McDonald's Wages and the False Hope of "Good Middle Class Jobs"

April 8, 2015 11:55 AM

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McDonald’s recently followed a number of other big employers like Wal-Mart and Target in raising hourly pay for some at the bottom of the scale. The reaction from activists and employees was an even louder cry for more. Protests planned for 15 April across the US are meant to shame or scare employers to raise hourly pay to at least $15 per hour as part of a movement that insists business pay a “living wage”. This is doomed to fail and social justice has nothing to do with it.

Wages and salaries are paid by employers in return for useful work. In the early days of agriculture and industry this included lots of unskilled jobs. Scaling operations and adding technology inevitably means devaluing these to entry level positions, if not eliminating them altogether. McDonald’...

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