McDonald’s decided to teach its employees how to create a budget. But in doing so, the company may have inadvertently done something else: Shown that it’s nearly impossible to make a living off the minimum wage. This budget:
- assumes the worker is working two jobs.
- surmises that health insurance costs $20 a month.
- doesn’t include child care, groceries, clothing or gas for the worker’s car.
- Heating is 0 dollars a month?
The health insurance line item may be the most absurd. As this video points out — is that $20 for Bandaids and nine aspirin a month? The average national health insurance premium for an individual is $215 per month. As far back as 2010, even McDonald’s own plan for its workers cost $14 a week, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Also, that missing gas expense? In 2012, the average American family spent almost $250 a month on gasoline, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
McDonald’s told ThinkProgress, “The samples that are on this site are generic examples … intended to help provide a general outline of what an individual budget may look like.”
Some people also believe that McDonald’s budget sample will help bolster the argument in favor of raising the minimum wage.
“[The budget] shows that what they’re paying is something you can’t live on — that people have to have two jobs, and much higher wages in order to support themselves,” says Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute and a labor-market economist. “They demonstrated, inadvertently, that they don’t pay a living wage.”