The Walmart family is worth billions of dollars and yet, they are not willing to pay their employees a wage that will sustain an individual, much less a family, in a majority of those employed by the company. Dunkin Donuts CEO makes millions of dollars a year off the backs of people serving donuts and coffee to the public at wages not even close to being called sustainable and cries that paying them a living wage is somehow unfair! The reason they and others are able to do so is that they have been able to externalize the true cost of labor as government, with our tax dollars, subsidizes substandard wages and benefits. Walmart’s low-wage workers cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $6.2 billion in public assistance including food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing.
Adam Smith, the darling of the right’s obsession with capitalism as the panacea for all things, wrote in Wealth of a Nation ” A man must always live by his work, and his wages must be at least be sufficient to maintain him. They must even upon occasions be somewhat more; otherwise it would be impossible for him to bring up a family, and the race of such workmen could not last beyond the first generation. ”
Alas, the Waltons, Travis’s and TRUMP’s of the world have figured a way around this problem. They simply create an economic system where the ownership class pays sub standard wages to one poor segment the working class and then taxes the other more affluent working class to make up the difference that will allow the poor to survive without digging into the coffers of the ownership class. The latest tax con is just one more push in this direction.
Democrats must DEMAND that if you can pay your CEO millions, you can afford to pay your workers a living wage. If you are worth billions, you can afford to pay your employees a living wage. It is time that the American taxpayers STOP being taken advantage of in this way and it is time that wealthy corporations and individuals with the means to pay a living wage do so and stop sponging off of the taxpayers to pay the cost of their labor force.