Tom Foreman | BIO
Reporter's Note: The president has been plagued from day one by the shortage of jobs in America. So my letter today is sort of good news and bad news all at once.
Dear Mr. President,
All day long I saw news stories about how McDonald's is hiring 50,000 workers, and about how people lined up around the block to snag these jobs.
Let me start by saying I have no beef with McDonald's. Although health nuts would call it heresy, just as former President Bill Clinton enjoyed snarfing a Big Mac now and then during his White House days, so do I. (Actually, I prefer the breakfast menu. Cinnamon Melts, yum!) I fully realize that their food is not always the best choice, especially for a man of my age. Sometimes at night I think I can hear my arteries hardening like polar ice in deep winter. So more than once I have punished myself for indulging in a pack of fries by slapping an extra two or three miles onto my run.
That said, the point stands: I have no bone to pick with the golden arches crowd.
Related: McDonald's hiring 50,000 workers
Still, it seems to me that this hiring surge is being treated like a sign of better times, and that is surprising. Granted, it may be good news for the fast food trade, and certainly anyone who is unemployed might be delighted to score one of these gigs.
But not so many years ago, burger flipping was a job of last resort. Burger King was a place, not a career description. Checkers was a game, not your office. The hours are still long, the wages still low. And yet, here are thousands of our fellow citizens eager and grateful for the work. That says a mouthful about our economy despite all of our hopes for progress.
It must be one of those “signs o’ the times” we’re always hearing about - like foreclosed houses and $4-a-gallon gasoline. Anyway, I wish the job seekers well, and McDonald's too. After all, with few exceptions, any place with jobs to offer these days is a good place; even if it’s only until the rest of the economy starts cooking again.
Hmmm. All this has made me hungry. Want to hop out for a bite? Promise: I won’t tell the first lady, even if you get the bacon double cheeseburger. Ha!
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