$15 Minimum Wage Is NOT A Job Killer (And It Shouldn't Increase The Cost Of Your Burger Either)

Apparently, former McDonald’s CEO, Ed Rensi, has jumped on the $15-per-hour-will-kill-jobs bandwagon. Let’s think about that for a moment.

This is the same Ed Rensi that, according to Salary.com, received almost $500,000 in 2014 for being CEO of Famous Dave’s. That’s almost $230 per hour–nor is it his entire compensation. (That didn’t last long, though. After only 17 months he was canned for running it further into the ground.)

But that’s only part of what really angers me. These large corporations and their franchisees make ridiculously huge sums of money while paying their employees starvation wages.

According to FranchiseTimes.com McDonald’s ranks #1 in “system sales” at $87,786,000,000. That’s right almost $90BILLION–about the same amount of money the Koch Brothers are spending on this election cycle.

Coming in second, is 7-Eleven at $84.5BILLION.

Third is KFC at $23.4BILLION.

Fourth is Subway at $18.2BILLION.

Fifth is Burger King at just over $17BILLION.

Followed by Ace Hardware, Hertz Rent A Car, Pizza Hut, Marriot Hotels and Resorts and Wendy’s ranking #10 at $9.3BILLION. It goes on and on.

Yum! Brands Inc. which includes other franchises like A&W, Domino’s, Chipotle, Dunkin Doughnuts, El Pollo Loco, Jack in the Box, KFC, Long John Silver’s, Papa John’s, Pap Murphy’s, Pizza Hut, Popeye’s and Wendy’s. Currently trading on NYSE at $82.01 per share.

Yum’s CEO was compensated $22MILLION in 2013. Or about $10,577 per hour–or 705 times greater than $15. There is no need to for one person to be compensated like that when he’s probably never even assembled a taco.

Then there’s Tilman Fertitta, who owns Landry’s which is comprised of “Chart House, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Morton’s Steakhouse, McCormick & Schmick’s and Mastro’s. Add to that the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, amusement parks, lodging properties and affiliated businesses.”

According to Nation’s Restaurant News, his personal net worth as of last year was $2.5BILLION.

Greg Flynn is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Flynn Restaurant Group, “the nation’s largest franchise company, generating about $1.4 billion in annual sales through its two subsidiaries, Apple American Group LLC, with 470 Applebee’s restaurants, and Bell American Group LLC, with 170 Taco Bell restaurants.”

Nation’s Restaurant News says that he is notable because he is the first domestic franchisee valued at more than $1BILLION.

These people are flying around in private jets for crying out loud. If they cut their own pay in half they would still be extremely wealthy. There is no reason they can’t pay a living wage and not even have to increase the price of their goods and services.

Small mom and pop shops might have to increase their prices but there are certainly people like me that go out of their way to shop at small businesses, even if it costs a bit more. And I am far from wealthy.

And let’s not get started on how much it costs taxpayers to assist in feeding, housing and caring for their employees when they fall ill. Walmart alone costs taxpayers $6.2BILLION per year to subsidize their greed.

Much like politicians, it’s thumbing their nose in our faces, particularly when all this information is so readily available to prove their greed and guilt.

Also worth noting, low wage workers (and $15 per hour is a very low wage, taking home only about $2K per month if you work full time) spend ALL of their income, stimulating the economies in which they live. The people and corporations listed above hide their wealth in other countries, helping no one but themselves.

Nick Hanauer points out:

Economic prosperity doesn’t trickle down, and neither does civic prosperity. Both are middle-out phenomena. When workers earn enough from one job to live on, they are far more likely to be contributors to civic prosperity — in your community. Parents who need only one job, not two or three to get by, can be available to help their kids with homework and keep them out of trouble — in your school. They can look out for you and your neighbors, volunteer, and contribute — in your school and church. Our prosperity does not all come home in our paycheck. Living in a community of people who are paid enough to contribute to your community, rather than require its help, may be more important than your salary. Prosperity and poverty are like viruses. They infect us all — for good or ill.

What are we going to do about it? Are we going to continue to let them abuse the rest of us?

It’s time for people to start really thinking and stop parroting talking points, like the increase in the cost of a burger if wages go up. Because that is ridiculous.






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