READ THE TRANSCRIPT

BILL MOYERS: Food stamps were at the core of the monster farm bill that went down to defeat in the House of Representatives last week. That bill would have cut food stamps by some $20 billion over 10 years, but that was too little for House Republicans and too much for House Democrats, although Senate Democrats had already agreed to cuts of more than $4 billion.

Here to talk about food stamps and the farm bill is a journalist whose beat is hunger, politics, and policy. Greg Kaufmann is poverty correspondent for “The Nation” magazine and a contributor to our website, BillMoyers.com. He’s also an advisor to the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, founded by journalist Barbara Ehrenreich and the Institute for Policy Studies. Greg Kaufman, welcome.

GREG KAUFMANN: Great to be with you, Bill.

BILL MOYERS: There are almost 48 million people using food stamps a day, and over recent years that’s a 70 percent increase. What does your own reporting tell you about why?

GREG KAUFMANN: Well, the biggest reason, I think, is the proliferation of low-wage work. People are working and they're not getting paid enough to feed their families, pay their utilities and pay for their housing, pay for the healthcare. We had 28 percent of workers in 2011 made wages that were less than the poverty line. Poverty wages.

Fifty percent of the jobs in this country make less than $34,000 a year. Twenty-five percent make less than the poverty line for a family of four, which is $23,000 a year. So, if you're not paying people enough to pay for the basics, they're going to need help getting food.

And food stamps expanded because we went through the greatest the worst recession since the Great Depression. And it did what it's supposed to do. And now, you know, mostly Republicans are saying, "Why are there so many people on food stamps?" You know, they're claiming the recession's over, but we know that most people on food stamps are, if they're getting work, it's low-wage work that doesn't pay enough to pay for food.

BILL MOYERS: The farm bill that failed in Congress last week would've spent $743.9 billion on food stamps and nutrition over the next ten years. Republicans wanted to cut that by some $20 billion over the same period, ten years. Given that we're spending $75 to $78 billion a year now on food stamps, do they have a case?

GREG KAUFMANN: Well, look, do they make a point that we’re spending too much? I mean, if they're comfortable saying two million people should be thrown off food stamps, 200,000 low-income children should not have access to meals, to their meals in school. Hey, they can make that argument all they want. I think it's out of sync with the values of this country.

BILL MOYERS: Here is what Representative Steve King of Iowa said in the debate on the floor at the time the farm bill was up for consideration. Quote, "When we see the expansion of the dependency class in America, and you add this to the 79 other means-tested welfare programs that we have in the United States, each time you add another brick to that wall it's a barrier to people that might go out and succeed." What does your own reporting find?

GREG KAUFMANN: Boy, I wish he would take a look at this great study done just in November of 2012, that was released. Dr. Hilary Hoynes at the University of California Davis and her colleagues looked at this issue of self-reliance and food stamps.

They looked at the rollout of food stamps county by county and adults who were born between 1956 and '81 who were born in disadvantaged families defined as parents not having a high school diploma. And they looked at those people in their adult outcomes who had had access to food stamps when they were young or even in utero.

And they found that the adults, all the adults had significant reductions in metabolic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure. And even more remarkable to me was women in particular had higher earnings, higher income, higher education attainment and less reliance on welfare assistance in general.

All these years these guys have been saying it's promoting dependence, and it's been building self-reliance. I wish that the congressman from Iowa would take a look at that study.

BILL MOYERS: You watched the debate over the farm bill. You followed it very closely. What did you-- summarize it for me. What was going on there?

GREG KAUFMANN: You know, with some exceptions of people who are committed to telling the truth, we heard that this was about the deficit. But food stamps, over the next ten years, are projected to be one 1.7 percent of federal spending according to the Congressional Budget Office. We heard this was about fraud, but less than one cent on the dollar of food stamp spending is lost to fraud, less than one cent on the dollar.

And we heard fraud from the chairwoman Senator Stabenow, Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. We heard a lot about this was, you know, rural districts versus urban districts and welfare on the back of farmers. But you know what? The truth is Food Research and Action Center has shown that the percentage of households in rural districts participating in food stamps is the same as the percentage of households in urban districts.

So my big takeaway is that if we don't insist on a fact-based discussion, these are the kinds of absurdities that we're going to hear. And we're going to get bad bills. You mentioned the House bill, but even the Democratic bill started with $4 billion in cuts. Senator Gillibrand had a good amendment, restoring those cuts which she would pay for by reducing the profit that the government guarantees to crop insurance companies. They guarantee a 14 percent profit. She said, "Let's do 12 percent and not do the food stamp cuts." Makes sense. Was trounced by Democrats who didn't want to stand up to the chairwoman and maybe lose their projects in the final farm bill.

BILL MOYERS: And they weren't eager to stand up to agribusiness, either, were they? The big factory farms? Weren’t there still a lot of subsidies in that bill for big farms?

GREG KAUFMANN: Yeah, what we saw in A Place at the Table in terms of the agribusiness subsidies was consistent in this farm bill, too. And if you look at the donations and I think some other reporters have done this and I know the Environment Working Group has worked on this if you look at the political contributions in the House ag committees to both Democrats and Republicans, and those businesses are giving big bucks to those campaigns.

BILL MOYERS: What's the one most important thing you'd like for us to know about the issue as it plays out in Congress? What's going on up there when they're debating the farm bill and food stamps?

GREG KAUFMANN: Well, they're catering to the most powerful interests, just like seems like with pretty much all legislation. You mentioned the agribusiness interests, the crop insurance interests. We aren't talking about hunger and what does it mean in this country to commit to ending hunger.

BILL MOYERS: Why did you take this beat on as a commitment?

GREG KAUFMANN: Well, on a personal level, I think I had worked for a Boys and Girls Club in Ohio for a few years and got to know so many of the families there didn't know what to expect. But all the things I've been describing about how hard people work, I mean, that was the first thing that hit me, how hard they work two jobs, how they hard they work to arrange child care, how hard they work to get their kids to a safe place. And I got tired of sort of annual articles on poverty -- not at “The Nation,” “The Nation” has always been committed to covering it.

But when the new poverty statistics would come out, you'd see screaming headlines, "Record Poverty," oh my god, poverty, poverty. Very few of the articles actually interviewed people who were in poverty. You know, the fact that over one in three Americans, over 100 million Americans are living at just twice the poverty level, so just—

BILL MOYERS: Which is about what?

GREG KAUFMANN: Less than $36,000 for a family of three. That's crazy. I mean, because we have poverty defined at, you know, at such a low level, $18,000 for a family of three. But really, if you think about poverty as access to the basics that we, that everybody needs food, housing, healthcare, a decent job, you know, education, you know, we know it takes a lot more than that.

BILL MOYERS: What's your own sense of why this is the case, this vast inequality in a country as rich as ours? I mean, what does this say to you, the richest 400 people on the “Forbes” list made more from the stock market gains last year than the total amount of the food, housing and education budgets combined. I mean, the Walmart corporation made $17 billion last year, $17 billion.

GREG KAUFMANN: Right.

BILL MOYERS: Paying its workers so little, they have to use government programs to get by. In other words taxpayers are subsidizing Walmart's--

GREG KAUFMANN: Right.

BILL MOYERS: --low-income jobs.

GREG KAUFMANN: Yeah. I mean, I think not having organized labor plays a huge role in that, the declining unionization rate. I think, yeah, I mean, Walmart's a great example. Paying employees, helping them sign up for food stamps. I mean, I'm glad that people can get food stamps but, like, why not just pay a wage? I mean, there are a lot of corporations that are, you know, want to be involved in the fight against hunger. And the best thing they can do is get on board for fair wages.

So, yeah, I think there has been turning away from real people and what they're experiencing in this country. That's why I was so disappointed as crazy as the House farm bill was, the fact that the Democrats started with a $4.1 billion cut almost made me angrier, because they're supposed to be the party that's in touch with people's real experiences.

BILL MOYERS: What do you mean?

GREG KAUFMANN: Well, like, why aren't they talking about that food stamps create nine dollars of economic activity for every five dollars in spending? Why aren't they talking about what Dr. Chilton talks about, the benefits socially, emotionally, cognitively, physically that's documented for children, and we care so much about children and what that means for their future opportunities. I mean, the Democrats are supposed to be connected to the experiences of ordinary Americans. And when you start with this defensive wimpy posture of, "Oh, okay, we'll cut this much," instead of fighting for what you believe in, we're in trouble.

BILL MOYERS: Our viewers, what would you like them to know about what you know about hunger in America?

GREG KAUFMANN: I would like them to know that there are great groups that they can get involved with who are trying to work on this. Witnesses to Hunger, Share our Strength is doing good stuff with communities to get school breakfast programs expanded, New York City Coalition Against Hunger, who, you know, Joel Berg was saying we need to do town halls. We've got to pressure all these congressmen to do town halls in every district to make it more visible.

Food Research and Action Center did a great lobbying day involving more people in the community. So, there are groups to get involved with that are really committed to using science and evidence to inform our policy and to pressure the candidates and make this issue more visible.

BILL MOYERS: We will link our viewers and readers on our website, BillMoyers.com, to those groups. And we will follow your work in “The Nation” and online. Greg Kaufmann, thank you very much for being with me.

GREG KAUFMANN: Thanks so much, Bill.

Greg Kaufmann on the Truth About American Poverty

June 28, 2013

Greg Kaufmann, poverty correspondent for The Nation, says the poor in America are stereotyped and demonized in an effort to justify huge cuts in food stamps and other crucial programs for low-income Americans.

“People are working and they’re not getting paid enough to feed their families, pay their utilities, pay for their housing, pay for the healthcare… if you’re not paying people enough to pay for the basics, they’re going to need help getting food,” Kaufmann tells Bill. “There are a lot of corporations that want to be involved in the fight against hunger. The best thing they can do is get on board for fair wages.”

Producer: Gina Kim. Editor: Sikay Tang. Associate Producer: Lena Shemel.

  • submit to reddit

BillMoyers.com encourages conversation and debate around issues, events and ideas related to content on Moyers & Company and the BillMoyers.com website.

  • The editorial staff reserves the right to take down comments it deems inappropriate.
  • Profanity, personal attacks, hate speech, off-topic posts, advertisements and spam will not be tolerated.
  • Do not intentionally make false or misleading statements, impersonate someone else, break the law, or condone or encourage unlawful activity.

If your comments consistently or intentionally make this community a less civil and enjoyable place to be, you and your comments will be excluded from it.

We need your help with this. If you feel a post is not in line with the comment policy, please flag it so that we can take a look. Comments and questions about our policy are welcome. Please send an email to info@moyersmedia.com

Find out more about BillMoyers.com's privacy policy and terms of service.

  • Anonymous

    All that is necessary is to impose the “Single Tax” (tax assets, never income). It’s the fastest route to economic justice. Imagine progressives having an actual economic platform. Imagine progressives calling to eliminate income taxes and disbanding the IRS. Conservatives would be divided for a decade.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s imperative that people understand that we in the Western world are in the process of making the transition out of democracy and into corporate imperialism. And what the corporate world absolutely does not want is to have to pay for their own defense and security needs, as that would cut deeply into profits.

    It’s extremely important to them that taxpayers foot the bill for a huge military and intelligence establishment that can use violence to open up new markets and keep order among people who might rise up against foreign corporations — or threaten uncooperative markets, such as those Latin American nations embracing some important socialist elements, such as the idea that states should own their own natural resources. The usefulness of a fully funded intelligence agency working to protect America’s industrial secrets needs no explanation.

    The way corporations fight to make sure the military and intelligence budgets remain protected is to support the destruction of the social contract and the social safety net. For if they could no longer count on a taxpayer funded military and intelligence establishment, each corporation (or group of corporations) would have to hire mercenaries and establish their own armies.

    And gawd knows, there are now enough Blackwater-type “security” companies to service every American-based multinational corporation. They have no trouble recruiting, as cash-strapped nations such as the US don’t pay their lower ranking soldiers enough to feed their families. A good ex-soldier can make 4 or 5 times what the US army would be paying him — often more.

    The corporate world can see the writing on the wall. Sooner or later they will have to assume responsibility for their own defense and security. They would just like to postpone as long as possible the day when they can no longer expect huge subsidies and military support, often along with a zero tax-bill. Something has to give. If putting off that day a little longer means starving 50 million Americans, so be it.

  • Anonymous

    Start with a congessional districting rule – federal – that the boundery of a congressional district must be the minimum that encompasses the requisite # of voters. No more meandering gerrymandering districts.

    That would be a start.

  • Anonymous

    Peter Ferrara notes that we currently spend on public assistance for the poor 4 times what would be necessary to bring every poor family up to the poverty level (US Bureau of the Census). He also notes that poverty was declining rapidly prior to the implementation of LBJ’s programs. He proposes an entirely reasonable scheme for eliminating poverty altogether. The obstacles are those in congress who are wedded to socialism.

  • Kobe Amick

    As long as people have Cellphones and Cable TV, I refuse to accept the argument they need help to feed their family. They need help PRIORITIZING.

  • John L

    Yeah why pay them a living wage if they’re just going to spend it on stuff? Let the rich keep that money in a vault somewhere. Sheesh.

  • Sue Miller Bolwell

    A cell phone may be their only form of contact between family (try finding a phone box) and for researching and applying for another job. Cable TV may be their only form of entertainment. Don’t be so quick to judge.

  • Jack

    Im sorry, But Prioritizing Cable Tv for entertainment over food. You seem to have a very sketched view. Entertainment can be gained many ways, that cost nothing. A cell phone i can understand, as communication plays such a large role in the world we live in today. But broadband/cable tv/xbox subscriptions/psn subscriptions are not required to live.If you really want tv get a small freeview box. I live in Scotland and the amount of people i know who are on unemployment and housing benefit or whatever benefit, have more than me. Who works, has a flat and just gets by. And i work hard. All my friends have 42″ tvs and xbox’s ps3′s laptops camera’s sky tv broadband brand new mobiles. There is something very wrong with a lot of countrys today. And a system that allows people who have done nothing all their life apart from steal from a system put in place to help people who really need it, and allow them to live comfortably enough to have all these monthly subscriptions and a house and a car, and they dont even have a job, or even try looking for one and then you take someone like me who is working and only just scraping a living, i dont get holidays, i cant afford them. My neighbor down the road is a horrific junkie who rapes and pillages the system for every penny it has, only just got back from a two week holiday in spain, WTF, what is wrong with this world. It makes me sad it really does.

  • Howard Treesong

    They need a living wage first. It’s true that they will be bad at prioritizing but then they’re poor, there’s going to be reasons for that. Let’s start with a living wage. Drag the wages up to where they would have been had wages gone up with the rate of productivity. You’ll see the economy explode when all these people have some money to spend instead of having to work three jobs and then still not having enough money to get by. Let’s pay a living wage first.

  • Brian Smith

    phones are a necessity today and are an allowable expense. Don’t speak the rhetoric you ‘hear’ because it isn’t a valid argument. Like the senator that ‘heard’ from a ‘friend’ that people were purchasing king crab legs with food stamps. report the person, report the store or keep quiet. besides, you don’t know someone’s situation and until you’ve been there you really have no right to judge.

  • Rob Vaz

    There are two kinds of poor the working poor and then there’s the welfare poor

  • Sue Miller Bolwell

    I am a Brit living in the USA and the demonization of the poor in the USA (For a supposedly Christian country) is appalling. Not living in the USA you don’t know how many poor have cable TV or other subscriptions. For many people TV is their only entertainment and that too can be under contract. My son who has worked since age 16 and has a college degree, at age 26 finds himself unemployed I admit he doesn’t have cable but he does have an x-box and and a PS3. He can’t afford to go out so this is his entertainment. He has a cell-phone but not internet in his apartment so he needs it as source of finding a job. Besides it will cost $450 to get out the contract. He and his girl friend – who works are filling in the paperwork to get food stamps. Of course there people here and in the UK scamming the system but most are not. Again don’t be so quick to judge.

  • Sue Miller Bolwell

    And another thing do you think that there’s a bunch of people sitting around rather than working because it’s easy to be unemployed. Being unemployment is no picnic (loss of heath care insurance for starters which you wouldn’t know about living in the UK), and there are far more people trying to work than there are jobs.
    Many, many people are suffering from the destructive policies that led to the collapse in 2008, and from the subsequent Republican obstructionism in Congress, including the sequester. The supporters of austerity for all (except themselves and big corporations) do not care about fellow citizens in need.
    And in reply to your entertainment is easy to find try living in the USA. Most of us need a car to get ANYWHERE and that costs money to put petrol in a car.. If there was money for public transport most of us don’t have that option and where I live nothing is free including museums.

  • BlueMan

    If I understand you correctly, you’re advocating a consumption tax whereby all taxes (income, etc.) are shelved in favor of higher tax rates on all goods and services purchased. On the surface, this seem quite fair. However, once we give this idea a little more thought, we realize that this plan results in dramatically skewed effective tax rates. Given that the poor spend a much higher percentage of their income on basic life necessities (close to 100%) vs. the wealthy, the effective tax rates on the poor skyrocket while the wealthy sit back and watch their wealth continue to grow. As a wealthy person can only spend so much on good and services and have a MUCH higher level of discretionary income, they have the luxury of NOT spending a significant percentage of their income on taxable goods and services, thereby lowering their effective tax rate. Bottom line: this plan is a guaranteed method to increase effective tax rates on the poor and middle class while simultaneously decreasing the effective tax rate on the wealthy.

  • Jack Jitsu

    $500 smart phones are not a necessity and neither is cable.

  • moderator

    Hi Everyone,

    Great discussion, but let’s do our best to avoid anecdotal comments that are off-topic.

    thanks,
    Sean @ Moyers

  • Sue Miller Bolwell

    Who the heck pays $500 for a smart phone? You can get an i phone 4 for 99c. And a smart phone is a necessity if that is the only source of internet to apply for a job. Most are done on-line these days. I agree premium cable is not needed but the person may be in a contract which they cannot afford to get out of and in many cases its the only form of entertainment.

  • Jack Jitsu

    Most smartphones are $500. You cant get an Iphone 4 for $99. That price includes financing in your monthly payment.

    In other words, they are getting $500 smartphones AND financing it, which is even more irresponsible.

  • Sue Miller Bolwell

    Strange. I just got one for 99c (not dollars). I got it for that price because it is an older version and because its under a 2 year contract. Most people have a contract to make the phone more affordable.

  • moderator

    Hi Jack and Sue,

    You have made your points rather clearly, but now the thread is off-topic. Thanks

    sean @ moyers

  • Jack Jitsu

    The $99 price includes $400 in financing that is wrapped into your monthly payment. You are actually paying $500 for that phone. Your monthly payment would be lower if you paid the full $500 cash price for that iPhone 4S.

  • Jack Jitsu

    I reject the idea that every job should pay a living wage. A real market should contain lots of entry jobs that dont pay a living wage. Jobs youre supposed to take as a summer job, or as a teenager.

    Forcing businesses to pay a living wage for every job, would cause a collapse in the number of available jobs.

    The real issue is that there is a huge shortage of jobs that pay above a living wage. This economy is still utter crap, and people who are qualified for living wage jobs are being forced to take non-living wage jobs. That shouldnt happen.

    The solution is not to raise the minimum wage of jobs that are not living wage jobs. The solution is to create more real jobs. Otherwise we are not addressing the real problem of losing jobs that are paying a living wage.

  • Sue Miller Bolwell

    Again I paid 99CENTS! And that maybe so but most people don’t have that kind of money to pay up front.

  • TomH

    It is not a question of every job. I believe a job as a full time auto mechanic at a dealership should pay enough to afford making reasonable mortgage payments, cover health care, and put food on the table for a family of 4. Usually it does not. That luxurious lifestyle requires a working partner at the same level of employment. One of the 2 jobs then needs to provide some measure of health coverage. Even with this added income, at the wages being paid today, this family could very well in need of food stamps to keep decent meals on the table.

  • Sweet Pea

    Wow. Just. Wow. To all the people who are complaining (Is this jealousy? Rabid judgmentalism? Sheesh.) that people on food stamps are buying XYZ food and oh, no, they’re watching cable…mind your own business much? It is 100% NOT YOUR JOB to determine if they’re being “appropriate” with GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE. The government does that just fine and doesn’t need one bit of your “help” so snottily given. What does it hurt you or them if they pay $40 a month for some entertainment? So Jesus and Buddha and whoever else said to help the poor…but only if they act appropriately? What do you know about their lives? Their backgrounds? Their struggles and triumphs? What do you know about somebody who’s fighting tooth and claw to feel a little bit normal, somebody who may have problems you’ve never even considered? Do you ever do any volunteer work? Any research? Do you know ANYTHING about these people’s lives, or are you just spouting off because you’re secretly afraid you’ll be right down there with these “untouchables” someday and you’re trying to distance yourself from them? Do NOT demonize poor people. They’re not inherently evil, or immoral, or lazy or whatever cruel, groundless epithets you want to hurl at them. Poor people are no less moral than rich people. They might even be a little MORE moral than rich people, considering the way some people get rich. If you think it’s OK to say nasty prejudiced things about people just because they’re POOR…you are a sick puppy and you need to examine why you’re so mean. People are just transferring their hate (and hate speech) from one group to another. Currently, it’s poor people, the mentally ill, fat people, and certain groups of immigrants. But look back in history a little bit and it’s the same hate speech applied to different groups. Poor people are easy to attack as a group. But do you know them as individuals?

  • moderator

    Sue and Jack,

    This thread is off-topic.

    sean @ moyers

  • moderator

    Jack and Sue,

    This thread is off-topic.

    sean @ moyers

  • Anonymous

    No…the “Single Tax has nothing to do with a consumption tax, whatsoever. The Single Tax…as stated, is a tax on assets…land, franchises and monopolies (a liquor license, for ex) . In other words, every time someone or some entity controls a piece of land or franchise, it is a monopoly…the community’s wealth producing assets are monopolized. Therefore only the asset holders should be paying the community’s taxes…ALL OF THEM.

    The founders set up America with zero income taxes knowing that working people are the true wealth creators for society and only taxed land-owners. The USA never had an income tax until 1913. Before that, most taxes raised were from state property taxes and the US became an economic powerhouse under this system.

    When one taxes income, business runs away. When one taxes assets, the holder / monopolizer / hoarder must do something with those assets or eventually lose them through taxation. So, the land holder will build a factory, produce food, or build housing AND get tax free income. But, if he sits on his land (a speculator) he will be taxed at the same rate as those with land supporting a factory earning tax free income. Asset taxes force asset holders to stop wasting the public’s wealth producing assets and produce something in order to RECOUP THEIR TAXES PAID.

    If they are bad business-people and are forced to sell, the true value of the land will emerge and the next buyer may have the business acumen to earn TAX FREE INCOME.

    See Henry George, Political Economist “Progress And Poverty”.

    This idea is the true and only economic platform that progressives sorely need to steal the economic mantel from Republicans as currently, they have none and entirely too many people wish to keep “fiscal conservatism” alive as the GOP’s saving grace.

    The “Single Tax” would put a nail in the coffin of the Republican Party’s re-branding of “trickle-down” they do so well election after election.

  • Kaitlyn Fredricks

    like Connie responded I am amazed that someone can make $5991 in four weeks on the internet. have you seen this web site w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

  • Brenda of Brooklyn

    More proof we are a meaner, uglier, uncaring people whose priorities have become twisted…this trend will probably continue. Christian nation? Hardly!

  • E Taylor, being spied on

    re greg kaufman etc—why doe no one point out that while food stamp recipients have grown, so has the population since 1970, I don’t know how much but that would diminish the growth of the so called dependency class, yes? However,with so many congressmen HUNGRY for bribes and so many of them narcissistic personalities (can’t be changed) not to mention psycopaths….they do not seem like a viable route to anything.

  • http://www.facebook.com/janette.nolan.7 Janette Nolan

    You said it,”living” wage! Some people are taking 3 jobs because they can’t get enough to LIVE on!! Never mind how the family suffers, I really think every job needs to be a living job and should be paid as such! It used to be that Benefits would make up for the lack in salary but that is a thing of the past also….

  • cgmcle

    In fact, there is research suggesting that people who are “financially better off are more likely to lie, cheat, and otherwise behave unethically compared to individuals who occupy lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder.”

    That’s the summary of an article describing a study conducted at UC-Berkeley.

  • Terri EC Mom5

    Maybe we should stop paying for endless wars and focus on paying workers.

  • Terri EC Mom5

    There is no more “welfare” as in people sitting at home doing nothing and that had been the case in my state for almost 20 years.

  • Terri EC Mom5

    Many cell phone plans are as cheap as home phones, if not cheaper and home phone plans are cheaper if you bundle them with cable tv service or do you just in general object to poor people possessing any type of technology? If it would make you more comfortable, maybe we could bring back the idea of living in caves and hunting mammoth.

  • Terri EC Mom5

    Has anyone heard the story about the McDonald’s top money management and financial guru guys who claimed they were able to make a budget on what McDonald’s pays their employees and even they couldn’t realistically do it without making the “hypothetical worker” work 2 jobs.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/blog/wonkblogs/wp/2013/07/13/that-mcdonalds-budget-people-are-making-fun-of-isnt-cruel-its-realistic/

  • Anonymous

    Wal-mart made $17 billion in one year! And yet they pay their “associates” minimum wage (they would like to pay less) with NO benefits at all! I am disgusted! They are beyond greedy – they are EVIL. I will never shop there again. This should be a wake up call to ANYONE who thinks we need to give “tax breaks” or “incentives” to big corporations. They are only using the $$$ to pay themselves huge salaries and bonuses. Outrageous!

  • roisuddin

    Dear

    Sir/Madam

    I am an unsuccessful businessman in my country. I am living
    at Dhaka in Bangladesh.
    I have my wife and three children and they are studying. I was earning from my
    business more and more… and my day was running

    Good but unfortunately last year I have lost all money from my business.

    Now I am earning little money and that is not perfect for my current situation
    and it’s also not enough for expense on my family. So that’s why I need help to
    overcome my problem. I have come from a respectable Muslim family. I have
    also borrowed lot of money from a Bank. So I need financial Support. I am
    trying to solve my problem but can’t so please help me if you can.

    “A Landed man who complete her lend ” So I complete my lend
    or I can not solved my lend My decision I can sew side or My lend solved. If
    you can your Poor fund You can help me Please.

    Note: I don’t have enough knowledge on English. I know Hindi slight and strong
    in Bangle.

    Yours,

    Mir Mohammad Rois Uddin

    AL-MODINA FABRICES, DYING & PRINTING

    Dhaka, Bangladesh

    Bank Asia

    ACCOUNT NO: 015533000140

  • Anonymous

    Sweet Pea, that was AWESOME. I know a lot of narrow-minded, judgmental people to whom I would love to give this speech.

  • Terri EC Mom5

    Isn’t the point of work to earn a living? Why are we categorizing the employees who work at these jobs into who gets to earn enough money to financially support themselves and who doesn’t? The point of the “minimum wage” was to lay the ground floor determining the minimum amount of money that it takes to support a “family”. We all know that the current “minimum wage” is too low to be self supporting, let alone supporting a family. If businesses can’t afford to pay their employees decent, family supportive wages, either the business has a very bad business model or isn’t a viable business and deserves to be put out of business.

  • Anonymous

    When is big business going to realize that a program like “Medicare for all” and providing a living wage is good for business? Healthcare provided to all citizens through a nationwide government program takes the problem of administering or providing this service out of private business’ hands. In addition paying your employees a fair and living wage means they have more money to spend and that creates demand. Demand stimulates the economy. Profits would soar. Hello!

    OMG! I just realized that this article is a year old. Where have I been? Sorry Bill…..I just found this website a little while ago. Great stories anyway. Keep up the good work.