Dec 082008
Authors: Iowa State Daily Editorial Board UWIRE

Stop. Stop the presses, stop the economy, stop the National Football League. This ball game has changed.

Over the past semester, we’ve written a lot about the economy, because, well, that’s the thing to do. Jim Cramer and Suze Orman are making bank off Wall Street’s meltdown. Some guy won an election in no small part because he was viewed as better for the economy.

And we’ve been critical, sure, but that’s because when we fail classes, the university doesn’t give us a frowny face, throw a bunch of others’ tuition dollars at us and tell us to try harder next time, that it’s not our fault that the foreign exchange students are better at math and science.

But we get it now, so we’d like to take that all back.

We get it because McDonald’s has axed its double cheeseburger from the dollar menu, and replaced it with a tacky rip-off, the McDouble. So much for being a Dollar Menunaire.

With the price of commodities soaring, McDonald’s has been in talks for months about tinkering its famed dollar menu. The most noticeable change is the disappearance of the double cheeseburger, the sacred sandwich of the college diet, the item that forced Wendy’s to put the 99-cent Double Stack on its Super Value Menu.

Quit your moaning, you might say. The double cheeseburger is still on the menu, just for 19 cents more. Or, you might argue, the McDouble is basically the same thing, just with one fewer slice of cheese.

But that’s not the point. The McDouble is not the double cheeseburger. The cheese-to-meat ratio is all wrong. If I want to put french-fries on my double cheeseburger, how are the going to stick without that extra piece of cheese to get lodged in? Hell, it’s not even as pretty now, without that second square of gooey American goodness.

That’s why the government needs to get involved in this, and it needs to get involved now. Who cares if the so-called “free market” won’t dictate that our double cheeseburgers should only cost $1? Subsidize them! Really, have you ever tried to make a double cheeseburger for $1 on your own? It’s impossible! We need government intervention!

We’d like to apologize for our earlier insensitivity to those affected by the weak economy and an increase in the cost of living (or, at least, a decrease in the buying power of the dollar). It’s just that, well, we weren’t directly affected by the economic downturn, and now we are.

So, President-elect Obama, lame duck Congress: Please do the right thing. Bail out the fast-food industry so we can have our dollar double cheeseburgers back.

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