Trust liberals to combine “tasteless” with something as tasty as McDonald’s.
In a May 1 video entitled “You Salt My Fries, I’ll Salt Yours ,” progressives at The Agenda Project Action Fund blasted McDonald’s for allegedly underpaying its workers and opposing minimum wage hikes. The video made misleading claims about the minimum wage, while employing class warfare to viciously attack business executives. Despite praising President Barack Obama, the video singled out three Republican senators as supposedly pandering to big corporations.
The Agenda Project, the same group that accused Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., of trying to push “Granny Off the Cliff,” created the video which accused McDonald’s of “Running Over America One Minimum Wage Worker at a Time,” alongside their “main pal” Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. and Sen. “Teddy” Cruz, R-TX.
The video featured an actor playing “Ronald McDonald,” a far creepier version of the classic mascot as a McDonald’s executive. McDonald clowned around while he complained about minimum wage proposals and lobbied Republican senators to defeat the wage hike. The cigar-smoking clown pushed workers to settle for welfare payments instead of higher wages before hitting and driving over his own sister, a minimum wage worker at McDonald’s. “If I pay her more, I make less. It’s simple McMath,” the clown quipped.
The Agenda Project also made their partisan affiliation evident, praising Obama while insulting only Republican politicians. “Obama wants to give Americans a raise of $10 and 10 cents for an hour of work, that’s Hamburglary,” the clown said, while pretending to gag himself.
On the other hand, the clown spoke cordially on the phone to his “main man” Mitch McConnell. He said “I wanted to thank you for killing that minimum wage hike. As they say in the business: you salt my fry, I’ll salt yours,” and promised to get McConnell “a little special sauce for that re-election.”
He also insisted on calling Rand Paul and “Teddy” Cruz, saying with a wink “you don’t want to put all your egg McMuffins in one basket, am I right?”
The Agenda Project has a history of smearing Republican politicians with propaganda videos. In May 2011, they released the infamous “Granny Off the Cliff ” video which featured a Paul Ryan look alike pushing an elderly woman off her wheelchair over a cliff.
Liberal campaigns like this often falsely equate the minimum wage campaign to the Civil Rights movement. While complaining that his employee would join the “Give America a Raise” bus tour , the clown scoffed “like riding a bus ever made social change happen.” Meanwhile, a caption at the bottom of the screen snidely read “Tell that to Rosa Parks and the Freedom Riders.”
Unsurprisingly, many of the facts and arguments presented were very misleading.
For example, the clown declared that no business “still manages to make a profit” with higher minimum wages, saying “They don’t exist, not in America, not anywhere.” Another caption at the bottom of the screen asserted that McDonald’s franchises flourish in Australia where minimum wage is $16/hour.
According to John Stossel of Fox Business , the comparison to Australia is flawed. While businesses may survive higher wages, this mandate had a negative impact on workers. Stossel said in July 2012 that young, unskilled workers suffered from Australia’s minimum wage laws. He wrote that, in December 2011, “63% of all jobs lost were jobs for young, unskilled Australians,” specifying that the June 2012 unemployment rate for teenage workers was a whopping 16.5 percent.
These so-called progressives also parroted the tired liberal fallacy that businesses would respond to minimum wage hikes by reducing executives’ salaries rather than reducing hiring or raising prices.
However, economic research indicates that, far from hurting CEOs, minimum wage laws hurt wage-earners and consumers. The Congressional Budget Office found  in February 2014 that current minimum wage proposals would cost 500,000 jobs. This confirmed the Cato Institute’s 2012 findings  that minimum wage laws “[come] at the expense of lower skilled workers who are shut out of the labor market.” Cato also found in that same study that “A decision to increase the minimum wage is not cost-free” because “consumers may also pay for it with higher prices.”
— Sean Long is Staff Writer at the Media Research Center. Follow Sean Long on Twitter.