ONTD Political

McDonalds Tells Workers To Budget By Getting A Second Job And Turning Off Their Heat

1:03 pm - 07/15/2013


McDonalds has partnered with Visa to launch a website to help its low-wage workers making an average $8.25 an hour to budget. But while the site is clearly meant to illustrate that McDonalds workers should be able to live on their meager wages, it actually underscores exactly how hard it is for a low-paid fast food worker to get by.

The site includes a sample”‘budget journal” for McDonalds’ employees that offers a laughably inaccurate view of what it’s like to budget on a minimum wage job. Not only does the budget leave a spot open for “second job,” it also gives wholly unreasonable estimates for employees’ costs: $20 a month for health care, $0 for heating, and $600 a month for rent. It does not include any budgeted money for food or clothing.

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. 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.

The sample budget is also available in Spanish. On another section of the site, it concludes, “You can have almost anything you want as long as you plan ahead and save for it.”

Neither McDonalds nor Visa returned requests for comment by the time of publication.
Last year, Bloomberg News found that it would take the average McDonalds employee one million hours of work to earn as much money as the company’s CEO. This immense wage disparity in the fast food industry has sparked a series of protests and walk-outs by low-wage workers working at fast food chains around the country — in New York, Chicago, Washington, and Seattle, to name a few cities, workers from chains including KFC, McDonalds, Burger King, and Taco Bell have spoken publicly about the need for serious wage increases across the industry.

(H/T Low Pay Is Not Okay)

[Source]
valkeakuulas 16th-Jul-2013 12:35 pm (UTC)
I can't believe they have that as an example of budgeting: with only the McDonalds job, without the second job, the expenses are bigger than the wage. How many hours a week would a person work for the 1000 dollars in the sample budget? I'm not American so I don't know but I assume it's part-time, but seriously, this is basically them acknowledging that you can't live with their pay so take a second job. Um, not a solution, McDonald's.
roseofjuly 17th-Jul-2013 02:38 am (UTC)
No, it's not part time. Minimum wage in the U.S. is $7.25 an hour, so a person making $1105/month at McDonald's (or about $276/month) is working 38 hours a week. Full-time here is 40 hours a week.

But that's not taking into account that this is net pay. The taxes have already been taken out of it, so really the McDonald's worker needs to work more hours to make that. Assuming that the worker is paying 15% of their income in income taxes (not unreasonable), that McDonald's worker is now working 45 hours a week. Which is very unlikely, because food service jobs are notorious at keeping people under the full-time 40 hours a week because they don't want to pay benefits (health care insurance, time off) to the workers.

And that's just at the first job. If we assume the same thing at the second (15% taxes and $7.25/hour), the worker is ALSO working about 39 hours a week at the second job, for a combined total of 84 hours a week.

Even if we assumed that they were making $10/hour (unlikely at McDonald's) they'd still have to work 60 hours a week at the two jobs in order to make this salary.
valkeakuulas 17th-Jul-2013 08:18 am (UTC)
OK, for some reason I counted wrong when I tried to count with 8 dollars an hour: yeah, it would be full-time. Makes the budget example even more screwed up: I know people work two jobs just to get by, but actually encouraging it in the "model example" is just twisted from McDonald's. Honestly, the people making this budgeting site look at this calculation, and instead of thinking "people can't live with our full-time wage" decide it's a good idea to just add another job on top of full-time job instead of stopping to think about it. Well, it would be too idealistic to actually expect them to care about their workers.
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