Maggie A's Meanderings

 
 

 

 

 Dec 29, 2013

Why You Gotta Love McDonald's

The last time I was at a McDonald's was years ago.........it was my cat, Trilby Kitty's birthday, and after hearing so much about how much cats love cheeseburgers, I decided to get Trilby a cheeseburger of his own for his birthday. So I went to McDonald's and got a double cheeseburger and brought it home to the cat. The cat wouldn't eat it. I ended up throwing it away. Though later when I brought him back part of a burger from Red Robin, that he ate. So the cat does love cheeseburgers........it's just that McDonald's didn't qualify. Pink slime and ammonia wasn't the same thing as real beef. Yet, McDonald's, who couldn't fool my cat into thinking they serve real burgers, managed to fool millions of people into buying their pink slime and ammonia burgers and devouring them to the tune of billions. You gotta love a company with a marketing strategy so effective it gets people to buy a product my cat wouldn't eat.

But you gotta love McDonald's for more than that. McDonald's is a company famous (or should I say infamous) for the sample budget it made for its employees. It was an honest budget in that it admits that full-time McDonald's employees can't live off what McDonald's pays them ($1105 a month). So the budget started off with the employee having to work two jobs to earn what McDonald's thought of as a living wage ----- a living wage that didn't allot for food, heat, clothing. I guess the employee is supposed to wear the McDonald's uniforms around the clock and maybe McDonald's gives away its food-my-cat-wouldn't-eat to its employees while they're at work. Though I don't know what the employees are supposed to do for food the other days. I also don't know what the employee's child(ren) is supposed to do for clothing and food. Though I will recommend that the employee and any children huddle together for body warmth since they can't afford heat. Oh, and they also can't afford medical insurance at the $20 a month that McDonald's budgeted for insurance since McDonald's health insurance costs at least $56 a month they'd better hope they stay healthy while they're cold, naked and starving. 

That is, according to the McDonald's budget, they'd be cold, naked and starving except that McDonald's, through its official McResources helpline told a McDonald's employee to sign-up for Medicaid and food stamps. Well, I guess McDonald's won't give away its food-my-cat-wouldn't-eat to keep its employees and their families fed if its telling its workers to go on food stamps. And this is coming from a company that announced a 1.5 billion dollar profit --- that's not for the year; that's only for the quarter. It's also a company that tripled the pay of its CEO (from $4.1 million to $13.8 million) and former CEO (from $8.8 million to $27.7 million) last year. So clearly someone with McDonald's is getting paid and getting paid a lot. But it's not that front-line, full-time employee who takes your order and cooks your food who, at $1105 a month, would have to work almost 12,500 months (over 1000 years) to earn the $13.8 million the current McDonald's CEO earned in a year.

Now as I said, the last time I was at McDonald's was years ago. And that was the first time I had been in a McDonald's for years. So it's safe to describe me as not a McDonald's customer. Yet I support McDonald's. I support McDonald's every year with my taxes. Because my tax dollars help make it possible for McDonald's to pay its CEOs so much and its store employees so little by paying for helping to put a roof over McDonald's employees' heads through public housing, by paying for McDonald's employees' medical care through Medicaid and for feeding the McDonald's employees through food stamps. McDonald's is a corporation so brazen it thinks that not only should its customers help pay for its employees.........McDonald's thinks non-customers should help pay for McDonald's employees. So someone like me who hasn't set foot in a McDonald's for years has to subsidize McDonald's employees so that McDonald's doesn't have to pay them a living wage. Oh, and never mind, they're a company making billions in profits every year while I'm an unemployed person living off my savings..........the taxes from those savings should go to pay for McDonald's employees because certainly McDonald's doesn't expect its shareholders, executives and franchise owners to pay the full cost for McDonald's employees. No, McDonald's thinks it fine for an unemployed person like me to do it.........and not by choosing  to buy McDonald's, but by being forced to by taxes.

McDonald's is the American corporate dream. It's not just golden arches; it's the gold standard. Utterly shameless. Completely brazen. Driven by the ideal that more-more-more is never enough when it comes to their pockets while the people doing most of the work should get as little as possible.......from McDonald's, that is --- the rest of us can just pay for their employees with our taxes. And McDonald's is not the least bit embarrassed by that philosophy. McDonald's is a shining example of corporate greed in action to which other American companies can aspire. And that's why you gotta love McDonald's. Unless you're one of their low-level employees or a taxpayer who's being forced to subsidize them. Or unless you're my cat who likes real meat in his cheeseburger.
 

American flag of greed with french fries
Flag modified from an image by Hhemken (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Author's note -- I wrote this piece the day before my cat, the beloved and adored Trilby Kitty, went missing. So I post this piece in honor of Trilby who had better taste than the uncounted millions of McDonald's customers.........
My cat, Trilby Kitty



For more about disgusting stuff greed will drive a company to do, read "7 Scary Things You Didn't Know about Your Pet's Food." For more about the American food industry, there's "Three Major Nationwide Restaurant Chains that Have Completely Jumped the Shark."

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