It’s being called the largest fast-food strike in history, a rallying cry for thousands of underpaid labors eager to call attention to income disparity and a long-stagnant minimum wage. But if a handful of social media loudmouths are to be believed, it’s just more hot air from the greedy, lazy pro-Obama camp.
Amid staged walkouts by U.S. service workers in some 50 cities Thursday, conservative commentators took time criticize the workers’ movement and marginalize the strikers for daring to demand a fair wage.
“Only in Obama’s America would so many people demand to be paid so much more than they’re worth,” tweeted Neal Boortz, the Libertarian radio host.
It was a sentiment echoed by Boortz’s more well-known counterpart, Rush Limbaugh, who spent a good part of his radio show Thursday wondering why the protesters aren’t blaming President Obama for their workplace woes.
“None of them blame Obama,” he ranted. “They’re just angry. I don't know who they’re angry at, but they’re down on America.”
Obama, incidentally, has pushed for raising the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour from its current $7.25. The wage has been increased only eight times in the last 30 years, and it is far outpaced by the price of inflation. A full-time worker making minimum wage earns just $15,000 a year. Indeed, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, even a hike to $9 an hour would keep minimum-wage workers below the poverty threshold, which is expected to hit $24,635 by 2015.
Nevertheless, the idea that fast-food workers are greedy mooches -- or that they should “just get better jobs” -- persists among a subset of the conservative echo chamber.
A little known fact about the people complaining about minimum wage fast food jobs is Obama has MOST of them on food stamps! #truth
â€” Chuck Nellis (@ChuckNellis) August 29, 2013
The fast food 15$ per hour is yet another Welfare program under Obama but the companies pay than we pay more.
â€” peterbuck (@peterbuckheit) August 29, 2013
These fast food employees kill me. It's pretty simple: if you want to double your wage, double your knowledge first. Failed Obama era.
â€” Hobbs (@hobbs_dav) August 29, 2013
UGH - Obama's McJob economy is expanding to grubby unskilled dregs demanding college pay for dropouts working menial fast food jobs.
â€” Rods and Guitars (@rodsandguitars) August 29, 2013
It was a similar story on Facebook, where event pages for protests in various cities attracted criticism and derision from fellow Facebook users telling the strikers to “go to school or trade school and then get a real job.”
Strikers fought back, though. Under hashtags such as #RaiseTheWage and #829Strike, Twitter users have been posting pictures of protests at walkouts across the country, including employees of McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE:MCD), Wendy’s Co. (NASDAQ:WEN) and Kentucky Fried Chicken, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE:YUM).
The companies themselves have largely been silent on the strike, but it should go without saying they’re not lovin’ it.
Christopher Zara covers media, culture, entertainment and the arts. He joined IBTimes in June 2012. From 2005 to 2012, he served as managing editor of Show Business, a trade...