On Thursday, fast-food workers around the world will stage an unprecedented protest for fair wages. They will be speaking out against income inequality -- and the world would do well to listen. Income inequality is one of the most destructive forces in the United States today. Minimum-wage workers devastated by the economic crash of 2008 have continued to languish in poverty while the subsequent recovery has sent executive compensation soaring.
Nowhere is the disparity starker than in the fast-food industry, which a recent Demos report called the most unequal sector in the U.S. economy. It has some of America's lowest-paid workers -- but its top executives make 1,200 times more than their average employees, according to Demos. Nationally, the average hourly wage for a fast-food worker is about $9 per hour, $4,500 less than the federal government's poverty level threshold of $23,500 for a family of four.