McDonalds’ Latest Advice to its Peasant Employees: “Quit Complaining” and “Sing a Song”

Back in July, I highlighted a ridiculous and insulting campaign that McDonalds ran with Visa in which the company tried to help its impoverished employees plan a budget. The only thing the campaign did was embarrass the company by proving that you can’t survive working there.

Well the company is right back at it in time for the holidays, with several pieces of advice for its legions of serf employees through its “McResource” website. Three of the more insulting pieces of wisdom include:

“Sing away stress: Singing along to your favorite songs can lower your blood pressure.”

“Break it up: Breaking food into pieces often results in eating less and still feeling full.”

I saved the best for last…

“Quit complaining: Stress hormone levels rise by 15% after ten minutes of complaining.”

Are you “lovin’ it” yet? Video below:



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  1. Why should a job at McDonald’s support a family? Should every job be a career and provide a so-called living wage? If so, there would be many fewer jobs, and the most needy people would not be the ones hired. That first hurdle into the jobs market would be huge. How is that helpful?

    • Sure. Clearly people with no skills shouldn’t be paid equal to those who can and do do more.

      However, at the very least, the rate of pay should increase with the rate of inflation (at any job really). McDs is benefiting immensely from wages which (measured objectively) go down every single time Bernanke hits the print button.

      All in all, the criticism is valid — though its sort of pointless to blame corporations for economic realities brought on by central powers.

    • Why did the gov’t bail out the private equity and banks with tarp and qe through the monetization of bad debt thus preventing a deflation of their assets which would have allowed overheads and prices to fall for the rest of us? All we produce is debt………how is that helpful?

      Now people have stagnant wages with rising prices.

      Meanwhile the big wealth has been all fed financed.

      Your argument might have held up if the scumbags running things practiced capitalism, not cronyism

    • I think the liberty blitzkreig is in danger of becoming the fascist blitzkrieg, whether it be through mandated wages and benefits or merely class warfare. This is not an argument about bailing out the billionaires. It is about being free to hire a willing worker, without regard to supporting the person and their family. Yes there are other problems, but lets solve those directly and not institutionalize yet more.

      I have to admit that McDonald’s does come across as annoyingly patronizing. If they annoy their employees too much, why they might actually have to pay them more. There could just be a clever social advocate provokateur working in McDonald’s PR.

    • Michael Krieger

      When have I ever advocated mandated wages or benefits? Never. Yes, this is class warfare. Oligarchs versus the rest of us. I’ve been crystal clear about all of that.

    • You missed my point. The workers are dealing with the repercussions of a failed, corrupt state guarded by a purchased system of justice and then you want to go to a textbook for the answer.


    • Huh? You do not fight a corrupt state in bed with the oligarchs by stamping out any traces of a free market. Workers are free to choose. Customers are free to choose. Internal McDonald’s company policies have consequences the competition can capitalize on. Or should we turn to Marx instead? or the crony unions? This article is probably best taken as a laugh, Dilbert style, without a broader message.

    • Michael Krieger

      What on earth are you talking about man? Who advocated stamping out a free market? The thing I have been pointing out in all these articles is that EBT is actually corporate welfare. It supplements the poor wages and allows companies to pay less and have fatter profit margins. That is the distortion. Food stamps actually hurt the poor, keep them quiet and keep corporate margins fat.

    • Michael, my reply was to “rich,” but let me see if I can clarify to you. Any safety-net program, also including the earned income tax credit, gives the poor more money to spend and can help the industries they buy from. It is not direct corporate welfare, especially if there is competition to keep margins down. Now the fascist state does take actions to favor McDonald’s and some others, such as by exempting them from health or other regs that might otherwise apply. The rule of law loses out to corruption in such instances, but the restaurant industry is still one of the most competitive out there.

    • Michael Krieger

      My perspective is as follows: A safety net, should be a safety net. Not a significant amount of supplemental income for families where both people work. My view is that if not for such massive EBT and disability, workers would be filled with a lot more angst and they would successfully pressure the companies to provide what the government (taxpayers) do now. That in my opinion would be a better outcome and people would be less likely to behave as passive sheep. I’m not advocating eliminating such welfare considering all the corporate welfare and bailouts, I am more describing reality as I see it. There are no easy “solutions” at this point. I just want to clarify my stance in the event it is unclear.

      Michael Krieger

    • Mike,

      In large measure we agree, with perhaps different examples in mind. I would view the matter as revolving around what I would call the quasi-natural rate of unemployment. The natural part is the unemployment rate when nobody is tricked by monetary policy. The quasi part is structural, namely embedded incentives on both the supply and demand sides.

      Your focus is on the supply of labor being reduced by the moderately comfy life possible without working. The comfier it gets, the smaller the fraction of people working (and maybe higher taxes on those that do). Also, though, there is the demand side. The more responsibilities and uncertainties are laid on the employer, the fewer employees will be demanded (and fewer entrepreneurs will risk start-ups).

      The combination of these structural impediments benefits the statists by making the labor pool fearful and vested in the system. It offers cover for the helicopter drops of money into the bankers swimming pools, and probably later for “responsible” bail-ins that confiscate the savings of the formerly middle class. The more the state does, the better the payoff to crony corruption.

      Best to you,

    • What garbage. The %1 are the ones waging class warfare. They and their enablers like you are the only fascists around.

  2. McDonald’s forgot to mention cake eating.

  3. How a Shadowy Network of Corporate Front Groups Distorts the Marketplace of Ideas

    As Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson wrote in their book Winner Take All Politics, “The organizational counterattack of business in the 1970s was swift and sweeping — a domestic version of Shock and Awe.”

    The number of corporations with public affairs offices in Washington grew from 100 in 1968 to over 500 in 1978. In 1971, only 175 firms had registered lobbyists in Washington, but by 1982, nearly 2,500 did. The number of corporate PACs increased from under 300 in 1976 to over 1,200 by the middle of 1980. On every dimension of corporate political activity, the numbers reveal a dramatic, rapid mobilization of business resources in the mid-1970s.

    And they didn’t organize only at the federal level. In 1975, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was born in order to take the fight into state houses across the country.

    In a democracy, lobbying and writing model legislation isn’t enough. Big business has also invested heavily in shaping public opinion. Last week, two progressive groups, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and ProgressNow, released a report detailing another piece of infrastructure in corporate America’s political war machine. “Exposed: The State Policy Network” shines a light on a network of well-funded, ostensibly independent state-based think tanks that are hard at work undermining workers’ rights and environmental and consumer protections, and establishing a climate in which it’s all but impossible to hold their corporate funders accountable.

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