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In 1913, Henry Ford wrote the following as the directors had been reaping the rewards of profits - "The wages we pay are too small in comparison with our profits. I think we should raise our minimum pay rate".

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wal-Mart America

So this morning on Facebook, I read a post from a tow-the-line conservative about how Wal-Mart was going to lose customers for not having more check-out clerks working.  You know, they have twenty lanes, but only two or three people working them, so only two or three lanes available for checkout. Unless you want to take personal responsibility and stand in long lines to check yourself out.  The poster was going to leave their buggy and walk out to go shop at a local mom and pop store... oh, wait... Wal-Mart killed most of those... oh well... maybe they will go back at night when there are less people so it would mean shorter lines.  Anyway, there were several people agreeing with the Original Poster's stance.

Seriously? Who are they to question the omniscient wisdom of Corporate America - the Free Market itself!?!

Sure, Wal-Mart mostly hires part time workers so they don't have to pay benefits and the pay is so low that even the full time employees can't really make a living - have you seen the high prices these days? Of course, conservatives don't want these people making more money, that would hurt company profits and somehow make things worse than they are now, right?  More people with more money to spend is bad, right?  A few people having most of the money is better, right?

What about all these people who are unemployed? They could work at Wal-Mart for less money than they get in unemployment right?  Who wouldn't jump at that chance?

If you want to get a look at the GOP and Conservative dreams for the employment market in the United States, look no further than China.  Yeah, the pay is horrible, safety measures are ignored for productivity and suicides are so high that companies put safety nets around their buildings to catch jumpers, but man, are they productive and profitable and that's what really counts, right?  Who needs to worry about paying rent somewhere when there are company dormitories workers can live in - four to a room, bunk beds provided?  The companies even own stores within their complex that carry the employees' every need - shop where you work, how convenient!  The employees never even have to leave the company grounds - and besides, there is such a short window between their shift end and curfew that they couldn't really get very far any way before they would be hunted down... er... found and dragged ba... er.. safely escorted back to the residential area.

So, in the takeover of the United States, you don't have to learn Chinese, you just have to vote Republican.

I lived on a full time Wal-Mart wage for a couple years.  I had a one bedroom apartment in a duplex beside a fire department and my main meal was cheap egg noodles with ranch dressing and a can of tuna.  Sometimes I'd treat myself and mix in peas.  Yeah, Tuna Helper was too expensive. I think I got health insurance, but I couldn't afford it and a doctor visit at the same time.  I would walk to work sometimes to save on gas.  So, yes, I can see people not taking that work.  People want to Earn A Living, not Eek Out An Existence.