ronaldmcdonaldSLAIN

I admit it — I don’t eat at McDonald’s. But I’d be a whole lot more inclined to do so if (among other things) the “restaurant” paid their employees an hourly wage that covered more than the price of a couple of happy meals. So I’m thrilled that Micky-D’s workers are turning to the picket lines to demand their fare share from a company that wants to screw them over with every turn — and, frankly, I was surprised to check out the Opposing Views homepage and learn that if employee wages were doubled to $15 an hour, a Big Mac would only cost 68 cents more.

Which leads me to a rather important question: who is really responsible for poor wages? Don’t get me wrong — I’m not excusing the oppressive corporate cultures they cultivate at McDonald’s, Walmart and their ilk. Obviously, hiring companies take the lion’s share of the blame. But why do we, the consumers, demand such cheap things in the first place?

We don’t have any obligation to patronize companies that, frankly, abuse their employees while sporting record highs at the bank. But we do anyway. Maybe a few of us can’t afford to go elsewhere for our lunch, but most of us can. Most of us can buy a sandwich from Mom and Pop’s on the corner, and not only will it taste far superior to a Big Mac, but we’ll be supporting a local business owner instead of a conglomerate. Maybe it will cost an extra couple of dollars. Skip the fries, then — they’re too fattening anyway.

I hope that McDonald’s does end up paying $15 an hour. But I also hope that people realize that they aren’t slaves to corporations, and that they can’t be evil if we don’t let them.

image: San Diego Shooter