Kate Martin, a long-shot candidate for mayor, didn't respond to our question in time for our post on mayoral candidates' positions on the fast-food strike yesterday, but she got back to us last night with a personal perspective
We know it's unfair to the other candidates to reward Martin for responding late when they were all so prompt (though we're still waiting on Harrell), but we thought her answer was worth highlighting in its own right.
I applaud the strike. I’m married to a Mexican immigrant who started there, but was lucky enough to have the wherewithal to find upward mobility. I’ve got several nieces in the Taco Bell trap.
Most fast food is very unhealthy and unsustainable on every level, including socioeconomically.
It makes me wonder how much longer we can subsidize these types of jobs with welfare programs while the franchises make their money on the backs of the workers and our society. Doesn’t it make more sense to focus on getting these people paid at least $15 and get them some healthcare benefits? It costs $2.50 an hour to give a full time worker healthcare benefits. It costs $5.00 an hour for someone working 20 hours a week.
It would be nice if the price of the food reflected actual costs, rather than have the government pick up the tab for the employer’s slave wages with zero benefits.
I also hope we can convince people to prepare and eat healthier food at home otherwise lifespans will continue to lose ground due to carbohydrate, salt and fat addictions that are obviously killing people. Maybe if the food prices did reflect real costs, people would stop going.
We need to grow jobs that create real economic development – jobs that have an upstream and downstream value rather than jobs that create a drag in both directions. Jobs that put a little rattle in the workers pockets so they can better participate in the economy would be good. Retail and restaurants are generally not that. Also worth mentioning is the toll these jobs take on families when parents have to work 2 of the garbage jobs each just to pay rent and buy groceries.
I would rather that we have jobs for immigrants that don’t expand the welfare state.