The Law Of Unintended Consequences Strikes Again

Yesterday Byron York posted an article in the Washington Examiner about the coming increase in the minimum wage for federal contractors. The minimum wage for federal contractors will go from $7.25 and hour to $10.10 an hour. This will include fast food workers, laundry workers, and other low paying jobs on military bases. So what are the consequences?

The article reports:

In late March, the publication Military Times reported that three McDonald’s fast-food restaurants, plus one other lesser-known food outlet, will soon close at Navy bases, while other national-name chains have “asked to be released from their Army and Air Force Exchange Service contracts to operate fast-food restaurants at two other installations.”

…The administration is making it very expensive to do business on military bases, and not just because of the minimum wage. Under federal contracting law, some businesses operating on military installations must also pay their workers something called a health and welfare payment, which last year was $2.56 an hour but which the administration has now raised to $3.81 an hour.

In the past, fast-food employers did not have to pay the health and welfare payment, but last fall the Obama Labor Department ruled that they must. So add $3.81 per hour, per employee to the employers’ cost. And then add Obama’s $2.85 an hour increase in the minimum wage. Together, employers are looking at paying $6.66 more per hour, per employee. That’s a back-breaking burden. (Just for good measure, the administration also demanded such employers provide paid holidays and vacation time.)

These are the actions of an administration that does not understand or value our military and does not understand basic economic principles. The Obama Administration has already begun to make changes in the way the military exchanges are run that will change the savings our military get on food and clothing (see We need to elect leaders who value our military and take care of them.

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Looking For A Way To Earn Some Easy Money?

Yesterday PJMedia posted a story about the protesters who showed up at the World War II Memorial.

The article reports:

After about an hour, about 20 protesters arrived on the scene chanting “Boehner, get us back to work” and claiming they were federal employees furloughed because of the shutdown.

As usual in Washington, things were not what they appeared to be.

The article further reports:

Then, remarkably, a guy carrying a sign passed by wearing a McDonald’s employee shirt, which I noted. I then began asking them how much they had been paid to protest, at which point the guy wearing the McDonald’s shirt came back and admitted he had been paid $15.

Huffington Post reporter Arthur Delaney states that the protest was organized by a group called “Good Jobs Nation,” not SEIU as I previously reported, and that, remarkably, the protesters weren’t even federal employees at all but individuals who WORK in federal buildings affected by the shutdown.

This is the video:

Whatever happened to real protest?

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A New Take On The McDouble Cheeseburger

On Saturday, the New York Post posted an article about the McDouble Cheeseburger sold at McDonald’s.


English: A close shot of the McDouble, a chees...

English: A close shot of the McDouble, a cheeseburger from McDonald’s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The article quotes the Freakonomics blog run by economics writer Stephen Dubner and professor Steven Leavitt:


What is “the cheapest, most nutritious and bountiful food that has ever existed in human history” Hint: It has 390 calories. It contains 23g, or half a daily serving, of protein, plus 7% of daily fiber, 20% of daily calcium and so on.


Also, you can get it in 14,000 locations in the US and it usually costs $1. Presenting one of the unsung wonders of modern life, the McDonald’s McDouble cheeseburger.

You will note that the article failed to mention the amount of fat involved, but I guess you can’t have everything.

But there is another very interesting bit of information in the article. We have all heard of the horrors of fast food–blaming it for the obesity problem in America. Well, not so fast. A 2008 study out of Berkeley and Northwestern stated that people who eat out tend to eat less at home on that day to compensate–the net gain is actually only about 24 calories a day.

Not everyone is willing to admit that the existence of McDonald’s might actually serve a purpose. The article reports:

The outraged replies to the notion of McDouble supremacy — if it’s not the cheapest, most nutritious and most bountiful food in human history, it has to be pretty close — comes from the usual coalition of class snobs, locavore foodies and militant anti-corporate types. I say usual because these people are forever proclaiming their support for the poor and for higher minimum wages that would supposedly benefit McDonald’s workers. But they’re completely heartless when it comes to the other side of the equation: cost.

Driving up McDonald’s wage costs would drive up the price of burgers for millions of poor people. “So what?” say activists. Maybe that’ll drive people to farmers markets.

Fast food consumption, on occasion, is not a horrible thing. I will admit that I prefer Wendy’s to McDonald’s, but neither one in moderation is evil. There are more horrible things in life than fast food.


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The Cost Of ObamaCare

Yesterday the Washington Examiner posted an editorial explaining the impact Obamacare will have on jobs.

The article reports:

And so in order to avoid paying fines or buying massively more expensive health plans that are Obamacare-compliant, Darden is now experimenting with limiting its employees’ hours instead. By keeping workers to fewer than 30 hours per week, Darden can categorize them as “part-time.” Thus, the company avoids the Obamacare fines and leaves employees to the new government health insurance exchanges, where they may receive subsidies to purchase insurance. At least two other restaurant chains — White Castle and McDonald’s — are considering similar plans.

Thus, Obamacare is resulting in people working fewer hours, less tax revenue for the government, and bigger government.

The article concludes:

So to sum up, Obamacare is leading to fewer hours worked, less tax revenue for the government and bigger government subsidies for health insurance for people who were already insured in the first place. If enough companies do this, Obamacare will become a massive dead weight on the federal budget, even as it does little more than shuffle people from one insurance plan to another, whether they like it or not. The Congressional Budget Office estimates, at the high end, that 20 million workers could see their health plans dropped thanks to Obamacare.

One person who commented on the article at the Washington Examiner stated:

In 2009, Barack Obama stood up before the nation, and boasted that, if Obamacare was passed, you could keep your original health care plane.   That clearly was an out and out lie.

The more we see of Obamacare, the worse it gets. It needs to be repealed and replaced as soon as possible. The replacement needs to balance the needs of the health insurance consumer with the needs of the health insurance companies. There is nothing wrong with health insurance companies making a profit–that is why they are in business. The challenge is to make sure that they also meet the needs of the consumer.

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The Real Cost Of Obamacare

Last week Fox Business posted a story about the cost of Obamacare to businesses. The CEO of Papa John’s Pizza has stated that the cost of Obamacare will be about 11 to 14 cents more per pizza. McDonald’s has stated that Obamacare will cost each of its restaurants between $10,000 and $30,000 depending on whether the employees work full or part-time.

The article reports:

Schnatter (John Schnatter, CEO of Papa John’s Pizza) has made no secret of who he supports for the 2012 election, and said he does not support the health-care overhaul. The pizza mogul hosted a fundraiser for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney at his Louisville, KY home in April. He acknowledged the cost would not impact him as badly as it stands to hurt his smaller counterparts. Papa John’s has a high volume of orders, so therefore it can distribute the costs among its clientele so they won’t feel such a hit.

The Obama Administration has not shown itself to be a friend of small business. The President’s statement of “You didn’t build that” is only one indication of the disdain he has for the entrepreneurs of America. President Obama does not understand that it is the entrepreneurs who have built America and kept it strong. It is time that he was sent out into the private sector to learn that lesson.

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It Really Does Depend On The Parents–Not The State

Hot Air posted a story yesterday stating that McDonald’s has found a way to get around the food police in San Francisco.

The article reports:

Come Dec. 1, you can still buy the Happy Meal. But it doesn’t come with a toy. For that, you’ll have to pay an extra 10 cents.

Huh. That hardly seems to have solved the problem (though adults and children purchasing unhealthy food can at least take solace that the 10 cents is going to Ronald McDonald House charities). But it actually gets worse from here. Thanks to Supervisor Eric Mar’s much-ballyhooed new law, parents browbeaten into supplementing their preteens’ Happy Meal toy collections are now mandated to buy the Happy Meals.

Today and tomorrow mark the last days that put-upon parents can satiate their youngsters by simply throwing down $2.18 for a Happy Meal toy. But, thanks to the new law taking effect on Dec. 1, this is no longer permitted. Now, in order to have the privilege of making a 10-cent charitable donation in exchange for the toy, you must buy the Happy Meal. Hilariously, it appears Mar et al., in their desire to keep McDonald’s from selling grease and fat to kids with the lure of a toy have now actually incentivized the purchase of that grease and fat — when, beforehand, a put-upon parent could get out cheaper and healthier with just the damn toy.

I can’t even remember the last time I ate at McDonald’s. My children probably went to McDonald’s when they were living at home about eight or nine times a year. That’s not because I was a great parent, I just figured out that some of the local hole-in-the-wall restaurants sold better food that didn’t really cost much more. However, I hate to see the food police make rules on eating establishments that have nothing to do with actual food safety. What children eat is the responsibility of their parents. If we are not properly educating the parents on what to feed their children, is that not the problem that we should be addressing. I understand that it is hard to juggle a job and familly and manage to cook healthy dinners all week, but taking the toys out of Happy Meals does not address that problem. The true solution is to help parents find alternatives to McDonald’s that are healthier, while leaving McDonald’s as an occasional option.

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