Since Wednesday I’ve been in Helena, visiting relatives…and hearing stories of Black Friday shopping.
I’ve got a few family members that hit it up, but I signed some Facebook solidarity with Walmart workers thing, which means I won’t set foot in their store. Checking out Black Friday Protests shows you I’m not alone.
I don’t like shopping, myself, and I think that’s because I’m a man. Men don’t like shopping as much, and you can argue that with me, but I feel I’m right.
Women like to shop, however, and they’re hitting a lot of stores up right now. Men often just get dragged along.
Maybe having Hillary for president would help Black Friday, and thus help our consumer-driven economy. I’m not sure that’s such a good thing, however.
And let’s not just box-Walmart in and say they’re some kind of pariah – they’re not, mainly because so many stores are just like them. I mean, really, do you think a Target or Shopko or Kmart worker is really getting a better deal than a Walmart worker? I’m willing to bet all of ‘em are paid shit, get shit for benefits, and are told to eat shit if they so much as think about complaining.
You’ll find plenty of 2014 Walmart protest images on Mashable and you’ll find plenty of information about 2011 Walmart pay in this article from Gotham Magazine, when workers were making $8.81 an hour at Walmart.
This 2014 report has Walmart Associates making $9.21 an hour. Let’s pretend they’re getting 40 hours a week – that’s $19,156.80 a year if you’re working 52 weeks a year, which let’s face it, most are.
You might not be, but then you’re educated and have a lot of money, right? So you’re in the minority…or is that not the case?
Walmart has some report that the average hourly wage is $12.94 an hour, and that’s the bullshit they feed to the congressmen dancing on the corporate puppet strings, which I’d say is around 90%.
All in all, if you’re working at Walmart, you’re living in poverty. Because let’s be honest here – neither of us is stupid, and we both know that those workers aren’t getting 40 hours a week, and they’re not getting 52 weeks a year.
Oh, and they’re not getting any health insurance either, so that means an extra $250 a month will go out of their earnings and right into the pocket of the insurance companies. In case you forgot what they use that money for, check out these city skylines and the health insurance towers marring them.
And remember, many Walmart workers are older, perhaps with one or two kids at home. They’re all getting low income energy assistance and food stamps, and that’s what I call another form of corporate welfare – we subsidize Walmart’s low wages by giving their workers handouts at taxpayer expense. We do this because politicians in this country don’t have the balls to tell Walmart and other corporations like them to go fuck themselves.
What would telling Walmart to go fuck themselves look like?
I’d imagine it’d be someone sitting down in the Budget Office and going over their tax returns and balance sheets and income statements and expense reports real good, perhaps everyday for a couple weeks.
After that we’d know where all the loopholes and tax dodges are, and we could just wipe those right off the books.
And remember, each Walmart store costs taxpayers between $900,000 and $1.75 million each year, just in what we have to do to prop up those workers.
Yeah, it’s that easy when you’re in power and you say fuck it. And remember, saying ‘fuck it’ is the exact opposite of what’s happening now. When you say fuck it, the country gets better. Right now everyone’s trying to help the country, and you see what that’s done.
So think about that when you’re standing in line this weekend like a prick. Just say fuck it – chances are your relatives don’t need anymore cheap, plastic crap anyways.
But I forgot the reason I started this post. I wanted to remind you that it’s awfully damn hard for a Walmart worker to pay their January rent and get Christmas presents for their kids.
On the wages they earn, it’s just not possible. So think about that when you’re looking at that older man or woman in line checking you out this weekend.
Look for a ring on that finger, or maybe some rings under the eyes from getting the kids to bed last night. Think about what they’ll have under the tree this year, if they even have a tree. Think about what holiday cheer they'll be ringing in the New Year with.