Mini-strike at Boston fast-food places

WGBH reports on the protests for better wages outside a number of outlets in the city today, including on American Legion Highway in Roslindale.

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    Also Dunk's in Rosi (Washington Street)

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    WBUR talked to workers striking at the DD just outside the square.

    Other local media concentrated on the protesters at the Copley Square fast food shops , but I guess as far as public radio is concerned, the revolution will start in Roslindale!

    wonder what the holdup is

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    Supermarkets have had self checkout for some time. I vaguely recall a Taco Bell that was testing out touch screens where you could enter your order. That was 8 or 9 years ago. Touch screens have come a long way since then.

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    Automation

    Oh, boy. If you thought your orders get screwed-up now, just wait until they're being made by a machine!

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    Almost always the opposite

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    Machine compliance is closer to 100% than any human. The difference between when the machine screws up and the human screws up is that we can call the machine "broken" and get it fixed. Advantage: Machine.

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    Yes, this is why the world is full of Automats!

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    Kaz's point is intuitively obvious. After all, the technology to automate food delivery is over a century old, and long ago this obvious advantage resulted in Automats and vending machines replacing all those old-fashioned human-staffed eating establishments that our great-grandparents used to frequent.

    The same goes for supermarkets, note that auto-checkouts have been around for a mere 20 years but have already rocketed to over 100,000 units worldwide (a massive 1% of 1% of the world's retail businesses)! And of course, people all love using them - they are far more popular than interacting with plebian checkout personnel.

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    Except for the minor problem

    Except for the minor problem that all the restaurants are set up for the food to be assembled by humans. If it were even possible to design and implement a machine that could assemble a Big Mac with close to 100% accuracy, it would require a major retooling of virtually every piece of hardware in a typical McDonald's.

    And ...

    Were it remotely cost-effective, it would have been done by now.

    Note that McDonalds is expanding and thriving in markets like the Western European social democracies that make demands for pay and benefits (via taxes) that some here would claim make the chain go out of business.

    So because it hasn't been

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    So because it hasn't been done by now you just assume that it will never and can never be done? Costs go down over time. It also is necessary to go from 100% humans to 100% robots overnight. The change will happen gradually. Probably cashiers first.

    Problem?

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    Right, because there's never been a machine made that assembles hamburgers accurately. It's so technically challenging, we'll have to wait another pass or two through Moore's Law, I'm sure. Better that we keep working on getting robots that walk and recognize emotions first...you know, low hanging fruit before we tackle the world of accurate Big Mac creation.

    And it's not as if everything in a McDonald's isn't already set up for nearly peak efficiency of automation with humans providing the motions. They have circles on the paper so they can center the burger. They don't even let them directly cook the burger patties in the store any more. McDonald's is one of the pinnacles of human automation. Everything has a beep and a timer built in.

    There are McDonalds where they don't even pour the drinks any more. They tell the machine which soda type and cup size and special instructions and just wait for the conveyor belt to spit out the cup. I bet someone the day before they installed it was just saying how nobody can pour a soda the way ol' Roy behind the counter can.

    What's cost effective depends on your labor cost

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    If your labor costs almost double overnight than previously non-cost effective alternatives quickly become more attractive.

    I'm a union am myself but I see more automation as inevitable. And it won't be the cashiers. The cashiers will be last b/c they can quickly override system and correct "mistakes." Mistakes being mostly human error by customers or lack of adequacy in the user interface.

    This is where the supermarkets got it wrong. The technology isn't strong enough and customers are too impatient and/or stupid to use the check out systems.

    The stocking should be automated first. Deli and butcher and cashier last.

    Stocking? Food prep? You

    Stocking? Food prep? You really think robots could handle that? You people have been watching too many science fiction movies.

    Scratchie, you're joking right?

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    Here's one example of a robot that can determine what needs to be stocked:

    http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2281367/h...

    Companies and colleges are working on others to do the stocking. With some redesign of shelves and or products we already have the technology for this.

    As for food prep, have you seen what robots do on car manufacturer and other assembly lines?

    You don't think they can make a Big Mac combo meal?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedd...

    I can easily envision a fast food place with 1 human and a remote support staff and an assembly line of robots.

    I can also clearly see a some tweaks to a supermarket's physical plant creating an environment where a small army of robots could be stocking for a couple hours at night or even unobtrusively during the day.

    And I'm practically Luddite. Are you using the telegraph to submit comments?

    Come on, guy it's the 21st century.

    WTF

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    A burger flipper wants same salary as PHD-level postdoc down south or masters-level social worker pretty much anywhere in the country once you factor in student loan payments? Real question is, would they make $9 an hour and keep their job or not have a job at all after they get replaced with robots? Corporations aren't charities, and contrary to popular belief their obscenely huge profits don't end up in some evil CEO's pockets. Quite the opposite, they end up in your 401K as dividends. Also, many small businesses you seem to love so much depend on cheap unskilled labor, what do you think will happen to them when their labor costs double?

    I can tell you a certainty

    I can tell you a certainty that dostdoc fellowships pay only slightly more than fast-food wages-- and for posstocs there is no oversight (read: it's encouraged) regarding unpaid overtime. Granted, the benefits are usually better.

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    Post-docs make more than burger flippers

    In my experience, anyway. Mine paid $60K a year, plus benefits, seven years ago. The lowest paying one I was interviewing for was $50K a year with big University benefits, which was effectively the same.

    Burger flippers don't make that kind of money: $8/hr x 365 days x 24 hours = 70K/yr = impossible.

    But, yeah, anon is an asshole. Any person who works full time should be able to live on that money, regardless of how self-important educated people can be.

    Some useful information:
    IMAGE(http://www.epi.org/files/2013/EPI-low-wage-workers-reality-8-28-2013-2-54-01.png)

    Really?

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    Just out of curiosity, what field are you in? I know plenty of postdocs at Umass Med and Harvard slaving away for $40k and under.

    Lawyers too.

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    Of course no one will care, because they are an almost universally despised species, but I also know plenty of lawyers (with more than 5 years of experience!) whose annual salary, when broken down into an hourly rate comes in at under $15/hr. Come to think of it, I think that nearly every ADA in the Commonwealth would fit that definition. At least they don't have important jobs though.

    Let's face another fact, we like to waste a lot of money....

    I think if all of us tried real hard, we could save probably 10%-30% of our income if we consumed less.

    -How much gas to we spend on large cars?
    -How much fresh coffee do we drink?
    -A pack of day old bagels is probably $2 and is probably fine to eat each morning for a week instead of paying the $3 a day on "fresh" bagels.
    -How about ITunes music or movies? Are we spending $ to buy these songs?
    -We like to pick on Walmart, but how does their produce compare to produce that many urban families are buying now? You put a Walmart in Boston, are families getting better quality food there at lower prices? Right now many of these families are walking to "mom and pop" stores, but they might not be getting the best quality foods for the best prices.

    On the other hand, do we remember how much a VCR cost in 1985? You can get a DVD player today for $75 that will last you 10 years. How about an LCD TV? You can probably get a decent one for $300 that will last the same timeframe. You can probably get an Iphone5 with a plan for $750 a year. Even basic cable you can get for $200 a year, and you can get many movies and shows from your local library for free.

    Living on minimum wage is tough, but there are nice properties inside 495 in Mass which you can buy for $150K (mostly condos), and even nicer ones for $250K.

    Discretionary income

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    People who make minimum wage don't get these "choices" "not to waste money", Pete.

    They lack any discretionary income.

    Ask anybody who lives on Social Security - there is NO discretionary income AT ALL. No chance to make these choices AT ALL. Even if they can save some money in a given month, they are not allowed to have a savings account to pay for expenses like going to the dentist (not covered) or prescriptions that are too expensive/not on "the list", etc.

    You really don't have a clue. Being poor means more than "no money" - it means NO CHOICES either.

    I dare you to even try to live on 12K a year. See just how few "choices" you really have!

    Yet they do waste money anon

    I'm not saying all of them, but let's be real. How many low income people waste money on poor expensive food choices? They do the same thing you and I do. I know plenty of people on SS, and every single one of them has cable TV and a DVR, and most of them make poor choices when it comes to buying healthy food. And even if they want to buy healthy, they won't because of the easy options for low quality food (fast food which is still expensive).

    I mean, come on. Are you telling me poor people don't buy lottery tickets and alcohol?

    Personal finance and budgeting

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    In some cases (or perhaps all, depending on who you talk to) it's about personal responsibility. Some people don't any better, in general, about how to handle money. Others know, but live way beyond their means and always will.

    It doesn't help that housing costs and health insurance/medical care are (insert %age increase) far and away what they were even 20 years ago. And about those working class/blue collar jobs? Goodbye, Columbus.

    So now what? Some people feel that their lives aren't going to get any better anyway so why not spend whatever money they have on lottery tix, alcohol, $5 coffee drinks, and $3 bagels and of course, the almight cigarettes.

    Okay, Pete

    You have a choice between a $10 cab ride to a grocery store that costs you an hour of work time, or eating the junk food you can quickly obtain between your two jobs.

    Assuming that where you live, you have access to a kitchen and time to cook, and places to safely store food, too.

    Right.

    $10 cab ride?

    It would cost me $30 to take a cab to a store where I live. And no, I sometimes don't have time to cook dinner, I can plan and eat healthy, or I can east fast food like anyone else.

    And yea, I have a kitchen and a refrigerator, just like the other 99.86% of urban families have, and 100% or those who live in public housing.

    I'm not talking about extremes here, I'm talking about your average poor citizen who has to drive to Walpole to save money on basic household items.

    Avg. fast food wage of $9.12 an hour

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    You say avg. fast food wage of $9.12 an hour could finance a house purchase and food, clothing, healthcare, transportation and education or education debt? I don't think so. Show us your budget, Pete.

    Adults who work full-time shouldn't be live in poverty.

    Objectively speaking, we don't value work the way we used to.

    Things must have changed in the past seven years.

    Most NIH & NSF Fellowships are regulated and pay the same regardless of city.

    Here are a few quick links.

    HMS, cites NIH guidelines, and starts at 40k:
    http://postdoc.hms.harvard.edu/policies.html

    Glassdoor cites Harvard Postdoc at ~44k/year:
    http://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Harvard-University...

    Here is MIT's range for postdocs for 2012, which start around 39k:
    http://web.mit.edu/mitpostdocs/documents/PostdocSa...

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    Kinda sorta

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    Only a minimal number of the total medical research pool of postdocs receive these fellowships, and thus benefit from the pay scale. No one without a green card, for example. There are additional sources of fellowships, of course. Regardless, not all fellows are externally supported, and are paid at the will of their PI. NIH publishes guidelines that are uniformly ignored.

    NIH publishes guidelines that

    NIH publishes guidelines that are uniformly ignored.
    Please feel free to give citations. How about for the NSF?

    fellows are externally supported, and are paid at the will of their PI.
    This is uniformly untrue and is well documented:

    From the May 2013 issue of New Scientist:

    Despite having the opportunity to gain extra research experience, many postdocs feel frustrated at having to live on a stipend that is currently lower than a PhD graduate's industry salary and is actually closer to a high school graduate's income.

    misleading stats

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    88% are not teens... Yeh, but how many are high school or college age? That's what people usually think about minimum wage jobs, not that it's just teens.

    Who cares that 56% are women? Why is that stat even meaningful?

    We are discussing the linked to stats.

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    It says the reality of minimum wag is that 56% are women. That must mean 44% are men. 51% of the population is women. I'm not seeing the big difference. If we were talking sanitation engineers, a field which is so lopsided gender-wise that they are generally referred to as "garbage men," then I could see people being upset.

    False

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    That's just not true. Women, in the same industry, with the same experience, make the exact same amount as men. Does Mcdonalds pay women less than men??

    Seriously?

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    You believe that?

    If so, there's this new bridge for sale over by North Station - I can get you a great deal.

    I would love an example of a

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    I would love an example of a company paying women less than male counterparts doing the same job. For the life of me I cannot find any instance, other than the US Senate.

    (I don't mean this in a snarky way, I am very curious since I hear the talking points but they don't add up)

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    I do

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    So you think McDonalds pays women less? What about Boston Police? What about the MBTA? What about an entry level accountant at State Street Bank. Show me proof that women working the same hours at the same job, with the same experience is getting paid less.

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    I'm an accountant and women

    I'm an accountant and women make the exact same as men, even at the junior associate level. Take my word for it, the lawsuits would be insanely public if this didn't happen.

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    Of course.

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    I'm sure there are women that work in the HR department at your firm. If they were hiring two people for the same position and the offer made to the man was higher than to the woman, it would be public instantly.

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    Women on average make less

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    Women on average make less than men because of time off having and raising children. If they don't take that time their lifetime earning potential is the same as men.

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    Seriously?

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    So what you're saying is that they get paid less for creating men?

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    No you asshole

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    They - god forbid - want enough money to SURVIVE ON. In case you haven't noticed, things aren't exactly cheap. Beat it with your worthless conservative talking points. The demonization of the poor NEEDS TO FUCKING END.

    Economics 101

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    I assume you failed it.

    And

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    apparently you weren't paying attention either.

    Econ 101 is a history lesson, not how a modern post industrial capital economy actually works in practice.

    for a single person w/ no dependents

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    A min wage job is perfectly suitable to survive on. I'm not sure why the expectation should be that a min wage job should pay enough to support a single mother and a few kids. A job pays what it pays, not what someone needs it to pay (because of terrible life choices).

    Really this is about the chickens of unfettered liberalism coming home to roost. The destruction of the nuclear family has had dire social and economic consequences. It's not too late to fix things: www.coalitionformarriage.org.

    Great....one of those....

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    Don't you have a eugenics seminar to attend somewhere? Or will you be home tonight having sex with a family member other than your wife?

    Either way, tell your story walking. No one wants to buy your drugs here, Louis.

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    LOOOOOL

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    No it isn't. Not in this area. Not even close.

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    What is your area?

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    We are talking about being able to survive. The bar is pretty low on that. No one is suggesting that you can rent a studio in SoBo while working at McD's. A person living off minimum wage may be living with family or with roommates in a not-very-nice place. But why should it be any different? Where does this sense of entitlement come from?

    ENTITLEMENT???????????

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    Dear Mr. or Ms. Softhands of Privilege,

    WHEN THE HELL DID WANTING TO NOT LIVE IN SQUALOR WHILE WORKING MORE THAN FULL TIME BECOME "ENTITLEMENT".

    Oh, I guess it becomes "entitlement" when Ms. Softhands says so. Lol. Something tells me that you have never had to work hard in your life for anything, but want to feel superior nonetheless?

    That, darling, is ENTITLEMENT.

    Please, go try working a fucking low wage "low skill" job - every see Colbert try to do field work? I've fucking done field work - IT HURTS and it IS NOT UNSKILLED. Go flip burgers and tell me how easy it all is and how the people who serve your precious little rich brat hiney are "low skilled" and undeserving of a living wage because it makes you somehow feel less special?

    I can only hope that spoiled rich kids like you will someday hit bottom and discover that that safety net you shredded isn't there for your sad lazy ass, either. Except that I would far rather have a world where a few spoiled lazy asses like you get help if it means that people who actually work hard get to make a living.

    Sincerley,
    Somebody who has had to work since age 12 so you can feel special.

    Well....

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    WHEN THE HELL DID WANTING TO NOT LIVE IN SQUALOR WHILE WORKING MORE THAN FULL TIME BECOME "ENTITLEMENT".

    When Frank Luntz said it did.

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    Go back to tumblr with your

    Go back to tumblr with your social justice terms. Everything has to be about privileged and entitlement, etc. I'm glad there's such notable keywords now that allow me to avoid reading an idiot's rambling.

    It's hard to take your

    It's hard to take your comment about being able to live on min. wage in Boston seriously when you use a silly neighborhood marketing gimmick like SoBo. Where in Boston do you think one could afford rent on min. wage and still have money for food, health care, clothing, utilities and public transportation?

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    Really? I live here in Boston

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    Really? I live here in Boston and from 2004-2007 I made $8.50 an hour or less. It certainly wasn't luxurious, but I didn't starve or go into debt.

    Now if I had tried to live without roommates, it would have been impossible.

    subsidized

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    Um, no. Roommates split the costs. No one subsidizes anyone else.

    Having roommates is so unfair! #firstworldproblems

    Uh huh

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    At $8 minimum wage in MA, you make $16,640 a year...IF your minimum wage job even lets you have 40 hour work weeks. Even if you can find a studio apartment at $1000/mo in the Greater Boston area that has a walkable neighborhood and public transportation to work (so we can remove the cost of owning a car from your budget), you are paying $12,000 of your $16,640 for rent alone. We'll assume you have benefits like health insurance. We can also hopefully assume that you are paying absolutely nothing in taxes.

    72% of your salary goes to rent. The other $4640 per year (or $386.67/mo, or $12.70/day) has to pay for utilities, food, clothing...

    But maybe you shouldn't try to live alone in Boston. Us liberals don't believe in all that bootstrapy do-it-yourselfing, right? Live in communeshared apartment with 3-4 other people instead. Maybe you can get the rent down to $600-700/mo. Whew, now you have a whole $25/day to live on. Big spender!

    "Perfectly suitable to survive on", I think you said?

    Go fuck yourself, I say.

    Hmmm

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    What do you do for a living, mr bleeding heart? Something tells me you're a part of the "independently wealthy" crowd...

    I also get the feeling a lot

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    I also get the feeling a lot of people so sympathetic to raising the wage to $15 are not now and have never worked in fast food. I did. In high school.

    Gee, I heard the exact same thing on Rush Limbaugh today!

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    Nothing makes me prouder as an American than listening to a bloated pillhead who makes 50 million a year lying through his teeth while he sits on his fat ass 3 hours a day telling working people how they should behave.

    And as far as your argument goes, yes those profits do go in some CEO's pocket. Case in point: I drive a former CEO of a large HMO. He has his own 20 million dollar Gulfstream and he was given a 115 million dollar sendoff when he retired from the HMO. So next time you realize you're paying 500+ a month for health insurance, yet they don't cover a fucking thing until you're 5K out of pocket, think about those well meaning, worth every penny CEO's, willya?

    Well......

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    I'm a chauffeur, I'm in a car somedays 8-10 hours. One can only listen to so much NPR and their annoying reliance on facts and reason.

    Yes, McDonalds would just go out of business

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    I'm sure you have your finger on the pulse of the industry.

    Also, why do you care if they make more? Is it that you don't want to be paid less than a burger flipper? Whose fault would that be? Nobody is stopping you from being a burger flipper...or is that too beneath you even if it suddenly pays more than your job?

    It won't

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    But last time I checked it's not a charity, shareholders like their $3.08 per share dividend (that's $3.08 billion per year, mind you) and doubling the wages of burger flippers will make that $3.08 per share disappear. I'm not 100% sure as to how many employees McD has in the US but it's somewhere to the tune of 500K. Assuming on average they work 20 hours a week and get a $6 per hour increase, that's an added $2.74 billion expenditure, a dividend drop from $3.08 to $0.34 per share. Do you really think shareholders be content with it, or will they push for automation and have all the unskilled, uneducated burger flippers who for some strange reason think they're worth as much as an auto mechanic, nurse or social worker tossed to the curb?

    Funny math

    There's enough funny math to go around on both sides of this issue.

    If every fast-food joint has to raise wages, they'll all just pass the cost on to the consumers in an increase in prices. Assuming that they'll keep prices the same and eat the difference is absurd.

    On the other hand, most of the consumers of crappy fast food are poor people who work doing things like serving crappy fast food. So their raise will just come right back to the company store.

    Of course, the increase in

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    Of course, the increase in prices would be tiny in comparison, so the net outcome for the economy as a whole would be notable.

    I've seen that the cost of the average fast food combo meal would increase 30-40 cents if the minimum wage was increased to $15. So, for the benefit of everyone at minimum wage making over 200% more money (which they can then spend on good and services, to the benefit of the economy, which will create further benefits for everyone including you), the price of the fast food meal goes up 5-6%.

    If, as you say, "most of the consumers of crappy fast food are poor people who work doing things like serving crappy fast food," then increasing the minimum wage will actually make their meal easier for them to make the money they need to pay for it.

    This discounts the fact that plenty of upper-middle-class suburban fatties buy plenty (plenty) of fast food, and the 40 cent increase isn't going to make any kind of substantial dent in their wallet anyway

    0.77 quarterly

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    Is 3.08 annually, not that bad of a yield. I don't think most of you independently wealthy burgerflipperphiles realize what's going to happen to the nice chunky accounts daddy set up for you when markets tank as a result of minimum wage getting jacked to $15. Or, more importantly, retirement accounts of all the hardworking middle class people.

    Example of you not having a clue of which you speak

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    Using ONLY McDonald's dividend information: http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/mcd/investors/stock_...

    Using only the dividends and date information at that link, indicate here for all of us when the last 11 increases in minimum wage occurred. Clearly if you are concerned about the minimum wage increase affecting the dividends, then at least ONE of the 11 previous increases going back to the late '70s will have caused a drop in McDonald's dividends as you claim this time would do.

    Repeat after me

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    Economics isn't a zero sum game.

    I'd also point out that low wages for the easiest jobs tend to depress wages across the board for everyone that isn't a CEO. The same factors depressing their wages are depressing yours.

    Last, the free lunch isn't free. We're getting 10 cents savings out one end, and having to support these workers with $1 in government assistance on the other because they can't live on their own.

    That's expensive, requires bigger government to administer, and is labor savings / taxpayer subsidies that get funneled to shareholders and CEO pay. Not to us, and not to workers.

    I don't know about you, but I'd rather pay the 10 cents more and not have to pay for government assistance. Thats not even getting into the intangibles that dignified work / wage gives people.

    let the 80% unemployed black teens take the jobs at $7 then

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    All I have been hearing from small business owners for several years now is that they can't find minimum wage workers who are good workers. Mostly in restarants and trades its been Brazilians who know how to work hard. If you work hard you can go from minimum to $14 in a few months. Hard workers are hard to find and owners will pay that premium. You have to be a slacker to be stuck at minimum for any amount of time. Also you have to have no understanding of economics if you chose to 'strike' in the depths of a depression. Fire them all, there are lots of teenagers who would love work experience at minimum wage.

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    If you work hard you can go

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    If you work hard you can go from minimum to $14 in a few months.

    You have no idea what you're talking about. I know people who work hard every day and are still making less than 11 dollars an hour because of "wage freezes" and other crap that the corporations they work for pull because their "earnings quotas for the quarter" weren't met. 90% of the time you cannot get a raise unless you get a promotion, and with the amount of jobs being kept at an artificially low number by "efficiency experts" no one moves out of their current positions. Not to mention that benefits cost more every year and the quality of the benefits are diminished. The lower wage earners are being squeezed for more and more each year by CEOs who make millions of dollars in "performance bonuses" and 14 million dollar retirement bonuses even when their companies cry poor because of low earnings when it comes to paying decent wages or adding jobs. It's not 1992 anymore, no one moves up the ladder like you think.

    ridiculous

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    It is insane that they think that fast food workers deserve $15 an hour. I'm an EMT and starting pay at a private ambulance company is only somewhere in the vicinity of $12-14 an hour and that's a skilled job with risk involved.

    As far as I'm concerned: minimal effort + minimal education + minimal skills = minimum wage

    Just because

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    Just because you are underpaid for potentially saving lives and putting yourself at risk doesn't mean that everyone else deserves to be underpaid. EMTs should be paid more as well, and are affected by the same stupid policies that keep wages at other jobs artificially low. EMTs should get together and do something about it or they'll be walked on like everyone else. I don't understand the mentality of "if I am subjected to something unfair so should they".

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    Everyone should be paid more!

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    Let's just make it a law that EVERYONE gets paid more money. It's unfair that some people make a lot of money, and others don't. Who's with me?

    I am

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    Yours truly,

    Vladimir Lenin

    Whoa there, fella

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    If everyone is paid more, then no one is paid less. If no one is paid less, then how will I know who I am better than?

    they actually think the

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    they actually think the minimum wage for everyone should be $15, so your wages would go up too.

    gosh, that sounds terrible, doesn't it?

    Too funny

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    Starting salaries for college grads should be at least twice as much as minimum wage, are you telling us the low end of starting salary for college grads should now be $62K/year, more than most people in the south and midwest make mid-career? Are you trolling, or are you really that delusional?

    Course correction

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    Let's say your compass is off and you've been sailing your yacht about 20 degrees to the east of where you intended for the past hour. Someone points this out and calculates that you need to go 500 nautical miles to the west in order to be back on course.

    Your response is "No, that other ship that's been on the same course as us is over here too. So we shouldn't correct our course for fear of causing problems with their own decisions in life."

    How dumb is that? If it is more appropriate that college grads should be making $60k/yr and the middle managers in the south and mid-west have a problem with their experience being undervalued in this new situation, then they should discuss that with their companies...or go to where they are valued correctly. To say "we should keep others pinned to wages that can't even meet their basic needs in life because to do otherwise would inflate college grads' salaries and that would be as high as experienced middle career wage earners...so call the whole thing off" is just a combination of asinine, short-sighted, and cruel. You're just so far removed from how cruel it is that you just don't care or can't see why you should care.

    Right

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    My ship has definitely strayed off its course and has wandered off into the scary sea of reality. You, on the other hand, are still sailing the happy waves of Utopian sea. Congratulations, now pack up your old occupy tent, drive out to midwest where one can rent a nice big house for under $600 a month, camp out in some random town square and tell everyone not working at McD they should be getting at least $60K a year right off the bat. After all, cost of living isn't of much importance when you're SVP of chair cushion temperature stability maintenance at your daddy's corporation.

    $15

    By on

    Can I point out that the $15 target is likely above what the union representing the workers expects, because that is typically how negotiations are done? ie: workers want $15, minimum is $5, so they end up settling on $10.

    Crabs in a bucket

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    Worth noting that as burger flippers, PhD post-docs, ambulance drivers, ambulance chasers and middle-class shareholders all squabble here about raising the minimum wage, the CEOs keep giving themselves raises, bigger benefits packages, bonuses and severance packages regardless of the company's performance under their watch.

    And when a CEO rakes in 7-8 figure salaries and ups his bonuses and perks no one worries about the company having to raise the cost of a burger. Raise the salaries of the lowest in the company or provide them healthcare and I'm sorry those fries will now cost $50.

    And for the pittance that is added to the paycheck of those on the lowest end of the totem pole you end up getting people off of public assistance and they're going to blow that new money straight into the local economy, as opposed to the CEO stockpiling his wealth and maybe spreading some around to the local yacht dealership.

    But....who wants to JUDGE the rich, because they EARNED what they got whereas the meth-addled white trash, niggers, spics and other assorted social detritus that work in the fast food joints got exactly what they deserve. And I can judge them because from my lofty perch as head assistant telephone sanitizer, I worked HARD for what I got and they're not going to take it from me, damnit.

    Many post docs have never done shit work

    I have done both.

    I don't care if people doing the backbreaking, shit work more than full time get paid more than I did as a post doc.

    They deserve it.

    Post docs work hard too, but it isn't the sort of hard that destroys your health, gives you hepatitis, wrecks your knees into mid-adulthood. The sort of shit work my parents did from childhood on that wore them out well before their time.

    My PhD means a certain security that I won't ever have to do shit work again, and won't die early from shit work like my parents and some of my grandparents did. I don't care if I make less money than a shit worker! I'm going to live a hell of a lot longer!

    Newsflash

    By on

    Those doing labor-intensive work (plumbers, carpenters, garbagemen, etc) already make way more than $15 per hour, and they deserve every penny. In other news, flipping burgers doesn't require much strength or mental capacity, and it certainly won't kill you in the long run.

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    Please tell us

    Of your personal experiences doing full-time shit work while being entirely dependent on your own wages.

    Note also that those of us in Public Health and trained in occupational health are quite aware of what jobs kill - and how.

    Please tell us

    Of your experience in Public Health and training in occupation health of what kill.

    Serious question, not a snarky rhetorical rebuttal. Because my memory of working minimum wage jobs before graduating and moving on found it wasn't fun. But I don't feel it is that straining versus garbage men or a plumber.**

    **To note, I'm not taking a full stance 8/hr is right as some commentators versus those fully supporting the 15/hr idea. My view both sides have reasonable arguments. Just to express it take too long of a monologue the middle of a simmering flame war. But I still want to question this argument, as I don't see this argument as reasonable as the others. Because I would definitely understand why a plumber should deserve more when it comes occupation hazards.