August 30, 2013 by David K. Sutton
Taxpayers Are Subsidizing The Profits Of Walmart, McDonald’s
Yeah, I’m picking on two corporations here, but the share of guilt is plenty among the largest American corporations.
They continue to pay their workers poverty wages while making record profits. “McDonald’s raked in $5.5 billion in profits in 2012 — a 27 percent increase in profits over five years,” says Christine Owens, writing on the Reuters Opinion blog “The Great Debate.” “But these profits are clearly not trickling down to the frontline workers. The fact that the workers are willing to strike — one of the riskiest things any worker, but especially a low-wage worker, can do — shows how untenable the situation is.”
The dirty little secret hiding behind the $7.25 minimum wage is that you and I (and all taxpayers) are subsidizing the huge profits raked in by companies like Walmart and McDonald’s. That’s because you can’t feed and shelter a family on minimum wage. And if you think these jobs are not careers, then you haven’t paid attention to the types of jobs created in the past four years, mostly low-paying, service-sector jobs.
While faux news outlets like Fox News and Fox Business may want to perpetuate the false idea that fast food work is only for teenagers, the average age of a fast food worker is 27. But all of this is beside the point. No company, especially not large wealthy American corporations, should pay their workers wages that often fall below the poverty line. We have an economy where the jobless rate still sits north of 7%, so it’s not the fault of workers that the only work they can find is a low-paying service-sector job.
The shareholder-appeasing corporate profit mindset will not change on its own, so we MUST compel it to change, when we FORCE congress to increase the minimum wage.
So how are taxpayers subsidizing corporate profits? When Walmart pays workers a non-living wage, these workers will likely need government assistance like food stamps to make up the difference. And where are these Walmart workers likely to use their food stamps? You got it — Walmart. Hey, Walmart has a good gig going here, why would they want to change it? They get to pay their workers abysmally low wages and then rake in more profits when these workers use taxpayer funded food stamps to buy basic needs. But Walmart is the largest employer in the nation, which means this cycle is unsustainable.
Opponents can save their claptrap arguments for someone else. If you are against raising the minimum wage, I’m sorry to say, you are a shill for corporate America. You are an unwitting mouthpiece for a supercapitalistic status quo where workers get the shaft, and the one percent gobble up all the economic gains.
You have no ground to stand on if you are arguing against an increase in the minimum wage. The economy is expanding, corporations are making higher profits, if the minimum wage is not increased, that means corporations will continue to pocket all the gains and pass nothing on to the employees that make the economy run.