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the mother of all welfare queens:
product placements in reality TV shouldn't be that big a deal, unless you're paying "well above six figures" just to get placed on a show in order to give out the low six figures in scholarship money as part of a propaganda campaign to make yourself look good.
Altogether Wal-mart has shelled out perhaps a few million in education grants in the past decade, an amount routinely dwarfed by how much it gobbles up in public subsidies - that's tax payer money that could just as well be going to education - on top of a business model designed to prop itself on public benefits to low-wage workers maintained by constant, unbridled violation of workers' fundemental economic right of free contract and free association, e.g. unionization, which according to a February 2004 report by the Democratic Staff of the House Education and Workforce Committee:
For a two-hundred-employee Wal-Mart store, the government is spending $108,000 a year for children's health care; $125,000 a year in tax credits and deductions for low-income families; and $42,000 a year in housing assistance. The report estimates that a two-hundred-employee Wal-Mart store costs federal taxpayers $420,000 a year, or about $2,103 per Wal-Mart employee. That translates into a total annual welfare bill of $2.5 billion for Wal-Mart's 1.2 million US employees.
By way of comparison Wall-of-China-Mart rakes in somewhere between 7 and 10 billion dollars a year in profits. I.e. without raising prices they could increase wages to living wage standards with little or no discomfort.
The defense of this among Wal-Mart fan boys and other people who view human labor as just another widget to be maximally utilized by owners of capital is presumably that Walmart isn't to blame for the "market price of labor" being so low. By virtue of the efforts of its shareholders, management, and third party propaganda outfits (my younger brother reports that his "training" with walmart consisted of being shuttled to a back room to watch anti-union propaganda during his first week on the job) is able to collectively bargain down the market price of labor by pre-emptively attacking any collective efforts of its workers to bargain up. It's little more than corporate totalitarianism, sucking the blood of the nation as it grows and shitting out poverty and chinsey crap from China behind it.
:: posted by buermann @ 2005-06-10 11:48:04 CST |