More tales of the rich and oblivious

If you are the president of McDonalds USA and you are speaking at a public meeting and one of your employees turns up and informs you and everyone else present that as a single mother of two she cannot make ends meet on what your company pays her, saying “Do you think this is fair, that I have to be making $8.25 when I’ve worked for McDonald’s for ten years?” how should you reply?

Here’s a hint: You do not smugly say, “I’ve been there forty years”, as if that justifies the huge disparity in salaries between you and your lowest paid employees.

To make it worse, the woman Nancy Salgado was arrested and her hours were cut, reducing her income even further. (You can see the exchange and read about the aftermath here. But note that the video starts playing automatically.)

Honestly, don’t they teach these CEOs that in the age of ubiquitous recording devices and YouTube, they need to be a little bit more circumspect about tossing off smart-alecky quips in public that are dismissive of the genuine concerns of poor people?

It is perhaps just as well that CEOs like Jeff Stratton are so clueless. That way their contempt for ordinary working people becomes transparent.


  1. Jared A says

    This reminds of a scene from Disney’s Robin Hood. The first lesson in plutocrat school oughta be “How to avoid impersonating classic Disney villains.”

  2. markdowd says

    ARRESTED! At a public meeting? What FOR!?!?!

    I agree with Jared, this isn’t normal assholery; it’s at the level of a cartoon villain now.

  3. unbound says

    Well, he’s on top of that particular ponzi-scheme, so why should he worry? Besides, he can’t justify the millions in stock options being handed to him if he can’t squeeze out every last penny of cost from his ill-educated workforce.

  4. Mano Singham says

    I tend not to look at the comments to such stories but I did in this case because you pointed them out.

    Not only were they disgusting, the shaming and blaming of the working poor is unbelievable.

  5. jamessweet says

    The “I’ve been working there 40 years” might have made sense if the CEO was getting paid $33/hr (well, really it shouldn’t be 4x, it should be 4x the deviation from minimum wage, but let’s be generous here).

    Very few people would dispute that it’s reasonable for the CEO to make more than the line cook. It’s how much more (and how little the employees at the bottom make) that is messed up.

  6. colnago80 says

    I make a distinction between hired gun CEOs like the asshole at McDonalds and CEO’s that founded a company, like Bill Gates, Michael Dell, the late Steven Jobs, etc. The former are vastly overpaid, the latter are entitled to every penny they make in salary. What’s even more outrageous are the golden parachutes provided to failed CEO’s like Carly Fiorina who almost led HP into bankruptcy. The peasants who get laid off due to the incompetence of the Fiorinas of the world get bupkis.

  7. smrnda says

    I think the ‘been here 40 years’ is still totally bullshit. Should it take *any time at all* beyond getting hired for a job to pay a living wage? Why should it be acceptable for a person to be paid poverty wages for any length of time?

    The other thing is, 40 years ago the CEO didn’t put on the hat and flip burgers and work his way up.

    On her getting arrested, freedom of speech clearly only applies to rich people, who OWN the venues they can speak at.

    All said I don’t eat at McDonalds, but if I did, I’d quit.

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