Raising the Minimum Wage Means the End of the Fast Food Subsidies


And besides, fast food is bad for you. You should probably eat something healthy instead, anyway. Are you getting enough nutrients? I worry about you.

You’ve got to read this Bloomberg View article by Barry Ritholtz about why the fast food industry is fighting so hard against raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Basically, it’s because up until now, “more than half (52 percent) of the families of front-line fast-food workers are enrolled in one or more public programs,” meaning that our taxes have paid to subsidize the fast food industry’s low wages, to the tune of “about $7 billion a year.”

What’s happening now in Los Angeles is a course correction. The American public has decided to stop subsidizing fast food profits. I’ve seen this argued before on many occasions, but Ritholtz’s post is the most elegant, easy-to-understand articulation of this case. Read it, share it, and post it when you see someone spreading the usual “businesses will close” scares on social media.



Paul Constant
Paul Constant has written about politics, books, and film for Newsweek, The Progressive, the Utne Reader, and alternative weeklies around the country.