Impossible to Live on Minimum Wage — What do businesses owe individuals? What do we as a society owe those who are the poorest among us?
Having been one of the millions of people who worked for the Golden Arches before, and several other fast food establishments, I can confirm for you that working at these restaurants is hard work. At times back-breaking, smelly, and disgusting work. (Ever clean out a grease trap?) The most amazing part of this is that not one, but two, companies partnered together to create this budget as a means to help McDonalds employees survive and prosper while working full time for them and a second job on top of it, Yet they both still missed a few crucial expenses such as food, gasoline, and child-care.
I’d love to know where to enroll in a health insurance plan that costs just $20 per month. If McDonalds is offering it, I’m willing to put on my 1980’s vintage brown polyester uniform and I’d go clog my pores with fry grease and sling some shake mix. It is the oldest struggle in the world. People vs. Profit. And right now I think the deck is stacked against the people in this conflict.
Exercise the Muse:
- Write about your first job.
- What did you do?
- What did you learn?
- Who were some of the characters you worked with?
- What shocked you the most about life in the working world?
- What lessons do you carry from that job to your life today?
- What did you buy with your first paycheck?
- Write about a time you worked very hard and the pay didn’t seem equal to the effort you put forth.
Additional Recommended Reading
- Fast Food Nation – Eric Schlosser
- Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America – Barbara Ehrenreich