Posts Tagged ‘austerity’

Job at McDonalds harder to get than acceptance to Harvard

April 29, 2011 6 comments

Ronald accepts award for lowest acceptance rate

McDonalds just hired 62,000 people. Over 1 million people applied for these jobs. That’s a 6.2% acceptance rate – and it’s probably lower lower because “at least 1 million people applied”.  They had said they would hire only 50,000, but upped the number to 62,000:

McDonald’s Corp. (MCD), the world’s biggest restaurant chain, said it hired 24 percent more people than planned during an employment event this month.

McDonald’s and its franchisees hired 62,000 people in the U.S. after receiving more than one million applications, theOak Brook, Illinois-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. Previously, it said it planned to hire 50,000.

The April 19 national hiring day was the company’s first, said Danya Proud, a McDonald’s spokeswoman. She declined to disclose how many of the jobs were full- versus part-time. McDonald’s employed 400,000 workers worldwide at company-owned stores at the end of 2010, according to a company filing.

Then we have this from the Harvard Crimson:

Acceptance Rate Falls to New Low

A record-low 6.9 percent of applicants have been accepted to the Harvard College Class of 2014.

The coveted fat envelopes will be mailed today to 2,110 students, the Office of Admissions announced earlier yesterday. Applicants will also receive their decisions via e-mail after 5 p.m. today.

6.2% acceptance rate for McDonalds.  6.9% acceptance rate for Harvard.

When I was a kid, getting a job at McDonalds is what kids did. Adults did not work at McDonalds unless they were supervisors or on the day shift.   Kids stocked shelves at stores too, and bussed tables.  When was the last time you saw a 14 year old bussing tables?

The economy is recovering, but is still in appalling shape.  When the acceptance rate for Harvard is higher than it is for a gigantic block of minimum wage, no future jobs, something is seriously broken with the system. These people are not Zero Marginal Product workers. We can and must do better.

[Important Update: Oops!  Major factual error!  Harvard reduced their acceptance rate to 6.2% this year. I somehow used the record low acceptance rate from 2010, instead of the record low acceptance rate for 2011.   I apologize for wildly misrepresenting the difficulty of getting a job at McDonalds.  It is only as hard to get a job at McDonalds as getting into Harvard, not more difficult as I stated.  I retract any claims about “more difficult”. Matt Yglesias – are you going to apply?  You might not make the cut.]


TC Blast from the past: The most important event in the history of humanity since the domestication of animals and plants” happened in a country with Debt to GDP greater than 150%

April 22, 2011 1 comment

I have a soft spot for one of my old posts.  It’s about the industrial revolution and debt to GDP ratios.

“One of the most important developments in  human history – the industrial revolution in Britain – happened in a country where the Debt/GDP ratio was always greater than 100%. For much of the time, debt was higher than 150% of GDP.

Here is some Wikipedia goodness on the Industrial Revolution:

Economic historians are in agreement that the onset of the Industrial Revolution is the most important event in the history of humanity since the domestication of animals and plants.

From New Deal 2.0. via this excellent Mike Rorty post, it turns out  the Industrial Revolution happened while debt to GDP was over 150%:”

Read more here.

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Austerity, Boshterity*! You are Messing up my Spending Data!

January 11, 2011 Comments off

3 Day Average spending from for the Holiday Spending Season

I like to track the Gallup personal spending numbers.  These numbers are self-reported spending per day, and in the past they have served to show consumer spending increases or decreases.  For example, back in 2007, the numbers were over 100 per day.

In the last few years, these numbers have been much, much lower than they were back in 2007.  Since the Great Recession began, the numbers have been consistently below $70.

I am no longer as convinced as I once had been about their long term comparibility. The word of 2010 was “Austerity” according to Merriam-Webster.  Prior to last year, I only used the word “austere” when I wanted to impress people with my fancy wine describing skils – “I find most old world wines more…austere…than new world wines”.

I think this new found appreciation for austerity in the U.S. is skewing the self-reported nature of these numbers.  People do not want to admit – even to themselves – how much they are spending.  I could be wrong, this is pure armchair psychology, a speculation on an unprovable.

However, I still look at the Gallup Numbers.  According to these numbers, spending for Christmas 2010 was very similar Christmas 2009.  The peak number was higher, and the numbers through the major spending weeks had a higher average, but there was 16 days fromDec 3rd to Dec 20th where spending was much worse.   The week before Christmas saw a significant increase over 2009.

My next big look is how the January spending numbers will stack up.  I think that the U.S. is in a recovery, so I want to see if the traditional January drop off in spending is as profound as it has been for the last few years.  I hope spending does not drop dramatically, but only time will tell.

*Smausterity was a bit too humorous for AM writing, went with Boshterity.

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