Bidenomics Has Made Fast Food a Luxury Item

News & Politics

I grew up about 5 miles from the very first McDonald’s franchise store in Des Plaines, IL. That store opened in 1955, a year after I was born. Alas, I never visited that historic establishment because my mother insisted she could make better hamburgers than McDonald’s and why would anyone who loved food brag about how fast they cooked it?

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The fast food industry thrived by offering edible food at low prices. And the food was delivered quickly, which made “fast food” an American staple. As women moved out of the kitchen and into the office, cooking for the family was an option, not a necessity. McDonald’s, Burger King, and the slew of fast food restaurants that followed were the perfect answer to harried moms who needed to give their kids a meal or singles who didn’t feel like cooking.

Since the food was cheap enough that families could eat at fast food restaurants two or three times a week, families saw them as a lifesaver. But inflation and the unionization of workers along with unrealistic state-mandated minimum wages have made fast food something it was never intended to be: a luxury item.

 Biden’s bureaucrats would just as soon see fast food restaurants disappear. His National Labor Relations Board wants to destroy the franchise business model, which would ruin McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, and other franchise operations.

Their arguments are the food is unhealthy and employees are exploited. For all intents and purposes, this deliberate attack on fast food on several fronts has led to a smashing victory for the bureaucrats. Add a catastrophic rise in inflation and you have a recipe for disaster for the fast food industry.

A recent Lending Tree survey showed that 80% of Americans now classify fast food as a “luxury item.”

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We know it isn’t the healthiest choice for us physically, but it could sometimes serve an important purpose financially for busy families living paycheck to paycheck and trying to make ends meet.

However, inflation is changing that. Most Americans (75%) still eat fast food at least once a week, but 62% of Americans say rising prices are forcing them to eat it less often.

Not surprisingly, the lower your household income, the more likely you are to say you’re eating less fast food because of rising prices, with 69% of those making less than $30,000 a year saying so. However, even among the highest-income Americans, more than half say they’re eating it less (52% of those earning $100,000 or more a year). Women are more likely than men to say so (65% versus 60%), while Gen Xers ages 44 to 59 are the most likely generation to say so (66%, compared with 62% of baby boomers ages 60 to 78 and millennials ages 28 to 43 and 54% of Gen Zers ages 18 to 27).

This radical change is not due to internal changes in the industry. It’s a direct consequence of government interference in the most successful business model since Henry Ford improved on the assembly line concept, which led to a revolution in transportation and labor.

Punishing success is the left’s calling card.

With so many people getting a side of sticker shock with their burger, fries and Coke combo, it shouldn’t be surprising that people’s views of fast food are changing. It’s becoming clearer and clearer that the days of occasionally using fast food as a cheap way to help make ends meet are long gone. Now, most Americans say it’s more likely to wreck your budget than to help you extend it. In other words, it has become a luxury.

We asked our respondents if they agreed with the following statement: “Fast food has gotten more expensive, and I now view it as a luxury.” Nearly 8 in 10 respondents (78%) say yes. That percentage hit 80% or higher among those making less than $30,000 a year (83%), parents with kids 18 or older (82%), Gen Xers (81%) and women and parents with kids younger than 18 (both at 80%).

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That’s sad and enraging at the same time. It’s so unnecessary. The government sees the people as too stupid to make their own choices about what to eat. 

It’s a sad, sad commentary on modern America made manifestly worse by Joe Biden.

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