Day 176: How Companies Justify Poverty Wages Vs. A Living Income


The restaurant chain McDonalds, pays it’s employees a pathetically low wage of $7.40 per hour when it could clearly well afford to honor and respect it’s employees by offering a living wage.  This has been widely reported recently, as employees in Detroit have taken to public protesting.  The only question I have is, what took them so long? The answer is most likely a combination of trusting their government to actually care about them and serve them, lack of time/opportunity to consider their hopeless plight = life of slavery, and the intolerable increase in personal anxiety due to the rise of the cost of living, inflated to the point of not being able to afford basic living requirements for themselves and their families.

Let’s use some common sense here, how does anyone live on $7.40 an hour?!  They don’t, they barely get by, barely survive, that is not living, that is coping each day until you die. These ‘workers’ = human beings live with extreme stress, which creates fear and desperation. I have lived this way when my children were young. Desperation can lead to a pandora’s box of serious problems that are far reaching within any society: reaching out for something such as alcohol /drugs just to give you some relief from the worry, making bad choices/being driven to acts such as crime, abuse within the home, no money for all required health needs, no money for furthering your/your children’s education thus a lack of opportunity to get a higher paying job, going deeper into ones mind and crating a mental illness, borrowing to pay for necessities and creating a cycle of life long debt and despair as there is no way to get off the vicious wheel of poverty –to name a few.

In Canada, where I reside, the minimum wage is not much better, at $10.25 per hour.  Of course there are many corporations besides MacDonalds who pay unacceptably low wages. Tim Horton’s, is one such Canadian company/restaurant chain.

When I investigated Tim Horton’s online and within this article about McDonalds: , one of the ways they sneakily justify their low wages is by using the term ‘pays a competitive wage‘, meaning all the other business pay as little as possible as well, as low as they can get away with in order to maximize profit. This is the accepted way of capitalism, is it not? It is indeed the premise of our current system, the PROBLEM IS that Because IT IS NO LONGER WORKING FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE CITIZENS= IT IS NO LONGER WORKING FOR ALL. This is an eventual inevitability, as all is undeniably connected within this ecosystem called earth. There are consequences to us living in such extreme separation, as if what I do does not have any effect on another’s life.  We witness some of these consequences in the middle east, particularly Seria’s is civil war, building resentment of populations,  leading to demonstration then revolution which results in violence, the death of so many men, women and children, millions displaced from their homes and communities, many left maimed/devastated and dependent for life.

Within the same article, you find a bunch of condescending, meaningless garble from McDonalds executives, such as: “We value and respect all the employees who work at McDonald’s restaurants. The majority of McDonald’s restaurants  are owned and operated by independent business men and women. Both our company and franchised-owned restaurants work hard every day to treat McDonald’s employees with dignity and respect.”  Blah, blah, it don’t put food on the table and it don’t mean shit if you can’t even pay the bills or sleep at night for worry for your families future security. It goes on, “Employees are paid competitive wages and have access to a range of benefits to meet their individual needs. In addition, employees who want to go from crew to management can take advantage of a variety of training and professional development opportunities.” Well, firstly it is false that the benefits offered meet individual needs and second, yes you can take a course and become a manager, but you would still end up earning well below the poverty line, which for a family of 3 in Canada in is about $40,000 year!

The Huffington post article talks about McDonald’s new financial advice website for employees, ‘ ill-conceived project which drips with “let them eat cake” insouciance. “Every dollar makes a difference,”  “Knowing where your money goes and how to budget it is the key to your financial freedom.” MacDonalds lectures its struggling and often impoverished workers.’

It goes on to say, ‘The new employee website, co-created with Visa, helpfully suggests that people who work for McDonalds begin the financial planning process by taking a second job.’  WTF? How do they get away with that? No wonder people are furious. ‘ McDonalds also pretty much advises its employees not to clothe themselves, heat their homes, seek educational advancement, or pay more than $600 in rent and $20 in health insurance premiums per month.’ Guess it just wouldn’t fit within the budget, huh?!  But these are necessities, do they think people are that stupid, it is downright insulting.

In the U.S. this fortune 500 company receives a fortune in “corporate welfare” = a series of tax breaks and other concessions and that is how the government  helps most of the country’s underpaying mega-corporations keep expanding, creating more and more monopolies, disempowering the average citizen. The very citizen who supposedly has freedom with this ‘democratic’ system. 

Let us not forget, the solution or supposed victory is not for Obama to come through with some piddly increase like it’s a  huge success-so people are poor but not quite as poor as they were, as if to prove democracy & freedom as capitalism are alive and well  in the United States of America (Canada is only marginally better btw), by raising the minimum wage to $10/hour or,  heaven forbid $15/hour! (what McDonald’s employees in Detroit are asking for–of course this will not happen).  That will only serve to keep one enslaved to the current system PAYING PEOPLE JUST ENOUGH TO SURVIVE, TO KEEP THEM OCCUPIED = NO TIME TO REALLY INVESTIGATE A SOLUTION that will CHANGE THE SYSTEM TO ONE THAT SERVES ALL HUMAN BEINGS AND NOT JUST A FEW LUCKY families.

BUT there is a continue, with the solution to the problem of this massive inequality, in tomorrow’s post.

Important Links:

Desteni DIP Lite Course – Learn Essential Life Skills

Equal Life Foundation

Basic Income Guaranteed by Equal Life Foundation

Basic Income Guaranteed

Journey to Life Blogs


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