As part of the fast food worker strike today, the Huffington Post released an article citing a study claiming that if wages were doubled, the cost of food at McDonald’s would only increase by 17%, or 65 cents for a Big Mac. This immediately caught fire on social media and in the MSM as liberals love to harangue successful corporations.
— MLive (@MLive) July 31, 2013
— Bob Krause (@KrauseForIowa) July 31, 2013
If McDonald's paid its workers twice as much, your Big Mac would cost just $.68 more http://t.co/17Q7wAOm5v
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) July 30, 2013
— ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) July 30, 2013
It’s an all-caps “FACT” because ThinkProgress says so!
Not everyone, however, was so easily persuaded:
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misrepresented Arnobio Morelix as a researcher for the University of Kansas. Morelix is registered as a undergraduate student at the university, according to University of Kansas School of Business Communications Director Austin Falley.
— Charlie Stivali (@chasboots) July 31, 2013
The student’s scribblings have not been published in any of the top-tier economics journals (or anywhere else as far as we can tell), though the Huffpo article included an explanation about how Morelix arrived at his findings. Blogger Tom Maguire dismantled the analysis and found that a closer calculation would be a 26% increase in prices. Furthermore, he raises caveats about the elasticity of demand, and asks whether labor costs at franchises are similar to those at corporate-owned restaurants.
In short, it’s not as easy as Morelix and Huffpo made it sound, but that won’t matter to the mindless liberals who retweet the misleading “FACT” as truth in order to further their leftist agenda.