The Cheap Burger Isn’t So Cheap After All

Please be sure to see my upcoming Online Shapeshifting Course and My Trip to the Lands of the Maya listed at the bottom!

One of the biggest and most passionate political issues the U.S. has faced since before the American Revolution is taxes. We work hard for our money so what we pay in taxes and where our taxes go matter. Most of us would agree that funding education, infrastructure and other sectors that grow the economy are wise investments.

But subsidizing billionaires?

At best, stupid. At worst, criminal.

As I said in my last blog, Big Oil receives more than $4 billion each year in subsidies from the U.S. taxpayer– Food for our cars. What about food for the people?

According to recent research by the University of California, Berkeley, low wages in the fast-food industry cost American taxpayers nearly $7 billion every year! A complementary analysis by the National Employment Law Project concluded that McDonald’s alone costs us $1.2 billion annually. Because workers are not paid enough to support themselves, taxpayers make up the difference.

While the employees of these fast-food chains are struggling to make end’s meet at an average wage of $8.69 an hour, the CEOs of the seven largest publicly traded fast-food companies earned a combined total of $53 million last year. In August, fast-food workers protested by going on strike in 60 U.S. cities. Their goal? A $15 hourly “living wage.” Although more than twice the federal minimum of $7.25, even this is barely enough to meet the basic needs of a family of four.

With more than half the low-wage workers at fast-food restaurants relying on public assistance to survive, it is evident that this model isn’t working for the workers or for the rest of us. In addition to placing the burden of monetary assistance on taxpayers instead of the corporations that wallow in huge profits, this model is crippling our country’s economic growth.

That cheap burger just isn’t so cheap after all!

This raises a serious question about the long-term viability of our economy. Since 1999, the median of the middle-class household income has declined by over 9%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. You would think that even those greedy executives who are swimming in their penthouse pools of burger bun dough could understand that if this continues, there will be fewer and fewer consumers. Low wages are just plain bad business. Higher incomes mean more purchases.

If you are reading this, you are probably one of the more than 80% of U.S. adults with Internet access. It’s likely that you also know at least 10 other people with Internet access. That means you’ve got the power to change the fast-food industry (and the oil, GMO, and so many other industries). The marketplace is a democratic voting booth, and every time you and those 10 friends make a purchase or don’t (and send an email to let the companies know why), you cast an important ballot.

I urge you: start a campaign. Send an email to those 10 friends and ask each of them to contact 10 of their friends. And so on and so forth. Let McDonalds, Burger King and the others know that you will not buy another morsel of food from them until they pay their workers a fair living wage.

It’s time to stand firm. Time to come together to help our sisters and brothers in the fast food business get what they deserve. And when you do this you will feel energized. We all will. We’ll feel the burst of euphoria that comes from our individual actions, and we will experience the power of joining together for a good cause. After we convince the fast food industry to do the right thing, we’ll be energized and empowered; we’ll know that we can transform the energy, agriculture, banking, pharmaceutical, communications and other industries. We will create a better world.


Date: Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Time: 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT
Topic: Shapeshifting in Action: Applying Spiritual Insight and Expanded Consciousness to your Everyday Life- “Reconnecting with the Divine Self”
Details: This will be the first of four online courses I am offering for the “Shapeshifting in Action” course hosted by Evolver Learning Lab. Each course is 90 minutes of a live video seminar with question & answer time.
Location: ONLINE- 4 Course Seminar
Tickets available online:

Theme: Realizing the Prophecies in the Lands of the Maya- Shapeshifting into Higher Consciousness
Details: Limited space is available in this select group of travelers who will explore, study, and celebrate together the true birth of a “new” time on our planet. I greatly encourage you to join me for my adventure into the Land of the Maya.
Indigenous elders and shamans around the world have taught me that all life is energy and that personal and global transformation occurs by altering energy. The Maya are known as the Masters of Subtle Energy. On this journey you will learn about prophecies around the world, participate in fire ceremonies with local shamans on sacred sites, learn shapeshifting approaches, visit jungles, stay in beautiful colonial haciendas, enjoy the delicious local foods, and connect with like-minded people.
Registration: To sign up, visit the Trips page on my website ( for more information and email Linda Leyerle at

About John Perkins

John is a founder and board member of Dream Change & The Pachamama Alliance, non-profit organizations devoted to establishing a world future generations will want to inherit & the author of the NY Times bestseller, Confessions Of An Economic Hitman.

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