Wal-Mart Asks its Low-Wage Workers to Donate Food to its Low-Wage Workers

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In Ohio, Wal-Mart asked its employees to donate to co-workers who can

If you want to know why the campaign for a living wage has escalated so dramatically in the past few years, look no further than this story in The Cleveland Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The storage containers are attractively displayed at the Wal-Mart on Atlantic Boulevard in Canton. The bins are lined up in alternating colors of purple and orange. Some sit on tables covered with golden yellow tablecloths. Others peer out from under the tables.

This isn’t a merchandise display. It’s a food drive – not for the community, but for needy workers.

“Please Donate Food Items Here, so Associates in Need Can Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner,” read signs affixed to the tablecloths.

The food drive tables are tucked away in an employees-only area. They are another element in the backdrop of the public debate about salaries for cashiers, stock clerks and other low-wage positions at Wal-Mart, as workers in Cincinnati and Dayton are scheduled to go on strike Monday.

Is the food drive proof the retailer pays so little that many employees can’t afford Thanksgiving dinner?

Norma Mills of Canton, who lives near the store, saw the photo circulating showing the food drive bins and felt both “outrage” and “anger.”

“Then I went through the emotion of compassion for the employees, working for the largest food chain in America, making low wages and who can’t afford to provide their families with a good Thanksgiving holiday,” said Mills, an organizer with Stand Up for Ohio, which is active in foreclosure issues in Canton. “That Wal-Mart would have the audacity to ask low-wage workers to donate food to other low-wage workers — to me, it is a moral outrage.”

Kory Lundberg, a Wal-Mart spokesman, said the food drive is proof that employees care about each other.

It’s proof that the lower end of our labor market is hopelessly broken, with full-time workers unable to make ends meet.

Wal-Mart’s profits, like those of other low-wage employers, are already subsidized with public assistance that allows their workers to get by. Studies have found that a single Wal-Mart store in Wisconsin costs taxpayers between $900,000 and $1.7 million per year in public benefits.

As I wrote recently of McDonald’s workers’ reliance on the safety net, “This isn’t how a ‘free market’ is supposed to work. These workers are selling their labor for less than the cost of production — less than what it takes to provide basics like food, shelter and health care. Low-wage employers are in turn keeping the cost of their products artificially low by socializing a chunk of their labor expenses.”

Joshua Holland is a senior digital producer for BillMoyers.com. He’s the author of The Fifteen Biggest Lies About the Economy (and Everything Else the Right Doesn’t Want You to Know about Taxes, Jobs and Corporate America) (Wiley: 2010), and host of Politics and Reality Radio. Follow him on Twitter or drop him an email at hollandj [at] moyersmedia [dot] com.
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  • http://flavors.me/eclisham Elaine Clisham

    So why aren’t you yelling at all the people who patronize Walmart — because, low prices! — and thus perpetuate this? Anyone who shops there is complicit. How do we move people away from this kind of predatory retailing, especially people of lower incomes who really rely on those prices? Forcing a “living wage” will raise those prices (how much is arguable), and many of the people who will be forced to pay more won’t see the benefit in their taxes. Could you provide a comprehensive flow chart showing that imposing living-wage standards eventually benefits everyone?

    Alternative solution: charging back the employer of everyone who works full-time but still relies on public assistance. Is that doable?

  • Anonymous

    Take a look at this — it’s a couple of years old, but still relevant… “If Walmart Paid its 1.4 Million U.S. Workers a Living Wage, it Would Result in Almost No Pain for the Average Customer

  • http://flavors.me/eclisham Elaine Clisham

    Well, then! There you go.

    Still inherently suspicious of solely legislative/regulatory solutions to problems like this — would rather see strong incentives/disincentives — but not knowledgeable enough to make a convincing case!

  • Anonymous

    Bill, I think you meant “asks its low-wage shoppers to donate to its low-wage workers”

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, just reread about them being tucked in the back of the store….

  • Anonymous

    I, too, wish there was a non-regulatory way but I don’t see it. America needs to realize that the Service Industry is its #1 employer and until they find a way to get real wages into the hands of those workers the economy can never really recover.
    The driver of “capitalism” is consumer demand.
    Additionally, all of these multi-national corporations know that they can easily meet the demand here and are off creating new customers in far-off lands that the military was “kind enough” to open up for them.

  • Tom R.

    I have been living a Wal Mart free lifestyle for years. Heaven help us all if their model for employee relations, pay and benefits were to become the paradigm for the American workplace.

  • Anonymous

    Seriously? That’s all I can come with. I feel outrage, anger, sadness and despair. Lest we forget, there are still members of the Walton family still living and considered the wealthiest in the world. I wonder if these wastes of human beings feel a pang of guilt that the nickels and dimes they never worked for trickle up to their pockets.
    No… In this case, they did not build that.

  • Kathy Collins Hurt

    I have Shut The Door on Walmart before this latest story…..but this Seals It! Very Sad….

  • Kathy Collins Hurt

    That would be interesting to know about ole Sam….sooo many of the second and third generation of Billion dollar corps do Not have the same ethics as their founders.It Is all about the Stock Price in today’s world,and CEO’s bonus.Something ….will have to change! Question is….when?

  • foxyb

    Naive to say the least, and I do not mean to be rude, I am sure you are very intelligent and a good person, but thankfully you have never needed assistance, I take it? That is good, but I say naive because you have to understand that corporate America has many many well paid people whose job it is to keep wages down. They are highly skilled and they sit around all day figuring out how to do this, so these incentives are just obstacles they plan for, as I understand it. Full time is the bar? Well, everyone is now part time, how do you like that? We have seen that happening for a long time to avoid paying benefits. Also, you are not taking into account the large number of people in many states who need assistance, but because of state criteria, will never get it, like here in Texas.

  • http://flavors.me/eclisham Elaine Clisham

    You have no idea whether I have ever needed assistance; please don’t assume. I am aware that it’s a business strategy to keep ALL costs low, including wages; I have run a business that needed to make a profit. I’m interested in things that can be done that would make the cost of paying below-poverty wages greater than the cost of not doing that, if our objective is for corporations to do less of it. The above was one idea, and of course there are hundreds of reasons it might not work or would need to be tailored. But if we don’t look for new ideas we’ll never solve the problem, and unlike you seem to be, I’m not willing to accept it.

  • foxyb

    well, I am sorry you took such offense to my wording, have you? I tried years ago get food stamps, but because we owned an 8 year old 2 door car, they said we did not qualify. So that in itself shows that many people are hurting but do not recieve these benefits. I can only speak to my experience in Texas. My point is that these corporations are very actively and aggressively walking us down this primrose path for a long time and it seems to me that your measure does not take into account the fact that it may just be time to confront them as a society and stand up for our fellow citizens.I am also loathe to legislate remedies, because as an American, it is ingrained that we should not have to “make” business do anything. But again, that may be naive of me…

  • Eduardo Tijerino

    Congress has the authority to regulate commerce. With that power they can mandate that the gap between a CEOs salary and the average employee cannot exceed a ceryain amount. Something like a 20-1 ratio seems more than enough, not the 300 or 400 to 1 ratio that is currently common.

  • strider367

    How come walmat isn’t giving their employee’s turkeys?

    Once upon a time congress used to work for the people. But since the people can’t pay them the money they want. They sold their souls to the slave industry. They figure the people are better off as serfs than being dead…

  • ronpal

    so… let’s see ….. you are against employees at walmart voluntarily donating to their fellow workers, but you have no qualms about forcing people to donate to total strangers. ——- define “living wage” —— for one thing, it depends on whether you are single, or have a family — it depends on where you live in this country,— and it depends on what lifestyle you are trying to maintain.

  • ronpal

    do you feel the same way about the earnings of entertainers, or professional sports figures ???

  • ronpal

    do you feel the same way about the earnings of entertainers or professional sports figures ???

  • ronpal

    define living wage —– for one thing, it depends on whether you are single or have a family — it depends on where you live within this country —- and it depends on the lifestyle you are trying to maintain.

  • ronpal

    yeah —- good idea —- let’s get rid of walmart, so that people like myself have no place to purchase the items we need at a low price. —- makes perfect sense to me. —— let’s hurt the low income person so that we can help them…..

  • ronpal

    same here —- i would have trouble surviving if not for stores such as walmart. —– as i said before, some people would endeavor to hurt the very people they are trying to help.

  • ronpal

    define living wage.

  • ronpal

    did it occur to you that perhaps they do their donating in a different venue ???

  • ronpal

    i do, however, agree about united way.

  • jedi woman

    Don’t feel bad,.. i am on social security and I was getting $93/month with food stamps. The dems made a deal with republicans over not shutting down the govt over the ACA (which they reneged on). They threw us under the bus and now I am supposed to survive on $80/month on food stamps. Who can live on that? My entire family has passed away so I don’t have anyone to help me pay my bills. I don’t know how I will make it. Holidays? What holidays? I eat one small meal a day… Otherwise I drink water to get rid of the hunger pains. This isn’t the America I grew up in. I worked all my life to live like this??

  • ronpal

    question —- are you part-time or full-time ??? —- are you relatively new to the job, or have you learned some skills ???

  • ronpal

    sorry to hear about your troubles —- i don’t even get food stamps, so i can relate about barely surviving.

  • jedi woman

    If you really want to know about what happened to Congress – research ALEC. They own about 50% of our state legislators and probably at least as many congressional Republicans. Out govt was bought out from underneath us by big corporations aka special interest groups. Most Americans are completely in the dark about it, too.

  • jedi woman

    Absolutely. The money made by sports figures is obscene, Why aren’t we paying the real contributors to society? Public school teachers. nurses, firefighters, paramedics,.. Those who make a real difference in our lives.

  • jedi woman

    They are not very bright. Any money spent on tax payers the The Party calls socialism. ANY humanitarian spending they think = socialism. Meanwhile, corporate welfare is A-OK. That’s called fascism and is proving to be the real danger to out democratic way of life. The only truly socialist institution is the military and isn’t it funny the right isn’t demanding cuts to it?

  • jedi woman

    You go, girl! I only enter Walmart to get to the Hair Salon inside. I won’t give them a dime bc of the way they treat their employees.

  • jedi woman

    it’s clear they don’t care. And here is where it gets worse. The junk they fill their shelves with – the crap imported from China – is putting American workers out of business. As soon as China became trading partners with the US it broke its trade agreement and started to manipulate its currency and flood the American market with illegal goods. If we want to look for someone to blame for the way the economy is – don’t blame the poor. Blame China for it’s policies which have absolutely devastated the US’s manufacturing base. Anyone who has Netflix should watch the documentary Death By China. It is very informative. Two of the worst offenders: Walmart and Target.

  • JoeNCA

    So instead you subsidize them through your taxes, increasing the size of government. Good work, libertarian man!!

  • ronpal

    libertarian ??? —- my actual name is ronpal —– and i don’t pay much of any taxes —- i can pretty much guarantee that anyone on here probably has an income level higher than mine.

  • JoeNCA

    How about “enough to feed your family on Thanksgiving”????

  • JoeNCA

    And then call themselves “Christians.”

  • ronpal

    i can’t afford to have a family —- so, for me, that would be “dinner for one”, and would depend on what i wanted to eat. —– all personal choices for which i take personal responsibility.

  • Anonymous

    Robbing Peter to Pay Paul again?? Maybe people are tired of seeing stories about incinerated Bangladeshis in fire traps.

  • Tony

    What do you mean “forcing people to donate to total strangers?” What people want is for Wal-Mart and similar companies to pay their employees enough money to live. This is NOT a donation. That is payment for services rendered. Whether or not some people can get by on less than $15K a year is not the issue. Many people can not, and working at Wal-Mart forces them to look elsewhere (like to the government) for supplementary income. Millions of taxpayer dollars could be diverted to other purposes if employers would simply pay a decent wage. Also, repeatedly tying in “living wage” to whether or not someone has a family seems to imply that people who work for low wages don’t deserve to have a family. Is that really what you are trying to say?

  • Amy Pfeffer

    ronpal, you’re just a down-on-your-luck millionaire, aren’t you?

  • nnyl

    The companies own Congress.

  • ronpal

    it’s funny —– back when i actually had a family, on thanksgiving, we were mostly thankful for being together as a family —- what we happened to be eating was not as important.

  • paulsilvan

    For Walmart corp to give an entire gourmet Thanksgiving feast to each employee would be the equivalent of a $1.00 per WEEK raise ( 2.5 cents per hour for a 40 hour work week)! I think that the worlds largest employer could afford that! EFFIN’ CHEAPSKATES!!!!!

  • paulsilvan

    Ron, apparently you’re nobody’s pal. With an attitude like yours, I’d be surprised if you have ANY friends at ALL!

  • ronpal

    on the contrary, my friends and i are very generous to each other. —- when one of us is in need of assistance, the others provide what they can to help out.

  • ronpal

    so….. you want poor people to stop using walmart —– well…. what is YOUR solution to help these people ??? —- i don’t qualify for foodstamps because i do not have a legal address, so every dollar i save on my grocery items is very important to me. —- and it would appear that many other poor people feel the same as i do.

  • ronpal

    sorry —- i did not word that very well…… what i meant was that when people make a donation to any cause, it should come from the heart. —– the people at walmart who are donating to their fellow employees are doing just that. —– when any of my friends are having difficulties, the rest of us do whatever we can to assist. —– the problem comes when a society forces you to donate, even to people you know darn well are abusing the system.

  • ronpal

    i’m not “down-on-my-luck” at all. —- i am not materially motivated….. never have been. —- i live out of my vehicle by choice. —– and i accept full responsibility for making that choice. —— are there people in this country in bad situations thru no fault of their own ??? —- of course, and that’s why we have social programs to assist these people.

  • Ed Gardner

    The Walton family, the richest in America, should be the ones donating food to its employees, in the form of a living wage, so that taxpayers do not have to subsidize their employees.

  • ronpal

    everyone deserves to have a family —- the question is…. is that person ready to take on the responsibility for caring for that family ?? —– having a family is a choice, not a right.

  • ronpal

    what is YOUR definition of a “living wage” ??

  • ronpal

    question —– would you give the employee with a family of 4 the same feast you give the single employee, or would you give the family person 4 times as much ???

  • Paul

    But I love Walmart so I get cheap tires for my Brostang.

  • ronpal

    i’ll pose my question another way —– let’s say you have 2 employees who work in your stockroom, and both do exactly the same functions from day to day. —- however, one of them is single and shares an apartment with a friend. —- the other is married, with 2 children. —- it is obvious that one has more needs than the other, or , in other words, needs a higher “living wage”. —– would you pay the family employee twice or more than that of the single employee simply because his needs are greater ???

  • ronpal

    let’s try another scenario —– let’s say you have 2 single employees, both doing the same job, both have similar housing conditions. — however, one works 40 hours a week, while the other only works 20 hours a week. —- would you pay the part-timer twice as much because his needs are the same as the full-time employee ???

  • NotARedneck

    First only one needs a yacht, then 6, then 23, then 76. You see the “problem”?

    Family owned companies are a Ponzi scheme where the employees and tax payers lose.

  • Mai Lee Cyprus

    So some employee’s decide to start a food drive a few years ago so that they can help their coworkers when they are having a financial hardship… like say their spouse lost their job… and somehow it’s spun into a “WALMARTZ IS EVIL!” article. Get a grip.

    Walmart is not asking their employee’s to do this. The staff at this specific store started this program… Seriously. Get a damn grip people.

  • Anonymous

    Dishonest rubbish. How does Walmart cost X in public benefits? Ah, that is because part-time employees qualify for those benefits. Without Walmart would the state save that money? Nope, the employees would then be unemployed and qualify for even more benefits. So, each part-time employee at Walmart reduces the amount of state benefits.

    If Mr. Holland were to find a destitute person and hire him to wash his car twice a week for $20 that would be a nice thing. The car washer is only making $20, which means he will still be collecting public benefits. Say he is collecting $800 a month in benefits. According to Holland’s logic, hiring that car washer just cost the state $9600 per year. Of course, Mr. Holland could increase the price he pays for the car wash to $300 each time. But, I doubt he’d be as interested in hiring car washers. Clearly he is just greedy and selfish and keeping the cost of his car washes artificially low.

  • http://fluffaccessories.blogspot.com/ P.J. Sparkle

    What is such a task worth? Some would argue, only as much as you’re willing to pay/ can get it for.

    and that, is why we have unions.

    =D

  • http://flavors.me/eclisham Elaine Clisham

    Not what i said, if you’ll read that again. Trying to find a way for the playing field to be made more level, that’s all. I’m sure many Walmart employees also shop there and value the low prices, but should those prices come at their expense?

  • Anonymous

    In what you call a “free market economy” we’d be in a raging depression. As long ago as the 1910s, one Henry Ford realized it would be a good thing if he had demand for his product, so he paid his workers enough to buy it.

  • Ed Gardner

    A living wage would be one which removes a family of four from Federal poverty assistance programs if the Wal-Mart employee works the standard 2080 hour work year, and EVERY employee would get health care coverage to avoid their gimmick of working several employees as part-time employees to dodge providing ANY of them with full-time benefits. A single-employee working full time with no family to support would enjoy the benefits of lower cost of living and be able to spend more of their income supporting the rest of the economy by “buying stuff”, maybe even at Wal-Mart, instead of spending all of it on feeding a family, but neither employee would be being subsidized by the rest of the public to provide corporate welfare to Wal-Mart.

  • ronpal

    the problem with that, ed, is that isn’t how retail works —- most stores don’t need that many full-time employees, because customer traffic is not constant….. it tends to be heavier at certain times of the day. —– and many small businesses don’t need any full-time employees, because typically the owner fills in during the slow times of the day and/or week.

  • Robert Colvill

    The company employs 2.2 million. At an annual net profit of $15 billion, the company profits about $680 per year, per employee. I don’t see how they could pay any more than they do and still earn even a meagre return on the capital invested. So what’s the problem? Well they shouldn’t exist. They sell stuff too cheaply; their profits are subsidised by low wages and, indirectly, by public assistance. It’s an exploitative business model that does not exist in civilized countries where companies are forced to pay a livable wage. It’s a de facto slavery when Walmart kills off other businesses that do pay fair wages, and then the locals’ only option, short of leaving the county, is to take a job there. Also, who thinks Walmart does anything to support American manufacturing? Walmart sells only the stuff made by low wage earners in other places and sells almost nothing made in the USA. They should pay livable wages and raise prices and they would do fine because now in many places they are a virtual monopoly.

  • ronpal

    fyi —– about 42% of the workforce works fewer than 35 hours per week. —— what do you expect the hourly wage would need to be to be a “living wage” for those people ???

  • ronpal

    well… i don’t have any easy answers either. —– but i do know that many people such as myself rely on those low prices to survive. —— so…. whatever your solution, please try not to hurt the little guy.

  • ronpal

    example….. my local safeway grocery store. —- if they have a spurt of activity during the day, one of the managers runs one of the checkouts. —— it would be totally illogical to have an extra checkout person on hand all day long just to be there for spurts of activity.

  • ronpal

    that is the trick, isn’t it ??? —- there is a fine balance between what a consumer is willing to pay, and what a retailer can get for an item. —– a task being performed is also like that….. for instance, in my area not as many people are interested in working in fast food places, so the starting pay here tends to be $10, even though minimum is $8.95

  • Ed Gardner

    I have heard this same argument before, and it is why we SHOULD have made a real national health care single-payer system, instead of depending on businesses to embed health care into their salary structure. Then, it would not matter if a person worked TWO half-time jobs each paying 1/2 of a living wage, or a spouse worked half-time to supplement family income while taking care of kids but not getting “health insurance” from her employer. Whenever politicians sell-out to corporate lobbying interests and right-wing nutjob “bases”, it is the public which loses, and why we will continue to have a confusing mixed-up mishmash of a health care “system”, while all the other western democracies have universal care at a fraction of the costs we incur, with better health care results.

  • ronpal

    with that, i will agree. —– on the good side, when the PPACA eventually fails, i suspect that at some point in the future we will have single-payer.

  • Loretto Taylor

    I’ve read a biography of Sam Himself. Sam Himself’s father was a collection agent who would go around to the local farms squeezing farmers who couldn’t pay the mortgage that month because profits were down or non-existant. Sam Himself felt contempt for those hard-working farmers who were just barely scraping by. After he founded Wal Mart, he once bought a building that he had no use for in order to deprive a competitor who was growing his business of the use of it. Sam Himself did, on the whole treat his employees better, but that was back in the days when employers still regarded employee wages as an investment rather than an expense and recognized that workers who were well-treated were more productive. His motive was economic, not humanitarian.

  • ronpal

    example —— a couple of years ago, mcdonalds decided to eliminate most of their dollar menu, for whatever reason. —- ok, but then i decided to explore other restaurants, and now, mcdonalds only gets about 1/10 of my business, instead of about 2/3.

  • http://fluffaccessories.blogspot.com/ P.J. Sparkle

    I think this ties in well with consumption and our country as a whole.

    Simple example: Air travel is a “treat time”for me, and so I’m used to grabbing something wonderfully unhealthy at airports. They have such a delightful selection of fast, cheap, food. Yep, I’m the one eating Cinnabun next to you on your flight.

    But, on the return flight from London? Not a pizza joint in sight. Hardly anywhere to eat at all! The one place we finally found, offered expensive (even considering the conversion rate, and airport markup) freshly prepared, or packaged food, using wholesome,high quality ingredients. Needless to say, I was highly disappointed. Having skipped breakfast, there was alternative.

    If I lived there, I’d probably be ok with that sort of thing.

    Both are full of countless unique outside defining factors. But both are subject to change, as decided by the people, and their ability to organize, and make demands.

    If there were no high and low pressure systems, there would be no wind. =)

  • ronpal

    mcdonalds has been experimenting a lot the last few years —- i did notice, however, while returning from colorado recently, that a few places are bringing back a few items to the dollar menu, so i suspect that somebody in management finally figured out they were losing some of their business to the competition.

  • ronpal

    fyi —- wind is created when the air pockets are heated by the rising sun —- the air rises, creating space for more air to be heated, and the air movement creates “wind”.

  • mdinaz

    Wal-Mart is free to pay its workers whatever they want. However, they should not receive one single dime or tax credit for their business. End corporate welfare. If it causes businesses to go out of business because their products and services s**k, then so be it.

  • JoeNCA

    Costco manages to pay their employees a living wage, turns a healthy profit and all without having to have the government subsidize their workers. Paying workers more just means they attract more productive employees, so it doesn’t necessarily translate into higher prices

  • ronpal

    costco prices aren’t even competitive,and their selection is horrible. —— in my area, a much better option is winco, which is employee-owned. ——- and frankly, even if costco’s selection of products was improved, i cannot afford their yearly membership fee.

  • Anonymous

    It could mean that, in our crappy economy, the Wal Mart associate “in need” is the only person in the household able to find a job.

  • Anonymous

    you left off… “so we can extort a price that no one would pay otherwise.”

  • ronpal

    hate to burst your bubble, but as far as food goes, walmart not only carries their own brand, but also the national brands, so…. tell me how other stores are selling better products. —– services ??? — for that you might have a case. —– although lately, i have been less than impressed with the service at any store, much less walmart.

  • http://fluffaccessories.blogspot.com/ P.J. Sparkle

    Duno if they’re evil but they’re not nearly as nice as they could be.

    But the push in most companies is to please shareholders, and that means cutting costs ruthleslly

  • ronpal

    the problem is….. 1/3 of walmart’s workforce is part-time, so people automatically assume that every walmart employee is destitute.

  • http://fluffaccessories.blogspot.com/ P.J. Sparkle

    Well, we’ve all got to do what we must to survive. no?

    I think Unions are just as fair as underpaying employees. Which one do more people benefit from?

  • http://fluffaccessories.blogspot.com/ P.J. Sparkle

    Uh, did you edit that? And why is my comment not showing up? Probably because I cited my source.

    Such is life.

  • ronpal

    dunno —- i’m still learning how this website works —- initially, i had a lot of trouble posting on here.

  • ronpal

    good question —- i can only speak from personal experience —- i grew up in a right to work state, and we seemed to do just fine. —- kinda hard to prove a negative, however, so who knows for sure which might be better ???

  • http://fluffaccessories.blogspot.com/ P.J. Sparkle

    Right to work doesn’t mean you can’t have a union, it just means that being part of a union (and/or paying dues) can’t be a condition of employment.

    However, if a union works hard to get a better wage(and it is work), and you want to be paid at that wage too, do you owe that union something, or should you simply be allowed to work for that rate, since it is what the company agreed upon, regardless?

  • ronpal

    hard to say, since i would never have considered working for a business in which a union was part of it. —- the vast majority of my work experience has been office-related, which is unlikely to ever be unionized. ————- everyone is different….. i have always been comfortable negotiating my own wage and working conditions, and would not appreciate someone else making those choices for me.

  • http://www.charmbomb.me/ P.J. Sparkle

    If you have to edit a post, it’s considered polite to add a notation of that. If not, it makes it seem like you’re reading my posts, and then changing what you’ve said, which makes me not want to engage in discussion.

  • ronpal

    sorry —- i don’t even see what what other people say until well after the fact. —- i am working as we speak, and so sometimes i need to add things to my comments that i didn’t have enough time to consider initially.

  • ronpal

    if i was an entry-level walmart employee, could i survive on that wage ??? —- yes. —- however…. i would not attempt to support a family on that wage, nor should i, or anyone else for that matter..

  • Anonymous

    A person who freely accepts a job is, by definiton, not underpaid.

  • ronpal

    very true.

  • ronpal

    also, i don’t know what happens on your end, but when someone posts a reply, i do not see that reply until i click on the icon that says a comment has been posted.

  • http://www.charmbomb.me/ P.J. Sparkle

    That’s understandable, but it’s not always the norm. My mother was part of a union, and a damn cozy job, although i think that’s more related to her being a government employee. Although it used to be, unions were for blue colored, private sector workers. Now, the majority of unionized employees are public sector.

    Funny, at one point, government was afraid of this, because it meant that if they wanted to, those employees could shut down the government for their demands, or take control away from the voting public, though if 400.000 unionized employees decide to vote for for something, they often become that voting public, and that becomes null.

    And they did shut it down, i recall my mother being home from work when they shut down jersey. It’s so odd, that it was a similar situation as the recent shutdown: not agreeing on budgets.

    Far too often, in society, do people not understand what they can accomplish by organizing. I’d rather have people unionize, and raise costs, than a bunch of people sitting around complaining and doing nothing.

  • http://www.charmbomb.me/ P.J. Sparkle

    That’s fine. I actually really need to get started on some work myself, I have a speech due for school. It’s been a very stimulating conversation, thank you. Proof that you can have a discussion on the internet without it becoming a squabbling match. You are an intellectual of note, sir.

    Isn’t that the swell thing about the internet? I doubt two people like us would ever have such a discussion otherwise at random. :D

  • Anonymous

    You support an increased minimum wage by pointing out the BAD things that happen to entry-level employees when the wage is increased. That is an odd tactic.

    I fail to see how ANY of the actions listed on that bar chart are good for the employees.

    “Increase performance standards” and “extract more performance” means “work them harder so you can get the work done with fewer employees”.

    Your statement about wealthy people investing in things that don’t benefit the economy shines a very bright light on your lack of economic knowledge and understandig.

  • ronpal

    i am a bit of an odd bird, regarding employment —- #1, i am not materially motivated, so…. my wage has never been a huge issue for me. —– #2, i am what would be called an underachiever….. the jobs i applied for were well beneath my qualifications, but i liked the job —- i wasn’t worried about if it used all of my abilities. —– what i used to do, however, is after i had been there awhile, i would take on more and more responsibilities, and eventually, the person in charge would realize i was worth a lot more than i was being paid, and adjust my pay accordingly.

  • Anonymous

    This is simple supply and demand.

    There are only a handful of athletes like Peyton Manning or LeBron James, but there are, literally, tens of millions of people who can teach, fight fires, etc

    The money paid to athletes and entertainers is done so freely and voluntarily.

  • ronpal

    very true

  • ronpal

    as are the salaries to CEO’s.

  • bidiski

    Very well explained

  • ronpal

    several months ago, costco was having a membership drive, so i went to check it out. —- not only could i not get an employee to show me where the things i was interested in were located, it turned out they do not even carry those products. —– i’m sure costco is fine for many people, but it will never be my first choice.

  • ronpal

    almost nothing ??? —- last i checked, all of the brand name grocery items are made in the USA. —- last time i checked , all the brand name automotive supply items such as penzoil, are made in the USA. —- in the toy dept, many of those brand-name items…. also made in the USA. —– in the health and beauty area, same thing.

  • mdinaz

    I’ve never shopped for food at Walmart. I avoid Walmart because of their other junk – everything I’ve purchased there had extremely short shelf lives. A beach umbrella broke the first time I opened it. Its replacement broke the second time I used it. A pair of shoes fell apart after a month. A TV died just after a couple years of use (I have another TV that is nearly 40 years old and still works fine). A boom box broke after a couple months. Their stuff is absolute junk. Not gonna test the food theory. As for service, and only referencing the stores I’ve been in of course as your mileage my vary – but aisles are frequently littered with boxes, items are scattered all over shelves so you have to hunt for the price, service staff are either non-existent or less than helpful. And the “where is blah – oh it’s on aisle 54. Bus leaves in 10.” No thanks. I’ve been pretty happy with the service people at my local Safeway, Target, and Lowe’s stores.

  • ronpal

    well…. i agree about the service, but it does vary from store to store. —- in my yearly travels, i have been in at least 20 walmarts in the western USA this year alone,…… some are better than others. —- haven’t had any troubles with messy aisles, except late at night, when restocking is being done. —– my tv works fine. —- i don’t buy much else except food and automotive stuff, and they carry all the name brands of those. —– as far as other stores go, i’ve witnessed lousy service in at least one store of every chain there is.

  • Robert Colvill

    You are absolutely correct! Duh. Well I guess that makes them even more evil than I thought.

  • Robert Colvill

    Indeed. My mistake.

  • ronpal

    my advice for electronics….. stick to samsung whenever possible —- they are putting out the best stuff in the world lately.

  • ronpal

    and as i have stated elsewhere…. for best food prices, it’s best to compare —- -walmart has good food prices, but they are not always the lowest on all products. —— in my travels, i usually stop there because i know none of the other stores i might use are in that area.

  • Robert Colvill

    You’re right that saying “almost nothing” is overstating it, so I would change that to “relatively little”. Googling the question seems to come up with a number of around 80 to 90 percent foreign-made items at Walmart. So I stand by my comment that Walmart does little to support American manufacturing.

    Ronpal, you seem like a pretty patriotic guy and I would guess, mostly aligned with Tea Party viewpoints. I’m with ya in many ways, I can’t imagine supporting them in my love for freedom and independence. They couldn’t possibly exist without exploitation.

    I also screwed up my math. It’s $6800 per year per worker that they make. So actually they COULD afford to pay their workers more, but not much more unless they were a not-for-profit, because there has to be a decent return on the investment.

  • Robert Colvill

    No one is suggesting they’re demanding anything. “Asks” is the 2nd word in the headline. The point is they have employees in need because they pay below a living wage and they’re asking their other lowly paid employees to help. And no, actually it’s not that easy to just get another higher paying job. It doesn’t work like that. Poverty is a cycle that is very difficult to break out of without some very good luck even with dedication, hard work, and the best of intentions.

  • ronpal

    i’m guessing that your 80% number does not count any of the food items. —- as far as the clothing is concerned, name me any chain store in this country that sells only made in USA clothing. —– i guarantee that i can name an american product in every area except clothing, of which i have zero interest, since i buy all mine at goodwill. —– i take that back…. i can name an american product in clothing.

  • ronpal

    fyi —- when it comes to politics, the best way i would describe myself is apolitical —- i do not like politics, politicians, or political parties.

  • ronpal

    btw —- some products sold by walmart and other chains are american based companies for which some of the product is made elsewhere —– that is hardly walmarts fault.

  • ronpal

    since we’re on a “made in america” search —– let’s see how many people on here are REAL made in america folks. —– do you have any electronic devices in your home ??? —- do you own a vehicle ?? —- are all of your clothes made in america ??? —– i’m guessing very few people can say with all sincerity that they own little or no foreign-made items.

  • Robert Colvill

    Yeah, the Made in America story is pretty much over. It’s a global market-place now and you can’t fault a company for not selling enough US-made product. I’m just wrong all over the place on this discussion, jeez!

    I would love Walmart if they just simply paid livable wages/benefits. That’s all there is to it. But if they did, and if much of what they sell wasn’t produced using virtual slave-labor, they wouldn’t exist. Therefore, it’s an exploitative business model. It’s morally wrong, and that’s all there is to it. That said, capitalism itself is morally wrong as much as I love it. And that’s where we start getting into Karl Marx. Ok this is getting scary.

    Hey later Ronpal. Have a great rest of your week. I need to get on an airplane and help contribute about 2000 lbs of Co2 to the atmosphere on my flight back from the Philippines staffed by more underpaid workers.

  • ronpal

    doesn’t really matter, unless a person had a breakdown of the various components of walmart so that you look at the profit on each one. —- for instance, walmart has what is likely the most efficient distribution system in the country, if not the world. ——- for some items, they deal directly with the manufacturer, which means they are both the distributor and the retailer, and trust me, that makes a big difference in your profit and/or ability to sell an item at a low price.

  • ronpal

    good luck.

  • ronpal

    but here is what is missing in this news story —- are the employees that are being helped full-time or part-time ???

  • ronpal

    think about what that pocket of air does as it rises…. it isn’t there all by itself. —- it has to move upward until what….. it cools off as it rises, so wants to come back down again. —- in the meantime, the sun is coming up and warming other pockets of air. —- because the sun “comes up” in the east, the prevailing winds are west to east. —– ever experience a rainshower, and the breezes that tend to increase ?? —- those cool air pockets from the rain are being forced downwards. —- you can tell where the raincloud is by the direction of the breeze. —- the breeze travels from cool to warm. ——– an interesting thing happens to pockets of air as they rise or lower….. especially around mountains. —- a pocket of air increases in temperature at a greater rate than it decreased going up, so…. if you are on the east side of a mountain, you’ll always be warmer than someone on the west side at the same altitude.

  • ronpal

    well…. that is your choice to make. —- my choice is to get by in this life the best i can, and if that means shopping at walmart for certain items, then i will stick by that choice. —- that being said, for the most part, i am a discount shopper, not only for non-food items, but also for food items.—– so…. if another store has the same item at a sale price, i will buy it there. —- i am not loyal to any store. —- but in my travels, walmart usually has the best prices for what i need. —– for someone else, that may not be true. —- it all depends on the type of things a person buys on a regular basis.

  • ronpal

    that sorta happened in a town where my family lives in colorado —- however, the local stores were smarter than that…. they adjusted their inventory so that they were no longer in competition with walmart. —– and like i said above, walmarts food prices are competitive, but not always the lowest, so our other food stores are doing just fine. —– you clicked on where i said living wage. —– the other stores in my area don’t pay their part-time help any more than walmart does, so…. it seems a bit disingenuous to pick on walmart about living wages, when many many other stores do the same thing.

  • Anonymous

    “Kory Lundberg, a Wal-Mart spokesman, said the food drive is proof that employees care about each other.” and even more so, a chilling reminder of how much Walmart does not care about the employees.

  • John

    Lets be honest. Employee’s of Walmart are not subsidized by government assistance anymore than any other company. There are many jobs in this country that only pay minimum wage. I don’t see anyone sniveling over this. It’s because they aren’t number one. Everyone wants number one to pay for everything. What’s really going on is an attempt to get a private industry to subsidize the left wing socialist policies that are responsible for the shortage of jobs in this country in the first place.
    Throw the left wing socialist policies in the trash were they belong and you will see the jobs return. Then, competition for labor in the job market will raise wages naturally without the need for a socialist dictator to tell everybody what to do.

  • John

    Walmart is the largest employer in the country. With so many employees isn’t it almost a certainty that they have people suffering a personal tragedy every day of the year? Home burns down, financial ruin as a result of divorce, car accident with long disability, foreclosure and the expense of moving, etc.
    So, Walmart allows a program to help people and the jack boots who want to rule the world aren’t satisfied. Too bad. Like it or not you don’t have a say in the matter.

  • Eduardo Tijerino

    I think that the earnings of the team owners, from all sources, including TV contracts, should be indexed to the salaries of all team employees, including players and parking lot attendants.

  • ronpal

    same with movie stars and music recording artists. —– and, of course , newscasters.

  • Eduardo Tijerino

    Disqus won’t let me say what I really think of your flip response. Boards of Directors are strategically assembled by company executives to ensure that the artificial hierarchy of earnings is maintained. Fast food workers who are going on strikes aren’t freely giving up their portion of the wealth that their efforts helped to create. The confederacy of dunces that help to pass the bizarrely named “right to work” laws have enabled the guys who never get dirty to take home most of the wealth while it’s obvious to anyone with an open mind that those who take the cash from the customers’ hands are playing a vital role in creating the wealth that is denied to them by amoral corporate reality. CEO salaries are squeezed from artificially impotent laborers.

  • Eduardo Tijerino

    Why are you wasting time picking nits when the answer is self evident? The same principle applies, the wealth that is created through common effort should be used to produce the greatest good for the greatest number.

  • ronpal

    unlike an entertainer or sports professional, who negotiate their salaries, the salaries of CEO’s are offered by the board of directors. —– you are blaming the wrong person. —- the CEO does NOT name his own salary, the board of directors does. —- now…. who chooses the board of directors ???…. the shareholders.

  • ronpal

    and yet, people like oprah make millions, while the people who help produce her programs make diddley, and the same with movie stars.

  • ronpal

    and without shareholder support, a corporation has no operating capital.

  • Eduardo Tijerino

    Duh!
    We are in the depths of the current depraved system, capitalism at its worst. We are nowhere near where we need to be because most people are still stuck in the Republican-Democratic false dichotomy.

  • ronpal

    well…. don’t blame me —- i hate political parties.

  • Eduardo Tijerino

    You should be nit picking the political parties, not the people who offer other alternatives. Surely you’ve seen the obscene amounts of money that they play with.

  • ronpal

    yes, i have —– and i think it’s a crying shame —- $2 billion spent on the combined presidential campaigns for 2012. —- think of all the people who could have been helped with that $2 billion…..

  • Eduardo Tijerino

    Glad we agree on something. :)

  • ronpal

    my original reply was not intended to criticize you —- i only wanted to make sure you felt that way about all disproportionate salaries, not only CEO’s.

  • fmendoza

    the states attorney’s generals should file a class action law suit against WALMART to recoup the total amount of welfare benefits that WALMART employees where force to apply for. because of WALMARTS employee pay exploitation. and all other franchise employee pay exploitation.

  • ronpal

    if someone only works 20 hours a week, they qualify for welfare benefits —- how is that walmarts fault ?? —– i hope you know that a third of all walmart employees are part-timers.

  • ronpal

    like it or not, many of them are students or retirees who do NOT WANT TO, or can’t, work full-time.

  • Eduardo Tijerino

    That’s why so many executives choose to take large parts of their earnings in stock options. Most people who own stocks through 401Ks don’t vote. Executives use their huge stock holdings to influence the makeup of the board, surely you know that.

  • ronpal

    i would need to see some hard data on that. —– i’ll try to look it up later. —- right now, i am waiting on customers.

  • ronpal

    mike duke is NOT one of the major shareholders of walmart.

  • Eduardo Tijerino

    The basketball game I want to catch is starting, good night.

  • ronpal

    enjoy the game.

  • ronpal

    42% of the workforce in this country works fewer than 35 hours a week —- are you hoping to sue every business in the country who hires part-timers ???

  • NotARedneck

    Walmart never paid more than they absolutely had to and if they could get away with it, they’d pay less.

    What has changed is that the average American is becoming more and more desperate and Walmart is prospering even more as the desperation grows.

  • ronpal

    and even if they wanted to work full time, a retail store only needs just so many of those.

  • John

    I don’t think any are that dumb. Not even a single person dictator could set wage policy for Walmart. The only thing socialist policies can do is put them out of business by creating more job hostile policies. Then you’ll have all those people standing in the welfare lines full time.

  • ronpal

    1/3 of walmarts employees are part-time —– a retail store needs part-time employees to do certain tasks which require only a few hours a day, such as manning the checkouts during peak periods. —– most of these part-timers are part-timers by choice. —- they are students or retirees, or perhaps someone who has a second job elsewhere who is trying to make a little extra. —- this is hardly uncommon among retail stores. —- most retail stores have part-timers for the very same reason. —– these are also positions which tend to be low-skilled, which is why the wage is usually at or close to minimum. —– you can believe what you wish, but what i have explained is the reality.

  • ronpal

    i also at one time was a college grad —– i had to move 250 miles to find work in my chosen field, but i knew that going into my schooling. —– when going to college, one of the things students neglect to do when choosing their fields of study is to find out what the demand is for the graduates in that field. —– sure…. it’s nice to want a job in a field you have a special interest, but if nobody is hiring in that field, how is that going to work out ??? —- i had a friend whose major was scandinavian studies. interesting, i’m sure, but she never did find employment related to that major.

  • fmendoza

    actually john the federal government does set economic policy. and minimum wage standards. WALMART is receiving government subsidy’s. there for the government can decide what the minimum standards . and compensation for the particular field and or job description. I didn’t see you complaining about the government giving the bank loans at 0% interest rates. or the government spending $85 billion a month of tax payer money. to buy wall streets fraudulent bonds. let the free market try to operate without corporate welfare.@john

  • John

    You don’t know what you’re talking about Mendoza. You might as well be telling people pigs can fly. The government has no control over Walmart’s wage policy other than a minimum wage standard that applies to most employers. Walmart meets this minimum wage standard so nobody has an argument with this. If Walmart were committing a crime this administration would have taken action by now. They haven’t because they can’t.
    People who think like you are attempting to get a private entity to subsidize failed liberal policies that have created a shortage of jobs in the first place.. Some of you actually think this can happen. Others in your mindset know it can’t happen. They know the business will close their doors before they let people like you run them.This includes Walmart.
    The crisis here is a lack of jobs, and it was created by people who think the solution to financial problems is to tax and penalize the successful. This failed idea never has worked, and it never will.

  • John

    It looks like I’m on your side with regard to the govt bailouts. Our govt shouldn’t be in the business of propping up any business when they make mistakes. You and I have to pay for our mistakes and so should they.

  • fmendoza

    actually john the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT does SET ECONOMIC POLICY.TRADE POLICY. and MINIMUM WAGE POLICY. and OCEA SETS WORKING CONDITIONS STANDARDS. WALMART is RECEIVING GOVERNMENT SUBSIDY’S. there for the GOVERNMENT can SET MINIMUM WAGE. and WORKING CONDITIONS STANDARDS. and the GOVERNMENT CAN DECIDE WHAT THE MINIMUM WAGE AND COMPENSATION FOR THE PARTICULAR FIELD AND OR JOB DESRIPTION. I didn’t see you complaining about the GOVERNMENT GIVING BANKS 0% INTEREST RATES LOANS. OR THE GOVERMENT SPENDING $85 BILLION A MONTH. OF TAXPAYER MONEY. TO BUY WALL ST. FRAUDULANT BONDS. LET THE FREE MARKET OPERATE WITHOUT CORPORATE WELFARE. WALMART EMPLOYEES ARE BEING EXPLOITED. AND WALMART IS USING WELFARE BENEFITS AS PART OF THEIR EMPLOYEES COMPENSATION PACKAGE.

  • Odie

    what ever floats your conscience

  • Roland

    No, he was not. But heirs usually are,
    Roland

  • Roland

    After the US is as forgotten as the Macedonian Empire.
    Roland

  • Roland

    This is an example of “the prisoner’s dilemma”. Get a few more groceries today and starve tomorrow. Every dollar spent at Walmart weakens the economy.

    For the past forty years each “fix” to the economy has made things worse. Spending a dollar at Walmart may not be as bad as “trickle down” or deregulation, but that us just a matter of scale.

    Roland

  • Roland

    If we want to look to someone to blame for the way the US economy is – don’t blame the poor, blame the captains of US industry.
    There, I fixed it for you.
    For what it is worth, China DOES produce high quality products, but you will not find them at Walmart; you have to go to Chinatown. Walmart demands cheap crap from its suppliers.

    Roland

  • Roland

    This Congress works for the CEOs, not you.
    Roland

  • Roland

    They may not be bright, but they have been successful. Turning the most prosperous nation on earth into an impoverished manor in just forty years is an impressive feat.
    Roland

  • Roland

    Christians have never been very nice.
    Roland

  • ronpal

    you’re worried about that tax credit, and yet…. i’ll bet you’re in favor of the tax credit being used to bribe small business to cover their employees for healthcare insurance.

  • ronpal

    i am a disabled vet —– conscience has nothing to do with my decisions —- it’s about survival in a poor economy, when a person has extremely limited financial resources.

  • ronpal

    that is your opinion, and you are welcome to it —- the opinion of others may differ from yours, however.

  • Roland

    Actually it is Economics 101, not an opinion. I realize that some choose to dismiss established knowledge such as Global Warming, Evolution of Species or that the Earth is a four billion year old roundish speck in an unremarkable galaxy as “opinion” of equal validity to any other opinion. It was not so long ago that failing to share the opinion that devils and witches among us were responsible for all ills was a capital offense. Note that one side advances its case with reason and demonstration, the other with brute force intimidation.
    Roland

  • ronpal

    dude…. i minored in economics —- economics isn’t even an exact science. —- even our so-called economic experts cannot agree on the best way to do things. —– so…. yes, anything that someone expresses regarding economic consequences is an opinion, and nothing more. —— climate change, on the other hand, is based on scientific facts.

  • ronpal

    the problem with economic theory is that the theory you ascribe to is dependent on your long-term agenda, or goals. —— and that is a function of how your society wishes to operate. —- in other words, those aspects of your society which are considered to be the most important.

  • ronpal

    i will, however, agree that the “fixes” do tend to make things worse, not better. —— some people believe that the depression would not have lasted as long as it did if the govt had stopped trying to “fix” things.

  • ronpal

    in any case, there is no way to prove a negative. — once you have decided on a path, and initiated a policy, there is no way to know for certain whether the other path might have been better, or worse.

  • Roland

    Economics is not a science at all, but a discipline, although many call it a pseudoscience. But referring to this situation as an example of “The Prisoner’s Dilemma” is similar to asserting that Mr. Rogers wore cardigans. And the consequences of these situations is wll established, from turning the Middle East into a dessert through the American Dust Bowl to over-fishing and over-logging. The principal is the same: when people focus on their own immediate gains, the whole group suffers. A corollary is that Greed is NOT good, and here we can rejoin with religious tradition.
    Roland

  • ronpal

    with that, i can agree —- greed, at any level, is not a good thing.

  • John Reynolds

    Yes, Wal Mart’s payroll is subsidized by taxpayers paying for welfare programs and Wal Mart also gets a tax credit for hiring people on aid, so they have a self serving system.

  • fmendoza

    @disqus_vGMJa3sANq:disqus do you know if the filibuster rule changes. affect only judicial nominees. or does it apply to all senate legislation. I would appreciate your response. fmendoza

  • ronpal

    just judges.

  • ronpal

    it isn’t a question of affording —- it’s a matter of efficiency —– go into any retail store and you will find part-timers, especially during the busier times of the day.

  • ronpal

    ah….. actually, some employees do receive a holiday bonus, but near as i can tell, it varies from store to store.

  • Michael Case

    Walmart began firing people who worked full time back in the mid 2000′s. Full timers and people who had been there long enough to be making relatively “decent” money. They either fired them or implemented policies which made it impossible to get full time hours, such as requiring people to be available for work 24-7. And they did it all deliberately, in an effort to get where they are now. Part time workers, no benefits, low pay. They knew what they were doing. I was there. I watched it happen until it happened to me.

  • ronpal

    that might be, but 1/3 of all walmart employees are part-time, and that is a percentage that is typical in retail. —— sorry to hear about your bad experience.

  • Anne Kurt

    It is a FACT that 4 of the wealthiest people on this planet stand to inherit walmarts fortunes.

  • Anne Kurt

    4 of the worlds wealthiest stand in line to inherit walmarts fortunes. Check it out if you don’t believe.

  • Michael Case

    Please explain why wages have been almost flat while corporate earning have gone though the roof (along with the compensation for executives) over the last 30 years. Explain why the market set yet another high while wage earners continue to struggle and/or fail. Also, please tell me how much gin I would need to consume before your post begins to make sense.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, this has been the unofficial social norm in the US for years. America turned its back on our poor. Clinton wiped out poverty relief while in the process of shipping out the bulk of our manufacturing jobs; the bourgeoisie look down their noses and declare, “There is no excuse for being jobless!” Some of our favorite “bold progressives” (Elizabeth Warren, Alan Grayson, Bernie Sanders, etc.) jumped on the Middle Class Only bandwagon, and the middle class itself has become a poisonous snake.Those who are getting by do what they can to help those who aren’t. It’s the norm for low-income people to get a loaf of bread and some peanut butter, and then split it with someone worse off.

  • Anonymous

    Corporate America has us by the balls. They’re the ones who have the jobs, and in our post-poverty relief country, our very lives can depend on those jobs. They also completely own Congress, so there’s no rational reason to expect anything to improve.

  • Anonymous

    I take it that this is a “reformed” union, i.e., one of those actually serving (or under the control of) the corporation. There’s nothing that US workers can or will do to reverse the course we’re been on. At any rate, food stamps are in the process of being phased out (called “reform”) and poverty relief is gone; if you try to go on strike, you can be replaced by morning with mandatory workfare labor, at a fraction of the wages. I would advice people to adjust to working long and harder for less and less.

  • Anonymous

    No, government’s response is already that of phasing out food stamps to give people the incentive to work harder — you know, all the crap that the working class told the very poor when welfare itself was being phased out.

  • Anonymous

    And worker labor, and prison labor, and the growing mass of “sheltered workshops” that cheat the disabled, and all those being paid “off record” so save our suffering businesses from the burden of taxation. It took us nearly 40 years to reach the point where middle class America is just starting figuring out what is going on.

  • Anonymous

    Businesses limit workers to part-time hours to avoid protections and benefits for which full-time workers are legally entitled. We happen to have a glut of cheap labor right now. US corporations have shipped out a huge chunk of our job market since the 1980s, including the bulk of our manufacturing and tech jobs, plunging millions into poverty. We’ve been in the process of phasing out the era when people had employment choices. You’re obviously still in the pampered class, at least comfortably middle class, but it’s only a matter of time before you get some hard lessons in the realities of America today.

  • Anonymous

    What goes into “welfare” (and no one seem to know what “welfare” means) is very marginal. There is no cash aid, just food stamps and a Medicaid card. Food stamp allotments can be as low as $10.00 per month. And it doesn’t cost middle classers anything. The very people who are now recipients had paid into food stamps (and our former welfare programs), often for decades, before needing food stamps. That said, how would Walmart know if anyone was receiving food stamps??? Nothing about that is included on their job application forms, the last I saw. And again, welfare itself (general assistance and AFDC) was gone by the end of 1996. Does Walmart have an agreement with states to subcontract TANF labor? Regardless, everyone who works under 40 hrs (a choice made by employers, not workers) at minimum wage is eligible for food stamps because the minimum wage fell so far behind the cost of living. Walmart is just one dot on the map of businesses that now work people for under 40 hrs. at minimum wage. This has been trending since the early 1990s.

  • ronpal

    shows how little you know —- i’ll wager everyone on here makes more than i do —- most, a lot more.

  • Anonymous

    It’s true that many are pat. timers because of other factors (school, or because they need this job in addition to their full-time job). But employers, not workers, decide whether job openings are for full or pt. time. Right now, we have a huge surplus of people who are desperate for full-time jobs.People with experience in virtually every type of work are immediately available through employment agencies, temp help or workfare agencies. When there is a surplus of people desperate for any job, employers are only interested in the cheapest labor available.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly (I should have read your post before adding my comment above). A full range of businesses do the same thing today, and I think we’ve reached the point where we can no longer do anything about it.

  • ronpal

    yeah —- like bill moyers is an unbiased source of info.

  • ronpal

    i don’t believe anyone’s propaganda, and the left is just as guillty of that as is the right. —– what i would like to see would be some hard data on walmart…. such as…. exact data on the starting wage in a specific location, and how that wage stacks up against other walmart locations. — i would also like to see data on that person’s wage after 6 months, and after 2 years. —- then, i would like to see a comparison with the average walmart worker and how those interval wages compare to workers in other big stores, in similar positions.

  • Anonymous

    Walmart is also highly profitable internationally, with extraordinary wealth made on the backs of disposable labor here and around the world. On the consequences of personal disasters, it’s a more complex issue. It was actually middle class America that decided that “there is no excuse” for being poor, and therefore, it is right to be brutal to the poor. Pull yourself up by the bootstraps, look for a hand-up not a handout, get up in the morning to work hard and play by all the rules, and all those other trite cliches they throw at the poor. They still cling to the notion that poverty is caused by “bad personal choices” rather than deregulated corporate power, leading to a deeply damaged economy.

  • ronpal

    i stick with my original statement —- students don’t do enough research before deciding on a major, and most have no backup plan.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t really get the part about using welfare benefits. Corporate handouts, you mean? The role of our deregulated (thanks to Reagan) corporations is to maximize profits by any means possible. Period. They will go just as far as the general population allows.

  • Anonymous

    You are correct. Businesses will pay as little as they can get away with, and charge as much as the market allows. That’s neither good nor bad, but just how it works.

  • Anonymous

    Huh? Please, take your meds. Subsidize “left wing socialist policies” means…what??? And the left, with no power, is actually making super-rich right wingers obey? We’re in the current mess because of right wing policies (deregulation, most notably), combined with wiping out the closest thing we had to a hint of socialism — the former welfare system (which, importantly, made it necessary for businesses to pay a fair wage if they wanted to get employees). For years, the media of the “left” has mere conducted an ongoing pep rally for the bourgeoisie — a solid capitalist strategy.

  • ronpal

    wait’ll you see what happens to those employees who are currently on the cusp …. working just over 30 hours a week…

  • ronpal

    what would you expect ??? — after all, it’s unskilled labor. —- it’s only worth the minimum.

  • ronpal

    much of it IS due to poor personal choices. —— starting with a poor attitude towards education, poor choices regarding starting a family before having proper income, and poor purchasing choices, sacrificing quality for quantity.

  • John

    I’m sorry you’re a 62 year old man who has learned nothing over the years Richard. Your first sentence explains everything. You were “educated” by “reading the news” and it shows. Reminds me of a 70 year old proud democrat I spoke to recently. When asked why he’s a democrat he answered “Because my daddy was a democrat, and his daddy was a democrat, and his daddy’s daddy was a democrat.” He is a vet also. Real nice guy, but is clueless. While you socialists have your eye on robbing big corporations through government policy you’re destroying the small employers in this country. These small employers, combined, employ vastly more people than all the corporations. This is why the middle class is disappearing. You think the solution to our fiscal problems is robbing these rich corporations. Take too much they will fold or move to more tax friendly territory. Now who are you going to rob? The poor? Meanwhile, everyone’s standard of living decreases because there are fewer and fewer people to rob. As you covet the riches being made by others you’re taking your eye off the important things like setting and achieving goals of your own. I get my views from real life experience. The more you tax the more people I send home with pink slips.

  • John

    I’m making money hand over fist, Michael, because I’m not wasting my time worrying about what my neighbors are doing. I don’t care if my neighbor is getting rich. It’s really none of my business. I used to be in a job that didn’t achieve the goals I set for myself. So, I left the job and gained employment with a company that was more suitable for meeting my goals. If I had chosen to sit, complain, and wait for Obama, Clinton, or Carter to fix it for me I suppose I would be here sniveling like these other misguided folks.

  • John

    Please pay attention, Richard. I didn’t say Walmart never breaks the law. Someone here posted that the claim that Walmart is breaking the law with their wage policy with people who work for Walmart and obtain public welfare. All the while, Walmart is in compliance with state and federal minimum wage policy. That’s the statement my comments were directed at. Walmart is #1. They are in litigation 24/7/365. Not because they’re bad, but because they are successful and have money. I’m sure that in come cases a policy is wrong, and litigation is needed to bring about correction. I don’t have a problem with this.

  • John

    It’s easier for some people just to blame Walmart, big corporations, and probably Santa Claus too. It’s too much to expect people to make good rational decisions.

  • John

    Did you notice all this started happening as govt started dictating to employers that they HAD to provide insurance benefits to full time employee’s? Govt can’t make a business do anything but go out of business. Remember Obama saying you can keep your Doctor? Not if you have my doctor you can’t.His response to Obama Care is CASH ONLY starting in 2014. What’s Obama going to do MAKE him take his insurance? So, what happens. People with money get to keep their doctor. Same thing with business. Stick a govt generated cost in their way and they’ll go around it. In this case PART TIME is how they got around it. You guys shoot yourselves in the foot over and over again and never learn.

  • John

    The idea was to make you feel guilty. OOPS. People like Fab have all the answers they just can’t do it themselves. After reading the third post from Fab I was wondering why Fab hasn’t already employed all those abused Walmart workers at 10X min wage, 100% employer paid benefits, 10 months paid vacation, and competitively run Walmart out of business yesterday!

  • Anonymous

    HOWEVER, consider the impact of $10.00/hr (vs. $7.50 – i think that’s min wage now?) At $10.00/hr, a full time worker would earn $20800.00/year. This is not enough to live, unless there are MULTIPLE WORKERS per household (a working couple with no children might have a better life). However, SINGLE persons who currently qualify for benefits (e.g., Health insurance assistance, Food Stamps) may LOOSE benefit assistance that they will not be able to AFFORD on $20800.00/year. It is IMPOSSIBLE to live a ‘mediocre-normal life’ on $20800/year. Housing, Food, Utilities, Automobile Insurance – EVERYTHING has increased at an absurd pace, while wages have eroded. Corp America has regressed to the mentally of Robber Barons – it’s frightening. Corp America will NOT respond by ‘increasing the pay scale for ALL lower-wage workers (those earning $20K – $30K/year)’. BUT – those at the lowest end of low wage will potentially be ‘off-loaded’ from Fed programs that are ESSENTIAL: FOOD STAMPS + Medical assistance. The FED GOV + Corp America work together to protect the Wealthy. The working poor are considered a nuisance, and are easily replaced by younger, cheaper imports.