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August 31, 2013

Regarding Occupy McDonald's wage-increase demand

By Don Mashak

This article discusses the reduction in the standard of living of fast-food employees from a unique and original perspective.


Occupy Fast Food by occupy, public domain

Occupy McDonald's Wage Demand

Recently the headlines have been filled with demands from fast-food employees for wage increases. In loose affiliation with the Occupy Movement, these employees have demanded wage increases nearly double their current wages.

As an adherent to Natural Law, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, this writer supports their right to request/demand such an increase. Yet, as an adherent to free markets, this writer's initial impression was that this segment of the free market cannot sustain a doubling in the wages of fast-food employees, such as demanded by McDonald's workers and the Occupy Moment. And from this perspective this writer was on the verge of dismissing this exercise in free-market forces as a moot point.

The Usual Suspects

However, upon deeper reflection this writer has developed a new perspective on these wage-demand developments. To facilitate his point, this writer has delayed writing this analysis article to allow major media to trot out the status-quo usual suspects: Evil, duplicitous business vs. the naïve, downtrodden labor force. In trotting out the usual suspects, major media helps sustain and reinforce the status quo. Said status quo being the false left/right two major political-party paradigm. And now, with major media committed to its storyline, this writer will reveal the truth the two major parties and major media tries so hard to hide and bury.

As this writer's regular readers are aware, this writer often assesses issues from original perspectives, refusing to be locked into the false left/right political paradigm and traditional two major political-party dogma. This is one of those articles that will shatter most American's false left/right perception of reality. In so doing, it is this writer's hope that this allows WE THE PEOPLE to further advance our peaceful revolution to restore Natural Law, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights and retake our country while restoring true free markets and fundamental economic fairness.

What is fair?

Can we agree that in this, the greatest nation in earth, our policies should be reflect an intention that all hard-working, dependable,  rank-and-file Americans who work for hourly wages generally should not see an erosion in their standard of living. (Unless of course, non- machinated market forces are the cause. For instance, industries in decline. As examples, buggy-whip makers and, more recently, traditional photography processors.) This writer takes the position that the demand for the products of the fast-food industry is not in decline.

With that premise, let us assess the Purchasing power of the dollar verses wage increases for fast-food workers from 2002 to 2012.

From 2002 to 2012 the purchasing power of the US Dollar decreased 27.6 percent. (http://www.usinflationcalculator.com)

Establishing the amount of wage increases for McDonald's workers during this same period of time is not as easily done. (Much thanks to the Monticello, MN, Public Library) First, the Bureau of Labor Statistics resists giving up these numbers. To be sure, they point to some complicated tables that would take weeks to find the data within, and then make the calculations to arrive at these numbers for some occupations. But, as near as this writer can tell, they do not specifically track the fast-food industry in terms of labor. The nearest this writer could come was Mean Annual Wages for fast-food cooks from 2002 to 2012. (However, this writer believes that the increase in fast-food cook wages will roughly approximate the wage increases for all fast-food hourly laborers.)

In 2002 the mean annual wage for fast-food cooks was $14,930.00

In 2012 the mean annual wage for fast-food cooks was $18,780.00

This was an increase of 25.79 percent

These numbers represent a decrease in purchasing power for fast-food cooks of 1.81 percent (almost 2%) over 10 years. When individuals are already at or near subsistence level, 2% isn't giving up your annual travel vacation. At these wage levels 2% is giving up, for example, a gallon of milk each week that your children should have.

Clearly, the standard of living for America's fast-food cooks has declined by almost by 2% in the 10 years from 2002 to 2012. Clearly, wages did not increase enough for employees to maintain their standard of living. The question is whether or not this decrease in purchasing power was the result of non-machinated free-market forces or the result of the amoral, unethical, and/or unlawful machinations?

Now it would be easy to jump into that false left/right two-party-dogma paradigm and declare US business (for our purposes McDonald's) the bad guys and McDonald's employees as the victims, and proceed to vote in the next election accordingly. But is McDonald's really the consummate bad guy in this free-market play?

While this writer is not going to try to place the mantle of sainthood upon the founders, owners, managers, and shareholders of McDonald's neither does this writer believe these just-identified folks bear the majority of the responsibility for the declining standard of living of McDonald's hourly wage employees.

Let us begin with this empirical observation and fundamental premise:

All Value Comes From Labor!

If the hole isn't dug, the bricks aren't laid, the plumbing isn't plumbed, the wiring isn't installed, the wheat is not sown, the cows are not fed, the product is not delivered, the burgers are not fried, and the fries are not salted; the founders, owners, and shareholders of McDonald's have nothing and get nothing. It is that simple. All value comes from labor.

In our society, the US dollar is the form and measure of value. And McDonald's founders, owners, and shareholders use the value they receive in the form of dollars to pay their employees, pay their vendors, pay their taxes, and what is left over is theirs to keep.

In a true free-market system, the founders, owners, shareholders, and investors in McDonald's are entitled to their profit. Why? Because they hazarded the risk of beginning the business, they are entitled to the reward. While McDonald's is now clearly profitable, when first founded it could have just as likely failed as succeeded. Before the age of dubious bank bailouts, in the event of financial failure the founders of McDonald's (any business) would have lost their investment in time and money, period.

The reward of profit is the incentive for entrepreneurs to take risks. And those that hazard the risk are entitled to the rewards of success. [For those of you who refuse to free yourselves from the false left/right two-party dogma and believe the founders of McDonald's are not entitled to their profit this writer puts the following to you--"How happy would you be if you did not have a job because the founders of McDonald's never hazarded the risk of starting the McDonald's franchise?"]

Taking Value from Labor

Before we go further, this writer asks you McDonald's employees and/or other fast-food employees to pull out your last paycheck (electronic payment statement) and take a look at it. Look at the gross amount and look at the actual amount of your check.

You employer is not stealing the difference from your gross and net paycheck from you. Your employer is being forced into the role of the Sheriff of Nottingham. Your employer is being forced to be a tax collector. In this manner, your government diverts the scorn from taking value your labor produced from government to your employer. Nevertheless your government still gets to take some of the value your labor produced.

Your government knows that if you were forced to write an actual check to the government, you would be far more scrutinizing of where that money went and resentful of the elected officials who took that value from you. And now you have a basic understanding of the types of smoke and mirrors your government uses to take from you a portion of the value your labor produces.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Did you know that when this country was founded, far fewer sources of income were considered income for the purposes of taxation? At the founding of this country, in most instances your wages that you receive for your labors at McDonald's would not have been considered taxable by the federal government.

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free" -- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe.

This article is going to show you how people who produce little and/or no value somehow have taken value from all of us who produce value through our labor.

Privately owned Federal Reserve System Bank

"It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning." - Henry Ford

Our current central bank was established by the Federal Reserve System act of 1913 under Progressive President Woodrow Wilson. The stated purpose for authorizing the current iteration of the central bank known as the Federal Reserve System was to stabilize our economy and monetary system.

How have they done? Stock Market Crash 1929, Great Depression of the 1930s, Stagflation of the 1970s, Real Estate and Stock Market Crash of 2008, 2nd Great Depression of 2008 to 2013 and continuing and growing rolls of persons on food stamps, etc. This writer's assessment is that the FED has sucked at achieving its goal of stabilizing the US economy and monetary system. Even as you read this, Russia and China are pushing proposals to replace the US Dollar as the World Reserve Currency because the FED has so badly mismanaged it. (You need to ask someone else how bad the replacement of the US Dollar as the World Reserve Currency would affect your Standard of Living -- It would take too long and distract from the thrust of this article.)

$25 billion per year

King Georger III
(Image by Don Mashak)
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King Georger III by Don Mashak

Quantitative Easing for Dummies

Now, for this extremely poor alleged attempt by the FED to stabilize the US economy and monetary system, WE THE PEOPLE pay the private owners of the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank $25 Billion per year as a return on their initial capitalization of the bank in 1913. (Take a moment to pause and think about that $25 billion dollars per year that you pay the FED. Between Congress, the President, the VP, the Supreme Court, and the Cabinet, about 540 people run the USA. The FED can afford to give each of them a $1 million per year and still have more than $24.4 billion per year left over. Do you think the FED has the power to corrupt the USA political system? Do you think our Congress acts in the best interest of WE THE PEOPLE or the FED?)

And the private owners (and their operatives) of the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank will shoot back...

To continue reading for free, please click here->  http://goo.gl/qLiJUZ

Those were my thoughts.

In Closing:

Thank you, my fellow citizens, for taking your valuable time to read and reflect upon what is written here.

If what is written here rings true to you, perhaps another helpful exercise would be to ponder why you have not heard about this in your local paper or in the major media. [You may find articles about issues from this writer's local area posted in your area and wonder why. The reason is this: Remember those travel junkets taxpayers pay for (the ones the bureaucrats skip to go to the beach or the casino) but allegedly used for training? Well some government apparatchiks actually attend those training seminars. And learn nationally en-mass techniques to "manage" WE THE PEOPLE. Since they all receive similar training in oppression, it is likely the problems you are experiencing with government in your area are similar to the problems in your area (unless you live outside the USA). With that commonality in mind, it is this writer's intent that insight garnered from this writer articles about his local issues can be used by the reader to understand and applied to their local issues.]

Please join with me in mutually pledging to each other and our fellow citizens our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor to our mutual endeavors of restoring liberty and economic opportunity to WE THE PEOPLE as our Founding Fathers envisioned and intended. [Last Paragraph, Declaration of Independence http://bit.ly/ruPE7z ]

This article is written with the same intentions as Thomas Paine http://ushistory.org/paine. I seek no leadership role. I seek only to help the American People find their own way using their own "Common Sense" http://amzn.to/kbRuar

Keep Fighting the Good Fight!

In Liberty,

Don Mashak

The Cynical Patriot



Don Mashak Google Plus http://goo.gl/1AUrE

The Conundrum: While our #Government works full time with compensation and funded with our money for the cause of #Tyranny; WE THE PEOPLE are forced to work part time without compensation for the cause of #liberty with what is left over of our time, money, and energy/





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Critical Thinking Notice - This author advises you as no politician would dare. Exercise Critical Thinking (http://bit.ly/ubI6ve) in determining the truthfulness of anything you read or hear. Do not passively accept nor believe anything anyone tells you, including this author... unless and until you verify it yourself with sources you trust and could actively defend your perspective to anyone who might debate you to the contrary of your perspective

Submitters Website: http://twitter.com/dmashak

Submitters Bio:

Born, raised on dairy farm in Wisconsin, survived public education, graduated UOFMN, matriculating in life