Getting a Job at McDonald's Harder Than Getting Accepted to the Ivy League

Featured in Zero Hedge

Daniel Drew,  5/12/2015


Ronald McDonald

In society, exclusivity creates desirability. Whether it's that special country club or elite college, privilege is defined by the rejection rate. In the previous era, the Ivy League was one of those prized organizations, and McDonald's was the exact opposite. Now, the New Normal has seized our social convention and turned it on its head.

In 2011, McDonald's announced it would hire 50,000 new employees on April 19 for its National Hiring Day. They eventually hired 62,000 people. Over 1 million people applied. This is noteworthy because many commentators have accused the unemployed of being lazy and unwilling to work. One Zero Hedge reader summarized it best:

Zero Hedge Comment

With 62,000 hired out of more than 1 million, that leaves the McDonald's acceptance rate at 6.20%. Let's see how that compares with the Ivy League acceptance rate in 2011.

Acceptance Rates

The results are not good. Of course, some commentator will inevitably scold me for comparing the two, as the difficulty of these two tasks are obviously very different. When I say it's "harder" to get a job at McDonald's, I mean it's harder statistically speaking, as if you were a gambler in Vegas playing the odds. From this perspective, the results are indisputable. It would make more sense to bet on the Ivy League applicant than the McDonald's job seeker.

It has been four years since McDonald's National Hiring Day. Time for a check-up. Let's see how the McDonald's Class of 2015 compares with the Ivy League Class of 2015.

Bachelor Degree Labor Force Participation

Student Debt

McDonald's Employee Earnings

While the average college student accumulated over $25,000 in debt, the average McDonald's part-time employee made $40,000 over 4 years. At an Ivy League school, there are generally three possible ways to confront the bill: get a scholarship, have wealthy parents cover the entire bill, or go into massive debt. Some of these Ivy League students might be paying off their debt for decades. Meanwhile, instead of being in the hole, the part-time McDonald's workers made money overall. Of course, they are all on food stamps, but never mind that.

It makes sense that the Ivy League is exclusive. A ticket to the American aristocracy and a seven-figure income in investment banking or consulting is definitely quite the adventure. But not everyone can make it, and not everyone is interested in that lifestyle. Most people just want to live a normal life. But "normal" isn't what it used to be. Forget the Alpha Beta Kappas and the Gamma Theta Vegas. Now, if you can get into the French Fry Fraternity, you are living high in the new American dystopia.

The McDonald's job situation shows what a farce the official unemployment rate really is. According to the government's goal-seeked data, the unemployment rate is 5.4%. Meanwhile, in reality, 93.8% of applicants can't even get a job at McDonald's. If you can't get a job there, where can you work?

Can the situation get any worse? Yes. A company called Momentum Machines has dubbed themselves "The Next Industrial Revolution." They made a machine that can make 400 hamburgers per hour.

Momentum Machines

Momentum Machines cofounder Alexandros Vardakostas said the device "isn't meant to make employees more efficient. It's meant to completely obviate them."
The McDonald's acceptance rate will keep getting lower and lower. In a society where efficiency is all that matters, eventually, the economic concept of "human capital" will be superseded by "human liability," where humans are targeted for replacement or outright extermination.