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tears of a clownTime is money, you guys, and money is time (as well as speech) which is why this nice McDonald’s worker would have to work for ONE MILLION HOURS to make as much as the McDonald’s CEO did in 2011 alone. The CEO’s time is just that much more valuable, so the Market has put a fair price on his time, because the Market is infallible.

Also, if this nice McDonald’s employee wants to make more than minimum wage (which he still earns after 20 years with the company) he should have found a way to make his labor more profitable, and also too, to not look or smell like he works at McDonald’s, because the stink of the proletariat is too disgusting for management to bear.

Tyree Johnson scrubs himself with a bar of soap in a bathroom and puts on fresh deodorant. He stashes his toiletries in a Kenneth Cole bag, a gift from his mother who works the counter at Macy’s, and hops on an El train. His destination: another McDonald’s.

[…]

He needs the makeshift baths because hygiene and appearance are part of his annual compensation reviews. Even with frequent scrubbings, he said before a recent shift, it’s hard to remove the essence of the greasy food he works around.

“I hate when my boss tells me she won’t give me a raise because she can smell me,” he said.

Fair warning: if you work at McDonald’s, it is inappropriate to show up to work reeking like a proletariat. All evidence of your labor must be scrubbed from your person and THEN you can ask about a raise, so let that be a lesson to you.

Johnson, 44, needs the two paychecks [from two different McDonald’s] to pay rent for his apartment at a single-room occupancy hotel on the city’s north side. While he’s worked at McDonald’s stores for two decades, he still doesn’t get 40 hours a week and makes $8.25 an hour, minimum wage in Illinois.

Are you taking notes? Because apparently, this is part of the New American Reality of crappy, non-union jobs in retail or food service. Your Wonkette has worked both retail and food service. Your Wonkette came away from these experiences humbled, and with less respect for certain fellow Americans who think that a food server is a personal servant and a cashier at a clothing store is automatically an idiot. (The bright side: we were asked lots of stupid questions to make fun of, like when we worked at Bloomie’s and a man asked us if an animal died to make this particular $800 reversible fawnskin jacket. Yes, the animal died, we told him. You are holding up the skin of a baby deer, turned inside out. The baby deer probably isn’t getting too far without its skin. He bought the jacket anyways, caring just enough about dead animals to ASK about them but not enough to have their deaths influence his purchasing decisions.)

But we digress. Back to Tyree Johnson, who works TWO jobs at TWO different McDonalds and has done so for 20 years and still earns minimum wage.

Fast-food restaurants have added positions more than twice as fast as the U.S. average during the recovery that began in June 2009. The jobs created by companies including Burger King Worldwide Inc. and Yum (YUM)! Brands Inc., which owns the Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC brands, are among the lowest-paid in the U.S. — except in the C suite.

The C-suite is where all the Job Creators work, in case you are not familiar. And they just GIVE YOU MONEY, it turns out, if you work in the C suite. For the purposes of critical analysis, we have “borrowed” this chart from Bloomberg to illustrate the wage disparity in the retail sector, and the persistence of these wage disparities in spite of enormous profit:

Ghost of Christmas Futures

Oh KRIS, you are such a liberal Marxist so-and-so, fast food has always been home to shitty jobs, everyone knows that, tell us something we don’t know. And this is true — fast food has always had a reputation of being filled with low-paying jobs best given to teenagers, or if that’s not possible, to Demographic Americans (brown people). But the pay is getting worse and worse, and it is no longer just teenagers that are getting these low-paying jobs, as should be obvious since fast food restaurants remain open during school hours.

The pay gap separating fast-food workers from their chief executive officers is growing at each of those companies. The disparity has doubled at McDonald’s Corp. in the last 10 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. At the same time, the company helped pay for lobbying against minimum-wage increases and sought to quash the kind of unionization efforts that erupted recently on the streets of Chicago and New York.

The wage disparity, by the way, is probably best illustrated by this fun fact:

Johnson would need about a million hours of work — or more than a century on the clock — to earn the $8.75 million that McDonald’s, based in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, paid then-CEO Jim Skinner last year. […] While Johnson has benefited from small pay raises and some minimum-wage increases — the rate was boosted from $8 in 2010 in Illinois — he said he’s often knocked down to the lowest level when a McDonald’s franchise changes ownership. He’s been bounced to different stores in Chicago (he’s worked at six in all), which also results in pay getting cut to minimum wage, he said.

“Every time they transfer you to a different store, they lower your pay,” he said. “You have to climb back up.” […] The wage gap between CEOs and store workers wasn’t always so wide. Twenty years ago, when Johnson first started at McDonald’s, the CEO’s compensation was about 230 times that of a full-time worker paid the federal minimum wage. The $8.75 million that Thompson’s predecessor as CEO, Skinner, made last year was 580 times, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

OK but to be fair, CEOs are JOB CREATORS, and we must not make the Job Creators angry.  Because when they get angry, they take their toys and go home. In fact, if at all possible, we should give them the opportunity to pay little or nothing in taxes, or if THAT’s not possible, then pay a tithe to work for them. Also, no offense to Tyree, but he should have thought of all this before he decided to become a Poor.

[Bloomberg]

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