We have yet another case of McDonald’s caught doing something stupid with their “free help” to their employees. In this case, they may have actually given their employees some good advice. But it is obvious that they didn’t “mean to.” But does it even make sense to ascribe intentions to corporations?
Postings on McDonalds’ employee resources site are warning workers to avoid eating too much fast food – including the kind of stuff served at the golden arches.
“Fast foods are quick, reasonably priced, and readily available alternatives to home cooking,” one post on the site says, according to CNBC. “While convenient and economical for a busy lifestyle, fast foods are typically high in calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar, and salt and may put people at risk for becoming overweight.”
The posts, which appear to be designed by a third party vendor, are located in the site’s ‘Health Encyclopedia’ section.
One posting bashes a meal of a burger, fries and soda – McDonald’s staples – as an “unhealthy choice.”
“Eat at places that offer a variety of salads, soups and vegetables to maintain your best health,” the site advises, next a picture of a sub sandwich and salad that looks similar to the fare offered at rival Subway. “Although not impossible it is more of a challenge to eat healthy when going to a fast food place. In general, avoiding items that are deep fried are your best bet.”
The site also says “people with high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease must be very careful about choosing fast food because of its high fat, salt, and sugar levels,” according to CNBC.
To their credit (or to the credit of whoever crafted the response), McDonald’s didn’t apologize and back down from the advice. So it played the part of caring about the employees. Claiming it was now offering healthier choices. But fruit cups and egg whites don’t exactly explain recommending to employees that they eat at Subway.
But the bottom line is that the CEO claims, “We don’t sell junk food” and the corporate advise to their employees says otherwise.
All this shows us is that corporations don’t have intentions. McDonalds is a company that exists to make a profit and it makes that profit by selling food people want to eat at a price they are willing to pay. All else is just PR. If we give it any rational thought, we will realize that ascribing charitable intentions to a corporation is a category mistake.
Realizing corporations can’t have good intentions could have many benefits for Americans. After all, government is nothing but a giant corporation except that it possesses legitimate armed force.