According to McDonalds’ Budget, Workers Should Have A Second Job & Not Use Heat
1:45 pm, July 16th | by Colette McIntyre
Forget all about “welfare” and “livable wages” and your pesky complaints about how low-wage workers aren’t making enough to support themselves or their families — McDonalds has found the answer! It is totally possible to work at McDonalds and sustain yourself! All you have to do is turn off your heat and not spend any money on food, water, clothing, gas, child care, or student loans! IT’S SO SIMPLE! Why didn’t we think of that?!
Thanks to ThinkProgress, we learned that McDonalds has teamed up with Visa and launched a website designed to help its low-income workers learn how to budget their whopping $8.25/hr (on average) pay. We’re sure the leaders of McDonalds Corporate expected to be praised for their (patronizing and paternalistic) attempt to increase their employees’ financial literacy; unfortunately for these McMuckety-mucks, the site has only proved how difficult it is to survive on McDonalds’ meager wage.
The chain’s sample budget journal implicitly acknowledges that a McDonald’s worker can’t afford basic necessities if s/he is only employed by the restaurant. The budget presumes that workers will have additional income, either from a “second job” or another, unnamed source. But even working a second job isn’t enough when you’re primary employer is McDonald’s; the budget also unrealistically estimates healthcare costs at $20 a month, heating at $0, and rent at $600. Not only does the sample budget ridiculously underestimate employee costs, it then forgets some entirely: McDonalds fails to include the cost of groceries, transportation, and water, among others.
As ThinkProgress writes:
Basically every facet of this budget is unachievable. For an uninsured person to independently buy health care, he or she must shell out on average $215 a month — just for an individual plan. While some full-time McDonald’s workers do qualify for the company’s $14 a week health plan, that offer caps coverage at $10,000 a year and is often insufficient. If that person wants to eat, “moderate” spending will run them $32 a week for themselves, and $867 a month to feed a family of four. And if a fast food worker is living in a city? Well, New York City rents just reached an average of $3,000 a month.
In a statement sent to ThinkProgress, a McDonalds spokesperson defended the sample budget:
In an effort to provide free, comprehensive money management tools, McDonald’s first used the Wealth Watchers International budgeting journal when this financial literacy program launched in 2008.
As part of this program, several resources were developed including a sample budgeting guide, an instructional video and a web resource center that had additional tools and information.
The samples that are on this site are generic examples and are intended to help provide a general outline of what an individual budget may look like.
Last year, Bloomberg News reported that McDonald’s CEO made $8.75 million, while the average McDonalds employee would have to work one million hours to earn such an incredible sum.