Friday, October 11, 2013

A long-time McDonald's worker confronts the president of the McDonald's Corporation

Believe it or not, there was a time in America when the Republican Party was considered the 'good' party and when there was not a huge gap between the wealthy and the poor in this country.

From the 1860s to the early part of the 20th century, an income gap began developing and the Republican Party changed from the party that believed in equal economic opportunity for everyone willing to work, to a political party for the very wealthy. 

Indeed, at the beginning of the United States, in the late 1700s, the first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, believed that wealth could be generated privately in the USA, but to the benefit of the whole society.  Now we have a system where wealth is generated privately only for private individuals and the money only gets spread around through taxes or philanthropy.


So the following story really made me upset.  A woman has been working for the McDonald's Corporation for 10 years for the same salary of $8.75 per hour.  In 10 years McDonald's had never given this woman a raise.  So when she confronted the president of the company, he not only did not give her a raise, he had the police give her a ticket for trespassing.

What really angers me is that if corporations paid their workers more money, this would be good for the overall economy!  John Maynard Keynes (a famous economist) pointed out that the more money people have, the more money they spend and this generates business growth.  So these corporations which refuse to treat their workers like human beings (I would starve before I ever ate at an unethical  place like McDonald's) are hurting the entire economy.

The article:

http://now.msn.com/nancy-salgado-mcdonalds-worker-arrested-after-protesting-wages

Vocabulary:

an income gap - the difference between what the very wealthy receive and what the very poor receive. New York has the widest income gap in the USA.  The top 20% of New Yorkers make 40 times as much as the bottom 20%. 

wealthy - those with a lot of money

America has two political parties - The Democrats and the Republicans.  The Republicans are conservative, the Democrats are liberal.  What does this mean?  The Republicans, basically, want to help individual business people make money, so they believe that the government should not regulate or control businesses.  The Democrats want to tax businesses a lot and use the money to create social programs. Obama is a democrat, Bush was a Republican.

philanthropy - when wealthy people donate money.  Philanthropy doesn't help, however, because it does not create a 'sustainable' system.  The organization receiving the philanthropy becomes dependent on the philanthropy.  Lately the system of 'micro-loans' seems to be creating  sustainable system in which people are initially helped and then continue helping themselves. 

a raise - an increase in her salary

to confront - to meet a person face to face to address an issue

a ticket - if the police give you a ticket, you have committed some minor offense and have to pay a fine for it. 

trespassing - being somewhere you shouldn't be

budget cheat sheet - a basic sheet showing how much money McDonalds had made and how much money McDonalds had spent.  A 'cheat' sheet means the sheet was shorter than it might normally have been - like a sheet of paper you might take secretly into school to cheat on a test (to look at the answers for the test secretly).

a protester - someone who believes something is wrong and who publicly shows this

to be duly compensated - to get the money she deserves.  Compensation usually means receiving pay for doing a job.

multi-tasking - doing different things at the same time

that's what we're worth - that's the amount of money they should be getting

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