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(Chicago Trib)   Has Wal-Mart become a welfare queen after revealing it is dependent on food stamps?   (chicagotribune.com) divider line 512
    More: Interesting, Walmart, welfare queen, Michael Hiltzik, median household income, welfare programs, Barry Ritholtz  
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16523 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Mar 2014 at 10:33 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-25 10:53:46 AM  

Over_Zealously_Apathetic: Finally we figured out what is trickling down...food stamps.

Reaganomics is a success!


lol
 
2014-03-25 10:53:51 AM  
4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-03-25 10:54:01 AM  

jayphat: What's usually left out, state employees are number 1 in many cases. But, state employees make too much, right?


WTF are you talking about?

/Citations required, otherwise you're just spewing ass juice.
 
2014-03-25 10:54:46 AM  

anuran: Carn: If you're in favor of large corporations paying sub-standard wages you're also in favor of your tax dollars going towards welfare to fill in the gap between those wages and a living wage, whether or notyou are smart enough to understand it or honest enough to admit it.  Well the third option is you're a sociopath who says "f*ck em" but one usually hopes that sociopaths don't get to drive policy.

You've never heard of John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul or FOX News, have you?


I said hope.  Maybe wish would be better.  After 20 years of derp, and 30+ years of de-regulation and pro-crony-capitalism, I'm hoping we can have a couple years where rational thought and actual facts can drive dialogue.  This will probably happen right after I find my unicorn and/or leprechaun and pot of gold.

Institute the $10.10 minimum wage across the board (including for servers) and start a new Federal Works Projects Agency to rebuild our infrastructure.  Those two things will do wonders for our economy.
 
2014-03-25 10:55:09 AM  

Linux_Yes: MaoMart: We exploit cheap, communist (according to CIA.gov) chinese labor so you don't have to!!


God, stockholders do love Freedom!


communism is good as long as capitalists can exploit them too.
 
2014-03-25 10:55:10 AM  

Linux_Yes: Brilliant!   throw the baby out with the bathwater.  as long as its not your baby.   i smell a republican again.  well done!


Do people still throw out bath water?  I mean, isn't easier just to let it go down the drain?  Babies don't go down drains very well...
 
2014-03-25 10:56:12 AM  
I'm curious who the 'shareholders' getting all this profit are.
It certainly isn't those of use who have stock holding in our retirement accounts--Walmart's dividend yield is 2.5%, which would give you just enough to live on if you invested $1 million.
 
NFA
2014-03-25 10:56:23 AM  
archichris: "if that money were not being taxed or borrowed out of the economy"
"if we didnt have 38 Trillion dollars per year in Economic activity being prevented by regulation
 "

Taxed or borrowed out of the economy? Where the hell do you think that money goes?  It goes to pay debts (to wealthy T-bill holders) and to pay the wages of over a millions of federal employees, the wages of US military personnel and millions of contractors and businesses doing business with the government.  All of which use it to buy cars, homes, food, gas, etc. etc. etc   The government also spends it on supplies and equipment made by American companies.  

Why do you think the tea party stopped talking about shutting down the government?  It's because American corporations lost billions of dollars by not doing business with the federal government.

The 38 trillion number?  Yeah someone pulled that straight out of their ass.
 
2014-03-25 10:56:29 AM  
Hey, it's this thread again. Always interesting to see the people who most strongly support these programs get butthurt because they are working as designed.
 
2014-03-25 10:56:49 AM  

toadist: Don't know if Walmart is,   but 1 in 6 Americans are dependent on food stamps.

And then there are those on private charities and food banks.


Since half of its stores' income comes from grocery and its clientele are largely lower income americans, I'd say that foodstamps account for a significant portion of its revenue.  Can Walmart survive without the government teat?  Only shareholders know for sure.
 
2014-03-25 10:57:41 AM  
Hasn't that always been true?  Even if you take away the many SNAP customers, Wal-Mart's low wages are largely supported by the fact that their employees get extra help from the government to afford food.

Wal-Mart has been one of the nation's biggest welfare queen for a long, long time.
 
2014-03-25 10:57:57 AM  
It's spelled Walmart, not Wal-Mart. It's right there in the f*cking picture.
 
2014-03-25 10:58:16 AM  
Why does a guy like Ryan have any serious traction at all?  In a sane, grown up society, Ryan would be a clown brought out to tell a few stupid jokes before the big boys and girls got down to serious business.
 
2014-03-25 10:58:48 AM  
Wal-Mart's pay scale isn't really the problem. The real problem is the explosion of "temporary" and part-time jobs, which are identical to full-time jobs except managers carefully monitor the number of hours you work to keep it low enough that they're not required to pay benefits. Most Wal-Mart workers could live on their paychecks if they could get 40 hours per week.

Temp work should be restricted to actual temporary employment. Companies should be prevented from filling three full-time jobs with five people just to dodge paying bennies. This would be an easy fix if Republicans didn't control the House.
 
2014-03-25 10:59:16 AM  

Three Crooked Squirrels: ZAZ: any business accepting food stamps has to pay its workers $15 per hour

Huh.  I'm sure there are many unintended consequences that will be pointed out to me, but at first glance, I'd support that businesses accepting food stamps should pay $10.10.


Specifically targeting the places where the poor shop and increasing their prices seems like a bad idea.


Better increase the minimum wage in general.
 
2014-03-25 10:59:18 AM  

Three Crooked Squirrels: Is this satire?


How could it be?  The premise is so rock-solid: if we reduce regulation in this country to the tune of +$1T in economic impact, all the benefit will go to low-level employees, thus doubling their take-home pay.

Isn't that how businesses always react to windfalls?

Never mind that our $15T+ GDP is being held back by a factor of 240% by regulations... it all seems airtight.
 
2014-03-25 11:00:23 AM  

archichris: But liberals wont do that because it is more important for them to have control than it is for the lower class to double its wealth.


Yes that's it!  You've discovered our cunning plan.

/Watchout.  Those clever cons are on to us.
 
2014-03-25 11:00:31 AM  

Carn: anuran: Carn: If you're in favor of large corporations paying sub-standard wages you're also in favor of your tax dollars going towards welfare to fill in the gap between those wages and a living wage, whether or notyou are smart enough to understand it or honest enough to admit it.  Well the third option is you're a sociopath who says "f*ck em" but one usually hopes that sociopaths don't get to drive policy.

You've never heard of John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul or FOX News, have you?

I said hope.  Maybe wish would be better.  After 20 years of derp, and 30+ years of de-regulation and pro-crony-capitalism, I'm hoping we can have a couple years where rational thought and actual facts can drive dialogue.  This will probably happen right after I find my unicorn and/or leprechaun and pot of gold.

Institute the $10.10 minimum wage across the board (including for servers) and start a new Federal Works Projects Agency to rebuild our infrastructure.  Those two things will do wonders for our economy.


You are making sense in a gov't/Walmart/food stamps thread. No good can come from this
 
2014-03-25 11:00:51 AM  

BMFPitt: Hey, it's this thread again. Always interesting to see the people who most strongly support these programs get butthurt because they are working as designed.


What welfare program is "designed" to support healthy Americans working full-time for a profitable corporation? There shouldn't be one. If you are a for-profit company and any kind of government benefit adds to your bottom line, you should be mandated to pay your employees above the poverty line for that location.
 
2014-03-25 11:01:01 AM  
I don't think people know how this works? If low/mid-range wages go up the working poor who don't qualify for food stamps and such will no longer be able to shop even at Wal-mart because Wal-mart will raise their prices. Then businesses will lay people off which will put even more stress on the welfare system.

Things will then adjust themselves and the dust will settle. What will be left will be a even BIGGER gap between the working poor and rich (making more money) but things now cost more. The upper middle class will never be able to get ahead and will not be able to retire until 70.

Why do we keep doing this? It's not working.  How about champing around bringing real jobs back to America? Not vilifying fast food and the Wal-marts of the world that have always been teen jobs or part time extra money jobs. These are people who want to work yet can't find anything and or are unqualified. These are not high skilled jobs meant to support families. If we bring back jobs then maybe households will be able to pay a little more for things and buy American again.
 
2014-03-25 11:01:04 AM  
People spend food stamps at one of the largest supermarket chain in the nation, what's next Ric is water wet or is fire hot?
 
2014-03-25 11:01:08 AM  
Since it appears nobody bothered to read the actual article, what is actually being stated by WalMart is that their revenues are influenced by the amount of SNAP benefits being spent at its stores, and that if the SNAP programs are cut then WalMart will likely see a drop in revenue as spending decreases.

The GOP's plan to bring about a good economy fails when they take away spending power, and poor people get to starve as a side effect.
 
2014-03-25 11:02:52 AM  

archichris: doublesecretprobation: 1) drive wages so low your employees qualify for food stamps
2) profit

/welcome to wal-mart, i love you.

Walmarts wages are above minimum. Typically 50 people show up to apply for every position.

The Other thing is that if that money were not being taxed or borrowed out of the economy, it would still exist....and it would still create economic activity. The fact that Obama is trying to funnel as much of the economy through the Government as possible to create dependence is the real topic here.

Perhaps some of those people could find jobs if we didnt have 38 Trillion dollars per year in Economic activity being prevented by regulation. Wages for the bottom 30% of Americas workforce represent something like a Trillion dollars of the GDP....so merely reducing targeted regulation by 3% could double those workers wages through normal economic forces like supply and demand.

But liberals wont do that because it is more important for them to have control than it is for the lower class to double its wealth.


Walmart does pay above minimum for some jobs. but some states have higher minimums that the federal min. and they still pay below poverty level wages which means that their employees qualify for assistance. What that says is that :

a) the federal minimum wage is way too low
b) that the Wal Mart business model depends on the govt. to work therefore is a failure of true capitalism.

as for your assertion that 38 trillion dollars a year is being thwarted by regulations well that's just poppycock.
what is hurting us on jobs is that we now trade with anyone with no regards for living wages,work conditions etc.
there was a time when we wouldn't do that and we would force them to come up to our level.
but that was before all the "free trade" legislation that let our corporations exploit those 3rd world laborers and resources.
they are dragging us down to their level. not the other way around
 
Ant
2014-03-25 11:02:53 AM  
1) Move into small town that contains many small, family-owned mom-and-pop stores selling various products.
2) Undercut prices of mom-and-pop shops with cheap Chinese crap. Take a loss if necessary.
3) When mom-and-pops go out of business and all competition is gone, hire workers and owners at low wages that make food stamps a necessity.
4) Profit?
 
2014-03-25 11:03:01 AM  
Wal-Mart's annual report, issued late last week, puts a different spin on things. Buried within the long list of risk factors disclosed to its shareholders--that is, factors "outside our control" that could materially affect financial performance--are these: "changes in the amount of payments made under the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Plan and other public assistance plans, (and) changes in the eligibility requirements of public assistance plans."

So Teabagger politics could affect your bottom line because you pay such shiatty wages?
But handing out food stamp applications to your workers seemed like a good idea at the time.
 
2014-03-25 11:04:03 AM  

factoryconnection: Never mind that our $15T+ GDP is being held back by a factor of 240% by regulations... it all seems airtight.


If companies could just dump toxic waste directly into the soil it would make poor people 20 billion dollars a year, study it out libs.
 
2014-03-25 11:04:20 AM  
So, let me get this right, Wal-Mart pays their workers wages so low that many of the workers have to go on welfare to make ends meet. Wal-Mart does this in order to keep profits for their shareholders up. Passing the burden of keeping their workers going goes to the government. Now the government has cut welfare programs including things like foodstamps. Thing is, Wal-Mart was seeing profit from foodstamps and now is upset with the government for cutting their profits. So, a huge chunk of their profits was essentially coming from milking the teat of the government in two ways; profits from paying low wages and profits from their workers spending government given funds in their stores.

How the hell are these people are considered job creators? How much do they pay in taxes? If you consider how much they get back in government funds though programs like foodstamps with how much they give in paychecks, is there much of a profit loss on their part?

And if they can do this, what is next? How else will they find a way to milk the government for more money?
 
2014-03-25 11:04:30 AM  

meat0918: I dunno, I think we should pay those guys a bit more than that. I know they get hazard pay (they do get hazard pay right?!?!?) when deployed, but they should be getting a bit more given the risk they are assumed to be taking.


They get hazardous duty pay, combat pay, and pay is tax-free in combat zones.  Also: advancement among junior enlisted is expected to proceed regularly, usually to E-4 within 12-36 months (depending on specialty, schooling, and service) UNLESS you f*ck up and end up before the commanding officer.
 
2014-03-25 11:04:39 AM  

Headso: factoryconnection: Never mind that our $15T+ GDP is being held back by a factor of 240% by regulations... it all seems airtight.

If companies could just dump toxic waste directly into the soil it would make poor people 20 billion dollars a year, study it out libs.


oh wait my bad, 20 TRILLION dollars a year.
 
2014-03-25 11:05:02 AM  

Hobodeluxe: that should be an embarrassment to every American. That our largest corporations and our richest family is on welfare.


Abolish Earned Income Credit, it's just a taxpayer subsidy of minimum wage.
 
2014-03-25 11:05:36 AM  
Become? WalMart was the welfare queen this entire time.

And you all are all suspicious of Shaniqua. WalMart is the one with the diamond-encrusted spinnerz.
 
2014-03-25 11:06:15 AM  

Dog Welder: Since it appears nobody bothered to read the actual article, what is actually being stated by WalMart is that their revenues are influenced by the amount of SNAP benefits being spent at its stores, and that if the SNAP programs are cut then WalMart will likely see a drop in revenue as spending decreases.

The GOP's plan to bring about a good economy fails when they take away spending power, and poor people get to starve as a side effect.


Nah, you don't get at all, do you?  Cut food stamps benefits per family and Walmart's earnings go down causing Walmart to reduce the number of employees who will then qualify for food stamps, and the newly impoverished will  shop at Walmart.

Same amount of sales + fewer workers = Profit!
 
2014-03-25 11:06:17 AM  

Headso: If companies could just dump toxic waste directly into the soil it would make poor people 20 billion dollars a year, study it out libs.


Yeah, you should see the property values' skyrocket at my waterfront pad in Love Canal.  Or was it Charleston, WV?
 
2014-03-25 11:06:24 AM  

Headso: factoryconnection: Never mind that our $15T+ GDP is being held back by a factor of 240% by regulations... it all seems airtight.

If companies could just dump toxic waste directly into the soil it would make poor people 20 billion dollars a year, study it out libs.


Hey, no need to bring fracking into the discussion.
 
2014-03-25 11:08:27 AM  

factoryconnection: what_now: I love that we're picking on Wal Mart and not that other huge employer who's employees are often on food stamps because the pay is so low: The US Armed Forces.

Junior enlisted paygrades are low in pay because they're expected to be trainees.  When you enlist with a few kids, or enlist and then knock up the first girl that bats her eyes at you in an off-base bar you're going to struggle.  However, advancement is fairly regular early on and there are always time-in-service pay raises.  Furthermore, military families get free healthcare, subsidized groceries, tax-free housing and subsistence allowances, or they get base housing.  Yes some junior enlisted personnel with kids end up using SNAP, but they are not the general case unlike Wal-Mart.


My brother enlisted and got married right out of basic, and he and his wife did fine on his pay and allowances. They weren't living large, but they always had a roof over their heads, they ate well and had medical care provided by the base. I have to wonder if some of the military families just applied for food stamps so they could pocket the food allowance money and spend it on cigarettes and beer, because unless you enlist with a small litter of kids you should be fine with the basic necessities all paid for.

If you know someone in the service there are all sorts of ways to stretch the allowance money. For example, my brother roomed with two other guys after his divorce, and they were all getting a $800 or so housing allowance so they rented a three bedroom house for $1600 a month and pocketed the extra $800 for beer money.
 
2014-03-25 11:09:40 AM  

Galius_Persnickety: I'm curious who the 'shareholders' getting all this profit are.
It certainly isn't those of use who have stock holding in our retirement accounts--Walmart's dividend yield is 2.5%, which would give you just enough to live on if you invested $1 million.


Ha ha, sucker, you think Wal-Mart gives a crap about people who hold less than $1 million of its common stock? The chairman of Wal-Mart is worth $33 billion. At 2.5 percent, assuming all his money was in Wal-Mart stock, he'd be making $825 million a year. The Walton family owns more than half the company; that's who's getting rich. Six of them hold more wealth than the bottom 30 percent of Americans.

They are just the worst people in the world, too. You don't have to be a money-grubbing scumbag just because you inherited a lot of money, but they seem dedicated to it.
 
2014-03-25 11:10:10 AM  

factoryconnection: what_now: I love that we're picking on Wal Mart and not that other huge employer who's employees are often on food stamps because the pay is so low: The US Armed Forces.

Junior enlisted paygrades are low in pay because they're expected to be trainees.  When you enlist with a few kids, or enlist and then knock up the first girl that bats her eyes at you in an off-base bar you're going to struggle.  However, advancement is fairly regular early on and there are always time-in-service pay raises.  Furthermore, military families get free healthcare, subsidized groceries, tax-free housing and subsistence allowances, or they get base housing.  Yes some junior enlisted personnel with kids end up using SNAP, but they are not the general case unlike Wal-Mart.



This is *exactly* the same argument for not raising minimum wage for entry-level employees.
 
2014-03-25 11:10:11 AM  
Walmart isn't hooked on food stamps; it's hooked on global exploitation of workers through low wages and benefits, illegal labor practices, and corruption.

The federal government just helps keep the Walmart victims from revolting.
 
2014-03-25 11:10:52 AM  

mekki: How the hell are these people are considered job creators?


Actually, they're really "wealth creators." A subtle but important difference because they don't create wealth for ordinary people.
And by "ordinary people" I mean people who don't own platinum-shafted polo mallets or buy jets made out of diamonds and veal.
 
2014-03-25 11:12:55 AM  

what_now: I love that we're picking on Wal Mart and not that other huge employer who's employees are often on food stamps because the pay is so low: The US Armed Forces.


Are you of the mindset that farkers aren't massively critical of the way our military doles out millions to buddies and friends in contractor roles, and underpays the people who actually put their lives on the line?

I haven't seen a single thread dealing with military pay where farkers haven't supportive of paying the enlistees more.
 
2014-03-25 11:13:41 AM  
Galius_Persnickety:  I'm curious who the 'shareholders' getting all this profit are.
It certainly isn't those of use who have stock holding in our retirement accounts--Walmart's dividend yield is 2.5%, which would give you just enough to live on if you invested $1 million.


                                           img2.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2014-03-25 11:13:47 AM  

NutWrench: mekki: How the hell are these people are considered job creators?

Actually, they're really "wealth creators." A subtle but important difference because they don't create wealth for ordinary people.
And by "ordinary people" I mean people who don't own platinum-shafted polo mallets or buy jets made out of diamonds and veal.


I prefer "wealth transferers".
 
2014-03-25 11:13:59 AM  
The issue is MUCH bigger than food stamps. Wal-Mart's labor practices also depend on welfare.  Wal-Mart pioneered the use of in-house social workers to enroll their own employees into government programs like food stamps and rental assistance for the purpose of using the social safety net to pay a portion of the employee's living expenses.  The result is that they have a stable mature workforce for the price of teenagers. Sure, their employees are low-motivation types but do you really think ambitious people will work as store drones for any extended period anyway?  Walmart stuff's employee paychecks with a flyer that has an 800 number for a 24-hour service called Resources for Living. They have a nationwide list of all charities that use enrollment in food stamps as an automatic qualifier to receive services and they can also hook you up with a list of every food bank, including religious ones, within a 50 mile radius of any walmart store.  The worst is when they hire indigent low skill (no skill) types from the state programs that pay half the wages for the first six months of employment... these individuals are typically fired for (imaginary) cause at the beginning of the seventh month.
 
2014-03-25 11:14:39 AM  

BMFPitt: Hey, it's this thread again. Always interesting to see the people who most strongly support these programs get butthurt because they are working as designed.


To be clear, I support food stamps because nobody should go hungry. I support a reasonable minimum wage because nobody who works 40 hours a week should need food stamps.
 
2014-03-25 11:15:12 AM  

Mad_Radhu: factoryconnection: what_now: I love that we're picking on Wal Mart and not that other huge employer who's employees are often on food stamps because the pay is so low: The US Armed Forces.

Junior enlisted paygrades are low in pay because they're expected to be trainees.  When you enlist with a few kids, or enlist and then knock up the first girl that bats her eyes at you in an off-base bar you're going to struggle.  However, advancement is fairly regular early on and there are always time-in-service pay raises.  Furthermore, military families get free healthcare, subsidized groceries, tax-free housing and subsistence allowances, or they get base housing.  Yes some junior enlisted personnel with kids end up using SNAP, but they are not the general case unlike Wal-Mart.

My brother enlisted and got married right out of basic, and he and his wife did fine on his pay and allowances. They weren't living large, but they always had a roof over their heads, they ate well and had medical care provided by the base. I have to wonder if some of the military families just applied for food stamps so they could pocket the food allowance money and spend it on cigarettes and beer, because unless you enlist with a small litter of kids you should be fine with the basic necessities all paid for.

If you know someone in the service there are all sorts of ways to stretch the allowance money. For example, my brother roomed with two other guys after his divorce, and they were all getting a $800 or so housing allowance so they rented a three bedroom house for $1600 a month and pocketed the extra $800 for beer money.


The "litter of kids" is the usual scenario for troops on food stamps. There are only about 4,000 military members using food stamps, out of 1.3 million people on uniformed active duty.
 
2014-03-25 11:17:05 AM  
Um, not sure where cutting food stamps comes from. http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/snapsummary.htm

2008:  Total food stamp benefits (not program cost, but payments to people)  $38B. /  Benefit per person per month $102.19
2012:  $75B  / $133.41
2013:  $76B / $133.07

A pack of gum less per month plus 33% more per month than 5 years ago and more than double total benefits paid than five years ago.  OH THE HUMANITY!
 
2014-03-25 11:17:22 AM  

Hobodeluxe: that should be an embarrassment to every American. That our largest corporations and our richest family is on welfare.


We're an embarrassment to the planet.
 
2014-03-25 11:18:15 AM  

CivicMindedFive: Um, not sure where cutting food stamps comes from.


An expiration of the temporary increase in benefits that passed with the 2009 stimulus.
 
2014-03-25 11:18:16 AM  

doublesecretprobation: 1) drive wages so low your employees qualify for food stamps
2) profit

/welcome to wal-mart, i love you.


How exactly do they drive wages lower?
 
2014-03-25 11:19:02 AM  
Just wait until Wal Mart goes to full robots for everything.
 
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