The minimum wage has remained stagnant for decades and in no way reflects current costs or inflation. Companies that take advantage of that don’t want the system changed, but sometimes they really tell on themselves. Twitter user @tastefactory shared a screenshot of a “budget” developed by McDonald’s and Visa that is meant to show how someone would survive on minimum wage in this economy. It’s actually an old picture, but maybe because there’s a pandemic and unemployment is skyrocketing, it seems relevant again.
Forbes reported in 2013 that the budget was published on a site called practicalmoneyskills.com and unsurprisingly that page has since been deleted. At the time it was almost as hated as it is now, if not more so.
A normal job, or what should be a normal job, is 40 hours a week. McDonald’s budget shows what someone makes working for about $7/hr, around $1,105. I guess they couldn’t actually figure out how to make it work, because under income they listed money from a second job. That’s the job you do on the weekends or when you should be sleeping. So you’re working maybe 80 hours a week? Awesome!
The out-of-touch aspects of this budget do not stop there. In this hypothetical budget, rent or a mortgage is only $600. On what planet? Is everyone living in rural Wyoming? Even if that were the case, car payments are astonishingly low at $150, and the budget has set aside ZERO dollars for heating. Which is a problem, because it gets cold in Wyoming in the winter.
And health insurance is $20 a month. Maybe they’re assuming everyone is on Medicaid because they’re below the poverty line in this scenario:
Using these metrics, the two predatory companies deduced that with this budget, you’d still have $800 leftover as “spending money.”
And as @tastefactory pointed out, “I guess food is considered ‘Other’ in this budget?”
When you see stuff like this, it’s really hard to believe that the people at the top are all that smart. No one could possibly look at this image and think it would be a good thing to share, and yet they did. At least it gave people an opportunity to lose it on Twitter again:
That’s my budget for anger today, but I’ll have more tomorrow.