Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Walmart is Largest Recipient of Public Aid in Country

Retail giant Walmart posted profits of $15.4 billion in 2011, while paying their employees an average salary of $22,100 a year. The current poverty level for a family of four is $23,050.

So how do Walmart employees survive?

The burden falls on American taxpayers to provide food stamps and Medicaid -- at the cost of $2.66 billion annually -- to make up the difference, reports

Walmart also tries to profit by encouraging employees to spend their food stamps in Walmart.

Republicans are fighting to keep corporate welfare intact but, at the same time, they want to slash food stamps and Medicaid to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff" at the end of the year.

Representative-elect Alan Grayson (D-FL) appeared on Current TV's 'The Young Turks' on Monday and claimed that Walmart is “the largest recipient of public aid in the country."

Grayson said: “The taxpayer pays for the earned income credit. The taxpayer pays for Medicaid. The taxpayer pays for unemployment insurance when they cut hours down. And the taxpayer pays for other forms of public assistance like food stamps. I think the taxpayer is getting fed up of paying these things when, in fact, Walmart could give every employee its got, even the CEO, a 30 percent raise and still be profitable.”

“In state after state after state, Walmart employees represent the largest group of Medicaid recipients, the largest group of food stamp recipients, and taxpayers shouldn’t have to bear that burden. It should be Walmart. So, we’re going to take that burden and put it where it belongs: on Walmart.”


Anonymous,  00:18  

The owners have used violence for decades to redistribute wealth upwards. This violence has been institutionalized and their propaganda mouthpieces, which morons call the "liberal" media, reinforce this violence as normal and the lesser minds buy it. These are the same dim bulbs who have been calling Obama a Socialist, Communist, Marxist, etc... The owners sit back and laugh.

Below is the hierarchy of violence as defined by Derrick Jensen.

Hierarchy of Violence: Civilization is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted yet often unarticulated hierarchy. Violence done by those higher on the hierarchy to those lower is nearly always invisible, that is, unnoticed. When it is noticed, it is fully rationalized. Violence done by those lower on the hierarchy to those higher is unthinkable, and when it does occur is regarded with shock, horror, and the fetishization of the victims."

pokerface,  00:32  

If corporations like McDonalds and Walmart were forced to pay a living wage to their employees, it would make small restaurants and businesses more competitive. I think a two tiered system of regulation is needed. Small businesses should be exempt from regulation for the most part, while big corporate interests, because of their outsized impact on our economy, should be more heavily regulated. And regulatory expenses should be reimbursed from corporate profits, not taxes.

Big companies not only use economies of scale, but are then given tax and regulatory advantages that small companies don't have. They use this leverage and the ability to layff or downsize employees to keep profit margins high.

Those corporations that rely on government favor to suppress competition vs innovation and free market dynamics tend to get less innovative and more lethargic. They, in fact, become more like government entities..buerocratic to the core. Unfortunately, the crony capitalism is so rampant now and the policies so anti-innovation that the problem has become exacerbated due to the monopolistic nature of the economy. Furthermore many are more entrenched as part of the political/corporate oligarchy that they can still thrive based on government contracts and favors...all the while using taxpayer money to help each other. Many corporations outside of the defense sector are now doing what the defense sector has been doing for decades....getting rich by ripping off the taxpayers. The defense contractors have the advantage due to the procurement cluserfuck/security clearence hurdles. Corp's like GE tie themselves to specific legislation (ie green energy). The corporations aren't evil per se. They have just bamboozled politicians to play by the rules that give favor to them and in return the corps give money to keep them in office. Hard to sue corporations for violation of anti-trust law (via Rockafella's Standard Oil) when the government has created the monopoly.

How do small/medium size companies compete with that? Historically, they become more niche oriented and use flexibility to their advantage. But now with the policy raodbloacks (taxes, regulation/lack of access to credit/Obamacare) they can't even get off the ground or grow in a way that they have historically been able to. They have to spend so much time/money dealing with these things that it takes away their ability to be flexible in meeting what the market demands. Thay can't hire a team of lawyers/pr people etc to make sure they are compliant...they have to figure it out themselves and it's killing them.

People need to ask themslves 2 questions when government does anything: 1) Does this create competition in the private sector; and 2) Does it increase the level of transparency. If it doesn't the govt should not be doing it and they shouldn't be "taking over" anything. The most underutilzed resource in the world is human capital.....which requires leadership. Imagine if college football only allowed coaches to coach 2 hours per week. This would eliminate the advantage of leadership/innovation of guys like Brain Kelly at Notre Dame, Urban Meyer, or Chris Peterson at Boise State or a Brad Stevens at Butler. You simply cannot unleash human capital while suppressing innovation and leadership.

Anonymous,  00:35  

Obama is a technocrat. His "solutions", like all of the "solutions" offered by technocrats over the past 50 years, will only advance the interests of the technocratic class. The upper 20 percent will prosper... all others fall behind. That is the track record of technocrats... that is what they do, that is who they are. It cannot be any other way in a technocracy.

Government bureaucrats are technocrats. Corporate lawyers are technocrats. C-level execs are technocrats, as are bankers and increasingly (as they become more credentialed) hot-shot tech workers. The social sciences and MBA programs are the training grounds of these new aristocrats. The core of their belief system is "Shut up. We know best." And the end results of their policies/programs, whether "left" or "right", are always the same... more for the technocrats, less for everyone else... all the rest is just rhetoric.

It's quite simple when you step back and see it for what it is. The West after WWII decided that it needed a well-educated technocratic elite to run things... to balance the greed and self-interest of the various factions in the nation, so they handed the reins of society to the "best and brightest". The best and brightest said "Thanks!" and proceeded, step by step, little by little, to remake the entirety of society in their own image. They became the ultimate greedy self-interst group.

In short; we handed the power to a small group of properly credentialed academic elites, and half a century later, we have a world made for a small group of properly credentialed academic elites. When you do the former is it really surprising that you get the latter?

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