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May 19, 2017


A few posts ago I alluded to the ridiculous but continuing situation where we taxpayers are paying billions of dollars every year to such corporate giants as McDonald’s and Walmart (though they are not the only ones who are enjoying such corporate welfare). No, we do not send the money directly to such corporate behemoths, but we pay them by paying their employees’ welfare costs such as food stamps (now SNAP) because these big and hugely profitable corporations pay their employees poverty wages and we taxpayers have to supplement these poor workers’ incomes from the public till in order for such impoverished workers to keep body and soul together.

These big companies let us subsidize their labor costs when we pick up the tab they should be paying if they paid a living wage and not a poverty wage. The result is that the billions we pay to keep their employees alive goes straight to their bottom line profits, and worse, it encourages them not to pay a living wage in the future – and why should they when we suckers make up the difference? Another problem created by such an outrageous system is that the billions we pay that increase such corporate profits are billions we could otherwise be spending and/or investing in education, infrastructure, and other initiatives that are eternally lacking adequate funding, with the final result that we taxpayers not only hand out such billions in corporate welfare but are dodging pot holes and bridge cave-ins and are indebting our children forever for their educations at the same time, a double or even triple whammy.

It is to be noted here that we are not talking about deadbeats, as the corporate press so snobbishly often reports – we are talking about the working poor who are trying to exist. It is also to be noted that the term deadbeat could more fairly be applied to these corporate welfare recipients who so cravenly use our welfare rules and laws to their own advantage by having us help support their employees, employees who are paid so poorly by them. Some of these poverty wage-paying giants even help their employees access government welfare programs so that they can keep paying them chump change wages and leave the rest to you and me! I think I know who the “deadbeats” are in this story.

This is a situation beyond outrage, and it is time we did something about it. I am sure these corporate giants make big campaign contributions to their bought people in Congress to keep the good times rolling, but as we have seen above, the good times aren’t rolling for us taxpayers. In words of the street, we are being had when we pay for someone else’s help in their businesses while we dodge the chuckholes and burden our children with tuition costs which these corporate handouts could help fund. Which as a matter of public interest and whatever your political stripe is more important – whether McDonald’s and Walmart make ever bigger profits or whether the motoring public has safe streets and roads and our children can get an education without being in debt for eternity?

There have been calls in the Congress for legislation that would raise the minimum wage to a living wage, but with corporate political pressure to keep things as they are, such bills have gone nowhere and with the present congressional configuration are not likely to go anywhere, so year after year we continue to subsidize giant corporations with billions and billions of dollars per annum, money that is desperately needed to fund other important initiatives, as we have seen, and it is long past time to end this disgusting waste of taxpayer money into the bottom line coffers of the superrich. But how?

I have an idea of how to put a stop to this handout of taxpayer money that doesn’t depend upon congressional adoption of a living wage as a minimum wage (though such would be preferable), and if there are other and better ideas than the one I am about to suggest, fine.  I have no pride of authorship. The idea is to end this intolerable giveaway. Whatever works.

My idea is this: That the appropriate governmental agency with an additional click or two on its computers note the employment of corporate workers, tote up all welfare costs given each such employee for the year, add them together and bill the employing corporations who are paying so poorly that such welfare costs were necessary. This is fair to a fault. The affected corporations with their poverty wage regimes are called to account for their failure to pay a living wage and we taxpayers are made whole, thus releasing billions and billions of dollars every year for more worthwhile public initiatives than merely dumping taxpayer money into the bottom lines of corporations, which serves no public interest of which I am aware.

The fundamental problem with our underperforming economy is, as my followers know, wage inequality as demonstrated by almost 40 years of no movement in median wages (adjusted for inflation), median wages that have not moved in tandem with the Dow as before, while the Dow is at historic highs. This lopsided sharing of the economy’s income has resulted in a lack of aggregate demand which has in turn kept our economy within almost constant range of recession, and what I have suggested here will not help this statistic because this piece only treats the issue of who pays the freight for corporate employees and not how much, and though how much is also a burning issue, that’s for later.

If my plan were adopted, the employees of Walmart and McDonald’s would not make a penny more since the issue here is who pays them all of what is owed them for their labors and not how much. If such a plan were adopted, the big winners would be you and me as taxpayers. Those billions you and I are paying every year which we would not be paying if we were not handing them over to the superrich could be far more profitably spent or invested in education, infrastructure, research and development etc., initiatives that would also result in increases in employment, demand and revenues to rather than handouts  from government and for the benefit of all of us rather than just the relatively few of the already superrich, so let’s tell our people in Congress that the party’s over and that we want an end to this particular brand of corporate welfare (even though there are many others to be found in the tax and bankruptcy codes that are in need of deep reform) because, as a waste of taxpayers’ money, this one stinks to high heaven.      GERALD       E


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