The Daily Beast came up with this really great McPoverty calculator.  You enter how much extra you’d be willing to pay for a Big Mac and it tells you how high McDonald’s could then raise wages.

I entered 18 cents and got this:

The average price of a Big Mac is $4.56, and many fast-food workers make $7.25 an hour.  I’d be willing to pay 18 cents more for my Big Mac. Congratulations! Thanks to you, workers are now making $13.07 an hour, or $27,184.04 a year. (Not great, but at least above the poverty line.)

(Presumably, they are figuring you’d be willing to see all prices on all the menu items hiked by the same small percentage, not just the Big Mac.)

Alvin Bluthman: “When Ronald Reagan was President of the Screen Actors Guild, and on strike for an increase in ‘scale,’ he urged the public to understand that what he was seeking would increase the price of a movie ticket by less than one cent per ticket.”

☞ And here’s the kicker: when Ronald Reagan was elected President of the Screen Actors Guild, movie tickets cost 15 cents.  So an extra penny was 7.5%.  “Less than a penny” might have been 5%.  Which is 23 cents on a Big Mac.  Which, according to the McPoverty calculator, could bring McDonald’s wages up well past $15 an hour.

President Obama should be calling not for a $10.10 minimum wage phased in over 3 years (although I’m very glad he has) but for a $15-tied-to-wage-inflation minimum wage phased in over, perhaps, 60 months.  (Give employers the choice of doing it monthly or, if their payroll systems don’t allow, annually, halfway through each year.)

Or do you know what?  The Fast Food Association of America, or whatever it’s called, should just adopt this on their own.  That’s what Henry Ford would have done.  And neither he nor Ronald Reagan was an enemy of capitalism.


Jim Leff:  “Dengue Fever is a scary, scary thing. It’s starting to go epidemic in the New World, and a cure would be a much bigger moneymaker than SIGA’s smallpox drug.”

☞ So the stock jumped a little on Friday’s very early-stage announcement that they’re working on one. And perhaps on the news that the company suing SIGA has merged with another small company, prompting Wedbush (“Ranked 2012 Top Stock Picking Firm”) to reiterate its $11 price target for SIGA.




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