Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Rep. Alan Grayson — Walmart "the largest recipient of public aid in the country"

Representative-elect Alan Grayson (D-FL) said Monday that he will put mega-retailer Walmart squarely in his sights during the next Congress for the company’s liberal use of public assistance programs to supplement their workers’ wages.
Speaking to Current TV host Cenk Uygur on Monday’s episode of “The Young Turks,” Grayson called Walmart “the largest recipient of public aid in the country,” saying their low wages force workers to take food stamps, housing assistance and Medicaid just to get by....

“In state after state after state, Walmart employees represent the largest group of Medicaid recipients, the largest group of food stamp recipients....
The Raw Story
Stephen C. Webster

The living wage movement is picking up steam. Prof. Galbraith must be pleased that he played a part in getting it up and running.

18 comments:

paul said...

Grayson was my Congressman until the wing nuts (amazing he won originally in Tea-Party Central) dumped him with a 30 point drubbing in the 2010 mid-terms.

It's great he was able to run again in a new district in the I-4 corridor, the bluest section in Florida.

Grayson is the real deal and he has the right progressive sensibilities. Hopefully power won't corrupt him (he has his own money).

When Grayson speaks, wing nuts heads explode.

Malmo's Ghost said...

I hope this fact gets legs. It's damn powerful stuff.

beowulf said...

What I liked about Grayson is that he drafted and sponsored the most interesting bills; short and to the point with kickass titles.
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/browse?sponsor=412276

Incidentally, Grayson is describing the Speenhamland Effect, which refers a 19th century British welfare program (or I guess, "programme"). :o)

"Like the EITC, Speenhamland was an attempt to raise earnings without placing a burden on employers. If wages fell below a certain level, the government made up the difference; as wages rose, the government benefit fell... Employers soon discovered they could “game” the system by cutting wages below what workers were really worth to them. Before Speenhamland, they would have gotten what they paid for: mediocre, malnourished, resentful workers. Or none at all. But with the country taking up the slack, they had nothing to fear."
http://www.thesocialcontract.com/artman2/publish/tsc_19_3/tsc_19_3_rubenstein_3.shtml

Matt Franko said...

Maybe next month Wal-Mart will just pay the $600M Obamacare fine out of their over $400B revenues and move on...

then I'm sure moron Grayson will complain that Obamacare is "bankrupting the country"...

rsp,

paul said...

Matt, I agree that the ACA is an awful piece of legislation and I'm waiting for the day it has to be scrapped and traded for Medicare-For-All.

Hopefully that will eliminate insurance companies and rein in the Pharmaceutical companies.

Curious why you put Grayson in the moron category?

Matt Franko said...

Paul,

Grayson is a big "balanced budget" person and IIRC he flirts with gold...

I believe both sides currently under estimate how many of these corps will opt to pay the $2k and do a Pontius Pilate and wash their hands of the whole employee healthcare issue and throw half of their HR depts out of their jobs...

This could actually work out for the good as it will get more people covered and increase the deficit and corp profits will sky-rocket...

for Wal-Mart it may even be a wash as they DO cover many of their employees and the $2k would be a savings for those currently covered employees and they could take the difference and pay the fine for the currently uncovered others...

thus removing 1 of the 2 reasons for unionization... for $600M they probably can rid themselves of any serious threat of future unionization... and even spin it to look good doing it by embracing "Obamacare"...

rsp,

paul said...

Matt, from his website…

"When the economy recovers, we need to tackle government spending and return to the days of budget surpluses, like the ones we created under the Clinton Administration. But first, we need to ensure that we avoid another recession, and that there is a job for everyone who needs one."

Thanks for pointing this out to me…I never knew he held that position. What an absurd view. Will have to start writing letters to his office.

Odd, because Matt Stoller was his senior aide when he was in Congress before and Matt writes articles regularly over at Naked Capitalism, which is full-bore MMT.

Matt Franko said...

Perhaps Stoller will go back to being his staffer... and might be able to straighten him out on the USD system...

But I look to the fiscal impact as being one of the main arguments that fiscal morons will make against "Obamacare"....

rsp,

Matt Franko said...

I havent read the "Obamacare" act...

But, if you look at it as currently firms are paying about $5-6k and then they will start to pay $2k while the govt picks u the rest of the tab thru fiscal it may be just about right to get everyone covered without causing inflation in the healthcare sector as a straightaway 100% govt program might (where the firms get to keep the $2k)...

rsp

beowulf said...

"see www.moslerforsenate.com for more details... Also, I have met with a Green Party representative and others as you suggest who have indicated they will endorse me, and I am now an advisor to US Congressman Alan Grayson on financial policy matters."
http://www.journalinquirer.com/articles/2010/08/16/chris_powell/doc4bed598a55650171354821.txt

Matt, sometimes you're like the reverse Will Rogers, you never met a man you didn't hate. Galbraith, Eccles, Reich, Krugman and now Grayson-- these are people you've attacked for being morons or whatno but these folks agree with you most of the time! Save your ammo for the people who disagree with you most of the time.
:o)

Matt Franko said...

beo,

I like you buddy ?!?!?!?! ;)

10-4.... rsp

Matt Franko said...

PS beo,

I dont "hate" them...

I just think their intelligence has been darkened in this regard, and feel this should be pointed out to others who would perhaps look to them as an authority and otherwise follow them blindly, getting caught up in the same falsehoods.

rsp,

Matt Franko said...

And another thing....

this whole Grayson point here is like he is "blaming Wal-Mart" when it is HIS INSTITUTION ie Congress that has the authority to do something about this...

AND HE IS TOO STUPID TO REALIZE THIS!

What can Wal-mart do? Create their own $NFA to give to their employees for healthcare??? C'mon...

Grayson thinks the govt has to get the $NFA from Wal-Mart...

HE MUST OR HIS WHOLE BITCH HERE MAKES EVEN LESS SENSE THAN IT EVEN DOES!.... completely irrational then.

My hope is for my Progressive friends on the legacy political left to re-consider all of their appeals to out-of-paradigm authority....

rsp,

marris said...

> When Grayson speaks, wing nuts heads explode.

I think my head exploded reading this article. Walmart (and not it's workers) *receives aid* from the government when their workers collect welfare?!?!

Wow.

I don't think even Grayson really believes this... he just thinks it's a good talking point. If he did believe it, then he could easily *cut* this subsidy by cutting welfare payments.

Matt Franko said...

I agree with Marris....

Matt Franko said...

And Grayson's view of WalMart's employees as their human chattel is revealing...

Tom Hickey said...

Grayson is pointing out that when corps realize that they can pay less than a living wage and govt will pick up the difference, they will do so. This is part of the Wal-Mart business model.

Sam: "I pay low wages. I can take advantage of that. We're going to be successful, but the basis is a very low-wage, low-benefit model of employment."
▪ Attributed in Adam L. Penenberg, "Why Google Is Like Wal-Mart", Wired, 21 April 2005
Wikiquote

Present management is following the business plan. This forcing many other retailers to follow suit in order to compete.

The way around this is to mandate a living wage, as Jamie Galbraith has been saying.

paul said...

" If he did believe it, then he could easily *cut* this subsidy by cutting welfare payments." - marris

Why would he want to cut welfare payments? Will that create more better-paying jobs?

Maybe he's jonesing for a minimum wage hike. Walmart isn't going to voluntarily raise wages.