Despite the current upswing in revenue, large American corporations have decided to keep employee wages uncomfortably low while corporate profits increase. Of the 12 companies that are paying their American employees the least, 7 are in the restaurant industry. These include, McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Starbucks, Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Red Lobster), Dine Equity (Applebee’s, IHOP), and Yum! Brands (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC). These companies are within the confides of the law with the nation’s minimum wage regulations, but these employees are getting less bang for their buck than they should. The current minimum wage is worth 30% less in terms of purchasing power than it was in 1968. The other offenders of this immoral salary situation are national retail giants like Walmart, Target, and Sears. Being compared to Walmart is rarely a good thing. In this scenario Walmart is an especially bad company, since it is pretty well known that the Walmart CEO, Mike Duke, makes more in one hour than one of his employees makes in an entire year.
Last Thursday, the federal government and 49 state attorneys general announced that they have come to an agreement with five large mortgage providers over allegations concerning illegal business practices. The five banks (Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo) were accused of a lack of due diligence when creating and signing documents related to foreclosures. The $25 billion settlement, which guarantees that the case will not go to court, is the largest multistate settlement since the 1998 tobacco industry case. All states except Oklahoma participated.
It is important to note that, though this marks a major victory for those affected by the mortgage crisis, some individual claims may still be eligible to made against the companies. To find out how you or your home mortgage can benefit from this settlement, visit the settlement’s web page.