A $15 Minimum Wage Would Barely Have Any Effect on Fast Food Prices

Surprise, surprise! A new study points out that were the US to adopt a $15 minimum wage, the price of a Big Mac would rise by...*drumroll*...22 cents.

The study, from Purdue University and published in the Journal of Foodservice Business Research, shows that the average price of a Big Mac would go from $5.23 to $5.45 under a $15/hour minimum wage. It also discovered that under the tax credits available through the Affordable Care Act, offering employees health care benefits would have a “minimal effect” on prices at any fast food location with less than 25 employees.


Interestingly, you do start to see a snowball-rolling-down-a-hill effect once you go above $15. While raising the wage to $15 would only increase prices by 4.3 percent, raising it to $22 (the average hourly wage of an American private industry employee according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics) would increase prices by 25 percent. It’s thus important to remember that while $15 is well within societal reach, there are still limits here.

Allow me to take this opportunity to address everyone in the room who claimed the industry couldn’t possibly sustain such astronomically-high wages and that were the government to force private industry to adopt them, the industry would have no choice but to outsource all human jobs to robots *smug smirk*. In the interest of a fair and reasonable discussion, I will keep my reaction to this study as civil as possible. Here, then, is that response:


*cough* Ahem. Thank you, that will be all.

Image via McDonald’s.

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