Even McDonald’s Employees May Be Getting a Better Deal

ACADEME BLOG

Much media attention has been paid to the strikes by fast-food workers, and most specifically McDonald’s employees, for higher wages. Those who are profiting from exploitative wages and who are enjoying the benefits of the ever-widening income gap have tried to minimize the public impact of these workers’ efforts to get a livable and fair wage by suggesting that such underpaid work is restricted to certain types of jobs and that dissatisfied workers should simply look for other employment.

This sort of argument—this sort of rationalization of self-interest—ignores any number of startling statistics, which, taken together, suggest that the low-wage jobs in fast-food restaurants are becoming more illustrative of the norm than of a last-ditch alternative for many working-class Americans. The dramatic decline in employment in American manufacturing and the collapse of the construction industry in the Great Recession have led to a shift for large numbers of those workers…

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