Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., believes increasing minimum wage so that it has the buying power it had in 1968 would make fast food quadruple in price.
“You guys want to pay $20 for a hamburger at McDonald’s?” Mullin asked a town hall meeting in Oklahoma last Thursday.
“The people who are wanting to do this, they don’t understand. You got to pass it on,” Mullin told his constituents. “If you wanna increase it, that’s great, but what you’re gonna do is punish everybody along the way."
What Mullin failed to understand is that increasing minimum wage from $7.25 to $10 an hour doesn’t come close to matching the buying power of minimum wage 45 years ago.
According to ThinkProgress, Mullin’s math on pricing is also shoddy. A 38 percent increase in wages would never force a company to quadruple its prices. A Big Mac is currently $4.56.
Mullin doesn’t seem to realize McDonald’s charges what the market will bear, not the cost of labor, according to Forbes. The global corporation does well in Australia, where minimum wage is $14.50 an hour. Australians are paying 6 cents more for a Big Mac than Americans.
Minimum wage workers across the U.S. are striking for better pay, while law-wage jobs have the greatest growth. According to ThinkProgress, a $10 minimum wage would get 6 million Americans out of poverty.
At the end of the meeting, someone suggests that people who support a minimum wage increase ever worked in “industry,” meaning, apparently, manual labor out on the farm. Mullin jokes that he doubts anyone who supports a minimum wage increase “ever got poop on their shoe.”
During another town hall meeting last week, Mullin said he suspected Oklahomans of food stamp fraud because he saw a couple at a nice grocery store who looked lean and fit.