$15.00 Federal Minimum Wage Makes Economic Sense For Nation

This week it was announced the largest retailer in the nation had adjusted its wage scale for its employees. Walmart announced it will give 425,000 employees a raise, a move that will increase its average pay to above $15 an hour. While this news was being made Congress remains stuck in the mire debating whether, or not, they should do anything to lift the federal minimum wage above $7.25 an hour.

Granted, the move by Walmart (a company I have refused to shop at for a host of reasons over the past 15 years) still will have a minimum starting wage that will remain at $11 an hour. Starting March 13, however, the business stated it will pay store workers who stock shelves or support its e-commerce business $13 to $19 an hour, depending on their role and store location.

In other words, even Walmart is moving in the direction of progress when it comes to a living wage.

In Washington the drama over this issue is mostly taking place within the Democratic Covid relief bill which calls for an increase of the $7.25 minimum wage to $15.00 on the following schedule:

•$9.50 upon enacting

•$11 at the 1-year mark

•$12.50 at the 2-year mark

•$14 at the 3-year mark

•$15.00 at the 4-year mark.

Not exactly the most robust time-frame for the workers of the nation, but paced in such a way to relax some of the more ardent conservatives who never seek ways to increase wages for poor people. We are hearing conservatives say in this strained economic environment, due to the pandemic, that it is the wrong time to increase the minimum wage. But let us not forget they can never find a good time to increase wages for workers!

Congress last passed a minimum-wage increase in 2007. The current federal minimum, $7.25 an hour, is about 29 percent below its 1968 peak when adjusted for inflation. When it comes to the efforts by states there are now 29, along with the District of Columbia, which have higher minimums. Also, seven states plus the District of Columbia are phasing in the $15-an-hour threshold. Clearly, the trend lines are obvious.

One of the arguments I have made for years on behalf of raising the federal wage is that an increase would reduce federal spending because fewer people would need safety-net programs like food stamps or Medicaid.  The bump from $290 a week to $600 a week would lift millions of families out of poverty. More than a quarter of the workforce would see a rise in wages.

In 2016, the Economic Policy Institute found that, among recipients of public assistance, most work or have a family member who works; and they are concentrated at the bottom of the pay scale. Raising wages for low-income workers would “unambiguously reduce net spending on public assistance, particularly among workers likely to be affected by a federal minimum-wage increase.”

The second main thrust of why I support such an increase is due to the power and punch of the federal government. It is a massive purchaser of goods and services and the impact the higher wages would have on the entire economy would be most beneficial.

We have all heard the rhetoric that ‘if you raise the minimum wage prices will just go up’. How is it that lingo is used over and over but the same conservatives who make such statements would never argue that companies who received $1.9 trillion in tax cuts should lower their prices? Or explain why executive salaries need to be 200-500% of the average worker’s salary.

My bottom line when it comes to this issue is based on economics and basic humanity for workers. Increased consumer spending creates increased demand for jobs. That is a fact. When we percolate more money and circulate it in the economy more jobs will be created. And then there is the tough message we simply have to impart to those business people who need to hear it.

If you can’t pay your employees a living wage, you don’t deserve to be in business.

And so it goes.

Bubba Can Not Buy Ammo For AR-15s At Walmart

Baby steps.  Baby steps.  But I am still pleased.

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James and I have not stepped into a Walmart since January 2011.  We simply can not abide by their politics or their undermining of small mom and pop businesses around the nation.  We will never again give them a single dollar of sales.  But still, I am pleased to see that a very tepid response was taken by Walmart when it comes to guns and ammunition.

Walmart has made it clear they will discontinue the sale of ammunition used in high-capacity magazines and military-style weapons and also asked its customers not to openly carry firearms in stores even in states where it is permitted.

The retail giant said it will stop selling short-barrel rifle ammunition, such as the .223 and 5.56 caliber, which can be used in high-capacity magazines and military-style weapons.

Whether Bubba reads the newspapers or watches the news is hard to say.  That demographic may not know this news.  But for the rest of us it is a small step towards the start of sanity when it comes to our sickening, and most deadly, gun culture.

What Can Go Wrong At Walmart? Ohh….Plenty!

James and I boycott Walmart because of their business practices.  We have not been in any of their stores since 2010.  There are just too many reasons not to spend a single dollar for any of their products.  One of the advantages of not going to Walmart is we never encounter the famed Walmart shoppers.  It does not bring me any pleasure to report what is printed below took place in Wisconsin.

Pure white trash.

The Eau Claire Police Department identified 46-year-old Lisa Smith and her 25-year-old son Benny Vann as the suspects. (Source: Eau Claire Police Department)

A mother and her son are in custody after causing a ruckus at a Walmart Wednesday night, police said. Their dog chipped in, too.  The Eau Claire Police Department identified 46-year-old Lisa Smith and her 25-year-old son Benny Vann as the suspects. Investigators said the dog is named Bo.  Responding officers said they found Smith yelling in the doorway trying to summon Bo.  Smith allegedly brought Bo into the store without a leash, so he easily ditched his owner and started running up to unsuspecting customers.

So far so good, right?

While Bo was doing that, Smith began tearing apart store displays and placing them in her shopping cart, police said.  Walmart staff asked her to leave, and she complied. Police said she left the store to perform karate moves in the parking lot.  Bo, on the other hand, had not been brought to heel. By the time anyone found him, he was on his way out of the store with a box of Jiffy cornbread muffin mix in his mouth.

What more could possibly go wrong at Walmart?

Police arrested Smith, but it wasn’t without a fight. She allegedly kicked out a patrol car window when they finally got her in custody.  Meanwhile. police said Vann was running amok inside the store. He allegedly took off all of his clothes in the rear of the Walmart and exposed himself to everyone around him.  Fortunately for them, he tried to cover himself by putting on the clothes Walmart had on the racks. Even so, police said he didn’t try to purchase them, so that is also a crime.  Officers approached and commanded him to end the madness, but he refused. Authorities said Vann even used a scooter in an attempt to run over an officer.  But law enforcement physically stopped the scooter and took him into custody.  Vann faces charges for lewd and lascivious behavior, disorderly conduct and retail theft. Smith is charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and misdemeanor bail jumping.

Walmart Raises Selling Guns To Age 21–Collective Voice Of Nation Being Heard

More good news as retailers bend to the will of those who demand changes to America’s sick relationship with guns.

Walmart, the largest seller of firearms and ammunition in the U.S. has announced it would no longer sell guns or ammo to anyone under the age of 21. The move comes the same day that Dick’s Sporting Goods announced it would no longer sell firearms to anyone under 21 and said it would stop selling assault-style weapons.

In a statement, Walmart said the decision came “in light of recent events,” falling two weeks after 17 people were killed and 15 others were wounded at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Police said the 19-year-old suspect, Nikolas Cruz, used an AR-15 rifle. 

Since the Parkland shooting, there have been increased calls for a ban on weapons such as AR-15s and raising the age required to legally purchase a gun.

President Trump indicated on Wednesday that he would support raising the age for firearm sales. 

Walmart said it will be “removing items from our website resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys.”

Walmart stopped selling modern sporting rifles, including the AR-15, in 2015. 

Wal-Mart Seeks To Save Social Net Programs

This is quite telling about the state of affairs for poor people, and the bottom line of Wal-Mart.

A couple of items stand as newcomers to Wal-Mart’s menu of risks. Here’s what the annual report released on Friday says:

“Our business operations are subject to numerous risks, factors and uncertainties, domestically and internationally, which are outside our control … These factors include … changes in the amount of payments made under the Supplement[al] Nutrition Assistance Plan and other public assistance plans, changes in the eligibility requirements of public assistance plans, …”

In other words, Wal-Mart, for the first time in its annual reports, acknowledges that taxpayer-funded social assistance programs are a significant factor in its revenue and profits. This makes sense, considering that Wal-Mart caters to low-income consumers. But what’s news here is that the company now considers the level of social entitlements given to low-income working and unemployed Americans important enough to underscore it in its cautionary statement.

WalMart Black Friday Videos

No commentary needed.  Just watch the videos.

Well, maybe just this one thought.

When I was a small boy there were times when I would ‘help’ my Grandpa feed the pigs.  As soon as they knew he was coming with his large basket of corn and also the feed the pigs would run towards the fence where he would provide the food.  Watching the people in these videos is much the same as what I saw as a boy back on his farm, and as such it is really disturbing,  It might be laughable if we knew it was not encouraged by corporate greed from WalMart.

Wal-Mart Needs To Pay Living Wage, Made $15.7 Billion Last Year

Hat Tip To James

Boycott Wal-Mart copy

In light of the fact Wal-Mart will force their employees to toss aside the Thanksgiving Day holiday so to make more money for the company who last year made 15.7 billion dollars comes this story that is simply unacceptable.

A Cleveland Wal-Mart store is holding a food drive — for its own  employees.  

“Please donate food items so associates in need can enjoy Thanksgiving  dinner,” reads a sign accompanied by several plastic bins.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer first reported on the food  drive, which has sparked outrage in the area.

“That Wal-Mart would have the audacity to ask low-wage workers to donate  food to other low-wage workers — to me, it is a moral outrage,” Norma Mills, a  customer at the store, told the Plain Dealer.

First, even if there is a food drive for employees there would be no time for Wal-Mart workers to eat it, as they need to be at the store helping the company reap more profits.

Second, if the company had a moral foundation ( I know, I am gagging as I type those words) they would pay a living wage that would ensure none of their workers would need to resort to a food drive!!

This is such a bizarre story, and it only can come from Wal-Mart.

National Retailers Should Feel Backlash For Stealing Thanksgiving For Cold Cash

Stop-greed

Every year the greedy hands of national retailers stretch out a bit more and take away another part of the Thanksgiving holiday.  Over time we saw stores that once opened at 5:oo A.M. the morning after Thanksgiving slide them open starting at midnight.  Then when it was determined that even more money could be made they decided expanding hours into Thanksgiving was the route to proceed.    When one greedy company starts the cold money rolling the other heartless corporate operators have to get their share too.

As such this year it is doors wide open on Thanksgiving  for Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R Us, Macy’s and Best Buy.  And do not worry about these stores getting every last penny they can.  Some of them will be open 14 hours on Christmas Eve, too!

It is sad and pathetic that our most special and reflective holidays are being stripped away for cold hard cash.  As I watch this play out it is even more sad to me that the people of this country are allowing it to happen.

I really do not care if large corporations try to spin the notion they are really needing sales, and therefore they ‘have’ to be open on Thanksgiving.  I do not care at all that these large chains have constructed their business models so that as much as 40% of annual revenue are made in the last weeks of the year.  At the end of that argument is the fact that families and friends should be able to gather for a day of celebration and renewal of the inner spirit.

Every year at this time I condemn corporate greed, and also remind people that instead of concentrating on mass purchases perhaps it might be more fun and personally rewarding to focus on home, family, and friends.  Some of the old ideas might at first seem quaint, but I suggest they would be far more beneficial to our society than paying for a widget or gadget from a large corporation.

Instead of standing in line and pushing through crowds of ill-tempered shoppers why not have a group over to your home, each bringing a cookie recipe.  If your kitchen is like all those in my memory the talking will never end as all sorts of cookies are made, and of course sampled.

Make spiced cider, pass around the song books, gather around the piano, or even just a pitch pipe and have some fun.

Meanwhile Wal-Mart is planning to have holiday fun, too.  They plan to do it the cold-corporate way.

Wal-Mart will pay their Thanksgiving workers, which will number about a million associates  holiday wages on top of their normal earnings. The giant discounter also said it would serve free meals during turkey day shifts and offer employees who work that day a 25% discount on a holiday season purchase.

I am strongly suspecting that each Wal-Mart worker would just prefer to observe Thanksgiving at home.