Report: Low fast-food wages come at high cost

  • Article by: Michael A. Fletcher , Washington Post
  • Updated: October 15, 2013 - 6:38 PM

 

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rlwr51Oct. 15, 13 7:31 PM

"Taxpayers are spending nearly $7 billion a year to supplement the wages of fast-food workers" . . . . . . . . . . Correction: Taxpayers are spending nearly $7,000,000,000/yr to subsidize the fast food industry.

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gopher68Oct. 15, 1311:06 PM

My first job was at Burger King in high school. I made minimum wage, $3.35/hr at the time. The work was messy and boring (the highlight of the job was getting to mow the restaurant's lawn!), but it was easy. Easy enough that a dumb teenager (me) could master it within a week or two. The whole restaurant was staffed by teenagers looking to make some money for college or gas money or beer money. Nobody working there expected to be doing this for more than a couple of years. Where did this change from a part time gig to one that people are supposed to support families on? Not every job is supposed to be a "living wage" job. The real societal problem is not fast food pay; it's trying to figure out why we haven't given fast food employees the skills they need to get jobs whose required skill level is commensurate with living wages.

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rlwr51Oct. 15, 1311:20 PM

gopher68 - In 1970 a teenager making minimum wage could save enough to pay for on semester (1/2 a year) of college...and no college tuition has not gone proportionally (X10) like everything else since then except worker wages.

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garagewineOct. 16, 13 1:00 AM

"The reports lend academic support to the growing activism among fast-food workers, employees of federal contractors and other low-wage workers, who have been calling a series of small but growing one-day strikes."---Actually, no they don't. No self-respecting academic would publish a report littered with subjective, value-laden terms like "fair share".

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garagewineOct. 16, 13 1:01 AM

"In 1970 a teenager making minimum wage could save enough to pay for on semester (1/2 a year) of college...and no college tuition has not gone proportionally (X10) like everything else since then except worker wages."---It never occurred to you to ask why college costs were increasing so rapidly, did it?

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9moonsOct. 16, 13 1:56 AM

Walmart is the worst for getting it's workers government subsidies because of its low pay and poor benefits. They actually explain to workers how to apply for Medicaid and other gov't. programs while being the most profitable company in the world.

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shanzmanOct. 16, 13 8:18 AM

Get their Fair Share? WHAT? How about they learn a skill that does not involve bagging fries? Since when should their fair share come out of my pocket? Well, I do not drive a Mercedes, but dang it, I want my fair share. It is getting to the point that I could leave my middle class job, go to a fast food establishment and obtain work and the government would make sure that I am feed, healthy and I have a home. I busted my butt and paid my dues and taxes to get where I am at. One thing that they leave out about food establishments, they offer their workers either a free meal or discounted meal. I know, it helped to keep me alive when I was going to school and working two jobs to make sure that I did not supple from anyone else. Where has the pride of being a self reliant gone?

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edcommentOct. 16, 13 9:29 AM

Does this report also include any information about fast food corporations locating their HQ offshore so they don't have to pay taxes? Trib: That's another angle on this story into which you might want to look.

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jdlellis1Oct. 16, 1310:23 AM

The problem with this and similar assaults on businesses is the emphasis on profits. Liken profits to a snapshot in time which tells little about the financial,liability of an organization. If the media were doing justice to the discussion, the financial discussion would include items such as margins, cash flow, Earnings Per Share, etc. These financial measurements are more like a motion picture showing the long term viability dope an organization. It is an educational tragedy that in the world's most capitalistic society, how illiterate are the masses on finances.

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jdlellis1Oct. 16, 1310:30 AM

9moons, If WalMart choose a different business model and increased it's operating costs and lowered it's margins, two questions? 1-Would customers who rely on WalMart's low prices be able to afford the products they need for everyday living? 2-if WalMart raised their prices such that they could not compete, and had to downsize, would not numerous individuals, at all organizational levels, loose their jobs as a result?

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