What Happens If You Try To Live On McDonald's Wages: A Budget
Critics of the McDonald's budget pointed out that it involved employees working a second job, turning off their heat, spending just $20 a month on health insurance, and never buying food or clothing. But even more glaringly, the budget ignores a fundamental fact of the fast food workforce: It increasingly includes women with children. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the median age of a fast-food worker is now 28; and for women, who make up most of the workers, the median age is 32.
So AOL Jobs decided to write up a second budget for a McDonald's employee who is a single parent with one child living in Newaygo County, Mich., which has the average cost of living for the country. The income numbers are the same, but the expenses are based on the "budget calculator" from the liberal think tank the Economic Policy Institute, excluding tax, but with the original budget's ambitious $100 of monthly savings.
As you can see below, our McDonald's employee with a second job and one child will go into $1,548 of debt each month, or $51.60 a day.
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Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.
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