Category Archives: Political

Has Slave Labor Come to America?

Those under the impression that the United State’s free market is actually free couldn’t be more wrong. This so-called “free” market is actually costing American taxpayers money and lots of it. Unfortunately, slave labor and wages have come to a neighborhood near you via your most popular retailers. Many of our country’s favorite corporations do not pay workers a living wage. How could the retailers we loyally shop at treat us so badly in return?

Instead of paying workers a living wage, these places opt to pay the government’s bare minimum wage requirements. Paying employees the modern day equivalent of a slave wages not only adds another helping or two to these corporation’s already obese profit margins, but does so on the taxpayer’s dimes.

Last week marks the first ever successful strike for Walmart employees. It’s no surprise the retailer has long gotten away with underpaying and exploiting their workers and then sending us the bill. Whether you shop at big corporations with bad reputations (like Walmart) or not, if you are a taxpayer, you are being short-changed by this very company and others of its caliber. How is that, you say? Slave wages have come to America and you are paying the price.

Don’t let Walmart fool you. Just because they aren’t paying their American employees $0.55 an hour (a rate of pay that exceeds the hourly wages of their sweat shop workers in China) doesn’t mean Americans aren’t receiving slave wages. The average Walmart worker makes $8.81 an hour, $15,576 per year which is below the poverty line for a family of two or more and low enough a wage for even a household of one to qualify for public assistance and food stamps. Walmart reaped over $400 billion in global profits last year and your hard-earned taxes helped foot a bill that Walmart could’ve easily took care of.

Walmart workers, as a group, are the largest food stamp recipients in the country totaling $2.66 billion annually. That’s right, Walmart, a company that makes more than $400,000,000,000 a year is taking more than $2,660,000,000 out of tax payers pockets annually because they have refused to pay their workers a living wage. Not only has Walmart callously expected the taxpayers to pick up the slack, but the government has allowed them to get away with it! In fact, reports say Walmart has direct knowledge of this and directly assist employees in applications for both food stamps and Medicaid. And that is not all. Walmart also takes millions, perhaps billions in tax breaks, free land and other government subsidies.

There are slave laborers in America and they are right under our noses. We encounter these workers every day of the week. Some may argue that minimum wage is far from slave labor, but without government assistance and food stamps, these workers would be starving and homeless. How are these not slave wages? Additionally, “Walmart’s intentionally low wages and lack of covered benefits cost taxpayers over $1.02 BILLION a year in healthcare costs.”

Of course, many of our biggest retailers are guilty of paying intentionally low wages at the cost of the tax-payers (McDonald’s, K-Mart, Target), but Walmart is the worst of this motley crew. Since Walmart began its move into a neighborhood near you, wages have decreased; small business have closed and been shipped over seas; the poverty level has sky-rocketed; and we lost a total of 196,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector because of the company’s imports from China.

With Walmart employees accounting for 1% of the country’s working population, it seems that proper government intervention is needed to redirect this burden back to the retail giant and away from the country’s working class citizens. The six heirs to the Walmart fortune are worth the same as the bottom 40% of Americans: Sam Walton’s six living family members are worth the same amount of money as approximately 1,250,000 Americans!

Many of these 40%ers happen to fall in the category Mitt Romney regards as the 47%, or as his constituent Daryl Metcalfe describes them “people that are living off the public dole, living off their neighbors’ hard work, and we have a lot of people out there that are too lazy to get up and get out there.” Au contraire. It appears to be the other way around, some type of Reverse Robin Hood, if you will…

Walmart could easily afford to pay their associates an extra $5,000 per year. Though this would cost them an extra $7 billion annually, they would still reap record profits and this time with a clear conscience. However, it seems that having a clear conscience is not all that important to them.

For years Governor Romney and his countless Republican pals have championed the free market system as a self-governing entity that has resulted in a fair chance for businesses to not only regulate themselves through supply and demand, but to fairly exercise business ethics and morals based on societal need. Of course, this is a joke; we all know what happens when you leave a young child alone with a big sack full of Halloween candy. The only difference here is that when a child’s sibling or baby sitter enters the room and unexpectedly finds the child scarfing down candy in all his glory, the child might offer them some. But not Walmart and like-minded conglomerates.

Walmart should change their symbol of a smiley face to a picture of a leech. But with all six of Walmart’s heirs being a group of shamelessly obese hogs, such a sign might be an insult to leeches.

It’s an insult to every American that most Walmarts have a huge American flag hanging proudly outside their premises. Until further notice, the flags should be taken down and replaced with a sign that reads, “Walmart: enemy of the state. Destroying the American dream one community at a time.”


Filed under News, Political

The Self-Proclaimed “53%”

While Romney very accurately expresses the core values of what the Republican Party has become, there is a subgroup within the 47% that openly agrees with these principles. This group, refers to themselves as “the 53%” and post 99% meme-esque photos (in which they take a picture of themselves holding up a paper detailing their struggles related to this debate). Unlike 99%ers, who held up pictures detailing how Obamacare initiatives saved their lives and so on, the 53% hold up signs detailing their poverty-stricken struggles, debt-ridden lives, and how proud they are to take on these burdens because living in squalor is always better than the alternative which they cite as depending on the government.

What started off as a response to 2011’s Occupy Wall Street protest has never been more pertinent than it is today. And after Romney’s now infamous 47% dinner party revelation, it’s hard to believe that parts of the 47% will still vote for him, and it’s likely many of those individuals consider themselves to be 53%ers.

Not surprisingly, the 53% posters represent Republican spin at its best, after all, the party has slowly been brainwashing people for years to blame the poor for (insert random economic issue here) and unfortunately, many do. This is incorrect, of course, because corporate welfare and tax breaks have almost always exceeded all of the social welfare combined. Who’s the lazy one now, Daryl Metcalf?

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Filed under News, Political

The Face of the 47%

I graduated college in the Fall of 2008, right after the big stock market crash in October. Lucky me. When I came home from school, I was fortunate enough to work per diem at my pre-college job for $9 an hour with no benefits and no union.

They had avoided giving me raises for two years (I was due a $0.30 raise per year). I finally called them on it, and they said they would have to get back to me.

Another raise-less week passed by before I received a phone call informing me that instead of giving me my $0.30 a year raise, they would only be giving me a raise of $0.20 for one year and $0.15 for the other. This had nothing to do with my job performance (as it was documented as “spotless” during reviews by my supervisor).

Yet I could understand why this had happened. Shorting me and other staff members of our wages would only serve one person: the owner, whose fleet of luxury vehicles mocked us every time he pulled into the driveway.

I was working at a privately-owned hospital. Though I was not happy about my low wage, I felt worse for the certified nurse’s aids. They did so much work, the dirtiest work there was, and they too only made $9 an hour.

After working there for a month or so after college graduation, a supervisor came to work ill (though she was aware that she had pneumonia) and a few days later, I was in the emergency room refusing chest X-rays. My bill for the emergency room visit and the medication was already nearing $600. I could not afford another $400 for X-rays to tell me what I already knew: that I now had pneumonia.
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Filed under News, Political

Huff Post Live

I have been on a few more Huff Post Live segments since I last wrote blogged, however, the following link is to only one of those shows. I thought if you saw any of them, you should see this very special one which features the brilliant Dr. Deepak Chopra


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Filed under Growth, Healing, Inspirational, Life Lessons, Love, News, Political, Writing

Only Chuck Norris Can Destroy… Chuck Norris

Great news! Today, Amazon’s Deal of the Day is 50% off Walker, Texas Ranger the COMPLETE series! In a recent public service announcement, Chuck warned us of the impending doom we may face should President Barack Obama be reelected in November. Warning first of socialism, Chuck repeated the most common anti-Obama talking points and demonstrated that even more than a decade after Walker’s season finale, he apparently take the fictional title of “Texas Ranger” too seriously. Mrs. Chuck soon took Chuck’s sentiments a step further and put the fear of God in viewers when she quoted a bone-chilling verse reminiscent of an end times pamphlet Jehovah’s Witnesses left on my doorstep last weekend.

“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness.”

Six years ago, I loved reading the hundreds of humorous Chuck Norris “facts” that were swirling around the Internet. If you haven’t heard of them before, the premise of these jokes are that Chuck Norris is very tough. The facts claimed that Chuck Norris is so tough that only Chuck Norris could destroy Chuck Norris or as he vindicated in his recent PSA, only Chuck Norris could cause Chuck Norris to lose whatever shred of dignity he had left after publicly supporting the Boy Scouts of America’s anti-gay policies.

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Filed under News, Political