McDonald’s Corp., I’m told, has employed at one time or another roughly 7 percent of the American workforce. In full disclosure, I’m a long-time stockholder and an occasional customer.
But I have to wonder about one particular hire, Julio Osegueda, who breathlessly drooled over President Obama at a recent town hall meeting while bemoaning that’s he’s been stuck in the same part-time job at McDonald’s for four years and his benefits haven’t improved.
In between his star-struck panting, it was obvious he was firmly ensconced as a citizen of what I like to call Entitlement Nation, a population that has soared during the infancy of the Obama administration, who chant in unison a mantra of “what have [or can] you do for me lately?”
The census of Entitlement Nation is long – auto manufacturers, banks, mortgage holders, et al. The $1 trillion Spend-u-lus, or Pork-u-lus bill [add your own description] serves only as a signing bonus for Entitlement Nation. But that’s fodder for a future column.
Osegueda’s age is listed as 19. So, if my math is correct, that means he would have begun working for Mickey-Ds at age 15. Does he think that benefits given to part-timers should equal those of someone who works 40-50 hours?
On general principle he should have been fired at least three years ago, let alone be given a sound bite on prime time TV so an entire country could be exposed to his warped understanding of capitalism and overall mush wittedness.
But a more troubling question is how many of his generation think that the government will take care of them during however long the current chief executive is in office?
From Osgueda’s outstretched hand – palms up of course – we go to the chief executive of Netflix, Reed Hastings, who to his credit, does not want a handout, but rather wants to surrender more of his income in taxes.
In a recent editorial in the New York Times, Hastings made a plea for President Obama to take half his large salary in taxes instead of the customary one-third.
I do not know whether to applaud Mr. Hastings’ altruism, or force him to work behind the counter at McDonald’s with the aforementioned Julio Osegueda.
He proposed creating a top federal marginal tax rate of 50 percent on all income over $1 million, but at the same time lambasted the president’s proposal to cap the salaries of executives whose companies join Entitlement Nation and accept federal bailout money.
I’m with him on the latter, but strongly disagree on the former. He correctly points out that a $500K cap will just drive emerging leaders and future top-level executives away from those companies and toward other more lucrative posts.
But conversely, a 50 percent tax on salaries over the $1 million threshold will succeed only in making folks in the Cayman Islands very busy and very wealthy.
For better or worse –I’ll say much worse – Entitlement Nation is here.
How long it exists remains to be seen.
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