Monday, September 24, 2007

Heads or Tails: Pet Peeves

A big box shopping center in Vermont with more than a dozen large and small retailers, including Wal-Mart.

The merchandize sold in many stores is often made and sold by the working poor who are trying to live day to day on wages designed to keep them poor and designed to create profits for the American corporations that contract for the goods.

These people have few or no medical benefits. They probably have no medical care. The people who employ them have longer life spans because of their excellent care that only money can buy.

The working poor who work at these stores and who create the merchandize for these store may own a home. But now, because of corporate greed and profiteering, the home foreclosure rate in the United States is higher than in 1929.

The people who employ these working poor are making record-breaking profits. According to Bill Moyers, we now live in another Gilded Age (click here for his blog, and here for his podcast). The gap between rich and poor in the United States has never been as great as now. 

Thank you for visiting. I don't have a class tonight, so I will be able to visit you all on time. I wish you all peace.

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22 comments:

  1. I don't care for the big box stores either. There are many more reasons not to like them.

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  2. A person simply cannot live on the wages one of those places pay. Unfortunately sometimes it's the only place they can get hired. :(

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  3. Minimum Wage was never meant to be enough to support a family. It was meant to be a starting off point in one's career.
    There are plenty of opportunities for work in our country, we've never had an unemployment rate this low in all of US History! There's a gap because many of the poor are also lazy. I don't say all, just many.
    Okay, that's my 2 cents. :-)

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  4. what a great post. I agree that their salaries are not enough to live on and that there are MUCH less opportunities for those that are poor. We all should get equal health care whether we are rich or poor. Have a great Tuesday.

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  5. There's the other side of this whole phenomenon, too! The working poor who can't afford to shop in places but the cheap large retail chains. It's a perfect, self- perpetuating cycle!

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  6. It really is a difficult choice between supporting the big box retailers or being able to afford the things people need to live on. It's sad that the people who work there are the ones who have to shop there in many cases, because they can't afford to go anywhere else... Very thought-provoking post!

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  7. It really is a Catch 22 situation, as Julie points out. Such stores exploit poor workers, yet other poor people can't afford to shop anywhere else. I don't know what minimum wage is in the US, but here in the UK, it varies from about $6.64 to about $10.77, depending on the age of the worker. When you consider it's nigh on impossible to find a house costing less than around £100,000 ($200,000), it's a pittance.

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  8. Excellent post. I don't know how people survive rom day to day on wages payed by those companies. We have similar ones in the UK. Who said slave labour doesn't happen anymore? They need shot! This is the best Heads or Tails or me this week x x

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  9. You are right about the gap between the rich and poor. I recently saw the 400 most riches people were all billionaires. I can't imagine!!!

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  10. Sadly, this kind of situation happens often in our country. There are a lot of people struggling for a meager wage without proper health benefits.

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  11. Excellent post. There isn't much I can say that hasn't already been said. It is a shame that the employees of places like this are not only paid low wages, but they are unappreciated and treated like dirt.

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  12. Excellent entry - we´re in the same sad situation in our country.

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  13. Oh, how I hate this outrageous injustice! Wage floor is a huge problem in my part of the world (Germany) as well.

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  14. This is mote or less a global phenomenon, and the worst part in India is most of these workers are child laborers or exploited women

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  15. It's frustrating. I do research on all of the places I shop & brands that I use, trying to be a socially conscious shopper. Unfortunately, it's difficult to keep up with which companies treat their employees well & the stores that are run by the workers themselves are understandably expensive. Here's hoping for a fair world!

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  16. Excellent post....these kind of stores perpetuate misery for all!

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  17. From the QT column in today's Chicago Sun-Times:

    "Delphi Corp., which announced plans to lay off as many as 6,000 workers to cut costs, is asking its bankruptcy court to approve more than $37 million in bonuses for its executives."

    The gap grows wider. And yet so many of us -- through mutual funds and such -- own stock in these corporations that are laying us off, exporting our jobs, hiring illegals and cutting health and pension benefits.

    Shame on them... but on us too in that case, don't you think?

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  18. This is the reason I boycott Walmart and Sam's Club. I shop at Safeway which is union. In the Seattle area nurses(my future care I hope) are all unionized. I plan on signing up as soon as they'll allow me to. Great socially conscious post..........makes mine look silly. Good thing I am totally silly so it doesn't bother me. :)

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  19. I'm not a big fan of wal-mart but here the thing here in Idaho that wal-mart starts there employers at $10 an hour and thats more then I made at my last employer but now I'm making over $11 an hour not quite $12 an hour.
    But most people are force to shop at these big box store because of the gap between rich and poor and we sure aren't rolling in the dough.

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  20. It really sucks to earn the minimum wage. Very thought provoking post!

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  21. minnimum wage really sucks, I live in CA and there is no way you can live off making even 15 dollars an hour.

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  22. Boy, could I go on a rant about this very subject. I blame quite a lot of this on NAFTA and don't think our government had the welfare of the working people in mind when it was passed. Here in Michigan, so many jobs are being lost that it seems like the people of this state may never see any improvement. Good post.

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