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Old 12-03-2012, 05:01 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, 12:16 PM   #166
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They did show me a neat training video that talked about a kind of rat that apparently lives on the roofs of Wal Marts.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:16 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by mr. tegu View Post
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



Agreed. And the people that do care go somewhere else. That is really all I am saying.
I'll go there sometimes, but not after, say, 9:00 am.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:17 PM   #168
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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.
Yep. Your story is fairly common. It's not a great job but it's a job. I've known several people that have worked/are working at a Wal Mart store. The discount should have been 10% unless that was changed.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:18 PM   #169
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Is there anyone posting in this thread who actually knows someone that works at a Wal Mart store?
My fiance's aunt works there. She has to work two jobs because they don't give her enough hours even though she has been there for almost 5 years. And even when she gets eight hours a day, it is often times spread out. So she will work 4 hours in the morning and then have 3 or 4 hours off and come back for the remaining 3-4 hours in that day. I couldn't imagine doing that. Although I know some restaraunts are like that as well.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:23 PM   #170
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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
Well, enough people go there that they are the largest retailer in the world. So apparently not enough people avoid it to matter.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:24 PM   #171
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Originally Posted by mr. tegu View Post
My fiance's aunt works there. She has to work two jobs because they don't give her enough hours even though she has been there for almost 5 years. And even when she gets eight hours a day, it is often times spread out. So she will work 4 hours in the morning and then have 3 or 4 hours off and come back for the remaining 3-4 hours in that day. I couldn't imagine doing that. Although I know some restaraunts are like that as well.

Why doesn't she quit?
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:30 PM   #172
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Why doesn't she quit?
Not sure but I am sure it goes back to the unskilled part as well as the "at least its a job." Add in the fact that she is an immigrant (legal) and there are a lot of things that would deter someone like her from finding something better. But then again, she may simply be content with it, being that she is from Peru and even though by many of our standards she isn't exactly working in a situation that is something we would consider to be acceptable, she may be just fine with it given what would have been available to her prior to coming here.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:31 PM   #173
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...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.
It makes it easier for a corporation to thrive when they have the taxpayers subsidizing their employee expenditures.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:31 PM   #174
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Originally Posted by mr. tegu View Post
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



Agreed. And the people that do care, and can afford it, go somewhere else. That is really all I am saying.
Fixed your post. Just because many people in this country living paycheck to paycheck choose to save as much as they can on items they need, does not make them inherent Wal-Mart supporters. If you had to choose between feeding your kids and keeping the lights on, or making a political statement about Wal-mart by paying an extra $20-$40 on your grocery bill per week, which would you choose?

Wal-Mart has horrible service. You have to be a smarter shopper there, because their employees are frankly not that good, and they don't care to be. Many frontline employees at Wal-Mart would not make it in other retail establishments due to their attitude and work ethic. Does anyone believe that if you raised everyone's pay at Wal-Mart by $1.50 an hour that the service there would get any better?

Wal-Mart has made a calculated business decision. They try to keep their labor rate as low as possible to keep their expenses down. They put the same pressure on their suppliers to be more efficient, to lower their costs of goods sold. These two factors allow them to charge less for an item and still turn a profit.

While I agree Wal-Mart has made some major mistakes, and gotten sued for them, their business philosophy is not illegal, and I am not sure even if one could make the case that they are immoral. Their low prices allow people to obtain things in life a bit cheaper, and that improves their quality of life.

Other retailers improve the quality of life of their employees by paying them more, but that in turn raises the cost of their product, which hurts the quality of live of their lower income customers, who then have to spend a higher percentage of their incomes on essentials if they shop there.

No business can completely improve the quality of life of everyone. Wal-Mart fits a specific niche and need in the community for a place with lower prices. A place like Hy-Vee, or Target, etc., fits another niche, for those wanting to pay more, but expect better service, etc.

Honestly, we shop at Wal-Mart a lot. The savings are just too much. When the opportunity arises (like a three day sale), we hit the local Hy-Vee when we can. Given what our income is at the moment, I cannot justify paying more for groceries at Hy-Vee. We save at least 20-30 bucks a week getting groceries from Wal-Mart, and that savings adds up to enough to cover our electric bill. That kind of savings just cannot be ignored. When I am done with school (I am 40, and re-educating myself to better position myself in the job market) and hopefully have a much high paying position, then we can shop at the Hy-Vees of the world more, and take advantage of much quicker check out lanes, and much better customer service. Until then, I save where I can and make no apologies for it.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:44 PM   #175
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It makes it easier for a corporation to thrive when they have the taxpayers subsidizing their employee expenditures.
So are you willing to vote against those social programs?
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:45 PM   #176
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Not sure but I am sure it goes back to the unskilled part as well as the "at least its a job." Add in the fact that she is an immigrant (legal) and there are a lot of things that would deter someone like her from finding something better. But then again, she may simply be content with it, being that she is from Peru and even though by many of our standards she isn't exactly working in a situation that is something we would consider to be acceptable, she may be just fine with it given what would have been available to her prior to coming here.
Sounds about right. Does she complain about her job a lot?
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:45 PM   #177
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Fixed your post. Just because many people in this country living paycheck to paycheck choose to save as much as they can on items they need, does not make them inherent Wal-Mart supporters. If you had to choose between feeding your kids and keeping the lights on, or making a political statement about Wal-mart by paying an extra $20-$40 on your grocery bill per week, which would you choose?

Wal-Mart has horrible service. You have to be a smarter shopper there, because their employees are frankly not that good, and they don't care to be. Many frontline employees at Wal-Mart would not make it in other retail establishments due to their attitude and work ethic. Does anyone believe that if you raised everyone's pay at Wal-Mart by $1.50 an hour that the service there would get any better?

Wal-Mart has made a calculated business decision. They try to keep their labor rate as low as possible to keep their expenses down. They put the same pressure on their suppliers to be more efficient, to lower their costs of goods sold. These two factors allow them to charge less for an item and still turn a profit.

While I agree Wal-Mart has made some major mistakes, and gotten sued for them, their business philosophy is not illegal, and I am not sure even if one could make the case that they are immoral. Their low prices allow people to obtain things in life a bit cheaper, and that improves their quality of life.

Other retailers improve the quality of life of their employees by paying them more, but that in turn raises the cost of their product, which hurts the quality of live of their lower income customers, who then have to spend a higher percentage of their incomes on essentials if they shop there.

No business can completely improve the quality of life of everyone. Wal-Mart fits a specific niche and need in the community for a place with lower prices. A place like Hy-Vee, or Target, etc., fits another niche, for those wanting to pay more, but expect better service, etc.

Honestly, we shop at Wal-Mart a lot. The savings are just too much. When the opportunity arises (like a three day sale), we hit the local Hy-Vee when we can. Given what our income is at the moment, I cannot justify paying more for groceries at Hy-Vee. We save at least 20-30 bucks a week getting groceries from Wal-Mart, and that savings adds up to enough to cover our electric bill. That kind of savings just cannot be ignored. When I am done with school (I am 40, and re-educating myself to better position myself in the job market) and hopefully have a much high paying position, then we can shop at the Hy-Vees of the world more, and take advantage of much quicker check out lanes, and much better customer service. Until then, I save where I can and make no apologies for it.
Very well said. Wal-mart may not be the place for me or others, but like you said, they know who their customers are and they do everything they can to provide to them as best they can while still keeping prices as low as possible so that customers can get their needs and even wants met.

I worked at a Hy-Vee in the meat department during college and one thing is clear; they know that other places like Wal-mart sell groceries for cheaper so they spend a lot of time, effort, and training on making sure the employees know where things are and that they provide the best service possible in the form of friendliness and all that type of stuff.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:47 PM   #178
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So are you willing to vote against those social programs?
Depends on which ones you're talking about, but the answer is yes for many of them.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:48 PM   #179
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Sounds about right. Does she complain about her job a lot?
Yes and no. The days that are split she complains but otherwise not an extremely unusual amount. No more than anyone else complains about their jobs. I am fully aware though that my fiance and I both see her job situation as being more unbearable/unfair than she does.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:50 PM   #180
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Fixed your post. Just because many people in this country living paycheck to paycheck choose to save as much as they can on items they need, does not make them inherent Wal-Mart supporters. If you had to choose between feeding your kids and keeping the lights on, or making a political statement about Wal-mart by paying an extra $20-$40 on your grocery bill per week, which would you choose?

Wal-Mart has horrible service. You have to be a smarter shopper there, because their employees are frankly not that good, and they don't care to be. Many frontline employees at Wal-Mart would not make it in other retail establishments due to their attitude and work ethic. Does anyone believe that if you raised everyone's pay at Wal-Mart by $1.50 an hour that the service there would get any better?

Wal-Mart has made a calculated business decision. They try to keep their labor rate as low as possible to keep their expenses down. They put the same pressure on their suppliers to be more efficient, to lower their costs of goods sold. These two factors allow them to charge less for an item and still turn a profit.

While I agree Wal-Mart has made some major mistakes, and gotten sued for them, their business philosophy is not illegal, and I am not sure even if one could make the case that they are immoral. Their low prices allow people to obtain things in life a bit cheaper, and that improves their quality of life.

Other retailers improve the quality of life of their employees by paying them more, but that in turn raises the cost of their product, which hurts the quality of live of their lower income customers, who then have to spend a higher percentage of their incomes on essentials if they shop there.

No business can completely improve the quality of life of everyone. Wal-Mart fits a specific niche and need in the community for a place with lower prices. A place like Hy-Vee, or Target, etc., fits another niche, for those wanting to pay more, but expect better service, etc.

Honestly, we shop at Wal-Mart a lot. The savings are just too much. When the opportunity arises (like a three day sale), we hit the local Hy-Vee when we can. Given what our income is at the moment, I cannot justify paying more for groceries at Hy-Vee. We save at least 20-30 bucks a week getting groceries from Wal-Mart, and that savings adds up to enough to cover our electric bill. That kind of savings just cannot be ignored. When I am done with school (I am 40, and re-educating myself to better position myself in the job market) and hopefully have a much high paying position, then we can shop at the Hy-Vees of the world more, and take advantage of much quicker check out lanes, and much better customer service. Until then, I save where I can and make no apologies for it.

Yup. I am in decent shape financially but I am going to shop at Wal Mart for specific items. Mainly because I'm a cheap bastard, I enjoy saving money, and I hate paying more than I have to for something.
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"As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind I'd still be in prison."


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listopencil is obviously part of the inner Circle.listopencil is obviously part of the inner Circle.listopencil is obviously part of the inner Circle.listopencil is obviously part of the inner Circle.listopencil is obviously part of the inner Circle.listopencil is obviously part of the inner Circle.listopencil is obviously part of the inner Circle.listopencil is obviously part of the inner Circle.listopencil is obviously part of the inner Circle.listopencil is obviously part of the inner Circle.listopencil is obviously part of the inner Circle.
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