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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Fast Food, Wages, and the Oil Patch

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how the high price of oil has stimulated the Alberta economy and has driven up wages for everyone, including unskilled labour.

Young people, especially, are declining to work for $10/hour at fast food establishments or in retail jobs when they can earn much more either in the oil industry or in support services for the oil industry.

A former student has since written to me that the McDonalds in his hometown, near the oil patch of Alberta, is closing. The reason? They cannot attract enough (or good enough) workers even when they offer more than $10/hour.

So what will people in Alberta do for fast food? Probably buy fast food produced where it is cheaper to produce (outside the oil patch) and import it. But that does not mean they will be importing Big Macs from Malaysia or China (See the May 25, 2006 "Big Mac Index" in The Economist ($ required). Rather, they will be importing more frozen food that residents will be defrosting in their microwaves.

Posted by EclectEcon on August 6, 2006 in Food and Drink | Permalink


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Congratulations! In honour of the 200th consecutive post here at The Shotgun - Canada's finest liberal blog - dedicated to any subject but the rapid and immediate dismantling of the welfare state we are proud to present you with an autographed copy of Maude Barlow's latest book "Down With Men!".

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We at the Council of Canadians applaud your good work in preserving and promoting statism. Well done!

Posted by: Council of Canadians | 2006-08-06 5:51:18 AM

You Canadians have been counciled, yaaah? Betcha-hep. But hey team, what are the odds that we could cut costs at CBC by removing the treasonous counseling middlemen and women, and instead simply show entire press conferences?

Knaw, but please keep alive in your heart the naive, "keep-hope-alive" belief that we all can, if we try, find, somewhere in this country five minutes of tape for an entire press conference, and avoid this whole interprestive-dance-thingy. Betcha we could, eh?

Posted by: EBD | 2006-08-06 6:48:57 AM

Obviously the product of higher education. Er, brainwashing.

Swarming El Cubos? Nah.

Posted by: Speller | 2006-08-06 8:15:45 AM

If Mac Dougals is closing near the oilpatch, better for all the residents of that area! Their fat and cholesterol laden garbage isn't fit for human consumption, and their coffee has to be the world's worst.

Before "fast foods", there used to be restaurants and "greasy spoons' run by people, not mega-corporations, and they served real food, and if there was a problem, you could talk to the owner "right now".
"Fast foods" have probably done more to overload the health care system than smoking or booze. mac-D's down the tubes? Good news, now get some young entrepreneur to open a real eatery in its place.

Posted by: dmorris | 2006-08-06 1:24:33 PM

Right you are dmorris. Mcdumpies and most of it's clones serve 'psydo food'. You are far better not to eat than to eat anything on the menu of "fast food" joints. Let the greasy spoons reopen serving Alberta Beef in burgers and cream in the ice cream. If you eat no fast food for one month you will discouver how bad it tastes - Good for Alberta for getting rid of them and their slave wages and their 'fony food'.

Posted by: jema54j | 2006-08-07 1:49:22 AM

I agree with dmorris, too!

McDonald's food AND coffee are just wretched.

You can get much better "junk food" by frequenting the mom-and-pop outfits and it'll cost you a lot, LOT less.

To boot, it's a wonderful way for all of us to support REAL independant business folks instead of some quasi-commie corporation with its counter-robotniks

Posted by: John Palubiski | 2006-08-08 9:35:10 AM

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