It’s the McEconomy, Stupid

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I alluded to it in my intro post, but this is worth highlighting:

Up to 30,000 of the 54,000 jobs created in May were the result of a hiring spree by the hamburger chain, analysts at Morgan Stanley told Market Watch on Friday.

So hiring at McDonald’s accounted for about half of the nation’s job growth in May. What lessons can we draw from this? One, obviously, is that the economy is anemic and lurching toward a “double dip”—which isn’t some new dessert concoction at McDonald’s. While unemployment hovers at 9 percent, job creation has slowed to a trickle—and what jobs are on offer tend to be of the burger-flipping, minimum-wage variety. As CBS Market Watch Washington Bureau Chief Steve Goldstein put it, “There’s a case to be made for the benefit of fast-food restaurant employment, but it’s obviously not the foundation for sustained economic growth.

The second lesson is that McDonald’s itself obviously sees opportunity in this crisis. It made 25,000-30,000 net hires in just one month. That’s a pretty big bet that its “dollar menus” and other cheap calorie blasts will remain popular among a cash-strapped populace having to work ever harder to stary in place. That’s good news for Mikky D’s shareholders—and bad news for public health in a nation besieged by chronic maladies caused by an excess of low-quality calories.
 

 

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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