WORKING FOR STARVATION WAGES…

thanksgiving 131120 One of the strongest weapons in the protest arsenal is the hunger strike. Gandhi used the tactic several times to great effect. British suffragettes attempted to starve themselves in their quest for the vote, but brutal force feeding thwarted their efforts. Irish freedom fighters, lead by Bobby Sands, did starve themselves to death protesting England's occupation of their homeland. In recent years detainees held in Guantanamo Prison have attempted several hunger strikes. Now, 100 members of OURWalmart, protesting the poverty pay of their employer, have committed themselves to a hunger strike. Writing in 'Poverty pay' leads Walmart employees to skip lunch---or steal it from coworkers for The Guardian, Jana Kasperkevic ledes:
Walmart employees are so poor that they are skipping lunch, sharing it or, in some cases, stealing it from their coworkers, some of the company’s workers claimed on Thursday while announcing a fast in protest of the company’s wages. Starting Friday morning, over 100 Walmart associates who are members of Our Walmart, a workers organization, and about a 1,000 supporters will begin a fast to shine light on what they describe as Walmart’s “poverty pay”. The protest comes in the run-up to Thanksgiving and the Black Friday shopping bonanza, one of Walmart’s busiest periods. Some of the workers will take their fast to the doorstep of Walmart heiress Alice Walton’s apartment in New York City.
The one line that everyone remembers from the very bloody French Revolution is Queen Marie Antoinette's slightly misquoted "Let them eat cake." The Waltons may need to pay a little more attention to history. In my ongoing quest to back fill stories, take a look at ALICE DOESN’T LIVE THERE ANYMORE… from 13 September. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.

2 Responses to “WORKING FOR STARVATION WAGES…”

  1. Ardelle says:

    Throughout the years, Wal-Mart has benefitted the economy tremendously. Wal-Mart was full of resource by providing several jobs to people and affordable prices for low budget families. The founder of Wal-Mart, Sam Walton has demonstrated that the customer is the most important factor to a company’s success because the customer chooses where to invest their money. Having affordable prices would increase his business for both himself and America as well.

    Wal-Mart gives an opportunity to the unemployed to obtain a job. Walmart’s employers can add up to millions and possibly over the population of Houston. When opened, Walmart will usually receive more than 30 applicants for the same job positioning. In the article, The Ultimate Pro-Walmart Article by Paul Kirklin, it states “If increases in productivity caused unemployment, the unemployment rate would be increasing all the time”. This quote means that Walmart provides jobs for not only Americans but other countries as well. Because of this, Walmart has decreased the unemployment rates dramatically. This benefits the economy because it gives a job to everyone, especially the not so well off families.

    Wal-Mart is the leading retail store in the globe having at least 4300 stores in the US and more than 8000 stores globally. In 2009, its global sales reached $ 400 billion. The business model used by the company focuses on the use of low wage labor, restricted health benefits to employees and leveraging of government subsidies, which are all aimed towards reducing costs. There are various benefits associated with the establishment of a Wal-Mart store in an area. First, Wal-Mart provides low cost commodities to consumers. The cost effectiveness of its business model allows Wal-Mart to provide its goods at a relatively lower price than other competing retailers. In addition, Wal-Mart provides a broader variety of goods for consumers to select. This is evident in the case of supercenters that provide an assortment of products and services including clothing, groceries and optical services.

    Most of Wal-Mart employment opportunities are mostly part time; however, critics argues that the employment opportunities created by Wal-Mart must be balanced against job losses witnessed in other competing companies. Furthermore, the centralized supply chain management used by Wal-Mart increases the likelihood that other local distributors and wholesalers may witness a decline in the intensity of demand for their products and services.

    These effects are perceived as indirect economic impacts because of increased retail activities because of earnings of people working at Wal-Mart and spillovers to some of the local franchises. In addition, the establishment of Wal-Mart stores leads to increased sales and property tax revenues for the local communities. Overall, the positive impacts associated with Wal-Mart businesses include low cost goods for consumers, employment opportunities, increased sales and property tax revenues, and increased trade and retail activities.

    • Jeff Hess says:

      Good morning Ardelle,

      First, thank you for stopping in, for reading and, most importantly, for taking the time to enter the discussion by writing a comment. We create our communities with our conversations.

      Second, I was prepared to respond in depth, but you lost me at Paul Kirklin and his 2006 article for The Mises Institute. Austrian Economics simply have no place in the real world and I fully realize that I could no more enter into a reasonable and productive discussion on that topic than I could concerning the Universe’s creation by supernatural creatures.

      Writing in 2006, Kirklin could not know where his great shining examples of what a market economy can achieve would be in 2015. If he had, he might have tried to find a better champion to laud.

      I have done you the courtesy, however, of adding the link to Kirklin’s article so that readers don’t have to waste time searching.

      Do all you can to make today a better Day,

      Jeff

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