Thursday, August 05, 2004

Our corporate welfare queen

Corporate welfare for the richest and largest company in the US just doesn't seem right. Even though this story was all over the papers, I'm putting it up again beause I think it deserves even more notice. Here's evidence something is seriously wrong with how this store sees its connection to human beings.
Berkeley: Wal-Mart jobs cost state taxpayers millions
California taxpayers are subsidizing the lower wages and benefits offered by Wal-Mart to its employees in the state, contends a study by the University of California, Berkeley, Institute for Industrial Relations and the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education.

"Reliance by Wal-Mart workers on public assistance programs in California comes at a cost to the taxpayers of an estimated $86 million annually; this is comprised of $32 million in health related expenses and $54 million in other assistance," the report says.

It says families of Wal-Mart employees in California utilize an estimated 40 percent more in taxpayer-funded health care than the average for families of all large retail employees and that Wal-Mart families use an estimated 38 percent more in other, non-health care, public assistance programs such as food stamps, Earned Income Tax Credit, subsidized school lunches, and subsidized housing than the average for families of all large retail employees.

The study estimates that Wal-Mart workers in California earn on average 31 percent less than workers employed in large retail as a whole, receiving an average wage of $9.70 per hour compared to the $14.01 average hourly earnings for employees in large retail, described as firms with 1,000 or more employees. In addition, it says, 23 percent fewer Wal-Mart workers are covered by employer-sponsored health insurance than large retail workers as a whole.
This corporate view that it's fine to abuse and exploit human beings is a view that comes from other human beings. Lakoff's model (okay, forget how he names the two models) dsecribing the conservative world view is the one I like the best. It certainly helps explain the Republican father-in-law, who voted for the movie star guy for gov'nor and curses when he hears negative stories about Wal-Mart. He truly believes people are stupid if they need to work at a Wal-Mart, and they deserve every penny they don't get. Any thoughts on how to get through? Btw, all is not lost: he will vote for Kerry. He's a vet, and he likes Kerry's military background.