Why do we constantly point fingers and whine because people have to use food stamps? Why do we denigrate those who work jobs that pay no living wage and are without benefits? Why are we insensitive to the plight of those who are less fortunate than we are? For those of you who have no problem putting food in abundance on the table or paying the price at the pump without blinking, don’t get me wrong. I do not hold a grudge against people who are well-heeled. What I have a problem with is the fact that those who don’t have it so good but are trying as best they can, still get shamed by those who are the haves. We should not be shaming people because of their circumstances. We should be wondering why we’re the richest country on the planet and yet we have people who cannot keep a roof over their head despite working two jobs. We should be wondering why we have no problem with corporate welfare, but have a problem with our tax dollars going to feed hungry children. Walmart, for example, rakes in billions in profits each year and yet the majority of their rank and file workers have to rely on government funded medical programs(Medicaid). Why is the Federal Government ok with this? Oh, that’s right! It’s ONLY our money!
A 2004 study by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce estimated that just one Walmart store with 200 “associates” costs taxpayers over $420,000 per year in government assistance to the poor.
Walmart and other low-wage employers are poster children for free market hypocrisy, claiming that the “market” dictates they pay poverty wages while shifting some of their labor costs onto the taxpayer.
Paying a fair wage would only result in a price hike of around 1 percent for Walmart shoppers. The researchers note that the increase would be “well below Walmart’s estimated savings to consumers,” – in other words, the big-box retailer could continue to offer “low prices” without impoverishing their workers.
Other examples of low wage employers following Walmart’s lead are Kmart, Target, Kohls, McDonalds, Burger King and the list goes on and on. And we have the nerve to wonder why there are so many working poor while corporations are perceived as the good guys. America, we have a serious problem. And to solve it, look in the mirror!
Let’s take a look at the poverty rates.
According to wikipedia.org: The poverty rate for American Indians is 39%.
According to ASPE.hhs.gov: 46.2 million people were living in poverty in 2011.
16.1 million children were living in poverty in 2011.
20.4 million people lived in deep poverty.
The poverty rate for African-American children was 37.4% in 2011.
The poverty rate for Hispanic children was 34.1% in 2011.
The poverty rate for non-Hispanic white children was 12.5% in 2011.
What that says about us as humans is that we’ve lost the definition of the word, ‘human’. I’ll look it up for you.
Definition of human:hu·man
A human being, esp. a person as distinguished from an animal or (in science fiction) an alien.Of, relating to, or characteristic of people or human beings.
Did you read that? Being ‘human’ is what separates us from the lower forms of ‘animal’ life since some see us as just an intelligent ‘animal’. Sometimes, I have to wonder about our ‘intelligence’. It does not take an awful lot of intelligence to note that if a large population of a country is living in abject poverty, it does not bode well for an economy that is based on consumer spending if millions of potential consumers have not the means to consume. What do you think will happen? It’s not obvious? We can bury our head in the sand and pretend all day and all night that the rich are keeping this ship afloat. Newsflash, that isn’t true because the rich are the leeches(corporate tax breaks, too big to fail and propped up by our money while their CEOs gave themselves hefty bonuses for running the companies into the ground). Not to mention deregulation and monopolies are also what is sinking this ship. It is not food stamp recipients, regardless of the propaganda that’s been shoved down our throat. And since many live by the mantra, ‘the poor cannot hire’, again, newsflash, the rich are not hiring either. They’re demanding that their remaining employees work until they drop and the Federal Government is hell bent on making things worse by attempting to pass laws that would put the retirement age at 70 in order to be able to collect full SSA benefits. And yes, I’ve heard that ‘we’re living longer’. Well..tell that to the Indians and Black people because it doesn’t seem apt to apply it to them.
So, in essence, the corporations are working their existing employees into the ground while the Federal Government is making it harder to collect benefits that these same workers have paid into the system their entire working life. Take a look at the unemployment figures for January. Up 7.9% from 7.8%. So, who is hiring?