Walmart

How Walmart Made Liberals Turn Right

The left gets a lesson in basic economics.

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Liberals and conservatives do not agree with each other, as a matter of general principle. If one side says something is true, then the other side will try hard to prove it isn't, just to show them. So it is nice to see liberals come around on a point conservatives have been making for decades: Welfare leads to moral rot.

Conservatives have made this point over and over again, in books and conferences and blog postings ad nauseam. Twenty years ago David Frum, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, wrote that "without welfare and food stamps, poor people would cling harder to working-class respectability than they do now." A couple of years ago Paul Ryan made the same point: "We don't want to turn the safety net into a hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lives of dependency and complacency, that drains them of their will and their incentive to make the most of their lives."

By giving people their daily bread, conservatives say, the welfare state robs them of any reason to get off the couch and make it themselves. And this is bad not just because it imposes economic costs on society. It is bad because it corrodes virtue. Industry, thrift, a go-getter spirit—these are important qualities in both the individual and the community. Laziness, sloth, dependence on others—these are character flaws. Those on welfare could go to work and do for themselves, conservatives say, if only the welfare state hadn't enabled them not to.

Liberals think this is all bunk. While some, such as economist Paul Krugman, might concede that "incentives do have some effect on work effort," they contend the effect is quite small. What's more, they say conservatives get the causality backward. People receive government benefits because they are poor, and they are poor because of economic circumstances. They aren't poor because of government benefits.

Or so they used to say. But then came Walmart.

A couple of weeks ago Walmart announced it would raise hourly wages for half a million employees. The New York Times argued it should be forced to raise pay even further through an increase in the national minimum wage. After all, the paper said, there is "little doubt that Walmart (and other employers) would pay more if low wages were not, in effect, subsidized by taxpayers, who pay for the food stamps and other public assistance that low-wage workers rely on to get by."

The Times was referring to a study, such as it was, purporting to show Walmart's low wages cost taxpayers $6.2 billion in public assistance, including food stamps, Medicaid, and housing benefits. Other studies have purported to show similar things about the fast-food industry—which ostensibly costs the taxpayers $7 billion in social-welfare spending.

These tendentious claims have several shortcomings, such as loaded assumptions (PolitiFact has ruled a similar claim, by an MSNBC figure, "mostly false") and the fact that a slightly smaller percentage of Walmart's workforce receives public benefits than the average for the U.S. retail sector as a whole.

Imagine, too, what would happen if Walmart and fast-food restaurants went out of business tomorrow. Would other companies snap up all their employees, perhaps even pay them better? Probably not. (In fact, the increase in job applicants might depress wages elsewhere.) It is far more likely that the shutdowns would lead to higher unemployment and therefore even more social-welfare spending. Hence Walmart and other low-wage employers probably reduce the total amount of social-welfare spending in the U.S., rather than increase it.

But forget all that. Assume the company's critics are right—that Walmart is leaning on public assistance to avoid pay hikes it otherwise would have to make. The criticism here isn't simply an economic one. It's also a moral one.

Greed, stinginess, lack of compassion—those qualities that supposedly produce Walmart's low wages—are character flaws. Indeed, one of the groups criticizing Walmart's pay scales is Americans for Tax Fairness—and fairness is a question of moral judgment. Another left-leaning group, Demos, lamented in a report on raising Walmart pay that "American workers are working harder for less" even as the rich get richer. Walmart, says The American Prospect, creates "an America where millions of people who get up and go to work each day are nevertheless paid too little to feed themselves."

You get the idea: Walmart has a moral obligation to pay its workers more—and it would, if not for all the food stamps, housing assistance and medical benefits those workers receive from the federal government.

What is this but the conservative welfare critique applied to a different party? It's not economic circumstances that have led to Walmart's low wages, but moral shortcomings. Government assistance has lulled an able-bodied company into dependency and complacency, draining it of the will and the incentive to do the right thing for its workers.

The two arguments continue running in parallel. Conservatives argue that poor people would be better off in the long run if they took even menial jobs, and thereby started to develop the habits of character that are essential for anyone who wishes to prosper.

Liberals argue that Walmart and other low-wage companies would be better off if they paid workers more. As Demos argued two years ago: "Walmart . . . workers earn too little to generate the consumer demand that supports hiring and would lead to economic recovery. . . . If Walmart redirected its current spending to invest in its workforce, the benefits would extend to all stake-holders in the company—customers, stockholders, taxpayers, employees and their families—and the economy as a whole."

Conservatives used such arguments to push through welfare reform, forcing recipients to seek the jobs right-wingers felt they needed for their own good. And as the Times put it the other day about Walmart's recent wage announcement, "Walmart can readily afford to do better than those measly increases. But it is very unlikely to do that voluntarily, without government action."

By government action, the paper meant raising the minimum wage, not cutting welfare. But be thankful for small favors: At least some progressives are beginning to admit there's a problem.

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  1. I read Paul Krugman so that you don’t have to. From today’s column:

    “…Walmart’s move tells us ? namely, that low wages are a political choice, and we can and should choose differently.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03…..egion&_r=0

    1. Who’s this “we,” Kimosabe?

      Why don’t the Krugmans of the world put their money where their mouths are and develop and operate a retail business model that pays a “living wage” and maintains prices comparable to Walmart’s.

      Oh, it’s so much easier to use the state to force others to comply with your policy preferences? How ingenious!

      1. “…put their money where their mouths are…”

        Lefties never, ever argue in good faith. Ever.

        See Tony and shreek. See Krugman. See…well, any leftie.

        1. They don’t where it serves their purpose, which is a genuine, quasi-religious belief that Man is Fallen and therefore must be rectified through violence, if necessary.

          1. They don’t where it serves their purpose, which is a genuine, quasi-religious belief that Man is Fallen and therefore must be rectified through violence, if necessary.

            As if they’re aware of any other choice? There’s no problem that unlimited political power can’t solve.

          2. While conveniently forgetting that among those same, “fallen” individuals are those in government itself, wielding the potential violence.

        2. Perhaps you should focus on making more sense – and substance – of your own views, instead of speaking so shallowly for others.

          To the point, such as it appeared to be, liberals favor higher taxes to pay for the things they believe are necessary. You realize that this includes taxes on themselves, right?

          They also donate a greater percentage of their income to charitable causes, on average.

          There may be better examples of putting one’s money where one’s mouth is, but I doubt it.

          1. Aw, gee. I do NOT believe liberals donate a greater percentage of income to charitable causes. Can you support your assertion? Which of us is wrong here?

          2. Sorry B1B, but that is BS. I challenge you to prove that.
            The reality is that liberals want to force everyone to pay higher taxes “out of compassion”.

    2. How can a man be so ignorant of a subject that he once wrote a half decent book about?

      1. Krugman also writes in today’s column that labor doesn’t follow the supply demand curve like other commodities.

        As you hint at, Don Boudreaux at cafehayek, and others, have pointed out that PK has written previously that labor is indeed subject to supply/demand curves.

        1. Krugman has also written on rent control; calling it the disaster that it is as a result of incentives.
          Lefties never quote him on that.

          1. Lefties imposed rent control, then they bitch about the poor condition of rent controlled housing.

            The rent income is where the money comes from to do the maintenance on the rental properties.

            Is rent controlled housing also tax controlled, with the property tax frozen at the same rate it was when the rent rates were frozen?

            Even with that, the prices for doing repairs and maintenance were not kept from increasing.

            But that’s just typical leftist economic nonsense, the belief that any one facet of an economic system can be “adjusted” without having any effect on all the rest of it.

            1. Wow, you folks are really getting at the heart of the issue. Oh, wait, that’s actually the gall bladder.

    3. Typical BRILLIANT anlisis from DR Krugabe. In contravention of his own textbook, no doubt. Makes you wonder why some people even use his textbook, when the GUY WHO WROTE IT doesn’t even follow its conclusions…

    4. The gall of this guy. He knows this is bullshit. And he writes it anyway.

      What a turd.

      1. The gall of this guy. He knows this is bullshit. And he writes it anyway.

        He’s an entertainer. He gets paid to entertain, and he knows his audience. Magicians know their tricks are BS, and they do them anyway. Actors know their lines are BS, but they say them anyway. The difference with Krugman is that many in his audience don’t realize he is paid to entertain.

        1. I do wonder how many of the talking heads are simply Elmer Gantrys, preaching to the rubes and passing round the collection plate.

        2. An entertainer who was awarded a Nobel Prize, which I consider a travesty.

    5. What the Left never gets is that the minimum wage is $0 – no one has to hire you.

      What the Right never gets is that people don’t have to be destitute to have an incentive to work. People still want to get *more*, even if they’re not starving.

      It’s the welfare state that punishes those on benefits who try to work with punitive effective marginal tax rates that often exceed 100%, taking away benefits faster than the welfare recipients can earn money.

      It’s simply an obscene system that makes people worse off if they try to make some marginal dollars to improve their situation.

      Friedman and Murray had the right plan – basic benefits, without the penalties for working. People don’t starve, and still have an incentive to work.

      1. My disabled parents get Social Security, pretty much the minimum there is since due to accidents and injuries they were unable to pay in.

        They also get food “stamps” and other aid. Any time there’s any increase in any of the aid they get, one or more of the others get an equal cut, sometimes a bit more.

        Dad recently got a 10% military disability pension, though since he’s had heart surgery he should get 100%. (Never has smoked or drank alcohol!)

        So what happened? All the aid he gets, except for Social Security (which cannot be cut due to any military benefits) got cut *exactly* the amount of his puny little pension.

  2. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I’ve been doing,,,,,,
    http://www.work-mill.com

    1. Go over to HuffPo where there are people who are actually stupid enough to click that link.

      1. *quickly closes browser window, looks up and gives weak smile*

        1. It’s not too late to stop payment on the check.

  3. I’m having a hard time here finding where so called liberals have suddenly become champions of free markets.

    Reminds me of a guy I know who has not worked a day for 6 years, although he is able to work and even has marketable skills. His reasoning is as follows:

    I’ve been out of work for so long that I’d have to start out working in a job that I’m over qualified for and take low pay. I need 35k starting to live as well as I do on government assistance and no one is offering me that, so fuck work.

    1. They don’t and never will support free markets. It’s all about control, all the time, over economic life.

      And control over economic life allows the left to control every other aspect of life. “Benevolent totalitarianism” is the end goal.

      1. “ECONOMIC LIFE”?!?!?

        Would that leftists limited themselves to JUST that sphere… not political,social, intellectual, educational, cultural, academic, etc etc etc etc

    2. I may lose my libertarian membership card for saying this, but when people rant about the “leeches” taking government money, like that guy you know, I usually respond that those people WOULD be crazy to go to work. They’re just making rational decisions, like we’re supposed to. The root problem is the creation of a system that rewards people who don’t produce. I don’t blame people personally for acting legally to take advantage of the system.

      1. They’re just making rational decisions, like we’re supposed to.

        This.

        1. Yes – this is a point I’ve made to others as well. I know of several individuals who would think anyone who works for a living and earns approximately as much money as welfare beneficiaries are fools.

        2. True. And even a very industrious person would be able to collect benefits and still make money on cash transactions on the side.

          1. That’s why the left wants to eliminate cash. If all transactions have to be electronic in some way, all transactions can be tracked.

        3. US welfare and tax policies place an enormous burden on the poor. They face effective marginal tax rates of thousands of percent at various rungs of the ladder out of poverty.

          Faced with earning an extra $100/year and loosing $1000/year of housing assistance as a consequence, it is rational to just say no. This is compounded by fact that they know there are other hurdles as their income increases: loss of disability income, loss of Medicaid, loss of child care, loss of food stamps, and eventually loss of ObamaCare subsidies at 400% of poverty line. With each of these, the poor face effective marginal cost that is thousands of percent greater than marginal revenue. It is easy to understand why so many would say, “fuck it”.

          In the short and intermediate term, a person on welfare is perfectly rational to just say no. In fact, one would has to be both optimistic and long-term oriented to do otherwise.

          1. Agreed. That’s why Freidman’s negative income tax is a novel way to address this issue. Instead of cutting off aid at certain income levels, aid tapers off the more you make, making it more profitable to work than to remain completely on government assistance.

            1. The Earned Income Credit is to me, precisely what Friedman proposed many years ago.

      2. Agreed.

      3. When enough people decide to say fuck work, I’ll just get on the government dole, there’s going to be a little problem. I think it has been described as running out of other peoples money.

        1. I think the point is that the problem isn’t so much the fact that some people decide to say “fuck it” and just go on the dole, but that we have a welfare system with such perverse incentives in the first place. Not sure what to do about it though, there’s probably no politically viable solution until we finally do run out of other people’s money.

          1. The USA ran out of other people’s money in the 1970’s. Easy to see with how prices that were essentially flat for 100+ years, with or without “adjusting for inflation”, took off upwards.

            Part of that was the phony oil “shortage” and starting the oil futures market.

            I’ve talked to too many people who worked at the ports during the “oil crisis” to believe there ever was any real “shortage” of oil. The storage tanks were full and there were tankers lined up waiting to unload.

            Just a huge fraud to drastically jack up the price of energy, which naturally caused the price of everything else to go up, which pushed labor to demand higher pay.

            And round and round it’s gone for nearing 50 years.

        2. Until they have gone full Stalin style communism, they have not run out of other people’s money and there is always another pot to steal from.

          The only way out of this is complete ruin.

          1. The only way out of this is complete ruin

            This. Either we have (Great Depression + WWII)x10 or the welfare state keeps going. The entire first world and most of the second world has committed to welfare state socialism of various flavors… Once they finally gum up enough gears, the engine will just sputter to a halt.

            Anybody who says we can transition away from that situation without horror of unimaginable proportion is much more of an optomist than I.

        3. We are 17 Trillion in debt. I think we ran out of other peoples money a LONG time ago. 😉

          1. Absolutely not. The fact that we are 17 trillion in debt just shows that other people are still more than willing to loan us their money. They have and will continue to loan us more and more money until the interest on the debt begins to limit the goodies that can be handed out to the various constituencies. Think “Greece” and you’ll get the picture.

            Our politicians find it politically difficult to raise taxes too much higher, but we’ve definitely not run out of other people”s money ?. we just get them to loan it to us or give it to us via inflationary central banking (QE).

      4. Unless you are a kolinahr master, “rational” is not always synonymous with “moral”.

        Jus’ sayin’

        1. Damn it, HM, that was my point.

          1. The points of the many…?

      5. They’re just making rational decisions, like we’re supposed to.

        Yes and no. I lived through this question when I was first married. Many of my neighbors took the obvious answer and collected everything they could get their hands on. But this is only looking at short-term goals. Taking the easy-way out and collecting welfare thwarts the long-term goal of having a good life.

        1. I guess it depends on what the individual’s goals are. If the goal is to live a relatively easy life while not having to work much, collecting welfare may very well fulfill that long-term goal.

        2. “But this is only looking at short-term goals.”

          Yes. After 20 years of doing that they look at how much more you have than they do, already have an entitlement mentality, and decide that you don’t deserve yours. They should have it.

            1. And you got your money because you were “lucky”, of course.

              1. You didn’t build that!

      6. You can be rational and still be an asshole.

        1. That’s basically been my life plan since I was about 15.

        2. This should be the new H&R tagline.

          1. reason: “Free minds, free markets, still assholes”.

            I’m still not sure I like it better than “Ass sex, cocktails, and Mexicans.”

            1. *Ahem*

              Ass sex, pot and Mexicans!!!!!

              1. Some of us like our drugs with a thin slice of lemon peel, Switzy.

                1. Dammit, I’m late again.

                  The tag line should be:

                  “Ass sex, cocktails, pot, and Mexicans”.

                  Why not have both cocktails and pot?

                  1. “Ass sex, cocktails, Millenials, polls, pot and Mexicans”

      7. Rational is not always equal to moral.

      8. They can be leeches and be responding rationally to incentives, you know.

        As in, “yeah, I’d be economically better off to just cash welfare checks the rest of my life, but on the whole I’d rather have some self-respect, so I’ll work.”

        1. “Id rather have some self-respect, so I’ll work.”

          This is a point you and I have covered in the past, I believe.

      9. Ding ding ding….

        We have a winner!

    3. If he was a woman with kids she would get double the 35k.

      A recent article said that a happy life in America can be obtained by a man and a woman never getting married. The man buys a house and the woman uses section 8 to rent it from him. She gets pell grants and goes to college he stays home and babysits, She gets and several other forms of assistance. WIC, food stamps, etc etc and the total benefits hit 75k per year.

      1. Link please, would love to see that article.

        1. It came in an email and I don’t have a link.

          Here is the summary at the end.

          This plan is perfectly legal and is being executed now by millions of people.
          A married couple with a stay at home mom yields 0 dollars.
          An unmarried couple with stay at home mom nets.
          21600 disability +
          10800 free housing +
          6000 free obamacare +
          6000 free food +
          4800 free utilities +
          6000 pell grant money to spend +
          12000 a year in college tuition free from pell grant +
          8800 tax benefit for being a single mother =
          ———
          75,000 a year in benefits

          1. yeah, pretty sure “millions of people” are not doing that. Id be surprised if you could find one person/family doing that.

            1. The millions of people statement isn’t mine as my post shows.

              You seem to be “pretty sure” of something you have no knowledge of. If you’ve seen any of the Acorn videos you have to accept that there are groups out there that help people “navigate” through all the government programs.

          2. If the mom is stay at home I presume the dad works, although in your model here he apparently works for nothing because you said it yields no money.

            1. Where did I say it earns no money ?

              Even if he does work it does not factor in to what his woman brings home because she isn’t legally married.

              He would probably have to have a job at some point to be able to buy a house. Unless he made arrangements through owner financing. But he could then quit working on the books and just babysit .

    4. they aren’t

      The thing that liberals/progressives/socialists won’t ever admit is the problem isn’t how much Walmart or any other private sector employer pays its how much the Government is extorting out to the employers and employees in the way of taxes and regulation.

      If the taxation wasn’t so onerous the economic status of all workers would be far better. All taxation ultimately falls upon the working class whether that individual makes $25,000 a year or $250,000 a year. Corporations don’t pay taxes – workers and consumers do. Every dollar that is raised on the corporation is a dollar that cannot be paid to employees or a extra dollar that the consumer has to pay.

      By transferring the money from workers to non workers it reduces economic power from the employers, employees and consumers, and increases that of government by economic control of “benefit” recipients. On top of that – yes it kills the incentive to work.

      This is why Obama and the Democrats seek to expand the welfare state and increasing its influence in the private sector with legislation such as ObamaCare.
      Leftists know they must destroy economic success storys like Walmart amd if they can’t they try to co-opt it. This what they are trying to do – using the old minimum wage canard to deflect from the real problem which is crippling oppressive taxation and regulation.

    5. “I’m having a hard time here finding where so called liberals have suddenly become champions of free markets.”

      Hinkle makes the mistake of thinking that they’ll be intellectually consistent for once in their lives, and recognize that the two arguments proceed from the same assumptions.

      What Hinkle doesn’t get is that the Left doesn’t care what about intellectual consistency. Honesty. Rationality. They make arguments as tactics in a war. Say whatever pushes the herd in your direction, then change your tune entirely when you need to move the herd in another direction.

      Words are weapons to manipulate, not a means to accurately represent reality.

      1. Remember, doublethink, or in this age often as high as quintuplethink.

        A lefty can say completely different things to every group, every individual, and simultaneously believe all of it, no matter how much it all contradicts.

  4. “I read Paul Krugman so that you don’t have to.”

    Brave and honorable you are.

  5. “Libertarian” is Anastasia Steele?

    1. (Meant as response to Charles Easterly above)

      1. Nice.

    2. Or Bob Murphy.

      1. Did he take one for the team?

  6. I remember Bob Beckel on the Five make the concession (He’s now done this a number of times) that the welfare state has actually hurt poor people and it was, of course, an unintended consequence that liberals needed to address. Within fifteen minutes, on the same show, he was accusing Republican Party of wanting to starve old people. At best Progressives let their emotions trump reason, at worst they are disingenuous shit-weasles.

    1. As long as you don’t want them to starve, you are absolved when your policies cause them to starve.

      1. Exhibit A: shit-weasel.

      2. Tony|3.2.15 @ 12:46PM|#
        “As long as you don’t want them to starve, you are absolved when your policies cause them to starve.”

        Cite missing, asshole.
        We can expect you to show up and become the sparkling example of lefty lies.

      3. What specific policy has led to people starving to death?

          1. Tony’s people were responsible for that.

            1. CatoTheElder|3.2.15 @ 2:11PM|#
              “Tony’s people were responsible for that.”

              And that’s just the start of the mendacity.

      4. Life is about choices Tony.

        Given the numbers that I’m seeing thrown around here, it looks like I’m actually living on a post-tax income that these folks are being given. I live quite well, actually. It would take an awfully big cut to get me to starve. First I’d have to give up a few things, like the cable and cell phone bills, home improvements, Fido and Fluffy. Maybe a (much) smaller house without so many bathrooms and bedrooms, not live alone, etc.

        The “poverty” level is set so high that any of my grandparents who lived quite well would now be considered poor for their lack of “necessities” such as many of the things that did not even exist 75 yrs ago.

        1. The richest country on earth should strive a little higher than “no starvation.”

          1. The richest country in the world has “no starvation” without even trying, and they do even better at providing for themselves when your ilk aren’t waiting in the wings to seize, destroy and control what others have produced.

      5. Just what every capitalist wants- starving disgruntled employees….. umm NOT.
        The problem Tony isn’t how much the employer pays – its how much the govenment takes. This is not only individual Federal/State income tax and payroll taxes, but also corporate income and sales taxes.
        All these taxes reduce the bottom line and reduce the amount that the company can pay its employees. That is why their NET income is low.
        Government loves to come along and give the money to non workers in order to
        A. justify it existence
        B. buy the vote
        C. control the population (he who controls food and healthcare controls the population

        Now Tony if you want to live in a fascist society where everything you earn or are able to buy is dictated to you go move to Cuba where the average worker earns $20 per month. Im sure they can find a rotting hut where you can park your lezy socialist ass.

      6. “Bob Beckel on the Five make the concession (He’s now done this a number of times) that the welfare state has actually hurt poor people and it was, of course, an unintended consequence that liberals needed to address.”

        “As long as you don’t want them to starve, you are absolved when your policies cause them to starve.”

    2. I remember Bob Beckel on the Five make the concession (He’s now done this a number of times) that the welfare state has actually hurt poor people and it was, of course, an unintended consequence that liberals needed to address.

      You misunderstood. He was expecting a magic solution that eliminated the problem without giving up the part where you hand out free stuff.

      So if you’re discussing the issue with him and assert that there are no solutions to the problem he delineated that don’t involve no longer giving out free stuff, he will not accept that.

      He doesn’t consider it HIS job to craft a solution that fits his parameters, even after you tell him YOUR solution. It’s YOUR job to give him another solution, even after you tell him that there isn’t one. In fact, placing any restriction whatsoever on the range of possible solutions makes you a nihilist, because you just don’t believe enough.

      1. beckel is a blowhard and an idiot. They only have him on the show for “balance” – in other words they have four reasonable rational people and one liberal who does little but spout the party line. Same with Alan Combs and Juan Williams.

        1. Well you can’t be too hard on Beckel and Williams. Compared to say “Meet the Press with Chuck Todd”, they are right leaning centrists.

    3. “the welfare state has actually hurt poor people and it was, of course, an unintended consequence that liberals needed to address.”

      This is why Republicans and Libertarians fail. They let the Left get away with claims of “good intentions”. The intention to control your neighbors through force and fraud is the *worst* of intentions.

      The welfare state makes the poor dependent *by design*.

      Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”

      ? George Orwell, 1984

      The object of dependency is dependency.

  7. You get the idea: Walmart has a moral obligation to pay its workers more?and it would, if not for all the food stamps, housing assistance and medical benefits those workers receive from the federal government.

    What is this but the conservative welfare critique applied to a different party?

    Um, no?

    The left is mad at Walmart because they’re making obscene profits off the back of their workers, evidenced by their eligibility for public assistance, and it is the duty of government to force Walmart to pay more.

    I see that in no way equivalent to the argument that welfare breeds sloth.

    1. I see what Mr. Hinkle is trying to do, but I agree with your assessment.

    2. The average full-time worker at Walmart will earn $28k. If they are able to collect benefits at that rate, the problem is not with Walmart. $52k/year is not the median, but within spitting distance of the average household. A laborer makes $14/hr. With rainouts and slowdowns, they’re lucky to make 2000 hours in a year. But, they only have to stay unskilled for about 2 years. Same with Walmart employees.

    3. The left is mad at Walmart because they’re making obscene profits off the back of their workers

      Sort of. The Walton family is fairly conservative, and based out of the South. This triggers a lot of the lefty attack dogs. If each and every Walmart had a rainbow flag hanging over their entrances, we would read a lot less about them.

      1. More specifically, the Walton family and WalMart have resisted every attempt to unionize WalMart.

        Lefties want the country’s largest employer subject to the unions, and Democrats lust after the unions’ money.

        1. As has Target, Lowes, and Home Depot – except those places are frequented by college-educated suburbanites, you know the “right sort of people” as defined by the Left. Walmart is frequented by people in rural areas, the “bitter clingers” as defined by the Left.

          1. liberals shop at walmart, too.

            1. Not the “eliteist” leaders.

              Democrats shop at Wal-mart.

        2. Agree CtheE, good point

      2. The profits are not as obscene as people think. Walmart as well as most American corporations that size make money off of being that big, – in other words volume not margin.

        eg……if you have 10,000 stores its a lot easer to make $100,000,000 than it is for someone who has 100 stores – and the way you maintain market share is by having lower prices than your competitors. Its called economies of scale.

        Wages must stay reasonable in order to maintain quality employees because if a competitor in the labor market pays more they the best employees leave.

        So the bottom line is that the “big” profits are because the corporation is large in scale, not because they are ripping their consumers or employees off.
        Of course economics is no longer taught at the high school (and often college) level anymore so most people haven’t a clue as to how this works -or progressive taxation- or redistribution policy either.

    4. Uhm no. This is an unintended consequence of the welfare state. You people don’t ever get unintended consequences. Why on earth would Wal-mart pay people more when these benefits are available?

      The government should not have a say when it comes to pay! (see I can come up with cute rhymes too)

      1. I think read your comment wrong Sarcasmic. RETRACTED!!!!

      2. its not that they don’t get unintended consequences – its more that they really don’t care. And the consequences are a carefully crafted strategy.

        Obama knew what the consequences of Obamacare was – he just doesn’t care whether someone suffers(or potentially dies) because their healthcare and or treatment was interrupted. All he cares is that his agenda(wealth redistribution, government control and expansion) gets advanced

        The left wants to destroy private ownership of the “means of production”.
        Its a central tenet of their ideology.
        Welfare is a tool to destroy the spirit and will of the American worker. Class envy is used to lower the control of business owners and buy votes.

  8. First, how about conservatives stop lecturing everyone about how to behave morally? Never trust it when the people with all the money are dictating morality for those with none. In this country, the harder you’re actually working, the less you’re probably making. So they can take that self-serving work ethic bullshit and either submit it to the rigors of science or they can shove it up their fat asses.

    Second, the fact that companies exploit the safety net by paying low wages and having government pick up the slack (ensuring enough demand for their own products) is not an argument against having a safety net, but for having a higher minimum wage. The reason we have a safety net is so that people don’t starve to death for the crime of not living up to conservative work ethic moral bullshit. Or, say, for having no legs or being 90 years old and being unable to work. And if someone writes the word “charity” I’m going to vomit. No unicorns-ex-machina today.

    I prefer a judgment-free system of buttressing a middle class with tested policies over social darwinism dressed up in cynical moral preening.

    1. No. You prefer to be ignorant of economics, no matter the evidence.

    2. the harder you’re actually working, the less you’re probably making.

      Ah, yes. The labor theory of value. Marx, Lenin and Mau would be proud.

      1. The saying is “Work smarter, not harder.”

      2. On a per hour basis, after taxes, this is actually true! Of course, it does require *working* to have to have all those taxes taken by the various governmental bodies.


    3. Give me a C!
      Give me an H!
      Give me an A!
      Give me an R!
      Give me an I!
      Give me a T!
      Give me a Y!
      What does that spell?

      VOMIT!

    4. social darwinism

      Ah yes. The belief that blacks and others are inherently inferior and in need of a helping white hand from government, while anyone who disagrees is accused of racism. Doublethink is an amazing thing.

    5. Tony|3.2.15 @ 12:43PM|#
      “First, how about conservatives stop lecturing everyone about how to behave morally?”

      When assholes like you start doing so, I’ll be happy to quit lecturing you on it.
      Until then, you continue to act like an adolescent, I’ll continue to call you on it.

    6. First, how about conservatives stop lecturing everyone about how to behave morally?

      I don’t know about conservatives.

      I do know that when conservatives lecture me on how to act morally, I can usually ignore them, and certainly the arc of history is moving in a way that the morals they lecture about are not something I need to spend much time on.

      I do also know that when liberals lecture me on morality, it is almost certainly going to be followed up by a push for a law or regulation that will force me to act according to their definition of morality “for my own good” or, worse, “for the greater good”.

      I don’t much care for that, either.

    7. Authentic frontier derp!

      Because the typical Walmart worker is the breadwinner for a family of 4!

      Herp herp herpaderp!

      1. Authentic frontier derp!

        “Now who can argue with that? I think we’re all indebted to Tony for clearly stating what needed to be said. I’m particulary glad that these lovely children were here today to hear that speech. Not only was it authentic frontier derp, it expressed a courage little seen in this day and age.”

    8. The solution is charity, freely given.

      Please upload video of yourself vomiting to Youtube and provide the link, unless that’s one more thing you’re lying about.

    9. dumbass, the left is the moralizing side here. Soda bans, public shaming of people who don’t accept the gay agenda, etc. Sure the right has it’s preachers, but they came from (and still belong) on the left.

      And labor theory of value? Yes, tell me how that is applicable in a modern society where machines make most things and labor use is at all-time lows. Wow amn, ignorance here is astounding.

      1. You can lead Tony to knowledge, but you can’t make him learn.

        1. its not that he’s poorly educated – its just that he has been enthusiastically taught so many things that just aren’t real.

          1. He’s insanely easy to analyze. Yet another homosexual, petulant at God who he claims isn’t there.

    10. I’m guessing that the word “family” would make you puke even more than the word “charity”?

      I will grant you that there are some rare occasions when a person might fall on hard times and really have no help available. But in most cases there is help from someone, either by the extended family or some other group.

      The thought of helping your own 90 year old relative instead of relying on the guvt to do it for you? Perish the thought!

      1. Tony has already made it clear that he feels no parent would take care of their child without laws saying that they must. Based upon that I seriously doubt he would ever voluntarily help a member of his family under any circumstance. Why should he? That’s what government is for.

        1. I know, I’ve seen Tony rant about the insanity of taking care of your own family before.

          It is telling to me that people like Tony are so mortified of living with their parents. What sort of relationship did they have growing up?

          1. He appears to embrace being unwanted by his trolling here. Maybe it makes him feel at home.

          2. Multi-generational households are the historic norm. And after a two generation gap, its coming back.

            And that scares Tony.

          3. Tony’s father abandoned him when Tony was a young boy.

            He is mad at the world.

      2. But why choose that system when a safety net makes everyone freer, the market fairer, and economic outcomes better?

        On the one hand you want to claim that personal prosperity in the free market is a product of good choices and hard work. On the other you want everyone to be subject to random forces of luck, such as whether they’ll have to spend much of their income taking care of elderly or disabled relatives. Since dependent people (elderly, disabled, children) are a fact of human life, why doesn’t it make sense simply to incorporate them into an economic system instead of pretending with absolutely no justification that the charity unicorn will take care of it all?

        Krugman explicitly notes that an economy with broad prosperity doesn’t happen naturally. And nowhere in history can you point to evidence of when it has. But presumably you’re OK with government intervention if it means protecting your home and possessions from being taken. But securing the basic biological needs of human beings is evil socialism. It is not coherent.

        1. But why choose that system when a safety net makes everyone freer,

          Tell that to the people who are forced to pay for it

          the market fairer,

          Children want things to be fair. Adults understand that justice is not always fair.

          and economic outcomes better?

          Sure, as long as you ignore the opportunity cost of forcibly extracting money from the economy that could have been put to productive use.

        2. But presumably you’re OK with government intervention if it means protecting your home and possessions from being taken. But securing the basic biological needs of human beings is evil socialism. It is not coherent.

          Actually it’s quite coherent. If, in the name of social justice and equality, I steal some of your possessions because you have more stuff than me, government has a duty to help you get your stuff back and punish the thief.

          If instead I have government do the stealing for me, you have no where to go to get justice.

          So social justice is in fact not justice at all. It’s institutionalized injustice.

        3. Krugman has long abandoned the position of an honest economist back when he started carrying the water for the Hillary campaign. He was quick to switch sides to Obama when he saw which way the wind was blowing.

          All in the chase for a high level government appointmenet.

          1. Look into some Paul Krugman, but nothing recent. Paul Krugman stopped writing seriously about economics the day he got his column in the New York Times. – My senior thesis adviser, c. 2003.

            Krugman has admitted to being a complete and utter shill in the past; it’s one of the reasons he was so excited for Democratic administration. Old habits die hard, I guess.

          2. Krugman was dishonest way before that … don’t forget that he was a paid Enron cheerleader.

            1. Krugman is a slug – nothing more – no one with two brain cells to rub together actually takes him seriously.

        4. Krugman has long abandoned the position of an honest economist back when he started carrying the water for the Hillary campaign. He was quick to switch sides to Obama when he saw which way the wind was blowing.

          All in the chase for a high level government appointmenet.

        5. But presumably you’re OK with government intervention if it means protecting your home and possessions from being taken. But securing the basic biological needs of human beings is evil socialism. It is not coherent.

          it’s very simple and we’ve been over this before.

          All powers possessed by the government have to be delegated to it by individuals.

          Do I individually possess the moral right to kill anyone who tries to kill me or steal what I have labored to produce? Yup.

          Do I individually possess the moral right to enslave sarcasmic to feed Tony? Nope.

          The reasons behind those two answers might take us considerable debate to cover, but it’s certainly straightforward and coherent.

          1. No it isn’t. You like socialism for some things, not for others, and your arbitrary opinion on this matter is not up for debate because you say so.

    11. Tony

      I have an honest question for you. You said

      companies exploit the safety net by paying low wages and having government pick up the slack

      Would you not agree that Walmart hires people that nobody else would hire? And if you disagree with my implication, please shop at a Walmart and then head to another retailer (Nordstrom’s, Macy’s etc) and tell me if you see a difference between these groups of employees.

      My point is that places like Walmart greatly reduce the need for a govt net in the first place. Not acknowledging this is disingenuous .

      1. umm wrong again. Their employees can and do work for other employers, generally at the same skill level – mostly other retailers. Many are people who work for Walmart while gaining job skills for a better career.

        Thats what I did – worked lower end jobs while gaining skills that enabled me to work for better paying jobs.

        1. Not really sure what you mean by “wrong again.”

          I think my point still stands and really echoes one of the article’s points. The idea that Walmart is exploiting the welfare state is completely wrongheaded. As Hinkle points out

          “Hence Walmart and other low-wage employers probably reduce the total amount of social-welfare spending in the U.S., rather than increase it.”

          Is it your assertion that this is false?

          Also, you said that
          “Many are people who work for Walmart while gaining job skills for a better career.”

          I take you are/were a Walmart employee or know a lot more than I do. The one person who I knew who worked at a Walmart (ex-gf’s mom) definitely was not working there to advance her career. Also, a lot of the Walmart employees I’ve come across on Ohio an Missouri do not seem to be in the age range of someone who is advancing their career.

    12. In this country, the harder you’re actually working, the less you’re probably making.

      i don’t believe, and have never claimed to believe, that working “hard” should make you money.

      Producing value should make you money. I don’t care the level of effort you put out, if you produce value equal (in my estimation) to the price you’re charging.

      Second, the fact that companies exploit the safety net by paying low wages and having government pick up the slack (ensuring enough demand for their own products) is not an argument against having a safety net, but for having a higher minimum wage.

      Not really.

      Precisely because there IS a safety net, working for a lower wage can produce a viable value for the worker. Put another way, let’s say I’m guaranteed my subsistence (maybe I still live with my parents or something). A job that paid me minimum wage would produce my disposable income. If you price me out of the labor market by making it a criminal act for my employer to offer, and for me to take, employment at those terms, you’re eliminating my disposable income. The person who eliminates me disposable income isn’t helping me. They’re being a dick.

      I prefer a judgment-free system of buttressing a middle class with tested policies over social darwinism dressed up in cynical moral preening.

      I’m pretty sure you don’t know what the term “social Darwinism” means.

      1. Nail on the head about value. Liberals just can’t seem to get that in their little pea brain heads.

    13. How is the NYT screaming that Walmart should further increase wages, through government mandate, to pay a moral minimum wage not lecturing everyone about how to behave morally?

      1. The argument for a higher government-mandated minimum wage can be made on entirely economic grounds. Sure, at heart there is a moral case: the economy should be structured so that it benefits the most people as much as possible. But if we’re not caring about that then what’s the point of having an opinion about how the economy should work at all?

        1. Yes, making it harder for the unskilled to find a job is totally the moral thing to do. After all, it’s clearly in both society’s and the Federal government’s best interests for the underclass to be liabilities instead of productive assets. That way it’ll weigh less upon your conscience when you march them to the camps in order to reduce our carbon footprint.

        2. Sure, at heart there is a moral case: the economy should be structured so that it benefits the most people as much as possible.

          That is an incredibly immoral standard of judgment to apply.

          One could make a good case that it’s explicitly evil.

          1. Tony doesn’t care about means. Only ends. And the ends always seem to be zero-sum in his book.

            Pure utilitarianism is pure evil.

        3. Sure, at heart there is a moral case: the economy should be structured so that it benefits the most people as much as possible.

          That’s a dubious fucking case to be sure. If I sell you a banana, is there a moral obligation to cut the banana up into a hundred pieces and hand it out to everyone in your neighborhood to maximize the number of people who benefit?

          But if we’re not caring about that then what’s the point of having an opinion about how the economy should work at all?

          If we’re not caring about that, it seems like we’re taking the first step to actually understanding the rational phenomena of human interaction. Versus your position of tossing irrational shit at the wall to see what sticks.

        4. The argument for a higher government-mandated minimum wage can be made on entirely economic grounds.

          It could be, if it wasn’t fucking retarded.

    14. JUST SO MANY FALLACIES. Hard to tackle all of them.

    15. Or, say, for having no legs or being 90 years old and being unable to work.

      If the safety net merely provided for these extreme examples, few would be arguing to pare it back or end it.

      Hell, if you eliminated welfare in its entirety (including our terribly run socialized health systems) save for Social Security with a minimum age of ~75 and a disability insurance that was less easily gamed, conservatives wouldn’t say boo about it.

      1. Conservatives would vehemently protest an increase in the SS eligibility age … they are against welfare unless they are its recipients.

        1. And they have every right to be, since they were the ones who were robbed to pay for it.

    16. Fine Tony, let’s cut welfare off for able bodied adults between the ages of 18 and 67. Don’t want the 90 year olds or the legless to have to slave away in the mines.

    17. In this country, the harder you’re actually working, the less you’re probably making.

      That’s a lovely feeling you have there. Is this where you argue that the janitor deserves to be paid more than the CEO?

      So they can take that self-serving work ethic bullshit and either submit it to the rigors of science or they can shove it up their fat asses.

      Ahhh the rigors of science support your position? Let me guess, the “science” you’re referring to is some Samuelson/Krugtron regression analyses loaded with arbitrary assumptions. Or better yet,will you be gathering data in the tradition of Marxist regimes everywhere, in order to “scientifically” validate the superiority of the planned the economy?

      1. It is amusing how well Tony fits neatly with the stereotypical Marxist.

        1. It’s even more amusing how he denies being a Marxist; “don’t shackle me with your labels man”

    18. “In this country, the harder you’re actually working, the less you’re probably making.”

      Not sure why I’m responding to Tony, but the opposite is true. Not for everyone of course, there are plenty of poor people busting their butts, and plenty of rich people sitting on theirs. But by and large the harder working you are, the more money you are making. There is a multi-millionaire in my family. He’s also the hardest working guy in the family. He sold a business for $56 million at age 80, got bored, and when and started a new one. I’m looking around at the execs in my company, and they’re working much longer hours than I ever will. Ditto for my previous companies. In fact, the only rich person I know who doesn’t work his ass off is someone who inherited his money.

      It’s not necessarily back breaking manual labor, but they definitely put in more than a 40 hour week to get to where they are.

    19. “Never trust it when the people with all the money are dictating morality for those with none.” Good point there about millionaires like Pelosi and Reid sticking their morality up my fat Libertarian ass.

      “The reason we have a safety net is so that people don’t starve to death for the crime of not living up to conservative work ethic” Work ethic? I believe the word you are looking for is ‘standard’ ~ those morals, ethics, or habits established by authority, custom, or an individual as acceptable. Standards, as in: it used to be a customary standard that one’s living was based on one’s productivity, but today we have a different, authoritarian standard dictating that one may make the choice to not work but still receive a comfortable living.

      Oddly enough to Libs, a very large group of people find it UNACCEPTABLE that one group of people can reach into others’ pockets, pull out large chunks of wealth, and hand it over to another group of people who, like you, cling to the belief that the first group didn’t have to work hard, or were just born lucky, or worse, believe a living can come from the gubmint in perpetuity. Their moral standard says “If they are giving it out, I’m taking it.” I know this because I ask them now and then in the supermarket checkout. Their words, not mine.

    20. Tony:

      In this country, the harder you’re actually working, the less you’re probably making.

      I didn’t spend all that time getting really fucking smart so that I could dig ditches all day. I did it to join the 1%, like I have.

      Duh.

      Here’s a pro-tip: if what you use to do your job involves more of what’s below your neck than what’s above your neck, then you’re probably working harder and making less money.

    21. Tony:

      First, how about conservatives stop lecturing everyone about how to behave morally?

      Aren’t you the last person who should be complaining about lecturing?

    22. “First, how about conservatives stop lecturing everyone about how to behave morally? ”

      How about the Progressive Theocracy stop using guns for force people to behave according to the dictates of the Progressive Catechism?

  9. Well, technically, WalMart could pay more. By moving up market and shifting product mix towards higher margin luxury goods. This would enable WalMart to pay $15/hr to pretty white teens in the suburbs, where demand for luxury goods is. Of course, stores in poor areas would have to close as poor people can’t afford luxury goods, leading to unemployment increases in poor areas. But that’s a benefit to the leftists because now they get to claim that WalMart is racist.

    1. I don’t think it would play out like that at all. I think it’s far more likely that WalMart would automate about half of their jobs out of existence and shut down marginal stores.

      In any case, there would be fewer WalMart employees and more people completely dependent on government.

      Oh, also higher cost of living for the poor and working class folks (like me) who tend to shop at WalMart and other discount retailers.

  10. “I prefer a judgment-free system of buttressing a middle class with tested policies over social darwinism dressed up in cynical moral preening.”

    Please read what you just wrote to find out if you were judgment-free and avoided “cynical moral preening.”

    1. One can absolve himself of hypocrisy by holding the “right” views.

      1. Sadly, I’m beginning to see more evidence for your point.

  11. How many times would I have to say charity to make you puke blood? As for everything else you said, citation needed.

  12. I worked at Walmart the summer I graduated high school in 2003. Even as a lowest of the low temp, I still got paid $7.75 an hour. It was a big raise over my previous job of doing odd jobs on a farm for $6 an hour as well as my first job as a busboy for $5.15 an hour.

    I wore a blue vest with the words “How may I help you?” in 5 inch high letters on the back. The most common question I got was “do you work here?”

    Whenever progs accuse me of being a spoiled rich kid, I tell them about working at Walmart and all the other crummy jobs I had before I got my engineering degree, which was 100% paid for by me. They immediately switch to calling me a class traitor, false consciousness, voting against my own interests, herp herp herpaderp.

    Sometimes I feel like Frank Grimes.

    1. The most common question I got was “do you work here?”

      On a recent Walmart trip, I asked someone where the batteries were. As a Verizon sales rep doing a one-day-demo-thing, he did not know. Red shirt with the Verizon logo on the breast and everything. Usually I’m not retarded. I swear.

    2. Issue #1 – The Origin of The Derpetologist!

      1. I am a legend in my own mind, even before I journeyed to a secluded monastery in Shangri-derp to study with the elite League of Derp.

        1. How’s it goin’, Grimey?

          D’oh!!!

      2. The origin story would begin with my birth, one snowy, bitterly cold January in 1985.

        I had been scheduled to be born on Valentine’s day, but I had resolved not to let that happen.

        I was cut from my mother’s belly like a malfunctioning gal-bladder. The surgeon gave a firm slap to my backside and I acknowledged him to reassure him that I was not still-born.

        Also, the surgeon’s pants fell down when I was born.

        Really.

        I think it was an omen.

    3. In high school I had a job working as a gopher at a Holiday Inn. I had two name tags. One with my real name, and another (that I put on after the management went home at 6) that said “Sir”.

      It was funny to watch people scan your shirt so they could give you a really good dressing down. “Look Sir, I didn’t pay all this money …” Half of them would actually get it and realize I was some poor kid who was making $1.85 an hour and laugh and then ask nicely for some help. Others (and they were almost always old people) would actually sputter with indignation at the fact I had tricked them into calling me Sir. Luckily the night manager was cool and knew what I was doing and would cover for me when the uptight bastards went to the front desk to complain.

      1. That, sir, is brilliance.

        One of my jobs as a busboy was setting up the breakfast buffet. The tray they gave me was too small for all the donuts and danishes, so a piled them into a scale model of a ziggurat. I placed the prized cheese danishes in the center so the patrons would be forced to carefully disassemble to the structure in order to reach them. Most were impatient and took a lesser pastry from the outside instead.

        It guaranteed I would get one of the leftover cheese danishes.

      2. “If you don’t like Sir serving you, we could always send for m’Lord”

      3. I used to answer the McDonalds drive thru with “Welcome to McDonalds. Can I dick your daughter please?” No one ever caught on. Also, my name tag said “McDick.”

        1. One time, I said my name was Yuri and pretended to not speak English in order to avoid talking with a rude customer.

          1. One time this bewildered guy came in and asked for a Whopper. I said “Dude, this is McDonalds.”

            He ran out of the store so fast I thought he was going to break the glass doors.

            Then the manager told me I should have suggested a Quarter Pounder.

  13. You know who really needs a raise? Not those fuckers working at Walmart, no we have to give welfare recipients a raise.

    http://www.startribune.com/opi…..58061.html

    After all Minnesoda welfare recipients haven’t gotten a raise since 1986 and dammit they need one!

    They’re politicians. They’re attuned to the fact that helping the poor is unpopular. For the sake of claiming they were discouraging dependency on the dole, politicians were willing to risk deepening dysfunction in the lives of poor kids.

  14. “The Times was referring to a study, such as it was, purporting to show Walmart’s low wages cost taxpayers $6.2 billion in public assistance, including food stamps, Medicaid, and housing benefits.”

    This, of course, is an illustration of how far the US welfare state has expanded, rather than any statement about employers and wages.
    But the NYT isn’t about to examine that alternative.

    1. How much did Walmart pay just in payroll taxes? I make their payroll about $75B a year. That looks like a wash to me.

    2. When did Congress expand the welfare state?

      1. when has congress cut the welfare state?

        1. 1996 was the big one

          1. Tony|3.2.15 @ 1:36PM|#
            “1996 was the big one”

            And a temporary one, asshole:
            http://www.advisorperspectives…..ctions.gif

            1. So Congress started appropriating more generously to safety net programs at some point since then?

              1. Tony|3.2.15 @ 1:47PM|#
                ‘So Congress started handing out more free shit?’

                Yes.

      2. Tony|3.2.15 @ 1:10PM|#
        “When did Congress expand the welfare state?”

        Fucking adolescent sophistry…
        Grow up, asshole.

      3. Let’s see. I think the most recent obvious example would be subsidized health insurance, otherwise known as Obamacare.

      4. Raising the income eligibility for food stamps, expanded Medicaid roles in many states, more “affordable” housing projects, the list goes on and on…

        And Tony, it is not only Congress that can expand the welfare state.

  15. I wonder how much Wal-Mart pays in taxes compared to public assistance recipients.

  16. Whenever I hear the old lie about starving poor people, I am reminded of Thomas Sowell’s takedown of hunger stats:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc3AokM_bpw

    I have pointed out that poor people in the US tend to be fatter that the national average. I ask progs how is it possible that poor people are starving is they are fatter than the general population? They say poor people are fat because they live in food desserts and have to eat fattening food. I say to them so how is it possible for them to be fat and starving at the same time? That’s a contradiction.

    And then I get the prog fire hose: denier! racist! hate monger!

    Then I tell them I was in the Peace Corps and I know what REAL poverty looks like.

    I miss Tanzania. Poverty and all, it’s a beautiful country:

    http://platedlizard.blogspot.c…..h-and.html

      1. Issue #2 – Origin Story Continues!

        There is no doubt about it, you’re an interesting man.

        1. I don’t always pimp blogs, but when I do, I prefer to pimp my own:

          http://platedlizard.blogspot.c…..-work.html

          I have had at least a dozen people tell me I am the strangest person they’ve ever met.

          1. They must lead sheltered lives.

          2. Well, since no one asked ME….

            The details of my life are quite inconsequential.
            Where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink, he would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Some times he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy, the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical, summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we’d make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds, pretty standard really. At the age of 12 I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen, a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum, it’s breathtaking, I suggest you try it.

            1. Tell me more about Mr. Bigglesworth!

    1. When food is cheap and abundant in a society the rich are thin and the poor are fat. This is caused partly because the cheapest food is also the least healthy (you can blame corn subsidies for that if you like), and possibly for subtler biological reasons such as the role stress plays in obesity. The point is, in developed countries, obesity is just another pathology of poverty. It may seem counterintuitive, but perhaps not so much as the idea that the poor are actually the most overindulged members of society, you know, cuz they’re fat.

      1. Fine, but you agree that it is impossible to be starving and fat at the same time?

        People get fat because they consume more calories than they use. They maintain weight when calories in equals calories out.

        You agree, I hope?

        1. It’s possible to be fat and malnourished at the same time. What argument are you trying to make? That our poor aren’t as bad off as the skin-and-bones poor of Tanzania, thus we’ve done enough and we have a great society? Because I’m trying to say that obesity among our poor is actually a problem in itself. We’re very fat overall. Since we’re a developed country that means we’re also too poor overall.

          1. Unless you have a very strange diet, it is very hard to be fat and malnourished at the same time.

            Are you saying the fat poor people in America are also malnourished?

            1. Yes, of course they can be. Malnutrition can itself contribute to obesity. You really don’t want to hang your opinion about the utility of the welfare state on the assumption that we don’t really have poverty because poor people can’t get fat. It’s false, as in the opposite of true.

              1. Asshole, doesn’t all that spinning make you dizzy?
                How long did it take you to learn to duck and weave and avoid an honest answer? Your sort of sliminess doesn’t come easy.

          2. That our poor aren’t as bad off as the skin-and-bones poor of Tanzania, thus we’ve done enough and we have a great society?

            I’d love to see the reaction from some of those starving Tanzanians. They’d likely murder you, and with good reason.

            1. Poor as Tanzania is, just about everyone has enough to eat. Secondly, Tanzania is the easiest place on earth to get a free meal, especially if you are a foreigner. They take great pride in hospitality. The meal would be simple, but it would fill you up.

              For this reason, Tanzanians and people in sub-saharan Africa in general, get very angry about theft. Thieves who are caught red-handed in public are often beaten or stoned to death. Sometimes they are doused with gasoline and set on fire. I helped save a thief from such a fate.

              It’s the only place on earth where crooks run TO the police.

              However, homosexuality and abortion are both illegal there and almost everyone is religious. I suspect Tony would not along with such people.

              1. Hmm. So you’re saying that Tony’s message of using government to steal on your behalf wouldn’t find many receptive ears?

                1. Tanzanians are mostly receptive to socialism, but they are also very socially conservative.

                  One time, a Tanzanian asked me if it was true that the US govt would pay people even if they didn’t work. I said yes. He said that was the dumbest thing he’d ever heard and if the govt of Tanzania did the same thing, most people would quit their jobs.

                  1. He said that was the dumbest thing he’d ever heard and if the govt of Tanzania did the same thing, most people would quit their jobs.

                    Here they don’t quit their jobs. They just go on disability after unemployment runs out.

        2. No he doesn’t. He said above that Conservative policies cause people to starve.

          1. If we got rid of government assistance then we wouldn’t just have poor people who can only afford cheap empty calories and get fat, we’d have people who couldn’t afford to eat at all. Then we’d have the skinny poor, and you guys would still have some bullshit excuse for why they don’t deserve any assistance.

            1. If we coupled getting rid of government assistance with getting rid of the multitude of government barriers to engaging in economic activity, then those poor people would have the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty. That’s what I as a libertarian would like to see.

            2. whole milk, eggs, and enriched wheat flour are cheap and nutritious. Ditto for fresh fruit and veggies.

            3. “Bullshit excuse”? Hey punk, no one owes you anything, no one owes anybody else unearned food or shelter or whatever absurdity the left is going to push next week. There is no such right as the right to exist as a human parasite.

              Any adult knows this, which is why leftoidism is for children and idiots and other assorted weaklings.

      2. Maybe if those poor people had to like get a job and like work and stuff they wouldn’t be fat.

      3. What the fuck is stressfull about having a government guarranteed income every month ?

        And if you eat fewer calories you will be less fat, it matters little, if at all, where the calories come from.

        1. Again, the most counterintuitive claim of all here is that the poor have it sooo good in this country. It’s counterintuitive because it doesn’t make any damn sense. Underlying all conservative economic thought is that the poor are privileged and the wealthy are put-upon. It’s so brazenly contradictory (and mean-spirited) that I guess it has the effect of turning people’s brains off so they buy into it.

          1. Most poor people in this country have so much food to eat that they’re fat, they have a roof over their head, a smart phone, new shoes, cable television, a computer hooked up to the internet, and enough spare cash to buy booze, cigarettes and drugs.

            Yeah. They’ve got it soooo tough because there are rich people out there to envy.

          2. Tony|3.2.15 @ 2:00PM|#
            …”It’s counterintuitive because it doesn’t make any damn sense.”…

            It’s really hard for those of abysmal ignorance to understand much at all.
            Fuck off.

          3. Underlying all conservative economic thought is that the poor are privileged and the wealthy are put-upon.

            I love when you spin around so much that you get caught up in these crazy narratives. This is the underlying conservative assumption? How can it even apply to conservative economic thought? “The rich get rich because they are put-upon”?

            Here’s the controversial conservative argument you can target: most of the poor are fat for the same reason they are poor. They make bad decisions. There’s little chance they will ever make good decisions. If they do make good decisions, it won’t be because they’ve had more money thrown at them.

            The rich are rich and relatively healthier because they make smarter decisions. Not because they’re able to afford organic kale and cage free chicken.

            1. They make bad decisions.

              Personal responsibility?

              Blasphemer!

        2. You would not believe how stressful it is to be on public aid. There are about fifteen different programs with different requirements (often changing from month to month), and a small mistake in paperwork can lead to a cascade that stops your benefits for 3 months before the bureacrats sort out what happened. You live in constant fear that you will have too much savings, and get kicked off SSI, or that you will have too little savings, and will get evicted from your SRO. Maximum allowable savings is $2k, which is about 2 1/2 months’ worth of benefits. Responsible saving isn’t merely discouraged, it’s forbidden. I work with people in recovery from severe schizophrenia/bipolar, and this is the number one problem preventing them from settling into a stable enough routine to find work and get off disability. Moreso than symptoms for the one that are capable of working.

          1. Dependency by design.

      4. This is caused partly because the cheapest food is also the least healthy

        Bullshit. Healthy eating is cheaper than junk food any day of the week and twice on Sunday, and I ought to know because I grew up near the poverty line for most of my childhood. You just have to have a basic knowledge of cooking and how to make enough for leftovers. I can make one crockpot dinner that cost $10 stretch into 3 or even 4 meals for my family of 3. Supplement with some fresh fruits or veggies and we can keep costs under $10 a meal. It’s even cheaper if you get the frozen fruits veggies, which are just as healthy.

        The reason poor people here are fat isn’t because of cheap junk food, it’s because cooking a nutritious meal takes effort and planning, and they either lack the mental acuity or desire to do that.

        1. Right on RRR!

          When I was a bachelor in Memphis we would often end up having to eat red beans and rice for the last week of the month because we were all broke and had to make rent.

          So we would put on a big pot of beans and rice. We’d also stop by the local bakery and buy day old bread to go with it.

          Yeah, you could feed a group of 6 guys for a week for about $15. Wasn’t very tasty, but it was what you did when you were out of money.

        2. But, but, but those evil corporations are creating food deserts, denying the poor access to healthy food! It’s not that the stores don’t carry it because it’s not profitable since poor people don’t choose to buy healthy food! It’s a conspiracy! They’re forgoing profits so they can hurt the poor! Damn those evil rich people!

        3. Yes. This

          Buying real food and cooknig it is cheaper than McDonalds and of course better for you.

          The only reason there are what liberals call food deserts is because of low demand in an area and secondly because of crime. If there was enough demand the extra secusrity could be afforded.

      5. The cheapest food is not the least healthy. If you are really poor, the food you can afford is actually pretty nutritious. I’m talking about staples like rice, beans and vegetables. The one thing that real poor people tend to drop from their diets is meat.

        You are right a lot of poor people do get fat because they eat unhealthy foods. The processed foods and junk snacks, though, are not the only thing they can afford. They are cheap, tasty and convenient though.

        1. I spent over 2 years living in a country where most people lived on $3 a day or less. And yet, the vast majority were healthy and strong.

          Even the ones that drank and smoked a lot looked a lot more vigorous than most Americans.

          It is amazing how little is needed to keep a person healthy.

          I wonder how Tony accounts for the survival of the billions of people in the world who are generally much poorer than even the poorest Americans.

      6. I like the way that the one possibility it’s absolutely impossible for you to consider is that stupid people with poor impulse control will be likely to overeat.

        NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO that can’t possibly have anything to do with it. It’s got to be “the role stress plays in obesity”.

      7. The point is, in developed countries, obesity is just another pathology of poverty.

        Poverty is another government pathology, particularly the brand of socialist government you advocate. Poverty was declining at a rate of 1% per year until the introduction of the Great Society programs.

      8. Produce at Walmart is cheap, plentiful, and not at all what you progtards imagine it to be as far as looks.

        It is ridiculously easy to get cheap food that is good for you.

      9. Tony:

        possibly for subtler biological reasons such as the role stress plays in obesity.

        Yep. When you worry all day about where your next meal is going to come from, I bet you do a lot of stress eating.

    2. I miss Tanzania. Poverty and all, it’s a beautiful country

      Plus I doubt there are very many rich white prog-tards bloviating about TEH EVUL KKKORPORASHUNZ and how government needs to take from those other rich people (not them, natch) while refusing to lift a finger themselves to actually help poor people.

      Because for them “the poor” are smelly brown people on TV that you only claim to care about as a social signaling exercise, not people you actually spend time around trying to help.

  17. I’d also like to point out that I would rather subsidize low wage workers than just giving money away to people who are sitting at home doing nothing?

    If they are working a low wage job, most of them will eventually learn enough to get better jobs and no longer need to be subsidized.

    In fact, I’d like a program where companies that were willing to give starter jobs to people with no skills, would be able to hire at less than the minimum wage. That would give them an incentive to hire more low skill workers and get them on the roadway to getting better and better jobs.

    1. Internships?

      1. Silly rabbit. Unpaid internships are only OK when they are at a large media company. All others are evil plots by the nasty people at big corporations.

    2. Pelosi defended paying her interns less than min wage.

      My sides were splitting.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pFC3LKMIQo

      1. It’s OK when she does it ’cause she’s not one of those EVUL KKKORPORASHUNZ or bad rich white people. She’s a selfless public servant with the RIGHT VIEWS. You’d understand that if you weren’t a poor hating, top hat and monocle wearing right wing nutsack. /sarc

      2. The point of internships is to keep people who have to work for a living from applying.

  18. my co-worker’s half-sister makes $86 every hour on the laptop . She has been without work for nine months but last month her pay check was $14277 just working on the laptop for a few hours.

    look these up====www.post-report.com

    1. Yeah. Why doesn’t the Fed Gov sign all the welfare recipients up for one of these programs where they can make US 93 Dollar Hour and they would never see another poor day in their lives?

      Even the 90 year old legless people that the fatherless Tony says that make up the welfare rolls do do this .

  19. It’s the General Theory of Liberalism again: every liberal policy reflects liberals’ inability to understand incentives.

    http://www.wcvarones.com/2009/…..alism.html

  20. “America works hard and get less!”

    Doesn’t apply to most middle class Americans.

    Europe and Asia might guarantee more sick days, maternity leave and vacation days, but typical salarymen there work like bees and ants in a colony. Companies crack down on idle chit chat and wasting time (which is social media in the US). Total integration into the company’s culture becomes part of your existence.

    I occasionally apply to these retail positions but my artsy degree and 1.5 years as an office clerk isn’t enough for them. Plus, I can’t speak Spanish. These Walmart workers are lucky to have these jobs. If your spouse also works or you’re still living with your parents, you can learn to budget and make it.

    If you have student loans, then your fate is sealed.

    1. That would depend on what you used the student loans for. If you paid for an education in STEM, finance or a marketable skill, you will be fine. If you took out loans to pursue the hobbies of the rich, such as art history, drama, or grievance studies, you wasted a large pile of money.

      1. “you wasted a large pile of money.”

        And a few years of your life that you’ll never get back.

  21. An interesting shift of perspective on a very repetitive conversation.

  22. What is the response by The Left to the fact that military families are, in certain circumstances, on Foot Stamps and other benefit programs?
    Is the Federal Government deliberately underpaying service-members for risking life and limb, and what does The Left intend to do about it?

    1. Ignore it and/or blame the families for having a murder for a father.

      Does everyone here know that Obama never once contacted the family of Chris Kyle ?

      He has had time to contact Michael Sam the first openly gay football player and th guy that was the first openly gay nasketball player.

      But not the family of Chris Kyle, a man whom he sent into combat ?

  23. “In fact, the increase in job applicants might depress wages elsewhere.”

    Amazing how libertarians can see this except when arguing for importing millions of illegals. Hypocrite, thy name is libertarian.

    1. Not all Libertarians, sonny.

      Just the Anarchists and the Progtarians.

  24. Raising wages so the employees can buy more stuff from the companies they work for, which have raised their prices to compensate for the increased wages.

    Does the phrase “pulling oneself up by one’s own bootstraps” ring a bell?

    Pull harder, ever harder! Thus shall we rise up and fly!

  25. aaaand here’s your straw man:

    “Conservatives argue that poor people would be better off in the long run if they took even menial jobs, and thereby started to develop the habits of character that are essential for anyone who wishes to prosper.”

    Overlooking the fact THAT THEY ALREADY DO!

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  27. Wages are bound to go up. For the simple reason that living costs are starting to skyrocket. Making $8/hour just doesn’t cut it for anybody unless you want to live with 3 other people in a studio.

    The FED has injected untold trillions of dollars of liquidity into the economy since 2008 (mostly by purchasing illiquid mortgages of unknown quality). While banks didn’t lend out those dollars for years because the economy was in the crapper (whom were they to lend to exactly?), they are starting to now that the economy is picking up. That’ll put upward pressure on prices, wages, etc., likely faster than the government can enact minimum wage increases.

  28. Liberals believe that ppl are poor, because they are being deprived. What deprives them, however, is the ever shrinking value of work, the result of the transfer of wealth to owners by cheap money policies designed to ameliorate the problem.

  29. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do,
    http://www.wixjob.com

  30. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I’ve been doing,
    http://www.work-mill.com

  31. FASCISM defined: government control of private means of production. Government forcing a private company (WalMard, Boing) to pay their workers so much is fascism. If that’s what we want, then OK, but government do not stop at that one item.

    Remember the “crash” of 2007,8? That was the direct resut of government controlling private means of production by forcing lenders to loan to those who could not quailfy under earlier rules, this led to a rapid increase in home prices, easy “I make this much a month” quaifying, HUGE debt to income ratios and loan to value rates. It all collapsed, didn’t it? And government are the best judges of economics? Nope. Millions of individuals making billions of independent economic decisions free from coercion is what makes a healthy economy. It is what built this nation to the largest, most prosperous, innovative, and generous ever to exist.

  32. Drivel

    “Liberals and conservatives do not agree with each other, as a matter of general principle.” No, lazy people on all sides think that way. Apparently some of them are writers.

    “Liberals think this is all bunk.” Thanks Rush, or whatever your name is, for saving liberals from their blissful ignorance, and for correspondingly categorizing how conservatives think in the process.

    After that you can assert or conclude just about anything. And you do.

    You get paid for this, right? Seems that incentives don’t have nearly the effect that you (and I) would like to believe.

  33. “Imagine, too, what would happen if Walmart and fast-food restaurants went out of business tomorrow. Would other companies snap up all their employees, perhaps even pay them better?”
    .
    .
    Very most likely, yes. The businesses that Walmart and it’s ilk have driven under for lack of cheap Chinese crap to sell, would (some, not all, true) reopen the week after – and they’d need workers. They’d need them right now, as well. Right now comes with a premium attached. . .

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