The argument that minimum-wage employees at companies like Wal-Mart and McDonalds deserve more money seems to be here to stay. Today, pro-pay-increase website and magazine Mother Jones released a calculator in which anyone can see how their own salary stacks up to those working for companies like Wal-Mart and McDonalds. The calculator serves to showcase the number of hours a Wal-Mart of McDonalds employee would need to work to match your salary, as well as live somewhat comfortably in the area provided.
The calculator asks you to state your family size, location, and annual salary. It then takes that data and compares it to a fast-food employee. For example, a family with two parents and two children living in San Francisco would need to make $84,133 a year to survive. Even in a “cheap” city like Fresno, the number is $64,418.
In general, Wal-Mart, McDonals, and other minimum-wage-paying companies do not provide enough money to keep their employees economically secure. The site goes on to add that these wages assume a 40-hour-per-week work schedule. For a number of reasons – most related to upcoming Obamacare laws – companies like Wal-Mart and McDonalds have cut employee hours to the point that the average fast-food employee now works less than 25 hours per week.
It’s an undeniable fact that working-class wages have not risen to meet the increase in price of living. So long as companies like McDonalds and Wal-Mart are able to pay their employees such low wages, they will. That’s why the recent internet activism against these corporations has been so important, and will hopefully continue until millions of workers can receive the compensation they deserve.