Walmart Needles The Nation About Low-Wage Intern Jobs, Hilarity Ensues

walmartCredit: Brave New Films / photo on flickrJobs at Walmart don't pay a lot. Someone at The Nation recently noticed this, and decided to make up a new hourly wage for workers at the mega-uber-superstore chain—$12/hour—and declare their desire to see this wage implemented in an open letter to the CEO. 

The retail company has issued reams of press releases, funded and touted economic studies, taken to the airwaves, and made other serious efforts to address the criticisms about their compensation practices over the years.

But it looks like someone in Bentonville finally snapped: Steven Restivo, a Walmart senior director of communications, sent out a email yesterday with the subject line: “people who live in glass houses…”

The Nation—“America’s leading progressive print and online magazine”—recently encouraged its readers to sign an open letter demanding that Walmart increase wages to $12/hour and this article called our company one of the “biggest abusers of low-wage labor.”

In an ironic twist, ProPublica recently reported that starting this fall, “interns at the Nation Institute will be paid minimum wage for the first time in the history of the 30-year-old program.” As ProPublica noted, The Nation has been paying its full-time interns a weekly stipend of $150 per week—less than the current federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour.

the nationCredit: The NationThe folks at The Nation (and their progressive pals) are not amused. They replied that their situation is totally different than Walmart (true) and that they have totally good reasons to pay their interns very little (true) and that anyway, they already said they were totally going to start paying the interns more from now on (true). 

Starting this fall, The Nation has upgraded its interns to New York City minimum wage, $7.25/hour, which is still less than the average wage of a Walmart worker as cited by The Nation, $8.18. Nation interns get other perks, like housing support and subway cards, but they don't have access to health insurance, which full-time Walmart employees do. 

To review: The two firms offer different compensation packages for very different jobs. A comparison of those packages has limited value. Walmart is definitely being silly here. But, to make a timeless point from playgroup squabbles, The Nation totally started it.

I'll leave you with this last tidbit of economic insight, from the director of project that oversees The Nation's internship program: 

“We are not yet certain how this will work out long term, but for the fall we are anticipating hiring ten interns rather than twelve.” 

One could forgive Walmart for being tempted to reply with something along the lines of: "No shit."

You could always just intern at Reason!

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  • John||

    Of course Wall Mart is being silly here. That is the whole point. If Wall Mart is being silly, which they certainly are, then the Nation is being equally silly when it criticizes Wall Mart. And that of course is Wall Mart's entire point. Bully for them.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Yeah, I don't see why Wal Mart is wrong - they're smacking the Nation around based on applying that magazine's own silly logic. The result is silly, which is Wal Mart's *point.*

  • John||

    They are not wrong. They are exactly right and the punked the hell out of The Nation. I am not really sure why Mangu Ward is being so snarky and calling it a school yard fight. It is like she just can't bring herself to fully agree with Wall Mart or something. Wall Mart should applauded for pointing out The Nation's hypocrisy.

  • Brett L||

    She probably did a free internship and look how she turned out. Which is great if you can afford it.

  • Brett L||

    That came out snarky than I meant it. It was supposed to be a general observation on life. I had a paying internship at the Texas State Capitol when I was in college, but only because I was from the rep's district and my family knew the guy, and was "earning" play money with my housing taken care of, not earning rent and food money. I never really thought either way about internships paying or not before someone pointed out that it takes a certain level of affluence to be able to not get paid to work.

  • Bobarian||

    I think Reason wants to stay away from pointing any fingers here because:

    You could always just intern at Reason!

    Where they pay you in kibble

    and

    The 'housing allowance' is allowing the interns to keep an appliance box out back.

  • anon||

    I thought you had to pay to be an intern at Reason. In children's bones. For their monocles.

  • Killazontherun||

    My very own appliance box! God, I loved those when I was a kid. A matching set of washer and driver boxes became tanks for my cousin and I to shoot BBs at each other from.

  • Brandon||

    Reason pointing fingers? You don't seem to have comprehended the article.

  • timbo||

    Internships are not implied jobs. That is why they are called internships, i.e. learning experience. Ward is entirely off on the wrong foot by implying that both are somehow culpable in some sort of disservice to the employer.
    Employment in this country is VOLUNTARY.
    The wage you earn is based on the employer's risk tolerance and the return that you can provide towards the bottom line. Progressive idiots rarely contribute to profits. People who work at Wal-Mart are not skilled workers. All of these discussions are leaving out the law of price signals. If wal-mart is forced to pay their laborers more because they are in higher demand, than they have two choices: employ them for more and not raise prices, thus dampen profit margins; or raise prices and lose market share(many other scenarios can be interplayed as well). Just because you are on Reason does not mean that you understand market economics.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Yeah, probably because it's the icky Walmart going after a magazine.

  • CE||

    I think The Nation isn't paying enough for paper. Why don't they overpay?

  • anon||

    The result is silly, which is Wal Mart's *point.*

    I've learned sarcasm doesn't work very well to illustrate points for idiots.

  • sarcasmic||

    they're smacking the Nation around based on applying that magazine's own silly logic

    What logic? That would require principles. Principals are what matter. When Wal Mart does it it's bad, and when the Nation does it it's different. Why? Because of the principals involved. Principles are for people with small minds. See? No hypocrisy, just applying the principals.

  • Beowulf||

    KMW is 100% misguided here - Walmart doesn't deserve to be called "silly"; Walmart deserves a medal. When you let hypocrisy go unchallenged, you encourage it to flourish, with a negative effect on our collective quality of life. When you slap down an organization of pompous windbags who so richly deserve it, you are performing a valuable public service..we are all in their debt

  • Matrix||

    It's okay when we do it, because we're the good guys. And they are trying to help us right the wrongs.

    It's wrong when evil CORPORASHUNZ!!! do it, because CAPITALIZM IS EVUL!!!!

    /progtard

  • thom||

    They are trying to help poor people by writing nonsensical articles. Wal Mart does help poor people by providing cheap food and other goods in the areas where they live. Poor people can't help but take advantage of affordable goods in accessible areas. In other words, Wal Mart profits off of poor people. That's exploitation. For shame.

  • MJGreen||

    The work that Nation interns do is inherently valuable and life-affirming. The work Walmart FORCES its employees to endure is degrading and exploitative.

  • rts||

    “We are not yet certain how this will work out long term, but for the fall we are anticipating hiring ten interns rather than twelve.”

    But, rest assured, minimum wage laws do not contribute to unemployment.

  • John||

    Good catch.

  • WTF||

    Don't worry, The Nation will never see the connection.

  • mr simple||

    The intern ration has been increased to 10.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    The Nation has always been at war with Walmart.

  • JW||

    Headline: "The Nation magazine discovers reality. Finds that it doesn't like it. Withdraws."

  • Careless||

    Yeah, I woke up my wife by laughing when I read that bit.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Look, our interns get valuable experience in entry-level jobs, and if they have hard work and ambition they can get better jobs as time goes on, and anyway no-one's forced to work at the Nation. We just can't *afford* those pie-in-the-sky demands which Wal-Mart is making on us...*you* try meeting a payroll and see how tough it is...""

    "Uh, boss, I don't think we should be taking that line."

    "Why not? Why not?"

  • AlmightyJB||

    So getting experience at walmart could never lead to better opportunies later on? Huh, the vast hoards of us who started out with menial minimum wage jobs and worked are way up must just be lucky. Ir is that that white privilege thing?

  • anon||

    Fucking racist. Only upper class whites can work their way up.

  • WTF||

    Yeah, working your way up is racist. You can't expect diverse people to act white.

  • CE||

    My great grandparents were discriminated against, because they were Irish. You can't expect me to overcome that on my own.

  • fish||

    MUST MAINTAIN IDEOLOGICAL FOCUS.....EVEN IN THE FACE OF HYPOCRISY......MUST NOT LET PROGRESSIVE FLOCK THINK DEEPLY ABOUT MATTER. MUST MAINTAIN IDEOLOGICAL FOCUS.....EVEN IN THE FACE OF HYPOCRISY......MUST NOT LET PROGRESSIVE FLOCK THINK DEEPLY ABOUT MATTER. MUST MAINTAIN IDEOLOGICAL FOCUS.....EVEN IN THE FACE OF HYPOCRISY......MUST NOT LET PROGRESSIVE FLOCK THINK DEEPLY ABOUT MATTER. MUST MAINTAIN IDEOLOGICAL FOCUS.....EVEN IN THE FACE OF HYPOCRISY......MUST NOT LET PROGRESSIVE FLOCK THINK DEEPLY ABOUT MATTER. MUST MAINTAIN IDEOLOGICAL FOCUS.....EVEN IN THE FACE OF HYPOCRISY......MUST NOT LET PROGRESSIVE FLOCK THINK DEEPLY ABOUT MATTER. MUST MAINTAIN IDEOLOGICAL FOCUS.....EVEN IN THE FACE OF HYPOCRISY......MUST NOT LET PROGRESSIVE FLOCK THINK DEEPLY ABOUT MATTER. MUST MAINTAIN IDEOLOGICAL FOCUS.....EVEN IN THE FACE OF HYPOCRISY......MUST NOT LET PROGRESSIVE FLOCK THINK DEEPLY ABOUT MATTER. MUST MAINTAIN IDEOLOGICAL FOCUS.....EVEN IN THE FACE OF HYPOCRISY......MUST NOT LET PROGRESSIVE FLOCK THINK DEEPLY ABOUT MATTER.

    /confused progderp

  • Cliché Bandit||

    "...the thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stain, it is by will alone ..."

  • Brett L||

    The Nation: "But our interns come from rich families, so its totally okay to not pay them as long as we don't let poor people in"

  • John||

    And our interns benefit from working for such a prestigious publication. They will go on to great things. All of those icky proles who work at Wall Mart will never amount to anything. That is where they are going to be for the rest of their lives. So you are damn right Wall Mart better pay them a living wage.

    This really is how they think and no doubt talk when they are in private.

  • Adam330||

    This actually their stated argument. It's not hidden:

    "The Nation has challenged Walmart to raise wages for employees who work for Walmart for their long-term livelihood and who nonetheless struggle to support their families day to day. The internship program is an educational, time-limited engagement that provides a unique training ground for participants at the very start of their careers."

  • Brett L||

    IF you're still working checkout or running stock after a year at Wal-Mart, %8.18/hr is more than you're worth to anyone.

  • Numeromancer||

    So they're offering even more less than Walmart to their most vulnerable employees. Got it.

  • Sevo||

    ..."called our company one of the “biggest abusers of low-wage labor.”"

    So the minimum wage is not acceptable? I guess employers will have to get a ruling from TN every time they want to arrange pay schedules.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    STAN: I need to talk about your flair.

    JOANNA: Really? I have 15 buttons on. I, uh, (shows him)

    STAN: Well, ok, 15 is minimum, ok?

    JOANNA: Ok.

    STAN: Now, it's up to you whether or not you want to just do the bare minimum. Well, like Brian, for example, has 37 pieces of flair. And a terrific smile.

    JOANNA :Ok. Ok, you want me to wear more?

    STAN: Look. Joanna.

    JOANNA: Yeah.

    STAN: People can get a cheeseburger anywhere, ok? They come to Chotchkie's for the atmosphere and the attitude. That's what the flair's about. It's about fun.

    JOANNA: Ok. So, more then?

    STAN: Look, we want you to express yourself, ok? If you think the bare minimum is enough, then ok. But some people choose to wear more and we encourage that, ok? You do want to express yourself, don't you?

    JOANNA: Yeah. Yeah.

    STAN: Great. Great. That's all I ask.
  • Ayn Random Variation||

    If the min wage were $X.XX they would say that's not enough to raise a family on, etc.
    The number is meaningless because the answer is always more, just like when you ask a liberal what a fair tax rate/ fair share is.

  • Sudden||

    If the min wage were $XXX.XX they would say that's not enough to raise a family on...

    FIFY

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    The Nation has challenged Walmart to raise wages for employees who work for Walmart for their long-term livelihood and who nonetheless struggle to support their families day to day.

    What's silly is that it is somehow Walmart's responsibility to pay enough that, regardless of value to the company, employees won't have to struggle to support their families. If that's the logic, shouldn't Walmart "have to" pay more to employees with more dependents?

  • sarcasmic||

    From each according to ability...

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    So do the people at The Nation not see that or do they expect us not to see that. Well, yeah, it's the latter, but still annoying.

  • WTF||

    If that's the logic, shouldn't Walmart "have to" pay more to employees with more dependents?

    That is what leftists actually believe.

  • PapayaSF||

    Actually, this used to be an argument for paying men more than women: "He has a family to support, and you don't, Missie."

  • Agammamon||

    The military uses a version of this logic - He/She is married and so we have to pay them more for the same work than you single people.

  • Bobarian||

    False (sorta) the only additional pay is for housing allowance and one travel entitlement, everything else is the same.

    Also, it's only for being married, nothing additional for childrenz.

  • John||

    who work for Walmart for their long-term livelihood

    See my quote above. The people at the Nation cannot fathom someone who works at Wall Mart going on to anything better. They really are horrible people. They are just hideous.

  • WTF||

    And they can't fathom that someone who stays at Walmart could be promoted within the company through hard work, to gain better wages and benefits over time.

  • anon||

    Especially since Wal-Mart hires 70% of its management staff from within the company.

  • John||

    And the managers at a big wall mart make very good wages, like close to six figures. It is damn near a 24/7 job. But it is most certainly a good job and a career. I bet the average Wall Mart Manager makes better money than any of the New Republic Reporters.

  • anon||

    I use to game with a guy that was just a department manager.

    He earned 35k/year + benefits + vacation pay + sick pay.

    That's not exactly shit pay considering the almost entire lack of responsibility the job entailed.

  • John||

    My legal secretary back in Oklahoma husband was the top manager at a big Wall Mart. He made very good money. But he worked all of the time. He was in charge of a store that had over a hundred employees and moved millions of dollars of merchandise a year. It was like a small town and it was open 24 hours a day. His job basically never ended. But, he had an associate's degree and had been working at Wall Mart since he was 16. They really do value people who start at the bottom and know their business.

  • Dweebston||

    Kulaks, John. Kulaks and wreckers and false-consciousness.

  • John||

    Or the Nation's for that matter.

  • CE||

    One's worth is not valued by his paycheck, but by how much he opens the eyes of the less enlightened.

  • Brett L||

    And, frankly the requirements for a promotion are: 1)show up for your scheduled shifts 2)don't steal 3)tow the company lion on customer service interaction 4)Don't be an asshole to your boss

    Anyone can meet those requirements with simple effort.

  • ||

    Are you kidding? That's way too much work.

    /The Nation interns

  • Brett L||

    Restaurant management is easier, you only have to do numbers (1) abd (2).

  • UnCivilServant||

    Yeah... I keep screwing up #3. I go with the truth and annoy my supervisors.

    Maybe that's why I don't work with the public anymore...

  • some guy||

    Nothing sucks more than dealing with the general populace in a professional manner.

  • John||

    Absolutely. They are so detached from reality that it is unthinkable that anyone who didn't come from a good family, go to the right schools and get the right kind of job could ever be anything but a helpless drone being exploited by evil capitalists. They are the worst sort of elitist imaginable. But they make up for it by being completely uninformed and ignorant.

  • John C. Randolph||

    They do get seriously pissed off when you call attention to their contempt for blue-collar workers. That's why I enjoy it so much.

    -jcr

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Seriously, do you not see all the instances of "Walmart"? It's like sending a text to my Russian wife who immediately replies with a phonetic spelling of a word she just LOOKED AT!....arggggh

  • John||

    It is just for you. Proper spelling is fascist. Free the language man!!

  • fish||

    +1 Gramer polic

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    And this is the post in which you spell everything correctly. It's almost like an inverse law.

  • John||

    Sort of. It is more that I am perfectly capable of correct spelling when I choose to do so, which is whenever I feel like it. And that is not often on Reason.

  • Outlaw||

    “It is a damn poor mind indeed which can't think of at least two ways to spell any word.” - Andrew Jackson

  • Numeromancer||

    -1 IPA

  • RBS||

    When it comes down to it, they can't fathom why anyone would even work at walmart in the first place.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    THIS

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    or shop at one as well

  • thom||

    Progressives in general cannot fathom the concept of upward mobility. Their ideal, for the 99% of the people in the country who they see it as their calling to manage, is a world in which somebody gets a "good job" at 18, and works in that exact job, and only that job, for 40 years.

  • John||

    Yes. Progressives ideas about average Americans basically come from listening to Bruce Springsteen songs.

  • Almanian!||

    NOW you're catching on!

    /Katrina Vanden Heuvel

  • Mickey Rat||

    "The Nation has challenged Walmart to raise wages for employees who work for Walmart for their long-term livelihood..."

    That is the difference as The Nation sees it. "Intern" is not a long term position, therefore thy don't feel any moral obligation to pay more. Of course, whether or not a Walmart job is for long term livelihood is decision that is made by the employee, not WalMart.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Once, a co-worker told the rest of us at our level that he should be paid more than the rest of us because he had children and we didn't. He seemed genuinely incapable of understanding why we didn't take his side.

  • bmp1701||

    To each according to his need, Comrade. To each according to his need.

  • Invisible Finger||

    But nobody really "needs" children.

  • CE||

    And the kids should be working anyway, so pay him less.

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

    Assuming heterosexuals are more likely than homosexuals to be raising children, that's among the most anti-gay suggestions I've ever heard.

    If implemented, it would probably lead to a situation in which "gays only make 75 cents for every dollar that straights make for doing the exact same job!"

  • John||

    That is a great point. I had never thought of it that way. But it is really true. I can't wait to throw out that little nugget the next time I have some feminist lecture me on the need to make special accommodations to those raising children.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    What the hell kind of feminists do you hang around who defend breeders?

  • John||

    The working mom kind.

  • Sudden||

    Single mothers are the scourage of this Earth. Being recently divorced, I can't tell you how many single mothers (who never married or even seriously dated the cock that spawned their bastards) I end up running into. They are universally the most self-entitled princesses in the world. They think that everyone else is responsible for funding their dumb ass choice to breed with a absentee so that they can have a show baby.

  • JW||

    They think that everyone else is responsible for funding their dumb ass choice to breed with a absentee so that they can have a show baby.

    Um, phrasing?

  • Zeb||

    I think that single mothers who aren't like that and just do what they need to do to give their kids a decent life do deserve some respect. But somehow the notion has developed that just being a single mother, in and of itself, is somehow a noble and admirable thing.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Likely reply: homosexuals should be paid extra to make up for the discrimination.

  • Zeb||

    I wonder what happens when straight, white, single guys end up being the least well paid people?

  • Bobarian||

    Liberals will say "There. We're done, we can finally rest."

    BWA_HA-HA-HA-HAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

  • perlhaqr||

    The world stops functioning entirely?

  • Adam330||

    This is actually how the military compensation system works, to an extent. And it has all kinds of absurd results.

  • Steve G||

    Uh, kind of. As pointed out above, the only part of the compensation that is affected is housing allowance and it's 'with dependents' or 'without', and makes no distinction whether 'dependents' equals 1 wife or 1 wife and 7 kids.

  • Sudden||

    If that's the logic, shouldn't Walmart "have to" pay more to employees with more dependents?

    In theory, they do. By providing health insurance, they are probably paying substantially higher premiums for those employees that have a spouse and children on the plan as well.

  • Almanian!||

    “We are not yet certain how this will work out long term, but for the fall we are anticipating hiring ten interns rather than twelve.”

    Tell me he then did a mic drop. Please.

  • anon||

    They will go on to great things. All of those icky proles who work at Wall Mart will never amount to anything.

    The irony being I trust people at Wal-Mart's opinion's far more than I trust The Nation's.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    They replied that their situation is totally different than Walmart

    There's that whole "profitability" issue, for one thing.

  • ||

    Profit is a dirty dirty word. Now go wash your mouth with some environmental sound detergine.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I like the alt-text, KMW. Well done.

    I have not yet read The Nation's justifications for failing to pay its workers a "living wage", but I am going to bet they're total shit. BRB.

  • Robert||

    I think it comes down to, "Because we're the good guys." Because of what The Nation is about, as opposed to what Wal-Mart is about. Just like in pro wrestling, where the good guys are allowed to use the illegal holds...hmmm, how does that work again?

  • Almanian!||

    You could always just intern at Reason!

    Kind of related: Lucy does NOT want to hear about hiring at Reason. I screwed up forwarding her some comments from Lucy's Army....and mentioned the "intern" thing...oops. *smacks self*

    She appreciates everyone's devotion, and the fact that WE WILL NEVER FORGET and will reward you in the afterlife.

    Carry on.

  • John||

    Where is Lucy working now?

  • Almanian!||

    "Editor in Chief at The Stag Blog, Contributing Editor at Antiwar.com and Columnist at VICE". I've read some of the Vice stuff. I appreciate her passion, consistency and earnestness. She's cool.

    PS I like "Editor in Chief at My Own Blog" - awesome!

  • John||

    The Stag Blog is the best name for a blog I have ever heard.

  • JW||

    DON'T TALK SHIT ABOUT LUCY!

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    I would intern at reason for FREE COFFEE..........and a KENNEDY T-SHIRT (with her image from the 'Chronicals' book cover).....

  • Irish||

    I would intern at Reason provided that they shared with me the secret that only the dead know: why they continue to reprint Chapman articles.

  • anon||

    They'd tell you, but then they'd have to kill you.

    Actually, they'd have to kill you before they told you. Too much risk.

  • Zeb||

    why they continue to reprint Chapman articles.

    Probably because it doesn't cost much and allows them to sell more ad space.

  • Atanarjuat||

    It's a great image, but you know it's not her body, right?

  • ||

    It has her tattoo on the lower stomach.

  • John C. Randolph||

    I would intern at Reason just for the access to delete the goddamned spammers from H&R.

    In fact, I'd do that for free, remotely. Hey, guys! Give me a login!

    -jcr

  • RBS||

    So we should all start forwarding her stuff?

  • Brett L||

    I'm not sure wooing her with SF slashfic is going to be the most effective tactic.

  • Bobarian||

    It will be an extremely effective tactic, it just depends what your goal is.

    If your goal is to get noticed. Mission accomplished!

    Also restraining order accomplished.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Isn't the Nation owner Katrina Von Fascist some kind of billionaire heiress princess or something?

  • anon||

    Also, I think this belongs in this thread.

  • Sevo||

    And it didn't take many comments before someone tossed 'exploited!' in there.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Fail #1:

    Additionally, The Nation Institute is a small non-profit trying to raise money to support serious public interest journalism in a challenging fundraising landscape. Walmart earned $17 billion in profits last year.

    The fact that The Nation Institute is a non-profit means precisely jack and shit. For example: what salaries do your top employees make? How much do you spend on your Annual Gala?

    "For a more apples-to-apples comparison: unlike at Walmart, the staff of The Nation is unionized, and our newest employees make almost double the New York City living wage calculation."

    What does this have to do with the interns at The Nation Institute? Excellent try at sleight-of-hand there.

    And those are there justifications. I am kind of at a loss how KMW can even say The Nation is "right" here when they didn't even offer any kind of case at all. All they said was "nuh-uh, we're different because". Where are these "good reasons" I just heard existed?

  • John||

    And since when are nonprofits exempt from minimum wage laws?

  • Brett L||

    Non-profits are the ultimate Scoialist ideal. The people who supply the capital get nothing but a good feeling, while the people who TOP. MEN. get paid huge sums, and the proles can still go get fucked.

  • Almanian!||

    Because LEFT, that's why. Duh! Kcohporashuns are TEH EVUL! E! VUL!

  • RBS||

    The Left's love of non-profs and their utter lack of understanding of what that actually means is one of the small joys I get from life.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    A friend of mine is an attorney for a nonprofit her dad owns and runs. What a sweet racket nonprofits are. The nonprofit bought her condo and rents it back to her at a massive discount. They pay her car payment as a business expense. it's ridiculous how corrupt those organizations really are.

  • John||

    MY wife has made a very nice living working at "non profits". They don't pay shit until you hit about the director level. Then it is a license to steal. I keep hoping she hits it big some day.

  • CE||

    My friend's cousin's neighbor makes eleventy billion dollars, working a few hours on her computer for a non-profit. Last month she didn't sleep, but accumulated more wealth than five Russian mob bosses.

  • ||

    A boss of mine at a very well-known international education not-for-profit once had the travel services office re-book a flight for her to South Africa by routing her through Frankfurt instead of Amsterdam. The difference was about $3000 more to go through Frankfurt.

    The reason for the re-routing? There was a hair salon in Frankfurt that cut her hair just the way she likes it.

  • JW||

    It's scary how much the higher-ups at the larger non-profits can make. $300,000 isn't unusual.

    The Boards tend to be socialites or wealthy hanger-ons who want the status of being on a board and will largely rubber stamp anything coming to them for approval. Very little real oversight.

  • ||

    The one I'm talking about is not a charity. It is, for all intents and purposes, a government contractor. It's just that their ultimate goal isn't to make a profit, it's to "promote" international education.

    The U.S. government paid the $3k for her to get a hair cut.

  • JW||

    Foundations are the worst. Little more than play things for the management and board.

  • CE||

    And those three thousand dollar haircuts help make sure that no profit is earned.

  • JW||

    Not all non-profits are created equal. I've worked in them for 15 years.

    For me, it's a good gig. I have complete autonomy over my department and everyone stays out of my business. I can come and go as I please and no one's the wiser. I don't make as much as I would in the private sector (I do OK, no real complaints), but the environment is much more laid back.

    The ones people hear about are usually the giant non-profits with no accountability until it's too late **cough** Red Cross **cough** or the mom and pop shops set up as a tax dodge.

  • Sudden||

    Of course, they all think that an organization like Walmart should be a non-profit, but fail to realize that the massive investments a company like Walmart must make in order to run their operation require investors (read: shareholders) who demand a ROI in return for their investment.

    These people are so mind-numbingly stupid at times that I find myself unable to grasp how someone could so believe such a simplistic reality.

  • MJGreen||

    Walmart earned $17 billion in profits last year.

    Whoa. Surprised they used that language.

  • some guy||

    And it was $17B of profit on $470B of revenue. That's a profit margin of 3.6%. 3.6%. The Nation is a bad joke.

  • CE||

    No one needs to post a profit of over 1% though.

  • Almanian!||

    Confession: I'm still madly in love with Katrina Venden Heuvel. I don't know why - it's totally illogical. It'd be like Bill Maher - no, he's too stupid - like....like Carville and Matalin, or something.

    I can't help it - even when The Jacket was PWNING her on the defunct WeinerSpitzer and Parker on CNN, even though she continues to show what a brain damaged Progtard she is...I love her still.

    True love knows know bounds. Ask STEVE SMITH.

  • Almanian!||

    Did I really just type that? No - the first part is OK. That last sentence? Yeah - rewrite in English as you see fit.

    "knows know" - nice!

  • anon||

    So, Almanian, when did you start writing for The Nation?

  • Almanian!||

    HIYO!

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Confession: I'm still madly in love with Katrina Venden Heuvel."

    Can't they treat that with Paxil or something?

  • ||

    Valtrex

  • Sudden||

    It's easy to confuse a desire to hate fuck with love. I think most divorced men experience that confusion for about a week and a half.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    STEVE SMITH:

    "KNOW WHAT STEVIE WANT!"

  • John||

    She is sexy as hell, in that really evil you shouldn't want to but you can't help it way. I have always liked her too, even though she is really a hideous person.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Ew. no, John. Just no.

  • John||

    I didn't say I was proud of it. Everyone has their kink. I frankly wish mine was something more normal like cross dressing or choking myself or something. But, we don't choose our kinks.

    I have a problem I admit it. Just don't judge me for it okay?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    OK John.

    *silently judges*

  • John||

    Hater

  • Irish||

    Wait, this Katrina Vanden Heuvel?

    You think she's hot? She looks like the least fun human being to ever live. Like if you got anywhere near her, all the joy would be sucked from your life and sadness would reign forever.

  • anon||

    NTTAWWT

  • Numeromancer||

    Dementor porn!

  • Almanian!||

    John, you're totally on to me.

    PS Been meaning to ask - you getting out and about on the motorcycle? Finally got the Honda XR out - been riding the street bikes.

    You?

  • John||

    I finally got to show my motorcycle some love last weekend. Went on the all day 200+ mile ride. It was great. I have to work this weekend. But hopefully the next I will get to do the same. The cool weather has been great. If it would just stop raining.

  • CE||

    I'll pass.

  • Atanarjuat||

    As a student at a college in Florida*, I'm speechless.

    *that means I spend each day surrounded by 20-year-old hotties.

  • Brett L||

    Yes. And a new crop is due in next week. FSU or FAMU? Or did you move?

  • Atanarjuat||

    TCC at the moment, which I'm sure pales in comparison to the bounty of nubility at FSU, but is still nice. Lots of young, cute, well-dressed and/or wearing very little black girls.

  • John C. Randolph||

    You're attracted to her enmity with the human race?

    -jcr

  • Ken Shultz||

    The idea that employers change their behavior in response to higher costs is just a an unsupported theory perpetuated by stupid rednecks and the Reagan administration.

  • Almanian!||

    I. Blame. BUSH.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Sorry, yeah, I guess it was the unsupported theory that taxpayers change their behavior in response to higher costs that was perpetuated by stupid rednecks and the Reagan administration.

    Because, you know, obviously, anybody that thinks people react to higher costs is either part of the 1% or a stupid bible-thumping bigot.

  • Sudden||

    and racist. of course.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Especially since 2009.

  • Tak Kak||

    Good thing those interns don't depend on that money otherwise they might be thankful for Wal-Mart.

  • Irish||

    I give reason so much quality material here in the comments, and how do they repay me? With no hat tip.

    No hat tip at all.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    They replied that their situation is totally different than Walmart (true)

    Not really.

    and that they have totally good reasons to pay their interns very little (true)

    Yeah, that reason is that they want to minimize expenses. Just like Walmart and every other company.

    and that anyway, they already said they were totally going to start paying the interns more from now on (true).

    Irrelevant.

  • Irish||

    It's especially irrelevant since the amount they're paying their interns is still only minimum wage. Walmart pays most of their employees quite a bit more than minimum wage and the Nation goes after them, yet the Nation thinks paying minimum wage should be enough not to be criticized.

  • Brett L||

    and that they have totally good reasons to pay their interns very little (true)

    This is true, and it is the same reason Wal-Mart pays minimum wage to their entry-level positions. The worker has almost no value to the organization. Wal-Mart is taking people with no track record and betting that enough will pan out to pay the average one $8.18/hr. The Nation is taking people with no record and hoping one or two generates enough research and/or pay copy to make it worth $7.25/hr plus a subway card.

  • ||

    When I got out of high school I was still sixteen and I got a job at Wal-Mart. I didnt know what else to do. We needed the money. What little it was. Anyway, the night before I went down there I had this dream. Or it was like a dream. I think I was still about half awake. But it come to me in this dream or whatever it was that if I went down there that he would find me. At the Wal-Mart. I didnt know who he was or what his name was or what he looked like. I just knew that I'd know him when I seen him. I kept a calendar and marked the days. Like when you're in jail. I mean I aint never been in jail, but like you would probably. And on the ninety-ninth day he walked in and he asked me where sportin goods was at and it was him. And I told him where it was at and he looked at me and went on. And directly he come back and he read my nametag and he said my name and he looked at me and he said: What time do you get off? And that was all she wrote. There was not no question in my mind. Not then, not now, not ever.

    That's a nice story, Bell said. I hope it has a nice endin.

  • anon||

    A "Happy ending," even.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Some people that actually have worked or are working for Walmart:

    http://www.indeed.com/forum/cm.....fits/t9640

    I have worked at Wal-Hell for 7 years. I fought my way up from grunt to meat dept manager. Now im going into the manager trainee program to be an assiant manager. I have been cussed at, punnished for standing up for my self, My hours changed and lowered to force me to quit. I did not. I fought them and worked my self to the bone for I take pride in my work even if does not take pride in me. I now have the best meat market in my district and I make around 17 an hour. That will double soon. What I am saying is the way that place works is "if your lazy and do good one day you have improved" "If you bust your butt and slow down for a day because your burnt and its your friday and you had to take a five hour lunch to burn overtime, your productivity has gone down" but the first you stay where you are, the later you start making the big money if you can handle the abuse. Not realy a good thing but if you can take it then it will be. Its the worst job Ive ever loved..
  • Irish||

    Walmart also gets most of their managers internally. What that means is that you can actually work your way up from minimum wage grunt work to managing a store.

    It's absolutely great in terms of income mobility.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    That doesn't sound remotely limited to Walmart. Most, if not all, other than the wages sounds like some programming jobs I had.

  • John||

    Life is hard. It used to be that people lived in fear of being a burden and would work any job to avoid being looked upon as being a bum. Then at some point after World War II, we started telling everyone to follow their dreams. To not "settle" and go for it. And a whole lot of poverty and misery has resulted.

  • Sudden||

    Good point

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    It's every job in existence. If you start out at a high level, that sets the expectation bar for people pretty early, and if you fall below that, they're going to be surprised.

    This guy is basically describing human nature.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Not government jobs.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Lots of people have to take crummy jobs--and do well in them anyway. I've had 'em. It's harder to get noticed in a large corporation, but it can be done.

    You make success the same way they make money at Wal*Mart. You offer your employer more of what they want than you charge them for, and if your employer has half a brain, they'll give you more money eventually. If not, then go sell your hard work somewhere that values the extra effort.

    You don't want to get paid what you're worth. When people buy a gallon of milk at Wal*Mart, it's becasue the milk is worth more to them than the money.

    You certainly don't want to get paid more than you're worth--or no one will want to pay you for very long--but you do want to make yourself worth as much as possible.

    It's worked that way for-freaking-ever.

    It's this freaking entitlement society. People think they're entitled to something just for showing up. Find me somebody who stays at a low wage job like that all their lives, and I'll show you somebody who either has a felony record, some kind of mental disability, or a really shitty attitude.

  • Brett L||

    and I'll show you somebody who either has a felony record, some kind of mental disability, or a really shitty attitude.

    And they sure as hell don't stay at the SAME job. Unless they're mentally disabled. Then they show up and work hard every day.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I worked at Wendy's when I was in high school for a while, and when I got bumped up, I told the boss that I wanted to train whoever was gonna take my place--'cause it was a really demanding station, and it required a lot of thought, and it needed to be done right...

    He says, "Yeah, sure, I already hired somebody, he's coming tomorrow afternoon, and you can help train him!"

    The joke was on me--my replacement had down syndrome.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2tZqXWa7no

    It took him a while to get it, but he worked that station like his whole life depended on it. Dude had an excellent attitude!

    I think this is one of the reasons I have such little sympathy for people who have to compete for these jobs with immigrants: The people with the shitty attitude are being displaced by people who made huge sacrifices and took big risks just so they could work. ...and I'm supposed to feel sorry for the people who think they're entitled to a job they shouldn't have to compete for--because they were born American?

    My sympathy don't work that way.

  • Brett L||

    Yeah, we had a deaf guy at the Mr. Gattis in North Austin who was a pizza making machine. I'm pretty sure the only thing that prevented him from making manager was that he couldn't talk on the phone. I'd hire him and a couple of Downs syndrom guys before some thug or princess who's too good for their entry level job.

  • ||

    I've felt exactly like this person many, many times in my professional career. Too many times to count.

    I have never worked at Wal-Mart.

  • ||

    “We are not yet certain how this will work out long term, but for the fall we are anticipating hiring ten interns rather than twelve.”

    You just demonstrated on a micro level how minimum wage laws make the whole of society poorer. Too bad your readers are too stupid to see the connection.

  • PRX||

    I don't understand why interns don't have to pay.

  • anon||

    I tried to get my slave children to pay me for their food, but they all have no fucking money. Worthless.

  • ||

    Do they at least bring you your slippers and polish your monocle?

  • Irish||

    Then again, given that 'smart' Nation interns didn't know who Bob Woodward is, paying them below minimum wage seems to be about as much money as they deserve.

  • Brett L||

    Dustin Hoffman! No wait, Redford!

  • John||

    Guessing the various things those "smart" interns don't know would make a good parlor game.

    I bet they have no idea who Dwight Eisenhower was or what he did besides being President.

    I bet they don't know who George Marshall was.

    I bet they don't know who what the Treaty of Westphalia is or who designed the piazza in front of St. Peter's in Rome

    Or who built the Pantheon or what it was originally used for

    Or who Gouveneur Morris was and what well known document he had a lot of influence on the drafting of.

    The list is endless.

  • Irish||

    I bet a lot of people don't know the last three. Even someone relatively knowledgeable about politics might not know those.

    The issue with Woodward is that he is a major figure in the very industry that those interns are working in. It would be like a baseball player having no idea who Ken Griffey Jr. is.

  • John||

    I am sure a lot of people don't. But I am equally sure that the interns at The Nation don't consider themselves to be a lot of people. I am sure they consider themselves to be educated and better than the average person when in fact they don't know shit.

  • Brett L||

    More like Ken Griffey Sr. Most interns weren't alive while Woodward was anything but a book writer.

  • sgs||

    "More like Ken Griffey Sr."

    And Jr. wasn't a player for a decade before most of them became adults.

    His comparison was apt and you're still a fucking imbecile.

  • Irish||

    ^^^ This is a strangely harsh comment. Calm down.

  • Brett L||

    He's still butthurt about last night, when he showed his ass and then ran off when it got spanked.

  • ||

    What thread was that? I'd love to read it.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    And Jr. wasn't a player for a decade before most of them became adults.

    Don't you mean "was a player"?

    Who's the fucking imbecile now?

  • General Butt Naked||

    Lemme see if I can pass the John History challenge.

    1. supreme commander of European theatre for US in WWII (that's all I know other than people called him "Ike" and that made for some nifty campaign slogans)

    2. Headed rebuilding of europe. From my hometown has a statue at 5 corners.

    3. a)ummm, something stopping one of those "years" wars, 100? no idea.
    b) bernini

    4. romans was a religious temple

    5. gonna guess from the context some guy from VA or PA that helped in the writing of the constitution

    Do I win an unpaid reason commenter internship now?

  • John||

    Morris was from New York and yes he is the unsung drafter of the Constitution.

    The treaty of Westphalia ended the 30 years war.

    Good try though.

  • Overt||

    "romans was a religious temple"

    ACK!

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    People called the romans they build an aedibus?

  • Paul.||

    Nation interns get other perks, like housing support and subway cards

    But what if they want to eat somewhere else?

  • The DerpRider||

    Being from an area with no mass transit, I immediately thought of free sammiches.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    Love it!
    And about time!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The Left's love of non-profs and their utter lack of understanding of what that actually means is one of the small joys I get from life.

    "Non-profit" does not mean "no money in the bank" but apparently a lot of people don't understand this.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    The left also gets outraged about CEO pay. Yet all the money in non-profits goes to pay their top employees. Is there any topic on which the left isn't completely hypocritical?

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    And while they're at it, how about some stats about the salaries, benes and promotions at all of the "mom and pop" stores the evil Walmart has put out of business.

  • John||

    You know back in the 40s and 50s, progs hated mom and pop stores and downtown business areas in particular. They were totally unplanned, uncontrolled and tacky. It was a socialist who invented the shopping mall. And progs loved it. The idea was to take all of that tacky downtown sprawl and commercialism and cage it in one place. Notice how the signs on the stores in a shopping mall face in generally instead of out. That is by design. The idea was to get all of that tacky commercialism out of site and make things, clean, ordered and planned.

    That of course has been put down the memory hole. But when you go and dig it out, it makes progs current hatred of big box stores and obsession with down town and main street business districts very comical.

  • Brett L||

    I still blame L Frank Baum (of Oz fame) for store commercialization:

    After Baum's newspaper failed in 1891, he, Maud and their four sons moved to Humboldt Park section of Chicago, where Baum took a job reporting for the Evening Post. Beginning in 1897, for several years he edited a magazine for advertising agencies focused on window displays in stores. The major department stores created elaborate Christmas time fantasies, using clockwork mechanisms that made people and animals appear to move. In 1900, Baum published a book about window displays in which he stressed the importance of mannequins in drawing customers.[17] He also had to work as a traveling salesman.

  • John||

    I don't blame him. I love that shit. That is a much better contribution than that crappy set of books he wrote.

  • Zeb||

    Somehow the progressives managed to become reactionary conservatives about many things. Same thing with environmentalism and concern over indigenous cultures and that sort of thing. The progressives and socialists of the early 20th century had no interest in that sort of thing if it stood in the way of their vision for human society.

    I think it is largely because most contemporary people who identify as progressives mostly do it for cultural or fashion reasons. The old school progs and socialists were horrible people, but at least they sort of had a coherent plan.

  • John||

    Someone, I believe it was sarcasmic, put up a lengthy Rand quote about that issue. It was spot on, and I am not even an objectivist. Basically it was that after World War II, it became undeniably apparent that communism was never going to provide the same material comforts that capitalism did. Before the war, socialists would talk about how a single shoe factory could give all the world shoes. Socialists loved technology and industrialization. But when it became apparent that socialism could never compete with capitalism in the use of such, socialists just rejected the whole thing. In the words of Rand, if everyone couldn't have shoes, then socialists would just embrace going barefoot or something to that effect.

    As a result of that, they ended up embracing pretty much everything they had rejected before; indigenous cultures, romanticism over logic and science, the environment over man and so forth. I am not doing the argument justice. But it is absolutely brilliant.

  • Robert||

    So the -ism became more important than the goal; the means once being accepted, the ends had to be changed.

    Yeah, people get like that. What's really scary is that once the new ends become accepted, a change in the facts means they'll wind up changing the means, too. So neither the means nor the ends are what they started out with. And the process can even repeat further. It's usually manifest on an individual basis, however, as with someone's career; only rarely does it make it to the societal -ism stage, but those few cases are enough!

  • Robert||

    A docu-drama serial illustrating that principle was Moseley.

  • CE||

    You know who else had a coherent plan?

  • Robert||

    The inventors of the maser?

  • Invisible Finger||

    They still hate madre y padre stores for the same reasons.

    They only like ma & ma or pa & pa stores because gay people aren't tacky.

  • ChrisO||

    I don't see why Wal-Mart is being silly for doing this. It's nice to finally see a company like this stand up for themselves against the prog-fascists. The only drawback is that The Nation is getting far more publicity than they deserve. How many people even read that dreck?

  • Zeb||

    Making the response isn't silly at all. I think that the response itself is, but deliberately and effectively so.

  • sgs||

    I think he's taking issue with the claim by Mango that walmart is "being silly".

    They're ACTING silly, but that's clearly not what Mango is insinuating.

  • ChrisO||

    I don't even think the response is silly. Pointing out that sub-minimum wage has apparently been "good enough" for Nation interns is an entirely valid response. Sure, it's not exactly apples-to-apples, but close enough.

  • MJGreen||

    Agreed. Would've been great to see them go farther.

    And on the same day that McDonalds told off Bloomberg on Twitter.

  • sgs||

    "They replied that their situation is totally different than Walmart (true)"

    They're an employer, so no, it isn't "totally different", that's a stupid lie.

    "and that they have totally good reasons to pay their interns very little (true)"

    Yeah, money is EXPENSIVE.

    So, you have one lie and one good reason that is actually "greed".

    Jesus, Mango you made a fool of yourself with this article, why not just call the people at the Nation and start offering them handys.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Oh, and how come these Prog types never seem to notice that Wal*Mart does a lot to help poorer customers improve their quality of life?

    If Wal*Mart were suddenly forced to pay $12.50 an hour, it isn't their upper middle-class customers who would suffer the most.

    Raise the minimum wage to $12.50, and w2here are poor people supposed to shop?

  • Invisible Finger||

    Poor people shouldn't be shopping. Poor people should be getting everything they need delivered to them by central planners.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That makes a lot of sense.

    Actually, I notice all the convenience stores and gas station stores in town have signs on their doors that say, "Now Accepting EBT", and to be honest, it kinda pisses me off...

    I think I really would prefer it if the government just sent them all a big block of government cheese.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_cheese

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    I think I read somewhere that shopping at Wal-Mart saves the average poor person something like $2000 per year, which is a huge chunk of change. It may have even been on groceries alone, can't remember. It's not about caring about the poor. It's about appearing to care about the poor.

  • Ken Shultz||

    You got a link to what you think you read somewhere?

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    After some brief googling I can't find a decent story to link to, but if you google it you'll see plenty of stories referencing that fact. I may look for a link after work (if this thread is still going by then).

  • Gorilla tactics||

    I wouldn't bet on them figuring this thing out anytime soon, the progs still haven't fessed up to the Davis Bacon Act

  • Adam330||

    "The Nation has challenged Walmart to raise wages for employees who work for Walmart for their long-term livelihood and who nonetheless struggle to support their families day to day. The internship program is an educational, time-limited engagement that provides a unique training ground for participants at the very start of their careers.

    Additionally, The Nation Institute is a small non-profit trying to raise money to support serious public interest journalism in a challenging fundraising landscape. Walmart earned $17 billion in profits last year."

    So, what they're saying is, the compensation for a job depends on all kinds of variables having to do with the employee and the employer, the employer has to take into consideration whether it can afford a particular wage in terms of value-added and related considerations, and the employee has to consider benefits other than money (training, location, hours, etc.). And really only the parties to the transaction can assess those benefits and costs to decide whether it makes sense. Therefore, some blanket rule about how how much to pay decreed by some uninformed and disinterested third party is pretty stupid. Gotcha.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Notice how they sound just like Mafia thugs obtusely describing their criminal activities.

    "WE'RE JUST A SMALL-TIME OUTFIT TRYING TO MAKE IT IN A COMPETITIVE WORLD."

  • Dweebston||

    It's a small comfort to understand that the people spouting nonsense for the video, despite their nearly unintelligible remarks, are actually quite rational. They understand that competition is a threat and that salvation lies in political posturing and gaming the system. It's one case I'm willing to attribute to malice (theft by proxy) what might otherwise be explained away as shocking ignorance.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Speaking of food stamps...

    I have noticed a surge in stories about how the end of the "Stimulus!" will result in vast numbers of Montana families starving in the gutters when they are dumped from the food stamp program. I wonder what sort of rigorous sorting methodology they will employ.

  • ||

    I can't get over the level of stupidity here. Do you people not know what an internship is? It's not a job. It's paid training for a short term that should lead to bigger and better things in the future with more money.

    Here let me Google that for you.

    An internship is a method of on-the-job training for white-collar and professional careers.Internships for professional careers are similar to apprenticeships for trade and vocational jobs. Although interns are typically college or university students, they can also be high school students or post-graduate adults. On occasion, they are middle school or even elementary students. In some countries, internships for school children are called work experience. Internships may be paid or unpaid, and are usually understood to be temporary positions.

    Comparing someone on their summer break to someone, who for whatever reason, has reached the pinnacle of their working career at a Wal-Mart or some fast food place just trying to make ends meet is just plain ludicrous.

    People need a living wage. It's not socialism it's good business. Anyone who can't see that is only thinking about the loss today and not the gains in the future from a more stable and secure buying public.

  • ||

    You are fucking stupid.

    No minimum wage worker at Wal-Mart has reached "the pinnacle of their working career".

    And if you can't see that forcing someone to pay their employee's more is going to cause the price of their goods or service to go up, thus negatively affecting the consumer, you're even dumber than fucking stupid.

  • ||

    has reached the pinnacle of their working career at a Wal-Mart or some fast food place

    My, aren't we just an elitist piece of crap.

  • John||

    That was my thought. Everyone who works in retain is just some pathetic sub human who will never go anywhere else. God liberals are horrible.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    "It's not socialism it's good business. Anyone who can't see that is only thinking about the loss today and not the gains in the future from a more stable and secure buying public."

    I assume you've started your own business? One that's way more profitable than that run by the crappy businessmen at Wal-Mart?

  • JW||

    People need a living wage

    Then they should acquire a skill which pays such.

    Next!

  • Irish||

    Comparing someone on their summer break to someone, who for whatever reason, has reached the pinnacle of their working career at a Wal-Mart or some fast food place just trying to make ends meet is just plain ludicrous.

    There's your problem right there. You think that the pinnacle of someone's career is stock boy at the Wal Mart. You clearly missed the part about Wal Mart consistently hiring managers internally, which implies that, just like internships at the Nation, a Wal Mart job can very easily be a way to 'bigger and better things.'

    People need a living wage. It's not socialism it's good business. Anyone who can't see that is only thinking about the loss today and not the gains in the future from a more stable and secure buying public.

    How about the people who will be unemployed by your 'living wage?' The Nation itself said that it's decreasing the number of internships by two in order to deal with the increased costs of higher pay. The same thing would happen if Wal Mart raised their pay. They would hire fewer people.

    Not only would they hire fewer people, but the costs of goods would increase in order to make up for higher pay rates. That means that you'd have more unemployed people who would be unable to buy goods because the costs would be too high for their meager savings.

    I can't get over the level of stupidity here.

    Stupid person, heal thyself.

  • Sudden||

    Not only would they hire fewer people, but the costs of goods would increase in order to make up for higher pay rates. That means that you'd have more unemployed people who would be unable to buy goods because the costs would be too high for their meager savings.

    And on top of that, any net gains in overall compensation as a cost of doing business would be met by lower profitability. Lower profitability would be reacted to by investors by lower overall investment, thus decreasing the overall pool of money Walmart has with which to generate business in exchange for return on investment. The resulting lowering in overall enterprise results in far fewer people being employed than even the resulting drop in employment from the wage increase had.

  • Dweebston||

    Let me cite the relevent passage, since you didn't bother reading the article.

    The two firms offer different compensation packages for very different jobs. A comparison of those packages has limited value. Walmart is definitely being silly here. But, to make a timeless point from playgroup squabbles, The Nation totally started it.

    As for your assertions,

    People need a living wage.

    No.

    Anyone who can't see that

    No.

    thinking about the loss today and not

    No.

    a more stable and secure buying public

    No.

  • JW||

    It's not socialism it's good business.

    I eagerly look forward to your tales of running these good businesses.

    "I'll pay everyone far beyond their productive capacity! What can possibly go wrong?"

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    "Here let me Google that for you."

    Condescension and stupidity do not make for a good combination.

  • Dweebston||

    Condescending, elitist, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    +1 foot put down

  • Ken Shultz||

    "People need a living wage."

    When I worked at Wendys, I didn't need a living wage.

    I needed some gas money for my bike. I needed some money to take out my girlfriend.. I needed money for the beach.

    And again, the part you aren't considering is what your "living wage" is going to do to Wal*Mart's poorer customers.

    The standard of living is about what it costs to live--not just how much people make. It's what they can do with what they earn--and your Rx seems to be a lot worse than the disease. Not only does your prescription make it so there are fewer unskilled jobs to go around--you're making it more expensive for poor people to buy necessities at places like Wal*Mart, too.

    Your "living wage" makes it much harder for poor people's cost of living.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    People need a living wage.

    That's big talk coming from someone who's posting from China.

  • Jim in Denver||

    "It's not a job."

    "Here let me Google that for you.

    An internship is a method of on-the-job training for white-collar and professional careers."

    on-the-JOB training... but it's not a job.

    imbecile.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Careful there, comrade. Your contempt for the proletariat is showing. Better get a lid on that before the revolution, or your left-wing friends will toss you in the gulag for a decade to develop a proper revolutionary consciousness.

    -jcr

  • The Late P Brooks||

    People need a living wage.

    I haz a sad.

  • JW||

    Just think how you'd feel with a living wage.

  • Sudden||

    I'm more of a proponent of the undead wage.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I can't afford a living wage. I know I'd never have gotten into the job market when I did if my employer had been forced to pay that much.

  • John||

    Neither would anyone else. Who at age 18 can produce enough value to justify anything but a low wage?

  • Jon Lester||

    I was already getting tired of the Nation always hitting me up for money several times a week, but when I saw the email linking to Mychal Denzel Smith's column about the Trayvon Martin case, I unsubscribed completely.

  • Robert||

    I was with some of the Raging Grannies (see photo above) at the annual End of the Paleozoic Era anniversary celebration. I've met them several times and I like their music & singing (have even sung along), but no matter how much I try to be sympathetic to their causes, I can't be. 3 of them were discussing stop-&-frisk, and 2 of them were in favor of it as long as it didn't involve "profiling", while the 3rd thought it inevitably led to profiling (and therefore opposed it IIRC). I keep trying to think I have some affinity for the "left", but it just ain't there; it seems to be a mirage that keeps receding as I approach. I have disagreements with the "right" (most of it), but with the "left" there's this facade that I mostly can't disagree with, but which belies substance that goes beyond disagreement with me to fundamental opposition in spirit.

  • CE||

    You know who else ordered his officers to stop people and ask for their papers?

  • Robert||

    The recycling mgr.?

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I have the answer:
    Since walmart would have to increase their minimum by 50%, in order to keep the same salary cost they will need to lose 33% of their workforce. SO, take 100 store employees, lock the doors, let them Hunger Games it until there are 66 left. Pay them 12 an hour. They could sell tickets and advertising and it can be broadcast from their security cams.

    What love stories would arise? What intrigue would ensue? Think of the possibilities!!!

  • liam.lah||

    Unpaid interning is bullshit exploitation. I'm glad The Nation is paying it's interns. Though a decent living wage that reflects the work they do and the amount of time they spent preparing for it might be worth looking into.

    Walmart is a piece of shit company that only vulgar libertarians could morally support. Walmart relies on tax breaks, eminent domain laws, and the fact that their shittily paid employees can use welfare to not starve in order to survive.

  • Finrod||

    The only reason a dozen people haven't shredded your idiotic rant to pieces by now is that you posted 2 hours after almost everyone else.

  • Skipper||

    Minimum wages come up in nearly every legislative session nationwide. Why don't those opposed call the bluff of the "living wagers" and offer to raise the minimum to, say, $100 an hour; or better yet, $1,000 an hour? It would be even more amusing should the bill pass.

  • timbo||

    Internships are not implied jobs. That is why they are called internships, i.e. learning experience. Ward is entirely off on the wrong foot by implying that both employers are somehow culpable in some sort of disservice to the employee.
    Employment in this country is VOLUNTARY.
    The wage you earn is based on the employer's risk tolerance and the return that you can provide towards the bottom line. Progressive idiots rarely contribute to profits. People who work at Wal-Mart are not skilled workers. All of these discussions are leaving out the law of price signals. If wal-mart is forced to pay their laborers more because they are in higher demand, than they have two choices: employ them for more and not raise prices, thus dampen profit margins; or raise prices and lose market share(many other scenarios can be interplayed as well). Just because you are on Reason does not mean that you understand market economics. The profit motive is the entire reason that any person on this planet has a job except for useless bureaucrats.

  • Vincent Milburn||

    Liberals don't have to do good. Merely forcing others to live rightly is enough.

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