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Sat May 28, 2016, 01:29 PM

We all pay for low wages

May 11
by Systemic Disorder

When you are paid starvation wages, it’s up to public-assistance programs to make up the difference. That government assistance, costing treasuries billions of dollars per year, is part of the high cost of low wages.


Working people with low wages use these programs heavily. One-third of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients are full-time workers and one-half of WIC recipients are full-time workers.

Contrary to right-wing propaganda, most recipients of public assistance work, a large number of them full time. The EPI study reports:

Among families or individuals receiving public assistance, two-thirds (67 percent) work or are members of working families (families in which at least one adult works). When focusing on non-elderly recipient families and individuals under age 65, this percentage is 72 percent.

About 69 percent of all public-assistance benefits received by non-elderly families or individuals go to those who work
.
About 47 percent of all working recipients of public assistance work full time (at least 1,990 hours per year).


Privatizing profits, socializing costs

Although not addressed in the EPI study, a big conclusion to be drawn from this data is that these billions of dollars of public-assistance money constitutes a massive subsidy of business. Often highly profitable businesses. Take War-Mart, for example. Wal-Mart reported net income of $14.7 billion for 2015 and nearly $80 billion for its last five fiscal years. Yet the company pays it employees so little that employees organize food drives for themselves while it dodges billions of dollars of taxes and receives further billions of dollars in government subsidies.


Intensified competition over private profits, and that “markets” should determine social outcomes, inexorably leads to a consolidation in which industries are dominated by a handful of giant corporations, and those corporations gain decisive power over governments and relentlessly reduce overhead (especially wages and benefits) in a scramble for survival.

Fighting back is surely what working people around the world need to do. But restoring a “golden age” of capitalism that never really existed (and definitely didn’t if you were a woman confined by limited options or an African-American facing officially sanctioned discrimination and/or state-endorsed terrorism) is a quixotic goal. Better to drive our energies into creating a better world, one in which the economy is geared toward human need rather than private profit.


Full article: https://systemicdisorder.wordpress.com/2016/05/11/we-all-pay-for-low-wages/

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Sat May 28, 2016, 02:23 PM

1. If the private sector won't hire and pay

Then the public sector needs to do it instead. Either a series of work programs that pay well or a guaranteed minimum income so we can cut our growth rate(climate change adjustment).

Right now, we're basically paying large corporations to underpay and abuse their workers instead.

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Response to Hydra (Reply #1)

Sat May 28, 2016, 05:17 PM

8. What you are suggested was barred by GATS 20 years ago.

It would cut into banks business. Thanks to the WTO now governments are prohibited from competing with private industries.


Here is the actual text:

"For the purposes of this Agreement…

(b) 'services' includes any service in any sector except services supplied in the exercise of governmental authority;

(c) 'a service supplied in the exercise of governmental authority' means any service which is supplied neither on a commercial basis, nor in competition with one or more service suppliers.

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Sat May 28, 2016, 02:39 PM

2. GOP "solution" to this problem: Completely cut SS, Medicare, food stamps, etc

 

Waa-laa! problem solved. "We" never have to pay for your low wages again.

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Sat May 28, 2016, 03:03 PM

3. Walmart and Disney who Bernie just called out in CA for paying their workers such

low wages that they have to live in motels is deplorable, evil and destroying our country. These big corps. pay their execs $100 Million a year in salary, avoid taxes and receive govt. subsidies-- it all has to end.

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Response to appalachiablue (Reply #3)

Sat May 28, 2016, 05:14 PM

7. They would likely argue they pay them that much because of supply and demand

there are a lot of workers needing work and if one doesnt want the job, another will. that is how the "worth" of things are determined in today's America. As automation increases the number of jobs which can be done by technology, that has the same effect as flooding the market with workers who will work for free.

To make it even worse, we're signing, have signed trade agreements that obligate us to open our markets to low bidding foreign firms, in order to help them integrate into the world economy in exchange for all they have given us. they gave up their public services on the altar of liberalisation so they could be like us, the successful US.

Who needs education when you can trade money ..

In their eyes, we're a rich country, after all we got rid of welfare twenty years ago.

Americans have been getting filthy rich from high priced drugs and complex financial derivatives, for decades, so now..

Its their turn.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/India-drags-US-to-WTO-over-new-visa-cap-higher-fees/articleshow/51263331.cms

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Sat May 28, 2016, 03:23 PM

4. This is just one way the economy is rigged

For the 1% and against the 99%.

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Sat May 28, 2016, 03:47 PM

5. K/R

Regardless of who is inaugurated president in January, fighting back is the highest priority of the American people.

Thank you, Polly.

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Response to Jack Rabbit (Reply #5)

Sun May 29, 2016, 07:43 AM

9. You're very welcome, Jack Rabbit. nt.

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Sat May 28, 2016, 04:36 PM

6. Exactly - Capitalism for the poor and socialism for the wealthy.. NT

 

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