Another gorgeous Saturday! Here is a cartoon just for FBH, which pretty much summarizes his approach to anything Obama:
We missed talking about the Walmart strikes planned for multiple US cities on Wednesday to protest low wages as well as working conditions. This included “Walmart Moms” who point out that they work full time and still don’t get above the poverty level.
This week, a study by thinktank Demos detailed how 1.3 million women working in retail live on or near the poverty line. It said that if the major retailers in the US raised wages to the equivalent of $25,000 for full-time work, it could lift almost half a million women out of poverty or near-poverty.
“Walmart moms” walked off their jobs to take part in protests outside their stores in a number of cities including Orlando and Chicago, joining those who have already staged strikes earlier this week in Dallas, Pittsburgh, southern California and the Bay area.
Strikes were expected to take place in 20 cities on Wednesday. The protesters, who include current Walmart workers as well as members of the allegiance Our Walmart, are demanding annual wages of at least $25,000, more full-time openings and an end to retaliation against workers who speak out against their conditions.
And how about this?
A report published on Wednesday raised a separate issue over Walmart and tax, in terms of a loophole the study said had given the company a tax break of $104m, enough to cover the cost of free lunches for 33,000 schoolchildren.
In its report, the Institute for Policy Studies and lobby group Americans for Tax Fairness calculated that between 2009 and 2014, the top eight Walmart executives took home more than $298m in “performance pay” that was fully tax deductible.
The performance pay tax break was made possible by a 1993 change in the tax code meant to discourage excessive executive compensation. The rule capped the amount corporations could deduct from their income taxes for executive pay at no more than $1m per executive. But the law exempted stock options and other so-called “performance pay” from the cap.
“When Walmart gets a $104m tax break for giving its executives outrageous pay packages, [and] the rest of us pick up the tab,” said Frank Clemente, executive director at Americans for Tax Fairness. “With this tax loophole, the bigger the executive bonuses, the less Walmart pays in taxes. This is truly one of the most perverse loopholes of all time.”
Today, as then, a group of Americans is denied the dignity of decent wages and working conditions. Today, just as then, powerful forces are threatening and intimidating vulnerable people for exercising their legal rights. Today, just like 50 years ago, people who have been treated as voiceless and disposable are standing up and demanding change.
Although Wal-Mart is no Bull Connor, it’s the poster child for keeping low-wage workers down. America’s largest employer, with 1.4 million workers, refuses to provide most of them with an income they can live on. The vast majority earns under $25,000 a year, with an average hourly wage of about $8.80.
You and I and other taxpayers shell out for these workers’ Medicaid and food stamps because they and their families can’t stay afloat on what Wal-Mart pays. (I’ve often thought Wal-Mart and other big employers should have to pay a tax equal to the public assistance their workers receive because the companies don’t pay them enough to stay out of poverty.)
30 years later, and who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters gets a theatrical re-release on its’ 30th Anniversary: