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Old 12-03-2012, 04:01 PM  
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Who's the Biggest Welfare Queen? Wal-Mart!

They force their employees to live off federal assistance in many, many ways. Flame away, neocons:

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/13...ZSJi8.facebook

Good news everyone, after more than thirty years of searching by the news media, Ronald Reagan’s infamous “Welfare Queen” has finally been found. She lives in Bentonville, Arkansas.

“She has eighty names, thirty addresses,” Reagan warned during his 1976 run for President about a nameless, Cadillac-driving woman who’s conning the social safety net. He added: “She’s got Medicaid, getting food stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names.” In total, Reagan said, “Her tax-free cash income is over $150,000.”

For more than thirty years, Republicans have used the existence of this “Welfare Queen” to justify their attacks on public spending and prove that the “welfare state” has run amok. Yet, her identity has never been revealed. After decades of searching, the best and brightest minds in the field of journalism were never able to discover who’s behind the wheel of the “Welfare Queen’s” Cadillac, or if she even existed.

That is until now.

We now realize our mistake. In our search for this “Welfare Queen,” we were looking for actual people when we should have been looking for corporate people. We should have been looking at Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart is the largest private employer and brought in more revenue in 2011 than any other company in the nation. Wal-Mart pocketed a not-too-shabby $16.4 billion in profits that same year and the six Wal-Mart heirs, the Walton family, own roughly $100 billion in wealth, which is more than 40% of Americans combined.

But, despite making all of this money, Wal-Mart’s business model hinges on mooching from the government. It hinges on being the biggest “Welfare Queen” in the United States.

Because of the “everyday low wages” that the retail giant pays its employees, our government has to step in and provide public assistance to Wal-Mart workers just so they can survive…which is why the Wal-Mart workforce represents the largest recipient of federal aid in the nation.
A Wal-Mart worker makes on average 31% less than a worker for any other large retailer, and requires 39% more in public assistance.

A recent study by UC Berkeley found that Wal-Mart’s low wages are costing the state of California alone $86 million a year to provide public assistance like food stamps and healthcare to the retailer’s 44,000 low-wage employees in the state. The state spends nearly $2,000 every single year on each Wal-Mart employee who can’t afford basic essentials like housing, food, and healthcare with their Wal-Mart paycheck.

In total, it’s estimated that Walmart stores loot more than $2.6 billion every single year from the federal government in the form of tax-payer funded public assistance to their employees. That includes more than one billion in healthcare costs associated with Medicaid, and $225 million in free or reduced-price lunches for school children of Wal-Mart employees.

And now, as reported by the Huffington Post, Wal-Mart is planning to loot even more from us taxpayers, as the giant corporation adopts a new healthcare policy that will deny insurance for any employees working fewer than 30 hours a week.

Wal-Mart routinely forces their workers into part-time schedules, working fewer than 30 hours a week, so many will lose their health insurance under this new policy. When asked for comment by the Huffington Post on how many workers will be affected, Wal-Mart declined to answer.

Make no mistake about it, while it may be individual Wal-Mart employees who are collecting government benefits, the corporation itself benefits tremendously.

If the government didn’t step in to provide food assistance, Wal-Mart couldn’t operate with a team of emaciated workers unable to lift ballets of canned foods or count back the correct change at the checkout lanes.

If the government didn’t step in to provide health insurance, then Walmart stores would be a breeding ground for infectious diseases since their employees can’t afford to see a doctor on their own.

If the government didn’t step in to provide school-lunch assistance, then parents who work at Wal-Mart may have less money to put gas in their car and may not even make it in to work.

How can a business succeed with a sickly, tired, tardy, or altogether absent workforce? It can’t.

And while most businesses understanding that a healthy, happy, productive workforce is good for business, Wal-Mart hasn’t. Instead, Wal-Mart, with its enormous fortune, has shifted this responsibility onto taxpayers like you and me. They are, indeed, among the biggest of the big welfare queens in America.

The only difference is Walmart actually exists and Reagan’s “Welfare Queen” doesn’t.

With the help of “Welfare Queen” argument, Conservatives have targeted individual Americans who rely on public assistance as irresponsible and argued that it’s time to end the “handouts.”

But in reality, it’s time we target the actual institutions of irresponsibility in America – Wal-Mart and the other corporate giants who don’t give enough of a damn about their workers to pay them a living wage stick us with the bill for their well-being.

If a corporation can’t afford to pay its employees enough that each worker can afford basic essentials like healthcare, food, and housing, then that corporation – no matter how big or small it is – shouldn’t be allowed to do business.

No more corporate Welfare Queens in America!
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:55 AM   #151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blaise View Post
I don't even think it's the same market anyway. Half the employees at Wal Mart can't speak English. I don't think most grocery stores would hire them.
I don't know about that. Many grocery stores hire people that speak little to no English. They just make the decision to put them in position to not have to speak to customers as much so they aren't as noticed.

I basically never shop at Wal-mart and have always made the effort to drive past them as necessary to get to a different store. Luckily, there isn't one anywhere near my new house.

I think one of things that has always turned me off about Wal-mart, other than the dirty appearance, messy displaced displays of items, etc. is that I have never felt I could go into a Wal-mart and ask anyone for assistance on anything. No one seems to know where anything is at and I sure as heck don't trust anyone to adequately answer a question about a product.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:06 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by mr. tegu View Post
I don't know about that. Many grocery stores hire people that speak little to no English. They just make the decision to put them in position to not have to speak to customers as much so they aren't as noticed.

I basically never shop at Wal-mart and have always made the effort to drive past them as necessary to get to a different store. Luckily, there isn't one anywhere near my new house.

I think one of things that has always turned me off about Wal-mart, other than the dirty appearance, messy displaced displays of items, etc. is that I have never felt I could go into a Wal-mart and ask anyone for assistance on anything. No one seems to know where anything is at and I sure as heck don't trust anyone to adequately answer a question about a product.

Just judging from personal experience I would say the employees at Target or Kroger are better than Wal Mart employees. And if you go to chains like Wegmans for groceries I would say the employee quality is significantly better than Wal Mart.

You're right though, asking for something at Wal Mart will usually get nothing of value.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:48 AM   #153
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People don't go to Walmart to ask the employees for help. They go there because their prices are significantly lower than any other store.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:57 AM   #154
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Originally Posted by vailpass View Post
People don't go to Walmart to ask the employees for help. They go there because their prices are significantly lower than any other store.
They don't need to be experts but they could at least know where things are. Heck, they rarely even know who else to ask if they don't know.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:59 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by Dave Lane View Post
Gaining one low paying Walmart at the cost of 50 nearby local businesses is retarded.

Once while driving back roads across the US I found every small town I came to that had a Walmart nearby also had a downtown square with nothing but tumbleweeds. Many of the ones with out a Walmart near by had bustling squares with fun little local businesses.
That's anecdotally what I've heard, and I would certainly believe it. It's interesting that you noticed it.

If I was an economic development guy, I'd fight to keep big corporations out of my city, and I darn sure wouldn't subsidize them with tax dollars. And yet that's what most economic development organizations do.

The towns in Colorado that lead in tourism generally keep the chains out and go local. So they have charming little downtowns that people want to visit, and those people import money. It seems so logical to do that rather than make your town generic and export your own citizens' money.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:33 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by mr. tegu View Post
They don't need to be experts but they could at least know where things are. Heck, they rarely even know who else to ask if they don't know.
I'm guessing their lower prices are an offset for having to find the coffee filters all by yourself.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:44 AM   #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. tegu View Post
I don't know about that. Many grocery stores hire people that speak little to no English. They just make the decision to put them in position to not have to speak to customers as much so they aren't as noticed.

I basically never shop at Wal-mart and have always made the effort to drive past them as necessary to get to a different store. Luckily, there isn't one anywhere near my new house.

I think one of things that has always turned me off about Wal-mart, other than the dirty appearance, messy displaced displays of items, etc. is that I have never felt I could go into a Wal-mart and ask anyone for assistance on anything. No one seems to know where anything is at and I sure as heck don't trust anyone to adequately answer a question about a product.
ya, Boston has some sort of law that Wal Marts can't open a store in certain areas. It's a 45 min drive each way to the closest wal mart for me. I'm good with that.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:58 AM   #158
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Ah, this thread would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

How much should a cashier make per hour? As much as a doctor? It's called unskilled labor. It doesn't pay well. So...rather than appreciating the fact that Wal Mart does provide jobs for these people, the company gets painted as evil for hiring them in the first place. The article is just more of the same stupid crap that makes liberal media organizations look like dumbasses.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:01 AM   #159
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Originally Posted by vailpass View Post
I'm guessing their lower prices are an offset for having to find the coffee filters all by yourself.
Considering the amount of people in this very thread that are willing to pay more or drive further is evidence that people are turned off by the service among other things. Not sure what your point is other than the people who cannot afford to shop anywhere else "choose" to shop at Wal-mart and put up with the environment. You are either being the devil's advocate or are just plain silly if you don't think people care about the service associated with the stores they shop at.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:04 AM   #160
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Originally Posted by mr. tegu View Post
Considering the amount of people in this very thread that are willing to pay more or drive further is evidence that people are turned off by the service among other things. Not sure what your point is other than the people who cannot afford to shop anywhere else "choose" to shop at Wal-mart and put up with the environment. You are either being the devil's advocate or are just plain silly if you don't think people care about the service associated with the stores they shop at.

...and yet Wal Mart thrives. It not only thrives, it's incredibly successful. Looks like the participants in this thread are a poor example of the American consumer.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:05 AM   #161
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Originally Posted by mr. tegu View Post
Considering the amount of people in this very thread that are willing to pay more or drive further is evidence that people are turned off by the service among other things. Not sure what your point is other than the people who cannot afford to shop anywhere else "choose" to shop at Wal-mart and put up with the environment. You are either being the devil's advocate or are just plain silly if you don't think people care about the service associated with the stores they shop at.
There's a cost benefit scenario. It depends how badly you want to save a few dollars. People care, but they might not care enough to shop elsewhere.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:08 AM   #162
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:10 AM   #163
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Is there anyone posting in this thread who actually knows someone that works at a Wal Mart store?
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:15 AM   #164
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Is there anyone posting in this thread who actually knows someone that works at a Wal Mart store?
I worked at one. I didn't plan to make a career of it. I was living in Central PA and there's not many jobs there, so I worked at a Wal Mart unloading trucks until I found a job that was better.
I appreciated the job, but I wouldn't want to stay there.

Although, if you are really committed you could work your way up to a management position, because they promote from within. That's what they told me, anyway. The store managers are all people that started at the bottom.

They gave you some discount when I worked there, but I don't recall how much it was. 3% maybe.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:15 AM   #165
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Originally Posted by listopencil View Post
...and yet Wal Mart thrives. It not only thrives, it's incredibly successful. Looks like the participants in this thread are a poor example of the American consumer.
No doubt it is successful. Doesn't mean people don't avoid going there because of the environment and poor service. Not sure how this is even a point of contention

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Originally Posted by blaise View Post
There's a cost benefit scenario. It depends how badly you want to save a few dollars. People care, but they might not care enough to shop elsewhere.
Agreed. And the people that do care go somewhere else. That is really all I am saying.
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