Fight for $15? What if I said McDonald’s could pay their workers $15-17 an hour, they just don’t want to? Now what if I said they could pay that much-or more-and still maintain their current profits? What would you say? Now what would you say if by doing all that we also reduced taxes, the deficit, hunger, and crime? In a perfect world, right? Not so fast.
Seriously, this isn’t an attack on McDonald’s. I actually liked some of their offerings, that is before I developed severe hypertension. Oops. This is, however, about a better world, and about solving problems. McDonald’s is just an easy illustration. They provided the numbers. I just crunched them. And so, here are the numbers…
First, since McD’s is international, we need to isolate domestic from international, at least for now. Once we win this the next logical and moral target must be for an international minimum wage, pegged to national output and with international legal ramifications for violators. One battle at a time.
So here are the numbers…their numbers. First, there are almost 35,000 McDonald’s restaurants on the planet, or 1 for every 171428 people on the planet. 6500 are company owned, 27880 are franchised out. Don’t worry, the numbers work for Mc-franchisers as well as Mc-Corporate. There are 14137 in the United States, or 1 for every 22600 people. Feeling chunkier yet?
Total 2012 franchise sales were $69.7 billion plus $27.6 billion corporate sales for $97.3 billion total global sales. With US franchises accounting for roughly 40% of the global we can comfortably assume 40% sales from that $69.7 billion, or about $30 billion.
Follow me here. The numbers are simply the foundation. Here is where it gets interesting. McDonald’s total payroll and benefits, by their own numbers are $4.7 billion, with about $1.8 billion US. Simply a 3% increase in prices, or 3 pennies on the dollar, 26 cents on a Big Mac meal increases the hourly wage of workers at McDonald’s to $15-17 an hour, reduces crime, lowers the deficit, decreases poverty, increases the tax base, fixes roads and bridges, and washes your car. Okay, I threw in that last part for kicks. That 3%, bringing in an additional $2.33 billion annually to the company, more than is necessary, would also maintain the company’s current profits or more.
Now you must know at this point that my numbers are not entirely correct. I fully admit to rounding them off…in favor of the company. See, I made no distinction for Managers, executives, the folks in marketing, truck drivers or the counter and drive-thru employees. If I had we might be paying these frontline employees $20/hour. I did not make up the numbers. There are direct from McDonald’s, I just connected the dots.
So, they can’t afford a livable wage? Upon closer scrutiny, it is quite clear that the answer is that perhaps they won’t…
WC Turck is the author of 4 books, including the critically acclaimed Bosnian War Memoir “Everything for Love,” and Broken: One soldier’s unexpected journey home, at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. Turck wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart: A Revolutionary Christmas Carol” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” The most dangerous voice on the Left, he can be heard Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fridays from 9-11am in Chicago, and 1-3pm on the Revolution and Beer show with partner and cohost BL Murray.
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