I told you so: McDonald’s requiring bachelor’s degree for cashiers

Back in December I warned fast food workers seeking to unionize and demand a “living wage” that they were asking for trouble.  If wages and benefits reach the levels which were being demanded, does anyone really think these restaurants will continue to hire the same kinds of people they currently employ: low skill, low education, low experience?  I seriously doubt it, not if they’re paying $15/hour, full-time, full benefits anyway.  If they think they have it rough at minimum wage, just wait until they’re passed over for more experienced and educated workers.  If it were to suddenly cost more than 2 times as much to hire someone (when you include the benefits) the number of job positions will be greatly reduced.  The restaurant’s management would now be far more selective in their hiring, they won’t have to hire just anyone.  There will be far fewer jobs available, and the candidate field will be exponentially more competitive.

Well, it turns out that the President’s economic policies have beat the Unions to the punch.  The economy is so bad, and so many people are clamoring for work, one McDonald’s restaurant is upping the ante.

(Washington Examiner) — With colleges producing more graduates, and youth unemployment at a sky-high 11.5 percent, even landing a job selling Big Macs is getting competitive.

Consider: A job opening at a Massachusetts McDonald’s for a full-time cashier requires one to two years experience and a bachelor’s degree.

“Get a weekly paycheck with a side order of food, folks and fun,” offered McDonalds.

It is unclear if the fast-food restaurant really wants that kind of experience or is fishing for the highest qualified. The website for the Winchedon, Mass. McDonald’s also lists jobs in Spanish.

Youth advocates said the ad is proof of how bad the employment situation is for kids. “Sadly we’ve taxed-and-spent our way to an economy in which there’s intense competition for just about any job. Combine that with government meddling in the student loan market that has artificially inflated the cost of higher education and young people are getting screwed over even worse than the country overall,” said Evan Feinberg, president of the Washington-based youth advocacy group Generation Opportunity.

The fast food workers have not relented in their demands for higher wages either.  Hopefully they will wake up to the dire jobs situation in this country and not look a gift horse in the mouth.

(NBC) — On Thursday, fast-food workers staged walkouts at McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell and other restaurants in New York City to call attention to their plight.

[…]

“It’s not enough,” Elba Godoy, a crew member at a McDonald’s just a few blocks from Times Square, said of her $7.25-per-hour minimum wage, which helps support her extended family of seven. “They don’t like [that we’re out here], but we have to do it. We cannot survive on $7.25.”

Godoy and her colleagues are seeking a raise to $15 an hour and the right to form a union without retaliation. The walkout is part of a national movement by low-wage workers to raise wages and gain rights.

[…]

In a statement, McDonald’s said the company and its franchises “work hard every day to treat McDonald’s employees with dignity and respect. Employees are paid competitive wages and have access to a range of benefits to meet their individual needs.”

“In addition,” the company said, “employees who want to go from crew to management can take advantage of a variety of training and professional development opportunities.”

Michael Saltsman, research director at the free market-leaning Employment Policies Institute, says that by demanding $15 an hour, these employees are hastening their own demise.

“The workers aren’t in a fight with management,” he said, “they’re in a fight with technology.” At some point, he said, “the cost of service is going to get trumped by the customers’ demand for lower prices,” and people will be replaced by less expensive machines, like a burger-making robot being marketed by a San Francisco company.

Comments

  1. R. Nash says:

    Does 1 Mcdonalds really prove your, at best, working theory? And the “Presidents Economic Policies” argument has been beaten into hollow ground. Low wage workers in all strata of industry have been vying for better wages long before Obama cama along.

    • Nash

      You think this is a one time one place happening? You don’t think its going to grow given the horrible economy, which is a result of the president’s policies?

      Of course min wage workers have always wanted to earn more. What’s different is the job market wont support such “demands”. They will demand themselves right out of a job.

  2. TerranceH says:

    Perhaps John’s point is that wages have declined under Obama while cost of living has increased. Since Obama took office, there has been a 5% reduction in real household income. The 106% increase in gas prices has caused rising prices on many goods. This is reality.

    And while 325,000 jobs have been created under Obama most have been low-skill, low-wage jobs that barely keep the lights on. People on food stamps have increased 46%, and there are 6.4 million more people living in poverty today then six-years ago.

    The stock market has skyrocketed, but who is benefitting? The millionaires and billionaires in Europe and Asian who bought up cheap U.S. dollars and flooded them into our market. They’re making money hand over fist, but most Americans aren’t benefitting much at all.

    By no measure has Obama been a good president. His policies only hurt those he purports to help. He is a failure .

    • Perhaps TH that wasn’t John’s point. If it was, one would think he would have said as much, no?

      The value of the dollar has decreased over the last 45 years. Why is it a problem for you now? Is it because you have an illegal immigrant, half black, subpar president to hand all of your end of times biblical prophecies on? I mean we get it already. You guys hate obama. I am absolutely unimpressed with him. I give him a C-. But is he the anti-christ?

      And is the irony lost on you that you are all trumpeting these numbers that reflect badly for the bottom 20% of the population regarding unemployment and all of the other metrics you mentioned in your post? I mean these are the same people that you and John and the the rest of your closed loop club are constantly berating as being what’s wrong with this country. They are the uneducated, crime prone, abortion getting, welfare collecting scum at the bottom. But when you can use these stats to shine a bad light on obama you jump at the chance. I mean the glaring hypocrisy is mind numbing. You guys could care less about the people living in poverty.

      And I would actually like to get your thoughts on where the line is drawn when it comes to how much the government/President should get involved in the economy. The way I see it, is that the US has for 125 years, been supporting the private sector industries that made us into a world superpower and that is socialism. All of the corporate welfare, tax breaks, property liens and grants that are given out in the 10’s of billions of dollars per year kind of takes the wind out the ever so proud and patriotic idea that we have some sort of genuine “free enterprise/market”. This is at best an illusion. So now you guys want obama to singlehandedly write, legislate and pass and enforce economic policies that would better the economy? Where and to what degree does this become socialism?

      We paid (federal tax dollars) upwards of 20 billion each year from 2010-2012 to the energy sector alone. How is this free enterprise/capitalism?

      I am sure you guys are aware that corporate welfare outpaces social welfare 18-1 on average every year?

  3. The laws of economics prove it. John doesn’t need this McDonalds to make his case. Artifcially high prices will effect the market. It is wishful thinking to dream otherwise. If a company is forced to pay higher wages, it is static thinking to think that it will continue to hier low skilled employees, or the same number of employees for that matter.

  4. $15 an hour minimum wage? Good grief!

    Canada does have a minimum wage. I believe it’s $9.25 of $9.50 right now (my job pays me a percentage of student registrations per class, so I’m not sure what the minimum page is). Fast food places have had such a hard time getting and keeping employees, however, that they have to pay more, or offer incentives (scholarships, bonuses and the like). I recall from a while back when McDonalds couldn’t keep employees at $12 an hour. Fast food and regular restaurants all had huge problems. Fast food joints had to choose between keeping the restaurant or the drive through open, and sit-down restaurants had to close on their slow days or limit their hours because they didn’t have enough employees to work the shifts. Why would anyone sling burgers or wait tables when they could start at more than twice the pay, with no experience, working in the Patch? A lot of teens were quitting school for jobs up North, and companies still had to import people from other provinces and overseas. It did slow down a bit, but things have already recovered, though we’ll see how long that works now that we have a Premier that’s put us into debt again. :-P

    Saskatewan has an unemployment rate of a fraction over 3%.

    With a healthy economy, minimum wage is not an issue. Many unions (not all) just don’t seem to understand that.

  5. John,

    You say increasing hire costs will reduce job positions. That’s wrong: job positions will be reduced to increase benefit or avoid losses, so it’s isn’t true unless increased costs lead to losses. If employees give you less benefit by their increasing costs you are not going to fire them and lose that benefit.

    Regarding “more experienced and educated workers”: If they are unemployed and the economy is bad, they are going to apply for the job even if the wage is low: better that than nothing.

  6. “With colleges producing more graduates, and youth unemployment at a sky-high 11.5 percent, even landing a job selling Big Macs is getting competitive.”

    It’s not the “potential high” wage which makes getting that job competitive.

    • Isu

      You must not be familiar with economic principles. If the wages are high, the employer wants to get a better quality employee for the money. They can be more selective. What this means is when they have the choice between a single mother who needs the job, and a college grad, they choose the college grad more often than not. Between two college grads, they will use different and higher standards when choosing between them.

      I understand your lack of familiarity with capitalism since you live in Spain which is part of the semi socialist EU.

  7. John,

    I would say you are the one unfamiliar with economic principles.
    The employer wants to get a better quality employee for the money whatever the wages are. They can be more selective if the market forces allow them, since high skilled profesionals will tend to high skilled jobs and will avoid to apply for this kind of job if they can.
    The skill depends on the work, a single mother could be more handy and therefore “better quality employee” than me at making burgers, despite I have a engineer’s degree and years of working experience.
    If I were a manager, since I know that high skilled (on other areas) profesionals will leave the job at the first chance of getting a job according their profile, I would take into account the potential cost of getting and training new employees compared to the scarce benefit (if there is any) between two workers having skill enough to perfom the job.

    I would say our system is mostly capitalist. For example, all my jobs were for private firms.
    I understand you lack of familiarity with Spanish economical system since you live in USA. :-)

  8. I think it’s worth pointing out that this is exactly how it is in Japan. I visited for a while last year and I was amazed at the level of education (and pride) everyone took in their jobs. Common restaurant workers had bachelors degrees (and made a living wage). I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing because a.) it encouraged people to get an education and b.) the service was excellent.

    On the other hand people seemed a lot more stressed and addicted to productivity. That’s why the suicide rate is so high there (highest in the world). Not that the living wage will cause all this, but I certainly see a potentially large shift in the culture (perhaps both good and bad).

  9. This is so sad. I have no criticism of economic principles I just wish the prices involved were higher. Because of how God created me and because of the beliefs of my parents (nature and nurture) I have an advanced degree in a S.T.E.M. field but you shouldn’t have to have a degree to have a home, health insurance, or see your kids to college. Neither do I think that it’s the government’s responsibility to subsidize and provide. College is not for everyone. A lot of jobs may be “low skilled” but everyone is needed for our society to run.There should be a reward for more advanced careers like medicine and law but the baseline minimum wage should be way higher and companies should be glad to pay. I know it’s not reality but the way things are now aren’t completely right.

  10. TerranceH says:

    R. Nash,

    Perhaps John doesn’t feel the need to relay obvious information because he thought his audience was a group of adults. I dunno. I’m just spitballing…

    Alone, Obama has increased our debt by $6 trillion dollars. His policies only exacerbated the problem. He pushed for a massive stimulus that had almost no positive effect on our economy because it was yet another handout to big business and Obama’s pet energy projects. It did almost nothing for small-business.

    Chris Matthews in the house, I see. We hate Obama because he’s black, but we should love him because he’s been a terrible president for the poor, who we hate. Is that about right, Chris? You’re an infant. R. Nash. Do you know that?

    • R. Nash says:

      Nice attempt at trying to save this one by attempting to cover your tracks with further unrelated hyperbole. And what do my points have to do with being an adult? Uh oh, another red herring. Class act all the way TH. Nice way to avoid every single point I brought up. Even the direct questions.

      And not even calling me an infant, another non-sequitur, red herring amateur attempt at changing the subject will make up for the corner you blowhards have painted yourselves into.

      And confuse me if I’m wrong but wasn’t there a 797 billion handout under Bush’s watch? Where were you die hard fiscal conservatives when the welfare was going exactly to the inept fucktards who caused the crash to begin with? Not even a whimper. The complaining only started when the aforementioned average president took over and became the fascist, socialist antichrist.

      Again so much for deriding a discussion about your fallacious worshiping of free market capitalism.

      Just keep yourselves warm with your AFR tinfoil hats.

  11. We’re having the increase the minimum wage conversation here in MN right now. The left wants to raise it to $9.95/hour. I currently work part time at a regional (and expanding) home improvement retailer. This company starts everyone at $9.00/hour, plus an extra $2.50/hour for weekend hours, and $.50/hour for powered equipment operators, quarterly raises, plus yearly profit sharing for everyone in the company. If the proposed wage changes go into effect, this will significantly increase the cost of labor while doing nothing to increase the productivity of the company. At that point, this will effect one of three things. 1. Staffing levels and productivity. We will see already understaffed stores having to maintain with fewer employees. (Or fewer potential jobs available) 2. Declines in quality of service (with a potential loss of customers) 3. Increased prices. Note that in all three cases the people who take the biggest hit are the hourly employees and the customers. Is our economy really so amazing that we want to limit the number of available jobs?

  12. TerranceH says:

    R. Nash,

    You have some nerve denouncing me for any fallacy or rhetorical method after you accused conservatives of hating Obama because he’s black and hating the poor because they’re poor. Talk about red herrings, hyperbole, and non-sequiturs. Clearly, you lack even the good sense God gave a goose.

    Most economists agree it would have been disastrous to let the banks fail. The economic damage would have been ten-fold. And let’s not forget what prompted the crash to begin with…Do you even know?

    In September of 2003, President Bush wanted Congress to approve the creation of a new federal agency that would oversee Fannie and Freddie Mac.

    From The New York Times:

    The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

    Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

    The new agency would have the authority, which now rests with Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business. And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios.

    The plan is an acknowledgment by the administration that oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — which together have issued more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding debt — is broken. A report by outside investigators in July concluded that Freddie Mac manipulated its accounting to mislead investors, and critics have said Fannie Mae does not adequately hedge against rising interest rates.

    So what happened? Why wasn’t the agency created?

    Because Democrats blocked it. Yeah. They didn’t want poor folks being denied because they were poor. So banks kept issuing these risky loans, believing government, who urged them to make these loans to begin with, would bail them out if things went bad.

    Run along, child. You have no argument. You live in a dreamworld where conservatives are to blame for everything. You’re brainwashed.

    • R. Nash says:

      Still not going to answer my questions?

      You guys chastise the liberalness of the NYT at again, every opportunity and here you are now referencing an article from them. Hah. You ostracize “most economists” all the time. But now you think that most supported the bailout? But please do tell me, isn’t that socialism? And again you find yourself in yet another self made circle jerk: You and your conservative kind always blasting expansion of federal over site via yet another agency! But you now say that that’s OK?!?!? How do you know that would have prevented Countrywide from failing? AIG? Merril Lynch, B of A…..ad naueseum.

      Ohhhh right….because the dems blocked it…..that’s why you wanted the agency? But did you want it before hand or only as an armchair faux fiscal conservative.

      Your bias and bandwagon effect coupled with the fact that you refuse to answer every direct query I have posted makes this a very predictable conversation………just spitballing.

  13. TerranceH says:

    R. Nash,

    I could have referenced any number of articles, but I referenced the New York Times for a reason: I didn’t want you screaming and crying “rightwing bias.”

    I only ostracize leftwing “economists” like Paul Krugman. And as John suggested, the bank “bailout” could never be labeled “socialism” because it consisted of loans rather than handouts.

    Conservatives oppose unnecessary bureaucracy, but some governmental agencies are necessary. One to oversee Fannie and Freddie is not out of line.

    The fact you behave like a child, coupled with the stupidity of your arguments, makes this a “very predictable conservation.” You’re not even arguing a point anymore. You’re merely attacking. “Oh, but I thought conservatives didn’t like agencies, and black people, durr, uh, um, and you wanna kill poor people, and um, dur, duh, Bush’s fault, Obama C-, uh, dur, um, New York Times is liberal so why reference them, duh, er, uh…”

    Pathetic.

  14. Here’s the thing with minimum wage. It’s an artificial floor. The real minimum wage is zero. If you want to make more than zero, get a job taking out McDonald’s trash. That job is worth $5 per hour. A kid taking out the trash and smiling is worth $5.50.

    If you’re a kid just out of high school who wants to make $50,000, too bad. You’re not worth that yet. Keep smiling and learning. Restaurant managers make a pretty good salary, and you can be there within a few years.

    If you’re over 30 and don’t have the skills necessary for a job that pays over $7 per hour, then by all means, keep doing what has gotten you to your current situation in life: bitch about minimum wage and how you’re a victim.

    • Meanwhile, in Canada…
      http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2013/04/08/20720631.html
      “Job seekers can visit any participating location among the 1,400 restaurants across the country to apply during the one-day hiring blitz. Some may be interviewed on the spot, while those who can’t make it in person can apply online at worksforme.ca.”

      Quite a few companies have been doing on the spot interviews lately, I’ve noticed, and I know more than a few people who went to drop off a resume, only to walk out with a job.

      Fix the economy and wages will become a non-issue.

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