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on May 9, 2014
This is a great article. Thank you. I really appreciate the last paragraph. Only a penny more for a box of Mac 'n Cheese, we'll save taxpayers $300 million. Why aren't these analysts working on the Obama team?
A great Wal-Mart documentary:
I wonder where she worked 4 years ago before she left that job for one at WalMart?
Continue on with that thought Madmilker. Don't beat around the bush, Why does it matter where else she worked?
Well as the same people who protest walmart and other corporations always tell us...higher wages mean higher rent. And then you have to throw eggs at the google bus.
So if we raise walmart wages, then rent goes up anyway.
No use arguing Ricardo vs Marx here. Besides most would think Ricky vs Groucho, Chico, Harpo...and the other one
Oh and thanks for the laugh with the link to a Slate article. Probably best known for getting interns to write articles for free when freelancers would get paid up to $2,000 a pop
Simply wondering what great job she left for the opportunity to work at WalMart.
President Obama basically said what he thinks about WalMart by going there in the first place. And our next President, Hillary Clinton used to be on WalMarts Board of Directors.
Well why don't we all just stop shopping at those exploitive monsters? I think the only thing they understand is profit and if we tell them by staying out of their stores it will have the largest impact. They represent the .01% of our country today and are absolutely disgusting.
Waiting on my rope...
Why does it matter in this article how much money WalMart makes? Since when are employees wages at ANY company determined by how much money a company makes?
I mean based on that logic, employees would have to pay a company to work for them if a company was losing money.
James, Americans shop at WalMart so they can stretch their hard earned dollars further to provide better for their families. What company do you work for that does not make a profit? Are you paying them to work there?
As far as I know people that work at WalMart know their wages before THEY accept a job there. You know something the rest of us don't?
"James, Americans shop at WalMart so they can stretch their hard earned dollars further to provide better for their families."
madmilker where is your evidence of this? Can you read minds? what is this so-called "better"? do you mean the ability to buy more stuff? is more stuff always "better"?
from a local paper:
"Elena Pacheco, a 56-year-old teacher from Mountain View, said many of her students' families can't afford the $1,800 average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city. "Here, you have a private dog park," she said, gesturing to the neighborhood next to Walmart. "Ten minutes from here, my students are sleeping in living rooms because their parents can't afford bedrooms.""
Pretty uninformed for a "teacher from Mountain View"
notreally, my proof is the FACT that Americans spent $475,000,000,000 at WalMart last year. Why do you think Americans spent that much money at WalMart, quality and service?
" is more stuff always "better"?"
Is having less food and old worn out clothes is better?
"madmilker where is your evidence of this? Can you read minds?"
>>Wal-Mart's annual report, issued late last week, puts a different spin on things. Buried within the long list of risk factors disclosed to its shareholders--that is, factors "outside our control" that could materially affect financial performance--are these: "changes in the amount of payments made under the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Plan and other public assistance plans, (and) changes in the eligibility requirements of public assistance plans."
Bottom line; Walmart is the epitome of straight statistical capitalism with little regard to the human factor at all. It means profit, profit, and more profit, especially for the investors and stock holders. It is business, pure and simple. That is why everything in the store is made in China and why in our own ignorance perpetuate that which we complain about by buying there.
Yes, a sad situation to be in. Also a vivid commentary on the dangers of allowing our job skills to atrophy while accepting the disposable employment that is a minimum wage job.
Beware people, this can happen to you! If you find yourself forced into minimum wage servitude, do everything in your power to improve your skillset, that you might one day escape the clutches of those greedy corporate CEOs.
@madmilker:you said, ""James, Americans shop at WalMart so they can stretch their hard earned dollars further to provide better for their families. "
" my proof is the FACT that Americans spent $475,000,000,000 at WalMart last year. Why do you think Americans spent that much money at WalMart, quality and service?""
So, your position is that Walmart is good for America.
Sorry, but you haven't proven anything. All you have proved is people like cheap garbage, a lot of cheap garbage. Much of Walmart's profit margin comes from selling diabetes-inducing sugary drinks, liver destroying alcohol, lung destroying cigarettes..the rest is a very thin margin. How do those things "…Provide better for their families"?
@Sparty: you said: "Is having less food and old worn out clothes is better?"
That is not even a grammatically correct sentence. Were you unable to pass the test to get your GED?
Someone please give me a dollar amount. What is a living wage?
Rent in Mountain View is not cheap. How much would a Walmart employee have to make to be considered a living wage?
I've never seen anyone put a number to that term.
I'm not willing to pay 1.4 cents more for mac and cheese. I already pay PLENTY in taxes and other fees. Enough is enough.
notreally, you obviously don't hold your fellow AMERICANS in very high regard. These "people" you speak of are AMERICANS. I suppose we should just lock up everyone who is not like you.
"All you have proved is people like cheap garbage, a lot of cheap garbage. Much of Walmart's profit margin comes from selling diabetes-inducing sugary drinks, liver destroying alcohol, lung destroying cigarettes..the rest is a very thin margin"
Utterly pathetic way to talk about the 90% of AMERICANS that shop at WalMart. All because "people" want to drink a Coke and have a beer. You should be ashamed of yourself.
If people want to shop at Walmart, that's their own business.
If people want to work at Walmart, that's their own business too.
Whatever wage someone is willing to accept in return for their time is also their own business. Not mine, not the city's, not Obama's. Sorry, but it's time to step up and claim responsibility.
Betcha she gets fired by Wal-Mart...
i really don't think we should allow this country to return to the time of sweatshops and slavery. Why do the rightwingers always argue on the side of this awful time in our country's history? Minimum wage, labor practice laws, the allowance of unions--all have contributed greatly to this country's economy and livability.
If it wasn't walmart it would be another company. Right behind Walmart is Target. Those pennies add up and people will shift to the cheapest if Walmart raised prices.
Raising min wage is fine, inflation FTW! That will solve all our problems.
Ah, I think Bryan nailed it. "If it wasn't Walmart it would be another company." There was a time in this country when there were no child labor laws- no limits to the number of hours an employer could demand an employee work. No minimum wage, and too bad if you didn't like it- there were plenty of desperate people to take your place if you didn't. A relative few made vast wealth at the expense of the American worker, and paid them poverty wages. This spawned the birth of labor unions, and created a prosperous middle class unlike anything seen in history. Sadly, We The People have forgotten our history, and are headed toward repeating it. Unions have all but disappeared in the last thirty years. Benefits and wages have been eroding. It is mind-boggling to hear (otherwise) intelligent folks parroting the rhetoric of the few in casting an 'evil' light on terms such as, 'worker's rights', 'minimum wage', and 'labor unions'.
you should try working for one of freedom communications inc news papers. Same low poverty wages.
Bob. It is not so surprising.
A small handful of very wealthy people have found segments of the US population that are getting disenfranchised from this country: the religious right, the racists, the sexists, the guns-for-everyone-and-everywhere, etc.. and have funneled billions of marketing soft-dollars to gain control of the conservative vote. They have these people convinced that if they vote conservative, then their agenda (god everywhere, racism, sexism, guns,etc..) would be strongly pushed. Unfortunately, they have learned over the past couple Republican presidents and congresses is that they were not able to do a whole lot. The only thing they did is change the laws, taxes and governance to help out the ultra-wealthy at the expense of everybody else. Thus is born the Tea Party who is demanding that we regress to the dark ages (pre-civil rights era) as promised. The wealthy few know that if they cave into these demands, the country will be demolished, so can't do that. What is the result? Gridlock.
Hopefully, enough centrist republicans who are intelligent enough to see what is happening will realize that their party is dead. In the meantime, we all suffer...
What can we do? Keep reminding people of the way things once were. Not the rosy stories seen in old movies and on TV, but the terrible backbreaking poverty that was rampant in this country. The gross employer abuse with nobody to complain to. The stories go on and on...
What's the point of allowing all these illegal aliens across the border if not to keep wages low for everyone?
Where do liberals think the jobs are going to come from if we keep mandating higher pay from employers, while bringing in more low-skilled labors to compete for the few jobs that are available?
walmart and freedom communication inc news papers have something in common....they both pay poverty wages and that means those at top get more greedy rich.
"What's the point of allowing all these illegal aliens across the border if not to keep wages low for everyone?"
A better question is who has the most to benefit from this? Keeping labor prices low has the most benefit to the employers. They can pay minimum wages (or even less, since they are "illegal"!). The employers are the main beneficiaries. It keeps their profit margins as high as possible. Of course, consumers with money can benefit as well, since low wages keep product prices low too.
Curious..I keep hearing the bitter uneducated righties complain about our "open" borders. Which country has truly "closed" borders that you would like to emulate? I'm thinking North Korea? Burma with their dictatorship? Nice closed borders... You really want to emulate these places?
These "illegals" that the righties like to spit out of their mouth with bitterness are uneducated and speak little or no english. Yet somehow they are unable to effectively compete for jobs from "real americans"? How can this be? Well, it just goes to show how little some of these"real americans" value education. Rather than study hard in school and develop competitive skills, they are off watching sports, drinking beer and generally being lazy. Then they are surprised when an "illegal" takes a service job away from them? Sorry rightie...get off your butt and develop yourself. Silicon valley is especially strapped for programming talent..how many of you underemployed righties come home from the job you hate and practice programming skills? You believe in the "free market", well it doesn't get freer then this! Can you imagine if there were NO MINIMUM WAGE? The few of you uneducated righties that can get one of those service jobs wouldn't, because the employers would pay them $3/hr and the "illegals" would gladly take it. Free market!
"Where do liberals think the jobs are going to come from if we keep mandating higher pay from employers, while bringing in more low-skilled labors to compete for the few jobs that are available?"
The federal minimum wage has been dropping over the years when accounted for inflation. Take a look at this graph:Web Link Our current federal minimum wage is the same as the late 1940's!!!!! It's been shown time and time again that when the minimum wage goes up, everybody flourishes. Minimum wage workers spend most or all of the money they make, so that goes into the economy. Rebate some taxes back to the ultra-wealthy and you know what they do? They "diversify" their holdings by investing in the next upcoming #1 economy, "China". How patriotic are the righties now? They are voting people into power that are pushing money into our #1 economic foe's market.
Time for the righties to get an education. Study for that GED and go get it! Turn off that TV and develop marketable skills. C'mon..you can do it!
I agree with susan. The reason we have poverty in America is because of greedy companies that do not have to pay higher wages.
@Legal: You do know that MEXICO has the tightest immigration restrictions in North America, right?
Legal Immigrant... Ah, you wish us to run our country like Mexico ? Interesting....
Most full time people work over 40 hours. Part time workers are not given over 35 hours work week. This saves the company money, benefits, health plans, taxes, compared to full time workers.
well, has anyone read what walmart or freedom communications inc stated about how much the top level greedy rich gets paid?
In Alabama I worked for an airline repair company called pemco world airlines. I worked on aircraft 120 passenger size and larger. A different company is there now(commercial jet inc). Let me tell u about their tool control procedure. The company and FAA and the airline reps knows about this they just have not told you. The employee buys their own small low cost tools. If a tool gets lost on the aircraft the employee just goes buys another one. If that tool finds its way into the flight control system the fight crew could lose control of the aircraft and crash. Go ask any employee about this. This is most likely common to all aircraft repair stations. I worked on military aircraft also. You do not have your own tools. There, when you use a tool you sign it out on paper then when finished you sign it back in.
Most socialized nations protect their jobs for their citizens which is why their system works. Citizens who enter their borders illegally (very few compared to the US) are greeted with being bathroom attendants earning 50 cents per flusher or less. They are not hand feeding them their construction and manufacturing jobs which are reserved for their citizens that are not college material. Our immigration laws and enforcement are the most liberal, this is to benefit those wanting to cheap labor to line their pockets.
The idea that the average American can fill all of the tech jobs offered (if only they were not lazy) is ridiculous. The average European can also not fill the bill, nor can the average Chinese or Indian. Why can't the average American be a construction worker? Maybe some people should come out of their ivory educated towers and mix with average wage workers and take a look at where their jobs are going. FYI we have record levels of AMERICANS graduating from college every year, so you can stop with the lazy American stereotypes. Other Americans are being priced out of their jobs. Not all people have the money or the intelligence to go to college. Those that do go to college are saddled with large amounts of debt .
People come over the border for the simple reason that US employers lure them over with jobs and our govt. looks the other way. You can hold up Mexico and North Korea as bad examples, however the fact remains that most European countries do not hand their jobs over to illegal workers. Employers are punished, and for example in the construction industry it is not tolerated for Illegal immigrants to undercut a European worker like it is in the United States. How would Europe function if they suddenly had an influx of workers working for less in these fields leaving the European worker to take money out of the social system to survive without paying any taxes? You can argue that Europe is made of up of many countries with their own laws. However, take a look at their illegal immigration numbers (very few compared to the US) and see which jobs illegal workers are doing if any. It's a far sweeter deal to be an illegal immigrant in the United States both for the worker and for the employer.
Many people working here illegally do so because the dollars they make here are worth more where they spend them in Mexico. Of course they would work for lower wages!! In fact many illegal workers come here during the day and leave in the evening to go home where they are able to stretch their dollars. Walk on to any construction zone in Texas and you will see only these kinds of employees. Why? Because they work for less money, it has nothing to do with American laziness and everything to do with the cost of living in the US and how much an American worker expects to be paid. Many illegal workers send their wages back home where they are able to be stretched much further than if they stay in Mexico (where the majority of illegal labor comes from) and work. This works out great for the Illegal Mexican worker, and very poorly for the American worker who has been under cut because they have to support their family in the US.
This is not a "righty" or "lefty" issue. In case no one has noticed, Democrats and Republicans are doing nothing to tackle the issue of Illegal immigration because they know it lines the the pockets of their donors. The most wealthy people in this country benefit from imported labor. Protecting jobs is for socialists countries not the USA.
Sounds like Walmart workers need a union rep .. If Walmart white collars don't want to pay a decent wage , the unions will make damn sure it happens .
4minwage you write well.
However, I do take exception with this statement: "This is not a "righty" or "lefty" issue."
It absolutely is. The "right" tend to devalue education and the "left" tends to value it. Whenever the right takes power, they defund education or divert it to religious schooling. You can look at any voting map and see that the blue (democrat voting) regions of the country around the urban centers. This is where the educated tend to gather. It's not that the "right" are all stupid exactly, it's just that they tend to turn their nose up at intellectual pursuits. Remember the old derogatory words "college boy" that would be flung at kids that would go the academic route?
Most other nations VALUE education, so they are able to pump out literate and employable people. Our country is doomed if we can't reverse the trend. I'm hoping that the recent shenanigan by the Tea Party will cause the less unintelligent right to jump ship and help keep the barbarians out of congress.
I highly encourage any insulted "righty" that reads this to ask yourselves the following questions:
1) Are you able to afford to live here in Mountain View?
2) If not, why can't you find a job that can allow you to live here?
3) What level of education did you complete?
4) Why can't you go back to school or simply self-train over the next few years so you can drastically increase your compensation?
Most excuses I hear is that they are too busy...but what I found is that most of their non-working time is spent in leisure pursuits. Instead of bellyaching about immigrants "taking" your job, why not get off your butt and go improve yourself? Show some personal responsibility!!!
Do not forget to support our troops. There is a web site called operation gratitude and they will send thousands of care packages if you give a small donation. There is also disabled American veterans and V.F.W.
Actually the US does value education. We value education as evidenced by the record levels of college graduates. We value education as evidenced that education is compulsory and provided for 13 years (rather than tracking students or not allowing access). We value education as evidenced by our high level of interest in Science and science literacy rates regardless of level of education attained compared to citizens internationally. How can you say that Republicans do not value education and that politically they have the power to doom the US over this issue when there are more students graduating from college in the US than ever? While it is true that less educated people tend toward the republican party and more educated tend toward democrat it is not proof that one party is inherently better or "right" than the other. It means that groups of people that conform to certain ideologies are more likely to adhere to the principles espoused by the other. This is more likely do to the socialization that takes places on college campuses and in the groups that individuals belong to. Most college professors tend to be more liberal and do not teach objectively, this leads to group think.
Pay close attention to how much each country spends on higher education
I encourage you to read this in its entirety:
I want to point out the educational spending does not always correlate with better results. Socio economics plays a large role in education. Which is why countries like Finland excel in educating their citizens, because of a lack of poverty. Let me also point out that Finland doesn't have a large population of illegal immigrants to educate and feed and employ.
In 2005 I was able to interview several construction managers on various construction sites. I was told that illegal tradespeople were hired over American tradespeople because of wages. Has nothing to do with work ethic or laziness. If you are 40, or 45 years old and you spent your life building your trade how easy is it for you to just "better yourself" Europe protects these jobs, the US does not. It's very bourgeoise of you to assume that people who are being displaced by illegal workers are "lazy" and can just easily move on to something better.
I can afford to live any place I want to in the United States. I also have the luxury of being able to live in the EU and to afford a very high standard of living. I am concerned with the people who are featured in this article and the people who do not have time to belly-ache about being displaced by illegal labor because they are too busy working 3 minimum wage jobs and have no health care or large deductibles. I see that you have met some whiners, but why not acknowledge the people who have been displaced and are working hard to overcome it? I am concerned about the evaporation of the middle class as it is the cornerstone for any healthy economy. And no, the answer isn't to have 100% of the American population college educated, that is a pipe dream as the average IQ is 100. Which is why Europe is smart to keep a diverse economy and protect the jobs of those they are not sending to college.
I stand by my idea that this is not a left or right issue because the political parties in power left or right both benefit from the cheap wages illegal labor provides. Neither party cares about the average American worker, which is not tied to valuing education. As anecdote, since you gave some, all of my family members immediate and beyond have masters degrees and doctorates and they are nearly all republican. I am a registered democrat but take each issue as it comes.
"Actually the US does value education. We value education as evidenced by the record levels of college graduates."
"Actually," record levels of college graduates is not an indication that this country values education. The more recent surge in college enrollment has to do with the lack of low-skilled jobs that the more conservative of our population like to take up rather than go to college. Without those jobs, more go to college. Of course, since they have been raised to undervalue education, they tend to take the easiest classes possible, not study and do the minimum (or less) to get the piece of paperthe diploma. Then, they are surprised how unemployable they are. As if that is college's fault! Trust me…I have interviewed many college graduates and the most consistently best are foreign born. They worked diligently and hard through school and are sincere in their willingness to stretch and grow. Most of the American born graduates either skated through school or are wanting to be CEO's right away. Of course there are exceptions and I've hired them, but go talk to hiring managers and you ask. Or go look at what the parents do to support their kids in the cupertino school district. THAT is valuing education!
"Most college professors tend to be more liberal and do not teach objectively, this leads to group think."
Yes, I know. I can't believe that those darned liberal professors are teaching that fossils are actually from hundreds of thousands of years ago! The earth has obviously only been around 5,000 years and were placed here to test our Faith. Also, this whole earth-is-a-sphere theory. The earth is obviously flatjust open your eyes and look! Darned liberal propaganda!
"If you are 40, or 45 years old and you spent your life building your trade how easy is it for you to just "better yourself"
I would say that it it is condescending to our people that you think that someone that has only hit 50% of their lifespan can not make themselves employable. How is it "bourgeoise" to expect people to continue to improve themselves? The days when your daddy brings you into the business they are in are over. Better or worse..they are over. And who said it was SUPPOSED to be easy? You might have to work your butt off for a year or two… What happened to a true work ethic?
"As anecdote, since you gave some, all of my family members immediate and beyond have masters degrees and doctorates and they are nearly all republican."
I also know some republicans with advanced degrees. I find that just having a doctorate doesn't ensure that you are neither greedy nor cruel. There are some reasonably intelligent conservatives that are disgusted with their party for their tea party extremism. They only vote republican because the US might eliminate the bush tax cuts which sent this country into an economic tailspin. They know it is the right thing to do for the country, but the accumulation of their wealth has made them value every single dollar to an extreme.
Raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do and when it is done and the sky doesn't fall and the economy flourishes even more, what will the "righties" say? Probably that…"uh..well…we had a republican congress at the time, so that's why the country did well! " Sigh.
Not one person in favor of a "living wage" coughed up an actual dollar amount.
Please, stop using the term if you don't know what it means. What, exactly, does a "living wage" mean. Give me a number in dollars and cents.
Wow, sounds like people here think we're not capable of making intelligent choices as individuals, and we all need someone to take care of us. That suggests there are other people better able to make our decisions. Who exactly are these more highly qualified individuals? Sorry, but I prefer to make my own choices, however brilliant or stupid they might be. At least until that freedom is taken away too.
A living wage would be four times the prevailing monthly rent for a studio apartment.
@legal. It's very difficult to have an intelligent conversation with someone who needs to compartmentalize people in to lefty righty labels, rather than look at facts. There isn't any meat or facts in any if your statements only theater. Have a good afternoon.
Who has argued in favor of a living wage?
You can't put a number on a living wage. I'm in favor of raising the wage, but the reality is that people need to live in a way that they can afford.
I am not a fan of Wal Mart, but what got to me was this. Wal Mart now pays lobbyists in D.C. to bring back food stamps. The reason the cuts to food stamps is cutting into their business, most Wal Mart along with fast food workers have food stamps, the wages are too low.
Fast Food worker get over 240,000,000 dollars in public aid, yes that is a billion. We have fast workers, retail clerks and other low income wage earners. Folks have you work in a McDonald's or even talked to people who work here. People that have been laid off, others who just can't find a job because of reason other then they are uneducated or teenagers.
In come communities Super Wal Marts have opened drain customers and money from surrounding businesses, then in some cases they move down the road. Have you ever been what happens to a large empty big box store or businesses that can't make a go anymore. Empty storefronts, draining tax monies and less and less employment. It won't happen here because we have Google, and all the big companies.
Those companies are hiring but rents are going up, the workers who work for these places can't are the ones who are going to find it harder to stay. I don't see someone who went to college for 4 years for tech employment, who will take a job stocking shelves at Wal Mart because it is the in thing to do.
I have a reply to this....read below....Posted by 4min_wage, a resident of another community
on May 13, 2014 at 5:09 pm
Who has argued in favor of a living wage?
You can't put a number on a living wage. I'm in favor of raising the wage, but the reality is that people need to live in a way that they can afford.
......my reply is while the top level of companies are getting greedy rich by paying its employees poverty wages I think I will go buy me a $2,000,000 house while I am being poverty wages.
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