by Carl, 12/03/2012, 7:08 PM

I don’t know how much the tip jar and the value of health care offset the low wages at Starbucks. But surely they can do better.

The National Employment Law Project analyzed large companies whose employees are making minimum wage, or barely above. Overall, their 2012 report found minimum wage today is worth 30 percent less than it was in 1968.

Most of the 12 largest employers studied are national restaurant chains, such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Starbucks. The others are national retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Sears.

Starbucks ranks seventh on their list. With a workforce of 176,533 and 12,903 stores in the U.S., Starbucks had revenue of $13.3 billion and net income of $1.4 billion. CEO Howard Schultz earned $16.1 million in compensation.


12 Responses to “Probably Pay Them More”

1. Roger Rabbit spews:

I wonder when rich Republicans will figure out that wage repression is destroying their customer base? (Is a barista making $7.50/hr. going to pay $4.50 for a latte? I don’t think so.)

Full Disclosure: Roger Rabbit bought Starbucks in 1996 and has made obscene profits on this stock. Adjusted for splits, my Starbucks stock cost me $4.94 a share.

2. Ekim spews:

Externalizing expenses:

The practice of paying your employees so little that they qualify for government assistance.

3. TCtc spews:


4. rhp6033 spews:

Of course, Starbucks will claim that they are paying “market rates”, and that most of their baristas are part-time workers, college students etc. (I guess this doesn’t mean they don’t need insurance?)

So what does the proliferation of “bikini barista” stands indicate? That we are willing to pay a big amount in tips to baristas as long as they are nearly naked and wiggling their butt while making an expresso? Or that competition is driving the basic wage so low that the only ones who can survive are the ones who are willing to take off their clothes?

5. Politically Incorrect spews:

“So what does the proliferation of “bikini barista” stands indicate? That we are willing to pay a big amount in tips to baristas as long as they are nearly naked and wiggling their butt while making an expresso?”

Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but I certainly enjoy the view!

6. Politically Incorrect spews:

The most important thing the minimum wage does is to encourage folks to get the skills and experience to work about minimum wage. Anybody that spends their entire working life at a minimum wage job is either intellectually-challenged or motivtionally-challenged.

7. uncle lee's grow-op spews:

$10 hour to pour coffee…sounds like more than enough money for that “skill”….

8. rhp6033 spews:

# 6: It depends on where you live. In lots of more rural areas, you either own a farm or ranch, or you have a minimum-wage job.

When I was an undergraduate, I lived in a state where the federal minimum wage was considered a pretty good job – if you could get it. Most there were employed at the state minimum wage, which was considerably less.

Fortunately, I got out of there. But for lots of folks who need to stay where they are for any one of many reasons (keeping the family farm, caring for elderly parents, etc.), working for minimum wage is a reality, because there are few other options.

The southern states have tried to boost their economy by getting foreign manufacturers to take advantage of the low wages paid in those states. But then they do something really stupid like in Georgia, where the local police threw a fellow in jail because he was obviously “a foreigner” and didn’t have his passport and visa with him at the time. Turned out the “foreigner” was a V.P. at Volkswagon sent to Georgia to set up a manufacturing plant there – although I haven’t been able to confirm it’s status since this incidence.

Can you imagine the Everett Police Dept. throwing various foreign airline executives in jail when they aren’t able to produce a passport on demand? Airbus executives would have had a party each time that happened, complete with assurances that such “provincial ignorance” would never occur in Tolouse.

9. rhp6033 spews:

# 5: I don’t patronize the bikini barista stands myself, but I’ve been a passenger in a car wher ethe driver insisted that he had to get his caffeen fix from his “favorite coffee shop”. The baristas seemed to be about the age of my daughter – which made me think that this was somebody else’s daughter, and how would I feel if my own daughter was doing this to make a living? Maybe I’m just getting old, but I prefer not to fall within the “dirty old man” grouping.

10. Roger Rabbit spews:

@5 Crawl back under your rock.

@7 Judging by results, it requires more skill than the average investment banker has.

11. rhp6033 spews:

# 10:

“@7 Judging by results, it requires more skill than the average investment banker has.

How to be an investment banker:

(1) Have your Daddy introduce you to his rich friends who inherited more money than they know what to do with, but insist on at least a 50% return on their investment.

(2) Read the morning Wall Street Journal, and find a company that’s basicaly profitable but the owners are willing to sell out as long as they get a golden parachute.

(3) Call lawyers, tell them to set up the investment group as a legal entity.

(4) Call your list of Daddy’s friends, and tell them you have found an investment, set up a meeting with them.

(5) Have your underlings write up a plan for buying the company (maximum/minum stock price, and which portions can be run at a profit after Union contracts and employee pension obligations are cancelled in Chapt. 11 proceedings, sell the rest for scrap and lay off employees.

(6) Have lunch.

(7) Meet with investors, raise the money on a conditional basis (conditioned on the target accepting the offer).

(8) Put in a buy order to your broker in the target company for enough stock to get their attention.

(9) Call up target company and tell them accept the golden parachute or be subject to a hostile takeover.

(10) Take the afternoon off for golf.

(11) Negotiate the terms of the golden parachute with the target company’s executives, then call lawyers to finalize the deal.

(12) Exhausted, take the rest of the month off.

(13) Upon return from vacation, dismantle company and tell lawyers to take the remainder through Chapt. 11, then afterwards re-sell it for a profit.

Gee, that’s not so hard, is it?

12. ArtFart spews:

@4 …or, inflation has driven the cost of other “business attire” so high that there’s an incentive to take a job where you can work in your underwear.