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guillaumeb

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Member since: Mon Jan 26, 2015, 05:15 PM
Number of posts: 36,776

About Me

bilingual, bipedal homo sapien

Journal Archives

People NEED jobs that pay a living wage, not McJobs that require taxpayer assistance for the workers

There are occasional posts here that talk approvingly about Amazon and WalMart as providing jobs and low priced products. Such posts, in my opinion, ignore the massive harm that Jeff Bezos and the Walton family have done, and are doing, to the US economy.

It is easy to say that low income families can save money by shopping at WalMart, or that everyone can benefit from the convenience of shopping online at Amazon. But that savings, and that convenience, comes at a large price for the taxpayers and the economy.

WalMart and Amazon employ large numbers of low wage associates, or partners, or whatever term they use to describe their largely sub-living wage workforce. Their workers are simply not paid enough to exist. And often these same workers do not work 40 hours a week, so even a wage of $15 dollars an hour is not enough.

And given that these workers and their families cannot exist on their Amazon or WalMart wages, their need for adequate income does not magically disappear. So what do they do? They rely on taxpayer assistance in the form of medical care, and food assistance, and utility assistance, and other forms of public and private care.

Economists call this practice externalizing of costs. Bezos, and the Walton family, know that they are not providing living wage jobs, so they rely on the taxpayers to subsidize their workers. So US taxpayers, in addition to paying their own taxes, are taxed at an even higher rate to allow Jeff Bezos and the Waltons to become even richer.

Another undesirable side effect is that Amazon and WalMart, by their size and purchasing power, drive out local businesses and essentially redirect local dollars to their own corporate coffers.

And Amazon and WalMart both generally insist on tax subsidies and rebates for localities that want the companies to locate in their areas. Witness the competition among cities to offer massive bribes to Jeff Bezos to locate his second headquarters in their city. The taxpayers are essentially paying these bribes.

So the taxpayers lose in every way because local taxes must rise to compensate for these big box store subsidies, and local governments ultimately receive less tax dollars for the schools and services that they must provide.

Pope Francis and hell

From the article:

Social media has been going crazy with reports that Pope Francis has denied the existence of hell. Even some mainstream media have picked up the story supposedly based on an interview by an Italian journalist.
Anyone who has followed the pope’s talks and sermons would immediately know that something does not smell right here. The pope has in fact spoken of hell in the past in a way that clearly indicates that he believes in it.


To read more:

https://religionnews.com/2018/04/02/pope-francis-and-hell/

To the Norse, Hel was a frozen place.
To Africans, hell was very hot.
To Jean-Paul Sartre, hell is other people.

Hell, as I see it, is a state of being deeply unhappy.

Democrats Are Christians, Too

From the article:

As we celebrate Easter Sunday, nearly 18 months after Mr. Trump won the presidency with about 80 percent of the white evangelical vote, surveys show him retaining nearly all of that support.....

You could open a publishing press devoted to the theological and sociological explanations for this phenomenon — from the unlikely belief that Mr. Trump found Jesus on the campaign trail to the idea that his presidency is all part of God’s plan to the role persecution narratives and Christian nationalism play in the evangelical worldview.


To read more:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/31/opinion/sunday/trump-evangelicals-christians-easter.html
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