTE for a Democrat OR Republican is the only reasonable idea I've seen to fight back and destroy this brewing menace. I don't know of any organizations championing this idea, but in order to defeat a bipartisan government, what's more natural to defeat it than to become anti-bipartisan?

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It is the governments job (in part) to protect jobs, indeed to protect entire industries. Do you think the only thing your government is for is to protect corporate interests overseas or to write laws to throw you in jail, or to collect taxes based on incomes that they have no responsibility to protect????

DUH

So would you agree with the Obama/bush bailouts?

Edited by spartan max2

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I never said govt's job is to "protect your job", .

what a coincedence, that is exactly what i said, so what the F did you comment on than??

It is the governments job (in part) to protect jobs, indeed to protect entire industries. Do you think the only thing your government is for is to protect corporate interests overseas or to write laws to throw you in jail, or to collect taxes based on incomes that they have no responsibility to protect????

DUH

well considering usa is a megacorparation, in reality, it is up to you to see what trade is relavant, and learn it, in time, and be prepared for things change, as they always do.

all i know, "there is a will, there is a way" i've seen ppl come to usa with no red cent to them, and made it here, and become very well off, and i also see ppl that were born here, stayed on a couch all their life, and become nothing, and blaming their "missfortune" on those that made it. so no it is nobodys responcibuility but yours.

don't worry about gvmnt, pretty clear they are not here to help you.

i see many protest, blame, hate, but if they spend that energy on something productive, they would have no reason to protest hate and blame.

Edited by aztek

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So would you agree with the Obama/bush bailouts?

No, and had there been sufficient regulations in place, (regulations nullified when the traitor Clinton repealed Glass Steagall) bailouts would not have been necessary. I'm still not convinced they were necessary. Too big to fail shouldn't be a term.
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I literally just turned in a term paper about this very subject.

These strikers don't even understand the industry that they work in. $15 an hour is too high of a wage for such a low skill job. Typically, the more skilled someone is at a job, the higher they are paid to do said job. Most prep-cooks in fine dining restaurants start with a pay of $10 an hour, and line cooks start with a pay of $15 an hour. Working as a line cook takes more skill then working as a prep cook and prep work takes considerable more skill then working at a fast food restaurant. Why should fast food workers be paid the same for just heating up pre-made products as opposed to line cooks that make everything from scratch?

While fast food restaurant corporations make millions in profits, local owners make remarkably less in profits. The average profit margin for restaurants in Michigan is about 2% - 4%. That means that the profit for every dollar a restaurant receives is only $0.02 - $0.04; therefore, 1 million dollars in sales is only $20,000 - $40,000 in profit. The average annual sales for fast food restaurants is around 2 million so $40,000 to $80,000 in profit. Fast food restaurants simply can’t afford to pay their workers $15 an hour.

The people demanding $15 an hour don’t seem to realize that if they get their way there would be mass layoffs. Fast food restaurants would want to keep their prices the same so they can compete with their competitors. And the way they would do that is by firing over 75% of their workers and replacing them with automation.

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So would you agree with the Obama/bush bailouts?

Not the way they were done.

Besides the right term is Bush/Obama. The cause always comes first.

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The people demanding $15 an hour don’t seem to realize that if they get their way there would be mass layoffs. Fast food restaurants would want to keep their prices the same so they can compete with their competitors. And the way they would do that is by firing over 75% of their workers and replacing them with automation.

So the salmonella goes on the bun with a machine? How innovative!

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No, and had there been sufficient regulations in place, (regulations nullified when the traitor Clinton repealed Glass Steagall) bailouts would not have been necessary. I'm still not convinced they were necessary. Too big to fail shouldn't be a term.

So im confused about how regulations would protect peoples jobs?

Because the way I see it is that over regulation and taxes is what makes companies more likely to go overseas or sell somewhere else. And kill small business.

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I literally just turned in a term paper about this very subject.

These strikers don't even understand the industry that they work in. $15 an hour is too high of a wage for such a low skill job. Typically, the more skilled someone is at a job, the higher they are paid to do said job. Most prep-cooks in fine dining restaurants start with a pay of $10 an hour, and line cooks start with a pay of $15 an hour. Working as a line cook takes more skill then working as a prep cook and prep work takes considerable more skill then working at a fast food restaurant. Why should fast food workers be paid the same for just heating up pre-made products as opposed to line cooks that make everything from scratch?

While fast food restaurant corporations make millions in profits, local owners make remarkably less in profits. The average profit margin for restaurants in Michigan is about 2% - 4%. That means that the profit for every dollar a restaurant receives is only $0.02 - $0.04; therefore, 1 million dollars in sales is only $20,000 - $40,000 in profit. The average annual sales for fast food restaurants is around 2 million so $40,000 to $80,000 in profit. Fast food restaurants simply can’t afford to pay their workers $15 an hour.

The people demanding $15 an hour don’t seem to realize that if they get their way there would be mass layoffs. Fast food restaurants would want to keep their prices the same so they can compete with their competitors. And the way they would do that is by firing over 75% of their workers and replacing them with automation.

I don't disagree with any particular of what you wrote, but perhaps there is an alternative in that the fast-food model is inherently unsustainable?

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Not the way they were done.

Besides the right term is Bush/Obama. The cause always comes first.

How would you of done it?

And I did Obama first cause his bailout was bigger.

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