You are hereNaked Capitalism: McDonalds Tells Workers to Toil 70 Hours a Week, Use Ripoff Payroll Cards as Part of "Financial Literacy"

Naked Capitalism: McDonalds Tells Workers to Toil 70 Hours a Week, Use Ripoff Payroll Cards as Part of "Financial Literacy"

-By Yves Smith

July 17, 2013- The poor have to endure not just the indignity of struggling to survive, but also from having to listen to pious lectures on how they really can proper on their meager incomes.

The McDonalds/Visa/”Wealth Watchers” version of this “let them eat cake” comes in the form of a website that drives home the message that if low wage workers like McDonalds employees just mustered up enough budget discipline, they can achieve “financial freedom”. The use of math, one imagines, is intended to make the advice seem objective rather than cynical and self serving. ThinkProgress, which pounced on this spreadsheet, pointed out how unattainable this sanitized, prettily-formatted elite fantasy is.


Now it’s not hard to notice that these lovely patronizers anticipate, in a super duper high unemployment economy, that the industrious budget-preparer will have TWO jobs. And how much time might that entail?

Wellie, the spreadsheet starts from after-tax dollars. Using current employee FICA payments of 6.2% and the 2012 Federal tax tables, and assuming this is a single worker who takes the personal exemption and standard deduction and pays no state income tax, this worker gets roughly $28,950 in pre-tax income. ThinkProgress tells us that McDonalds pay “averages” $8.25. I’m not sure where they got that, since other reports (Glassdoor) show McDonalds’ jobs postings paying well under $8, and a Bloomberg story recounted how a 20 veteran was still getting only minimum wage in Chicago…which is $8.25. So we’ll used $8.25 even though this looks like creative accounting from McDonalds’ PR department.

We’ll assume our laborer making $28,950 in gross pay works 50 weeks a year. Divided by $8.25, that’s 70.2 hours a week, or more than 10 hours every day.



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