Monday, July 28, 2014

Sen. Bernie Sanders: Why is the government subsidizing Walmart?

By Erik Raymond, Deseret News

Published: Sat, Feb. 22 9:49 p.m. MST

Welfare for Walmart

On Jan. 16, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described democrat socialist, made a compelling case for raising the minimum wage during a Senate hearing on Capital Hill.

“The idea that anybody could suggest that we are not seeing massive income and wealth inequality is beyond my comprehension,” Sanders said in his opening remarks.

Later he invokes the Walton family, the richest family in the world and the founders of Walmart, asking the panel if the wealthiest family in America should receive government assistance.

He answered his own question. “It turns out that they are the largest recipient of welfare in America because when you pay workers starvation wages, which is what Walmart does, how do the workers at Walmart survive?”

He goes on say that these workers collect benefits from the government because Walmart doesn’t pay them enough. So in essence, he tells the panel that Walmart takes welfare.

He then opens the hearing up to the panel of experts.

This hearing came slightly before President Barack Obama announced at the State of the Union that he’d sign an executive order to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers.

On Feb. 12, President Obama formally signed an executive order raising the minimum wage to $10.10 for employees of federal contract workers. However, his focus was to push Congress to do likewise for all Americans by 2016, as reported by Politico.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, which released a report Feb. 18, an increase in minimum wage would have two principle effects on low-wage workers: “The large majority would have higher wages and family income, but a much smaller group would be jobless and have much lower family income," the report said.

Erik Raymond is experienced in national and international politics. He relocated from the Middle East where he was working on his second novel. He produces content for DeseretNews.com. You can reach him at:

eraymond@deseretdigital.com

@RaymondErik

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1. Ronnie W.
Layton, UT,
Feb. 21, 2014

I think those of us who a self-described "conservatives" have a hard time listening to Mr. Sanders.

Yet he is absolutely right. Wal-Mart is one the biggest government leeches there are. They intentionally work people just less than the required time to be considered a "full-time" employee so they don't have to offer health insurance. Many employees are forced to use WIC, food stamps and other government assistance programs.

Obviously I would encourage all Wal-Mart employees to go out and get an education so you don't have to depend on them. Make yourself more marketable to employers to the point where people must pay you more to have you. With no skills, you aren't marketable.

I worked there for awhile 3 years ago. As a 27 year old who just finished college I now make more than the general manger of the store I worked at. My advice to employees: get out. While legal, Wal-Mart will intentionally push the boundaries of what they can get away with. Success is good, but not at the expense of the government subsidies.

2. Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT,
Feb. 21, 2014

Great observation, one that has been made many times on these comments.
The notion that he wealthy are a precious commodity and can't afford to pay people what they are worth, while raking in obscene profits is offensive. The fact that they encourage their employees to seek government assistance is sickening.

Walmarts not alone, there's an epidemic of selfishness among our precious wealthy, encouraged by the "I built it all by myself, for I am an island in the sea of humanity.

They are incorrect, and at some point the other 90% who work for a living (if history repeats) will clear the slate for a better system, one where the citizens, not the corporate elite and a few ultra wealthy families run the country.

3. liberal larry
salt lake City, utah,
Feb. 21, 2014

I think that Bernie may have also mentioned that the 6 main Walmart heirs have a combined net worth greater than the bottom 41% of American citizens!

How's that for income inequality?

4. Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00,
Feb. 21, 2014

‘Sen. Bernie Sanders: Why is the government subsidizing Walmart?’

“The idea that anybody could suggest that we are not seeing massive income and wealth inequality is beyond my comprehension,” Sanders said in his opening remarks.

Later he invokes the Walton family, the richest family in the world and the founders of Walmart, asking the panel if the wealthiest family in America should receive government assistance.

He answered his own question. “It turns out that they are the largest recipient of welfare in America because when you pay workers starvation wages, which is what Walmart does, how do the workers at Walmart survive?”

He goes on say that these workers collect benefits from the government because Walmart doesn’t pay them enough. So in essence, he tells the panel that Walmart takes welfare.

===========

Amen, Amen & AMEN!
God Bless Sen. Sanders

5. Esquire
Springville, UT,
Feb. 21, 2014

The Senator's questioning deserves close attention.