Will McDonald’s employ $15 an hour cashiers?

Every couple of years there is public debate about increasing the minimum wage.

Most recently, there were strikes outside of McDonald’s with people calling for a $15 minimum wage.

The claim is that an increased minimum wage will lift people out of poverty. However, the truth is that a minimum wage of $15 per hour would increase the poverty line.

Further, most people know very little about the history of minimum wage laws.

On multiple occasions the Supreme court has struck down minimum wage laws, arguing once that “it may be said that if, in the interest of the public welfare, the police power may be invoked to justify the fixing of a minimum wage, it may, when the public welfare is thought to require it, be invoked to justify a maximum wage” (Adkins v Children’s Hospital of District of Columbia, 261 U.S. 525 (1923)).

Minimum Wage was again struck down by the Supreme Court in 1935 when they invalidated the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 with Justice Louis Brandeis stating, “this is the end of this business of centralization, and I want you to go back and tell the president that we’re not going to let this government centralize everything.”

The first Federal minimum wage law to stand was the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

Another startling fact about minimum wage is that labor unions are often leading the charge for an increase.

Why would labor unions do this?

Richard Berman, the executive director of the Center for Union Facts, explains “some unions and their members directly benefit from minimum wage increases—even when nary a union member actually makes the minimum wage.

The Center for Union Facts analyzed collective-bargaining agreements obtained from the Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. The data indicate that a number of unions in the service, retail and hospitality industries peg their base-line wages to the minimum wage.”

One thing that people often forget about minimum wage is that the lowest wage earners are also the people who are harmed by an increase.

Let us consider the striking McDonald’s worker. If McDonald’s were to increase their wages to $15 per hour, the company could either take from their profits, increase their prices and/or cut their staff. If the $5.5 billion annual profit from McDonald’s was distributed in hourly pay raises to the 1.8 million employees, it would only equal a raise of $1.47 (assuming every employee worked 40 hours per week)!

Adding $1.47 to $7.25 is still a far cry from the $15 per hour that employees are requesting.

The most likely option is that McDonald’s (and other businesses) would raise prices and cut staff.

In fact, some McDonald’s locations in Europe recently added 7,000 touch-screen kiosks to handle cashiering duties.

This is in addition to the countless self-checkout kiosks that exist in grocery stores worldwide.

If minimum wage is increased, it won’t be long before a computer is stocking shelves and cooking fries.

Darryl W. Perry

Darryl has spent most of his adult life as an advocate & activist for peace and liberty. Darryl is an award winning author, publisher & radio/TV host. He is a regular contributor to several weekly and monthly newspapers. He hosts the daily newscast FPPRadioNews, the podcast Peace, Love, Liberty Radio, the weekly news podcast FPP Freedom Minute, and is a regular co-host on Free Talk Live. Darryl is a co-founder and co-chair of the NH Liberty Party. Darryl is the Owner/Managing Editor of Free Press Publications.

  1. Seriously, if cashiers for McDonald’s start making $15/hr then every professional out there will ask for more money to balance things out. This is inflation through minimum wage pure and simple.

    I suspect it ends up hurting the poor even worse because no one will be allowed to legitimately hire anyone for ridiculous wages, so they all end up under the table where there’s ZERO protection from employers taking advantage or even NOT PAYING.

  2. They pretty much killed their own chances by asking for such a large increase. Had they come out at $9, $10 dollars an hour, they might have given the Democrats a little leg room to maneuver on this, but asking for $15.00 an hour, that’s what a 100+% increase. Shot to high with this one, completely undercutting their goal. I don’t expect this to go far.

  3. I need $15 or my kids on EBT and you pay for that too. I vote for Obama and cant find jobs neways why make people suffer when they get one.

  4. Min wage DOES NOTHING but raise/increase the good’s..SORRY–but true..Simple..I own a Biz. I HAVE TO PAY x amount..guess what I WILL DO..raise proce of good’s or NOT hire or LET GO a worker to cover it..SIMPLE…any one getting it yet..then pass around..I may only be 66 but I have seen this for decades..