After lawmakers in California passed a new law forcing fast-food companies to pay employees a living wage of $20 per hour, the biggest name in the business fought back.
Mcdonald’s corporation claimed it couldn’t sustain its business model if forced to pay employees a living wage.
Price to High
CNBC reported that the advocacy group representing McDonald’s claimed the new law would cost restaurant owners nearly $250,000 extra per year. The group added that the independent franchises couldn’t afford this price tag, and the McDonald’s business model couldn’t sustain it.
The Internet Claps Back
The internet came together to play the smallest violin in support of the poor fast food giant, profiting off employees’ backs for decades.
Users of the popular antiwork subreddit had much to say about McDonald’s protests.
Other Countries Manage
Users from Denmark reported that McDonald’s workers in their country get paid more than $20 (or the equivalent in Euros), and McDonald’s is still profitable there. If it’s sustainable in Denmark, why wouldn’t it be sustainable in the United States?
Business Need To Pay Fair Wages
Other users said that if a business can’t survive when forced to pay its employees fairly, then it has no business being in business.
Taxpayers have been subsidizing McDonald’s business long enough by paying for food stamps and other employee welfare benefits. If McDonald’s can’t survive without this subsidy, they shouldn’t be in business.
Go Bankrupt Then
McDonald’s may be an American staple, but it’s not a necessity. Many users said they should go bankrupt if they can’t pay fair wages, and American society would likely be better for it.
“The world would be a considerably better place if McDonald’s (and most fast food chains) didn’t exist,” said one user, lamenting the high carbon footprint and unhealthy product in addition to the low wages.
It’s All About the Profits
The truth behind McDonald’s statement is that paying higher wages would cut into profits, and our capitalistic society that’s constantly seeking increased profits can’t bear that possibility.
McDonald’s could still be profitable if they paid higher wages, but they couldn’t boast records profits every year.
“When they say “business model can’t sustain $20/hr” what they’re really saying is a better living wage cuts into their profits,” said one user.
Franchise Versus Corporate
Some users pointed out that a small part of the business model may not be sustainable with this wage increase. Many McDonald’s stores are run by franchisees, who borrow the McDonald’s name and menu for their business.
They must follow many of McDonald’s rules for pricing and offerings but can otherwise run their business how they see fit.
The franchise owners are the ones complaining about the wage increase, not McDonald’s corporate. And they may have a point, depending on how strictly they must follow McDonald’s rules for pricing. Franchise owners who can’t raise prices to keep up with wage inflation may be out of luck, but as other users said, a business that can’t pay living wages shouldn’t be in business.
It’s not the employees’ or taxpayers’ job to subsidize a business that can’t pay fair wages.
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