....LMB: "Rage"....

April 21, 2004

There's this saying, "if you're not angry, you're not paying attention."

So imagine my surprise when someone came into my office today who has a full-time job. She works 40 hours a week at Wal-Mart. Like many of their employees, she can't afford their health insurance plan. Even if she could, they wouldn't cover her HIV care because it's a pre-existing condition. It isn't even about paying for the drugs, which are expensive - she qualifies for the state AIDS Drug Assistance Program, which picks up all of her prescriptions for her. Wal-Mart won't pay for office visits to an HIV specialist, and they won't pay for the blood tests she needs to monitor her condition.

So you, the federal taxpayer, will be paying for her medical care. Today you also gave her $40 worth of food vouchers, because after she pays her rent (which eats more than half her wages, and she lives in a slum) there's not a lot left over to buy food. I'm sure you're glad to do it, right? You don't want her to die.

And you don't want Walmart's $8 billion profits and 21.6% return on shareholder's equity to drop, the way it probably would if the public weren't picking up the cost of keeping Wal-Mart associates and their children alive. You wouldn't want any members of the Walton family to drop off the list of the richest people in the world. (Imagine if only four of them were in the top ten.)

"A social worker told me," she said to me indignantly, "that I'd be better off if I quit my job and went on welfare. I'm not doing that!"

I'm sure the Walton family is very proud of her work ethic.

In a more sane world, we wouldn't stand for this kind of bullshit. We would be so outraged that we'd head down to the local Wal-Mart, meet up with even more outraged Wal-Mart workers, march down to Sam Walton's house and burn it to the fucking ground.

[Thanks to Oliver]

Posted by Jake at 02:01 PM | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Hmmm...I don't think I'll shop at Walmart anymore...greedy bastards.

Posted by: Squiggles at April 22, 2004 02:18 PM

Why should Wal-Mart pay for her? Is it Wal-Marts fault she got AIDS? Is it Wal-Marts fault that government has used protectionism to increaes the cost of medicine beyond reason? You blame Wal-Mart because it makes a profit. If she doesn't like the job, then she can find another. Noone owes here anything. The taxpayers don't owe her anything. She should take responsibility for her condition, and move to a country that doesn't use fascist regulation to raise medical prices, and get what she needs there. Why should we turn America into a Socialist tyranny because of her? Why should we stop shopping at the retailor that gives us the best prices just because of her?

Posted by: proLiberty at April 22, 2004 09:24 PM

We should stop shopping at Walmart because even though this person is working 40 hours a week, she can't make a decent living. They make massive profits on the backs of other people by not paying them a decent wage. They do this on purpose.

Posted by: Qikdraw at April 23, 2004 12:20 AM

Boy, I thought I'd heard all the Libertarian rationalizations. But, if you think the high cost of pharmacueticals and medical care are the product of "fascist regulation", rather than corporate greed, you've gone right 'round the bend.

Posted by: shep at April 23, 2004 10:29 AM

This isn't about how she got A.I.D.S.. And no, she cannot find a job in the same industry since Walmart's predatory practices have SUCCEEDED in demolishing the competition. No, she won't find a retail job that pays better because Walmart has monopolized the retail industry in many localities.
THe bottomline is that business is here for peoples' benefit, NOT the other way around. Therefore, NO EMPLOYEE in the United States of America, regardless of their education level or intelligence, should have to work and ever bring home less than a LIVING WAGE!.
Corporations must not be able reap massive profits at the cost of employees, EVER.
The ONLY ETHICAL way a corporation can boast about their billions $ is if they are taking care of their employees
Workers are investors, too. They invest their time and the functionality of their bodies into making companies what they are. Employees DESERVE a respectable piece of the action, too! NO C.E.O should be allowed to make millions for himself while his employees are almost starving. IT's WRONG!

Posted by: social-Justice at June 20, 2004 05:30 AM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

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