Investors Business Daily
McDonald's announced that it received a million applications across the country for what amounted to 62,000 low-skill jobs. What does that say about the state of job creation in this country?
For 62,000 Americans, the heavy weight of unemployment has been lifted by much-maligned McDonald's, the fast-food giant whose employment opportunities were once belittled by the left during the Reagan era as "McJobs."
As for the 938,000 others, the intolerable world of life without work remains. So let's get one thing straight: There is no such thing as undignified work.
A million people have clearly shown that by standing in blocks-long lines reminiscent of the Great Depression for the chance to cook burgers, drop fries, sweep floors and ring up orders.
But that so many would have to seek such a low-skill, low-wage job under such competitive conditions tells us a lot about what the business climate and the job market are like out there.
Joblessness remains stubbornly high at 8.8%, and twice that if you count those who have dropped out of the workforce. Among workers age 19-29, the jobless rate is 40%; for blacks, it's 15.5%; and in some cities, like Detroit, it's 25.4%.
Fact is, McDonald's can make a big splash by its mass hiring, assuring politicians there's some sort of recovery out there.
But for small businesses, which create an estimated two-thirds of all new jobs, and the creators of high-paid positions, such as exporters still suffering from the lack of free-trade pacts, the well remains pretty dry.
Instead, the Democrat-led Congress and the White House continue to demonize job-creating businesses, which increasingly find themselves saddled with threats of higher taxes, soaring regulation, bogus investigations and growing uncertainty as politicians criticize them for not hiring more workers.
McDonald's is a big company. It was one of the first companies to win a coveted waiver on ObamaCare costs from the Department of Health and Human Services for its "mini-med" insurance program — which may have enabled it to hire these workers.
But small businesses, startups, exporters and others with the wrong politics don't have that kind of clout.
Until the business climate improves for all businesses, the only jobs of the Obama "recovery" will be those McJobs at McDonald's. Nothing wrong with that, mind you, but in a country that's seeking to retain its slipping standard of living, shouldn't we be aiming for more?