I would like to dispense a few of my own opinons about much of the debate on this site. First, I agree with the initial premise. That is, getting people to form opinions about social issues, and defend those opinions. That in itself is commendable. There is nothing wrong with good, healthy debate! Obviously you have reached a number of people.
But there are a few ideas being thrown about on this site that I must disagree with. The first and most grating comment(to me) is the idea that McDonald's exploits the working class. I know many people who have worked their way up in McDonald's and either a.) still work for the corp. in HIGH paying jobs or b.) own their own stores. How is that exploitation? I also know a number of folks who used McDonald's as a stepping stone to somehting bigger. I myself started out as a crew person and worked my way up to Restaurant Manager. I am leaving this fall to pursue an MBA. This job got me into b-school. My undergraduate grades sucked, and so did my test scores. Could someone explain to me how this is exploitation? If McDonald's does exploit its workers, why are there so many success stories? (A side note: Most McDonald's restaurants hire at quite a bit higher than minimum wage. In fact, there is a store in my area that is hiring at $10.00/hr.)Don't factory jobs exploit the working class more? At least McDonald's pushes people to succeed. I see factories in my town that lay-off people off every other week. Then they re-hire those same people(who couldn't fond jobs elsewhere)two months later. Isn't that exploitation? Exploiting the fact that they have no education and are unemployable elsewhere? McDonald's advertises OPPORTUNITY and delivers just that, factories do not. If you want to talk about exploitation, was it not Nike that was running( or still is) sweat shops in the far east?
Secondly, and sort of along the same lines, have any of you bothered to look in your community and see how involved McDonald's is? Who provides college scholarships to graduating high school seniors? McDonald's. Who provides for free child immunizations? McDonald's. Who sponsor Red Ribbon Week or D.A.R.E. programs in your community? Probably McDonald's. Who pushes high school aged kids to be more responsible? McDonald's. (unforunately many parents today do not.) Who provides for children who are deathly ill? Ronald McDonald Children's Charities. Which businesses get involved with Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, Explorers, High School Math Clubs, High School sports, Little Leagues and children's soccer leagues? McDonald's. I think you get the point. McDonald's is always involved in their communities. ALWAYS. It is one of our most sacred premises.
Now, I am going to be responsible and talk a bit more about( and somewhat agree with) one of your points. First, we do cater to children. I will absolutely, positively admit that. But let me ask you this, What business doesn't? Toys'R'Us does. Disney does( and practically every theme park for that matter.) The idea is the same in these businesses too. Cater to the kids, so they will annoy parents into buying our product. I read a book recenlty, in which the author said, "the way to mommy's pocket book is through the kids" or something like that.( and it was someone outside McDonald's, I wish I could remember who) Granted this is a product of the capitalist society, and I understand that you may not care for that society, but what are our choices, if not capitalism? Capitalism gives us many things in this country, don't toss it out yet.
It's funny, usually I don't get into this type of thing, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to add my two cents. My point is, before you go out and dispense ideas about McDonald's, research it a little more. Much of what I have written about here is right in your own community. Check it out. Go to a McDonald's and ask someone. Make up your own minds. Do your own research people. BE RESPONSIBLE. That's just my opinion, I could be wrong!(Dennis Miller). By the way McSpotlight, thanks for providing this venue for offering my opinion.