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How has McDonald’s exploited its factors of production and what effects did it bring upon the global society?

by on June 1, 2012

How has McDonald’s exploited its factors of production and what effects did it bring upon the global society?

As Diana previously stated, McDonald is an expanding multinational corporation that runs in 123 countries throughout the world. This means that McDonald’s runs non-stop for 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and 52 weeks per year. According to one of McDonald’s official websites, there are over 33,000 stores world-wide. Multiply those numbers above by 33,000 and you’ll get an incredibly high number that you can’t even read.

Now, what is it that I’m trying to say here? If McDonald’s operates for over 792,000 hours per day in the world (24*33,000), how much factors of production would it use up per day? Per year? How much factors of production has  it used up over the many decades, and how much will it use up in the upcoming years? One may think that all kinds of corporations use tons of resources every day so the amount that McDonald’s uses is insignificant. However, one must not neglect the fact that McDonald’s mistreats its factors of productions and that it has brought a variety of negative effects to the global health.

There are three components to factors of productions: land, labor, and capital (human & physical). McDonald’s has exploited all three of these components. First off, it destroyed land. In order to produce thousands of burgers each day large quantities of beef are required, which means lots and lots of cows. In order to grow millions of cattle McDonald’s has cleared off vast amounts of land where rain forests have previously thrived in and destroyed the habitat of millions of organisms. With newly acquired land, it has grown pastures of grass for the cattle to feed on and has greatly increased the number of cows on earth. This act of deforestation took away trees, which are major sources of carbon dioxide reduction, and increased the population of cows, which are known to release methane gas. In this time of severe global warming, McDonald’s has solely worsened the crisis instead of the other way around. Second off, it exploited labor. McDonald’s is known to have 60 percent of its workers turnover annually- that is, 60 percent quit their job at McDonald’s after a month or so each year. One of the major reasons is that McDonald’s workers are prohibited from unionizing. Majority of workers in the burger industry claimed that they get help from their unions over pay and conditions of the working environment. Without unions to back them up and without the ability to find better quality jobs, workers are virtually left powerless over the low-paying, unsatisfactory working conditions. Because its basic, immediate goal is to use the cheapest labor possible and the most easily manipulated group of workers, McDonald’s usually targets the socially disadvantaged groups to hire. Lastly, McDonald’s exploited its capital, both human and physical. McDonald’s has used its human capital about cheap foreign labor to create physical capital of factories and farms internationally to manufacture food, toys, and cattle feed. In many of the third world countries, people grow crops to feed McDonald’s cattle and earn money, but suffer from chronic malnourishment and starvation. If McDonald’s did not exploit cheap labor extensively, poor workers of the third world countries would not have to sacrifice so much to earn what they can barely call a living.

With all kinds of exploitations going on behind the scenes of the multinational corporation so called McDonald’s, how has it managed to succeed? The key to that is “behind the scenes.” These kind of actions McDonald’s takes to produce maximum profit is not very well known to the public. I, myself, was not aware of these until I took the initiative to conduct research. If all of its exploitations were to be publicized globally, how would consumers react and how would McDonald’s be affected? What would happen to its reputation towards families & children as well as its profit that has been climbing up? Would poor consumers of this major inferior good even care enough to have an effect on the corporation?


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One Comment
  1. msmuntz permalink

    Ok, a little overwhelming and some grammar issues, but ok

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