Who’s Keeping Burger King Workers Below the Poverty Line?


“What would you do with an extra $18,000 in your pocket?”

When an interviewer asked the question above to the interviewees, most people said that they wanted to pay off their debts.

Average employees’ yearly income of Burger king is $14,000. However Goldman Sachs gave $6.8billion in bonuses in 2009, averaging $210,000 per employee just for bonus. Even Burger King and its franchisees were violating the Fair Labor Standard Act because they failed to pay proper overtime 126times and paid under the minimum wage.

This video clip is related with the poverty line. Poverty line is the estimated minimum level of yearly income required for a family to live in a basic way according to the federal government. The video clip shows Goldman Sachs gave below the minimum wages to their employees who worked at Burger King and sometimes ended up not even paying anything. During that time, Goldman Sachs provided $6.8 billion in bonuses. Usually, the U.S government determines an official poverty line lower than actual but Goldman Sachs paid a wage under the lowered official poverty line to the Burger King employees. This action is illegal and more over, unethical.

After the turn of the 21st century, the world has sped up but the world economy has gotten worse, raising the rate of poor people and poverty. Nevertheless the property of wealthy people is getting richer.  The polarization between the rich and the poor is increasing fast. Poverty clearly influences people’s physical well-being. In my opinion, if the poor do not get treated well and receive an acceptable salary, their situations would get worse, the polarization between the rich and the poor would increase even more and then the economy would collapse.

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124 Responses to Who’s Keeping Burger King Workers Below the Poverty Line?

  1. vm112293 says:

    It is amazing how the poverty line at the time of the video was about $17,000 for a family of 3 when a burger king employee would barely make about $14,000 in a year. The poverty line identifies the amount of money per year a family needs to support its basic needs. But the big question is what is considered basic needs. The people coming up with this number are the one percent in economy. Their basic needs are luxuries for the rest of the ninety nine percent of the population. Also their calculation doesn’t take into consideration where each person lives, some cities like NYC which has a really high cost of living.

    What is more amazing is how the government gave these bonuses to these big corporations when all they were doing was taking advantage of the poor or working class. They were not paying in accordance Fair Labor standards, cheating their overtime payments 126 times that is reported of course cause who knows. These fast food restaurant claim that they pay minimum wage because they employing young school students but in really they are not. It’s usually single mothers that end up doing whatever job to support their family thus they are taken advantage of. As this continues in the United States it will just get worse and worse this class separation or more like the richer getting richer while poor are getting poorer is happening here than any other country. In my opinion this will eventually lead to major riots the majority of the people are not meeting their basic needs they are only getting what the richer considers should be the poor’s basic needs. Hopefully government will one day do something to assist in the problem that is increasing day by day in the United States.

  2. sh133471 says:

    After watching this video, I am quite pricked seeing how the people below the poverty line are treated. I have heard countless of stories of how the rich gets richer and the economic gap between the wealthy and the poor gets larger. This video is a perfect example of that claim. It is bad enough that Burger King employee’s work long hours for low pay, but sometimes they don’t even get paid for their work nor get paid overtime- this is highly unethical and unjust. Most of the employees are single mothers and they struggle to put food on the table. If Burger King decides to cut their pay check, they are basically starving the mother and her children, further increasing the wrongs.

    Although there are people who have a better standard of living, they too are affected by Burger Kings poor deeds. When Goldman Sachs got into trouble in 2008, they received $10 Billion dollars in bailout money. This money doesn’t appear out of thin air- they are paid with taxpayers money. In a sense, we are all putting our money into Goldman Sachs corrupt system. What else shocks me was they took $6.5 billion dollars and gave it to their financial employees as bonuses. Every Goldman Sachs employee received over $210,000 in bonuses, with some receiving even more. If that same $6.5 billion dollar was distributed among the Burger King employee’s, they would all earn an extra $18,000 in their pockets. Combined with their annual salary of $14,000, this is just enough to earn a living even in New York City.

    Through this, we can clearly see the corrupt system today and how the wealthy takes advantage of the poor, and because they have money and power, they can get away with it. Ethics and morals are not listed in the U.S Constitution so a judge cannot make a ruling based on these grounds. This question has always boggles me: what can the wealthy possibly do with so much money?

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