Raising the Minimum Wage for Working Men and Women in California and the Rest of America

Are Walmart and McDonald's 'Welfare Queens'?

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I’ve written before about an unfortunate trend where people are trying to raise the status of the minimum wage by slinging mud at welfare programs. But I want to write about this again, because I’m having a difficult time figuring out exactly what the claims of the Walmart and McDonald’s MCD +0.25% critics are here, and maybe some other readers are as well. A recent series of articles from Barry Ritholtz are good examples of what is confusing me.

It seems clear to me that Barry thinks welfare policies are a subsidy to corporations that employ low-income workers, but my question is what this subsidy actually means. I’ve seen “subsidy” used repeatedly to describe the relationship between these employers and the policies without describing what the impacts of the subsidy are on the firm. Here is an example from Barry that creates the impression that Walmart and McDonald’s economically benefit from these policies:

My politics are pretty middle-of-the-road, and I find myself offended by subsidizing profitable companies this way. As a taxpayer, there are much better things I would like to see my monies go towards. Some rule changes are needed to end this wasteful spending.

We should get corporate welfare queens off of the public teat. Regardless of your politics, it is an issue that politicians on both the Left and the Right can agree upon.

• Category: National • Tags: Adam Ozimek