Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Corporate Welfare

I'm a total tightwad.  It drives me insane to think I've spent more money on something than I needed to.  I'm also radically progressive.  It drives me insane to think a worker isn't being paid a fair wage.  Years ago I shopped at Walmart because of their ultra-low prices, but I refuse to spend a dime there now.  Partially in moral protest to the death of security guard Jdimytai Damour who got trampled during Walmart's Black Friday event back in 2008, but also because the company doesn't need any more of my family's money.  They benefit from plenty of our tax dollars already.

A few years ago a friend of ours got hired at Walmart, and in the course of filling out paperwork, his boss handed him the forms he'd need to submit to the state of Missouri so he could collect food stamps for his family.  My friend asked why the company couldn't pay him enough money to feed his own family instead of relying on the state to do it.  His boss didn't have an answer.

I do: corporate welfare.  

Here's a great article that supports my point, "The Conservative Case for Raising the Minimum Wage" by Ron Unz for Salon.  This part especially:

Our federal and local governments currently spend vast sums of money subsidizing the social benefits and living standards of our working-poor, including mailing them checks via the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). These expenditures constitute an enormous corporate welfare program in which businesses obtain the full value of their low-paid workforce while shifting much of the cost onto the general taxpayer, a classic example of economic special interests privatizing their profits and socializing their costs. Private sector employers should cover the expenses of their own workers rather than force middle-class taxpayers to pay the tab.

I refuse to shop at Walmart until they raise their employees' wages enough that my family no longer has to pay for their employees to eat.