The stealth behind the wealth


First Posted: 3/6/2014

“Wealth is good,” writes Joseph Horton (Lima News 03-04-14) in his opinion column. “Wealth is fresh fruits and vegetables in January, indoor plumbing, and MRI machines.” Mark Hendrickson, in his column, agrees: “Work produces wealth; less work means less wealth, and also less upward mobility for those who drop out of the labor force.” Both oppose an increase in the minimum wage, arguing that “people can only be paid what their labor is worth for a particular job in the current economy,” as Horton puts it.

Tell that to McDonald’s CEO Donald Thompson whose particular job earned him $14 million in 2010, and to the more than 50 percent of fast-food workers in the US (McDonald’s employs 708,000) whose particular jobs make them eligible for public assistance. On average, they earn $8.69 an hour and, even at 40 hours a week, bring home barely $1,000 a month after taxes, so they’re often eligible for food stamps, Medicaid and tax credits. Apparently, their labor isn’t worth much, so taxpayers – like you and me – subsidize Mr. Thompson and his industry by picking up the slack.

— David S. Adams, Lima