Sunday, July 15, 2012

Why Fast Food Loves Mitt Romney

Mostly due to my new-found animosity to the crap food and shitty service found in fast food places, I found this piece about how the fast food industry is investing in Mitt Romney interesting. Just to be clear, my beef with Big Fast Food has nothing to do with which campaign they donate to and everything to do with how they run their business. I mean, if you want to open a restaurant that employs workers at poverty-level wages, serves unhealthy food of poor quality, and covers it all up with clever marketing...I think you should be able to. It's a free country. However, I do think you should be subject to market discipline. To me, that kind of business plan doesn't set one on sound footing for long-term success. Indeed, sounds like one that surely guarantees you'll be going broke, then going out of business. But not if you're McDonald's. Not for Burger King. Not for Taco Bell or Wendy's. They could commit to quality, but they've committed to the bare minimum required to make a profit. Which brings me to why they would be buddy-buddy with Mitt Romney and the Republican vision. Cue Tim Murphy:
Fast-food companies aren't lobbying for a reduction in the minimum wage these days—at least not openly (since it's not tracked to inflation, the minimum wage decreases in real value every year anyway). But they have a vested interested in a number of policies that would bring them into conflict with the Democratic party. Among some chain restaurants' preferred policies: the lowest possible wages for workers and few (if any) benefits; tort reform to discourage lawsuits (McDonald's, you'll recall, was the defendant in the famous hot coffee case); anti-union legislation; no new nutritional and food safety standards; and a crackdown on consumer-friendly statutes like the Patients Bill of Rights (fiercely opposed by the National Restaurant Association).
Sounds about right... It's not about cozying up to the guy who's going to give you a tax break. It's about cozying up to the guy who's going to let your crap business continue without interruption.

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