The Wealthy hoard money, while holding the middle class hostage

The heirs of the Wal Mart fortune – the Walton family – have gotten a lot wealthier since the Bush recession began in 2007, while the rest of us have gotten a lot poorer. According to data from the Federal Reserve, median family wealth in America dropped by nearly 40% between 2007 and 2010. But, during that same, the wealth of the Walton family increased 22% to nearly $90 billion.

So now, the six Walton heirs have more wealth than 48 million American families – or more than 41% of all American families – COMBINED. And yet, despite the incredible wealth disparity – Republicans in Congress are pushing for even more tax breaks for the Wal Mart heirs – and other millionaires and billionaires who fund Republican candidates.

This is a make-or-break moment for the American middle class, as Democrats try to extend tax cuts for working Americans, while cutting them off for the Walton heirs. We’ll see if Republicans go along with this common sense solution, or if they hold the middle class hostage so that their billionaire buddies can hoard even more wealth. Stay tuned.


Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 49 weeks ago

The Waltons provide people all over the world with low cost products. They have saved low income families billions of dollars when they need it the most. They should be rewarded for that.

Recovering conservative2's picture
Recovering cons... 11 years 49 weeks ago

It is interesting idea to thank the Waltons, I guess the American Indians should thank the Europeans and the American Americans should thank the Europeans that brought them to North America.

Have you reviewed the impact of Wal Marts on local economies, wages, etc.

"The research, done by a Northwest community group, estimates that one Walmart store, which is set to open in a Washington neighborhood, will decrease the community's economic output over 20 years"

Our results indicate a negative and statistically significant effect on the wages of workers in regions located within 20 miles of a Wal Mart. We fail to find a consistent effect on employment resulting from Wal Mart’s entry. We use a fixed effects model and correct for endogeneity of Wal Mart’s decision to enter into a region by using instrumental variable regression.

So it sounds like people have a lot to be thankful for. This proves Thom's point about the Wealthy abusing the commons to make themselves uber rich. Wal Mart doesn't provide health care so employees end up at the emegency room, their wages are depressed so they can't afford insurace and quality for assitance.

So let us celebrate the Waltons and all the good they done. You can also go talk to the Aztecs about celebrate Columbus.

Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 49 weeks ago

Why do Americans hate successful people so much? Home Depot and Lowes have done exactly what Walmart has done and no one says a word. If you are share holders and not a family it is ok.

Recovering conservative2's picture
Recovering cons... 11 years 49 weeks ago

If you don't see the difference you will never understand and are joining the Romney Robots. The Walton Family didn't create Wal Mart, Sam Walton did.

Home Depot and Lowes, currently are not large enough to dictate prices or policies that impact the community like Wal Mart. Read cited articles.

If you want to understand the different go to Google and read John Maxwell (Leadership guru) very successful and his writing about Costco's management philosphy where they give back to the community and its employees. Costco also offers low cost good, although they offer better quality ( MHO) than Wal Mart.

No one is jealous of the rich, but object to the rich who think like European Royality that God has ordain their wealth and therefore they have a right to dictate to the rest of us how to live our lives or ignore democracy when we vote for representatives who create EPA because we want a country with clean air and water.

Wal Mart activities in Mexico make their ethics very questionable.

Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 49 weeks ago

What does Walmart have to do with clean water? I am not a "Romney Robot" I am a Canadian, I really don't know anything about Romney. To suggest Home Depot and Lowes are "not large enough to dictate prices" when was the last time you saw a neighborhood hardware store?

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 49 weeks ago

I went to the WalMart in downtown Guadalajara many times....looked just like the ones in the US but the Pharmacia sold many "prescription drugs in the US" as "over the counter...without a prescription". But, that is pretty much standard policy everywhere else in Mexico...prescriptions not necessary...cuts out the middleman...the pill pushing witch doctors. In most cases...people know what medications they need...which were, at one time perhaps, prescribed by a doctor....especially the ones for chronic illnesses like asthma and high blood pressure, etc. But these doctors keep milking us, knowing they have us locked in with the drugs laws in the US requiring a prescription, when they require that we have a "doctor's visit" in order to get a prescription renewed. Yes, some people need to have lab tests to make sure they are not becoming toxic with some of the more dangerous meds...but does you doctor always have you take lab tests or does he just look at his computer, nod a few times and then renew your prescription? People with asthma, for example, will most likely have to take the inhalers, or whatever...probably for the rest of their why spend so much money on doctors for renewing prescriptions? They should be "over the counter" in the US. It's a racket!!

Recovering conservative2's picture
Recovering cons... 11 years 49 weeks ago

Actually, here in Martinsburg, WV we have 3 local hardware stores because they provide a service to their customers and have the knowledge to explain to people on how to do things. You can decide where you shop and buy things. You can support local stores.

Wal Mart impacts clean air and water by dictating companies move their production to countries where their do not have environmental protections and regulations.

Recovering conservative2's picture
Recovering cons... 11 years 49 weeks ago

If you are saying that big box stores have destroyed local stores why are you suggesting that Wal Mart was benefical?

leighmf's picture
leighmf 11 years 49 weeks ago

Good night, Mary Ellen.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 49 weeks ago

Yes, I know we all love to hate WalMart...but think of it this way...they exist because of the policies that have been allowed to happen as a result of, largely, pro-business ideals. Many in business have the goals of maximizing their profits...and any way the can...or any way they can get away with. I doubt many in business are doing what they do to serve the community...although some will try to claim that. What they really want is to sell, sell, sell, at any amount that they can get. They use advertizing to lure customers into buying their goods. They use whatever sales tactics they can that will pry money away from everyone else. Many may try to make us believe that they are very community oriented and may even donate to charities. But they are not doing this out of the goodness of their being...because the very premise of their being is to maximize their profits while trying to deflect that make themselves look good. They are often doing it as a tax dodge along with trying to psyche the people into thinking they are benevolent...hence, a ploy to rake in more customers. So, many of these business people are very much in alignment with right-wing politics. They vote Republican and so therefore they have created their own monster...WalMart. And while they created WalMart, and a number of other businesses and institutions, they now want us to shun them. They want us to pay the higher prices that they must charge in order to create their own wealth.

Some "businesses" are nothing more than a mail center or a UPS store and a web-site, and may not even have an inventory, or a store, to have a place to put an inventory. I found that out when after ordering something, years ago, and it was taking a lot longer to receive what I ordered than what it should have took to ship it...if they had their own inventory. Instead, all they did was to pretend they were a big outfit on-line, with flashy bells and whistles, but what they were doing was just taking my order...then, I suspect, without even having their own inventory of any of their products that they could ship out...they merely ordered from their suppliers. Now, it could be that they have a post box at "The Mail Center" that they use as a business address...a front for a business...and then they use the UPS store as another business address...another front for a business...and they have to wait for the shipment from their suppliers to arrive at the UPS store...and then, perhaps just relabel the package and ship it to the end customer. Or...perhaps...all they do is to instruct their suppliers to ship the goods directly to the customer. I eventually got my musical instrument, that I ordered, but it took a lot longer to get it than it should have from a one man and/or woman run business with no employees if they had a real store and inventory. My suggestion is, if you are going to order something on-line, at least check out that "business" at the Better Business Bureau. You might be surprised what you find...and it could save you from getting ripped off....sometimes for thousands of dollars.

Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 49 weeks ago

I am saying Walmart has its purpose, because of there huge volume they provide a low priced items for those who are not as well off. I have a winter home in Scottsdale, AZ and the smallest hardware store is ACE which is pretty big. With all due respect, there is no Home Depot in Martinsburg because Home Depots are bigger than Martinsburg, WV. ,although it does look like a nice place to live.

Recovering conservative2's picture
Recovering cons... 11 years 49 weeks ago

The hope depot is in Ransom, WV ( charle town, WV) which is part of the martinsburg community ( The PanHandle of WV). The communities of Martinsburg, WV, Charles Town, and Harpers Ferry function as single community.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 49 weeks ago

Some people may not have even heard of the following...when they buy something on-line.....they usually get the wrong impression that there is an actual store that has an inventory behind it. But this may not be the case. I wonder, I'd bet that there are many thousands of "businesses" like this...and they b1tch about Wall Mart!

"Drop shipping is a supply chain management technique in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock, but instead transfers customer orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer. As in retail businesses, the majority of retailers make their profit on the difference between the wholesale and retail price but some retailers earn an agreed percentage of the sales in commission, paid by the wholesaler to the retailer."

"Retailers that drop ship merchandise from wholesalers may take measures to hide this fact to avoid any stigma, or to keep the wholesale source from becoming widely known. This can be achieved by "blind shipping" (shipping merchandise without a return address), or "private label shipping" (having merchandise shipped from the wholesaler with a return address customized to the retailer). A customized packing slip may also be included by the wholesaler, indicating the retailer's company name, logo, and/or contact information."--Wikipedia

Heck, you could even live out of your car and run one of these businesses.

PeterPrance's picture
PeterPrance 11 years 49 weeks ago

We, me and my domestic partner are both on a fixed income. Me on SSI, and my partner SSDI.

We have been together for 19 years and have been living pay check to pay check for 15 years.

We both have HIV, so we absoluteley must stay on our SSI and SSDI to get our medications. Our medications alone cost over ten thousand dollars per month. There is no way we could ever afford to buy these medicines if we didn't have our SSI and SSDI, and the medical insurance that comes with it.

And if we get a job. We are only allowed to earn so much before we are completeley cut off of our SSI, AND SSDI. Also if we get a job every dollar we make is taken out of our check. So if I get a part time job and earn 690 dollars, they take 690 dollars out of my check.

I only get 694 dollars per month. Me and my partner together only get 1,500 dollars per month. If I were to earn 694 dollars in a month. I would loose my SSI, and medical covarage and have to not only pay for our mortgage, utilities, food, phone, etc., but also almost $10,000.00 out of my pocket per month for medicines.

We have been barely making it for a long time now. We have occasionally had to use credit cards to pay for emergencies, and must have things like car insurance, and sometimes food.

Our credit cards are almost maxed out now, and we go without food often. Even though with our HIV status, my doctor wants me to eat more and gain weight to be healthier, since I am under weight by 25 pounds. How can I eat more to gain weight. When we don't eat but maybe one meal a day if we are lucky.

I really don't know what we are going to do if this keeps up. If I were to get a job I would have to get one that payed me very well, and had a very good medical plan. Plus it would have to be a job that was very stable in order for me to be able to make my mortgage and bills, and pay almost $10,000.00 per month for medicines.

I have been HIV positive now for more than 20 years, and on SSI for 20 years. Therefore I have not worked for this long also.

If I go to get a job, the first thing they want to know is my work history, and what my experience is.

Even though I have almost six years of college, since I have been going to college a lot.

Nobody cares! They will not consider hiring anyone who does not have work experience.

The only thing I can think of maybe doing is buying a lottery ticket, and winning the lottery. But I can't afford to buy a lottery ticket.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 49 weeks ago

That would be a great slogan on a t-shirt or bumper sticker...Don't be a Mittwit, Vote Obama.

Or, how about...Obama..gonna screw yo Jill Stein?
Or, Wham Obam thank you Roseanne Barr?
Or, Odama, it's for Alfred E. Neuman?

Let's face it...Obama will be more of the sama.
It's all rigged in favor of the ruling matter whether a Republican or a Democrat. The Democrats will pander false hope and then bend you over and stick it to you. The Republicans will tell you up front that they are going to screw us...but brag that they will force all the heathens into church first to find Jesus. They may not be working in their useful idiot's best financial interests but they can get them to believe that we're all going to be raptured into heaven in a little row boat (369-the goose drank wine). Saaavvveee meeee, Jesus! And speaking of Raptor Jesus...

But, old Mittwit will possibly be replaced at the last minute....(October?) by someone the Repubs will spring on us..

Old Mittwit has become quite an embarrassment to the Republicans...will he last? All kings horses and all the king's men won't be able to put old Mitwit back together again. He is so blatantly and incorrigibly disconnected at the brain stem as his lies are so obvious to most of us. I hope they don't spring another Republican candidate on us just before the elections. It might catch someone off guard enough to squeak in.

Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 49 weeks ago

I have been following Thoms blog and sirrus radio for a little while now and I have to say it I can't believe what I am hearing. What happened to make Americans think they are entiled to other peoples wealth. Do you not have the right to be unequal there anymore? If you over spend do you think its ok to just steal money from someone else. I would of never thought in a million years that my socialist Canada would be more right thinking than the United States of America. No wonder the Koch bothers are investing hundreds of millions of dollars up here, you are scaring them and many other investors with these threats of higher taxes. Does your country have a back up plan if taxing the rich doesn't work.

csobek's picture
csobek 11 years 49 weeks ago

Really? Walmart is good. I remember an economic professor claiming that outsource for cheap labor will benefit all american consumers. It has devastated our economy. No income No tax revenue. Ignorance runs amuck. Corporations have conquered America.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 49 weeks ago

>>"What happened to make Americans think they are entiled to other peoples wealth."

Well, let's did these wealthy people get wealthy to begin with? Many were born wealthy! Just as some people were born into Regal families and forced themselves on people to rule them as their kings...(The people finally rebelled a lopped off some heads) does practically the same inherit a lot of it and you rule. You get really lucky and win the suddenly enter the realm of the "haves" and you change your attitude to now I have mine...screw everyone else.

Do you really think these wealthy people did it by the sweat of their brows...or maybe they either inherited a lot of it, and/or maybe they got lucky and won it, and/or maybe they were in a position to manipulate their outcomes of gambling other people's money, and/or they cheated other people out of it, and/or they used the money that they cheated out of people and their inheritance to put pressure on politicians that make the laws in favor of the "haves" and against the "have nots".

If there were more people who thought that we were being unfair to attack those wealthy people who want to destroy our safety nets of social security and medicare...then we may as well go back to being ruled by kings.

>>"If you over spend do you think its ok to just steal money from someone else."

Who is stealing from whom?!!! When you have wealthy people (and really, this extends all the down to those lowly creatures trying to eek out a living by emulating what the big guys are doing...trying to profit on drop shipping, for example* but wealthy people set the standard that some aspire to, don't they?)..doing whatever they can to get people to give them their hook or by crook...then one can hardly say that the (non-business) people are being reckless, irresponsible, and over spend...hence, they deserve their fate. The bigger the business..and the more they spend on trying to psyche out people through commercials and get them to want the make them feel psychologically inferior if they don't buy, buy, buy...then you can hardly blame the people for following through and buying the products that are being hyped.

Anyone notice the blitz of BP commercials that are designed to get us all to think BP is so wonderful. Gee, you can eat the fish in the Gulf once more...isn't BP wonderful? Of course, some cancers take decades to work their magic! We'll see if BP is so wonderful a couple of decades from now when everyone is puking their guts out from some cancerous growth in their stomachs.

If all these people became responsibly frugal, all of a sudden, then these same wealthy maggots at the top who suck people dry would complain that these lowly people are being irresponsible because "they should all go shopping" or to be "patriotic" or other ridiculous nonsense...and buy, buy, buy! The people just can't win with these wealthy cock-roaches. Damned if you do...damned if you don't. Let's do it! Let's all stop buying...acting responsible...boycott everything! See how long it would take for these blood-sucking vampires to cry foul.

Sure, there are a few who, due to their intellect, talents, and inventiveness...and luck...became very wealthy..but I'd say the vast majority of these very wealthy people are wealthy because they connived it, took advantage of people, or just inherited it...and probably...a combination of all those things.

*Yes, drop shipping is legal and many businesses do it...even at least has a very high rate of prominence and respectability and ability to refund your money, in a timely fashion, if you didn't get the products you ordered. Not so with some one or two person mom and pop operations. Many "businesses" try to hide the fact that they are drop shippers..they don't want you to know that they are merely wedging themselves in the middle to profit...with very little, if any work, except to maybe deposit a check in the bank and take orders on their web site. But, for some people, I guess it is either that or selling oranges on the side of the road.

karubi's picture
karubi 11 years 49 weeks ago

Dear Thom,

It is often said that the root of all evil is money. However, that is a common misquote of Timothy 6:10.

The actual quote from the bible stresses that it is the LOVE of money that leads to problems. ''For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, in their eagerness to get rich, have wandered away from the faith and caused themselves a lot of pain.'' (Intl. Standard Version)

In Mitt Romney and his filthy-rich ilk we see an obsession with, and immense love of, money; so much so that they hoard and hide as much of it as they can, to the extent it could never be spent on needs for life in a lifetime.

The Bible thumpers love to quote The Bible when it suits their needs, very often selectively and innacurrately, yet they ignore the rest of the scripture when it is inconvenient for them. If they choose to live by The Bible, then I pray they choose to accept it all, live by it all and strive to truly understand and comprehend it.

Contrary to the most basic tenets of Christianity, the love of money has become religion in America. And much of the religous right has chosen to embrace this new standard of belief. A very sad commentary.

To the millions who vote against their own best interests and ther own religious beliefs, I have only one thing to say,''Don't be a Mittwit, Vote Obama.''

With best regards to all,

Mark Harrison

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 49 weeks ago

I sure don't want to defend corporations...and I'm not...but Walmart is the result of the policies that other, smaller business owners have been supporting when they voted Republican all those years...or support right wing business organizations. They have sold the hangman the rope that will hang them. I am not sorry for those bastards. I'll keep shopping where the prices are lowest..

I detest shipping our jobs overseas...but show me one company that isn't doing it. Sure, there may be a few...but even if your small business..a merchant perhaps..hasn't actually shipped jobs overseas...he is reselling goods that have been made overseas. He/She can make a bigger profit by buying cheap goods and selling them here. That really is the same thing as shipping our jobs overseas.

Some people can get all uppity and patriotic and try using their rhetoric in the attempt to sway people into buying from American merchants but there is usually always a hidden truth...maybe that the "Buy American"-touted product was really made least most of the parts of it was. Many of us, now, without decent paying jobs cannot be as extravagant and must buy at the cheapest price we can. How can you fault those of us at the bottom of the economic pile for doing what those at the top do all the time. They buy low and sell high. Most of us are left with only buying low....and don't have the ability to sell make a profit.

I watched a movie recently..don't remember the name...but it was kind of a "yeah, see there!" moment when the tourists hear this clang, clang, clang coming from this little dusty shop (in some poor country). They go over to this hard at work craftsman pounding out his artwork on a metal dish. The tourist, wanting a memorable souvenir, an example of the country's artistic nuances, buys the dish and the artist thanks them and the tourists walk away smiling. When the tourists were gone, the artist pulls out an identical metal dish with all the artwork already pounded in the dish...and starts making a clang, clang, clang sound once again. The box said...made in China.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 49 weeks ago

PeterPrance...sorry to hear about your misfortune and troubles. I am going through a rather difficult time, right now, myself. I am not sick but a relative who served in Vietnam is and I am having him stay at my place hoping he will recover. He has lost so much weight that he looks like a skeleton. He has been going to the VA doctor but he has just been getting steadily worse. He looks like he is in such terrible, grimacing pain all the time and can barely walk with either crutches or the walk-about that the VA let him borrow.

I have read so many terrible things about the VA...treating people like cattle...or mistreating...or frequently misdiagnosing people's illnesses....people having cancer not diagnosed until they go to a civilian doctor..and then, it is too late...kinds of things. One guy is suing the VA for $2Million because he had cancer inside him and they kept treating him with an indigestion medication but would never address his real problem.

My relative is on Social Security (a low amount at that) and doesn't have anything else. He should qualify for Medi-Cal but they seem to be in pretty tight with the VA and I am not sure that he would be any better off going that route. I keep thinking that my relative, instead of having just the sciatic nerve problem that the VA claims, that he may have something that may kill cancer. So horrible to watch the guy suffer. He is often doubled over and rocks back and forth and looks really hollow in the eyes.

It is really odd that the VA spends so much time and effort in trying to find out if anyone is likely to commit suicide...they always ask those series of questions every time I go in to see my VA doctor. And it looks like they have no problem trying to get you into some prevention program, whether it be weight loss or pain management, where someone else can milk the Government cash-cow...puts you through their hoops...and torture chamber. But, it is not so easy to get the doctors to accurately diagnose...or even run tests to diagnose the problem. I wonder what the government (our tax dollars) has to shell out for all those stupid so-called prevention programs where they inundate you with mailer hints on how to maintain your health. So many people are sucking on the government teats...making big bucks but doing little that makes a real running the required tests to properly diagnose and treat problems.

His doctor finally told him to call up the VA hospital to get a CAT scan...I did, and couldn't reach anyone but left a message. The drill sergeant dominatrix that finally called back yelled because I called so soon...they hadn't received the doctor's report yet (even though VA uses a very efficient computer network). We were just following doctor's orders..."call the hospital and set up an appointment". So now one of their "therapy specialists" called and set up an appointment for next month. I may have to have him brought in on a stretcher...if he is still alive...see what they can do for him then. Make him do a set of pushups and deep knee bends?

I'm getting scared that VA won't be able to help me when it really matters. But right now, I am scared for my relative.
Anyway, I think I will go ahead and take medicare (part A and part B...but not any of the other parts which are, in my opinion, scam insurance companies trying to wheedle money out of me).

If you get Social Security, you will get Medicare automatically and they withhold just over $100.00...$115?..?) per month from the Social Security payments. Part A is free, but has a deductible...something like $1100 or so...and covers something like 80% of the hospital bills. Part B costs the $115?, has a deductible of about $140 and covers like 80% of the doctors bills. One problem is that several months before you turn 65 you will be inundated with junk mail from these maggot insurance companies.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 49 weeks ago

Last I knew, Americans supported raising taxes on the rich by a two to one margin. So I guess Democrats are trying to do exactly what they were elected to do, represent the vast majority of, "We The People." However Norquist has a firm grip on his common sense will not prevail!

I for one believe it's patriotic to attack and denigrate financial success when that so called success is achieved immorally with little or no regard for its harmful consequences to society.

As for the six Walton heirs, I'd love to see each take a year and work in one of their stores for the same deal they give their workers. They must live totally off this wage and receive no Govt. aid with health insurance etc. Then I want them to look society straight in the face and try to defend the 90 billion stashed..... God knows where!

ken ware's picture
ken ware 11 years 49 weeks ago

Kend, you do realize that Walmart stores teach a seminar on how to apply for food stamps, so they take from the tax payers to ripen their profit by paying minimum wages. They reap enormous profits selling a lower quality good(s) to the poorer population and pay their employees minimum wages, while reaping enormous profits. A great example of American know how, they know how to make gigantic profits and pay their employees the least they can and actually show them how to apply for food stamps! This is not a made up story, please check it out for yourself. I suspect you do not shop at Walmart as a rule for all your needs.... And the Republicans in Congress get their kick back in the form of political donations for giving the millionaires and billionaires tax breaks. Under the Ryan budget they will get even greater tax breaks at the cost too social programs. Another form of corporate welfare to the wealthy, at a time when the Republicans are pushing austerity measures for the rest of America. GREED IS THE NAME OF THE GAME FOR THE SO CALLED SUCCESSFUL IN AMERICA.....WAKE UP. What people like the Waltons deserve is the justice the French handed out during their revolution, blood in the streets. Yeah these people piss me off when they make their living on the backs and sweat of the poorer class that are forced to except the low wages they are paid just to survive.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 49 weeks ago

I agree, somewhat, but Walmart is not alone in this game. It is being played by many in the business world. Let's see, how many Guillotines should we order then? Maybe we can get them a lot cheaper at Walmart.

Yes, we hate what people like the Waltons have done.except for the prices...but as they have played the game better than any of the other cock-roaches in business...they can offer products at a lower cost. Again, the business-people who are now calling the Waltons names...have four more fingers (well, maybe 3) pointing back at themselves. These business people let it happen when they voted for right-wing politicians, and bought off other politicians, to favor the atmosphere that let it all happen. I am not saying every business person bought off politicians or voted Republican...but, I'd bet many (most) did. They created the monster that is now going to devour them. No, I am not going to be suckered by the little cockroaches who are jealous of the Walton's success and who are trying to tell us that we need to NOT buy at Walmart. I will do just what those wealthy business people at the lowest possible price. People who are not wealthy don't really have much of a choice. People who are making a lot of money...or even have a fairly good paying job...can NOT buy at Walmart all they want. Good for them. Maybe Obama can pin a medal on their chests. Ring-a-ding-dandy! People in survival mode don't give a rat's S about being pretentious and overly patriotic...especially when they see through the bull S and hypocrisy.

Thing is that if it wasn't would be someone else doing it all the same. Blame the businesses and merchants that made it all possible in the first place. And I agree that it is a shame that Walmart stoops to such low standards when it comes to it's employees. But again, that is because they, as many other businesses have done..or would like to do the same thing. They all have the maximize-profits-at-any-cost mentality...and to hell with employees. That's what it has come to. To hell with the employees...a message that has shot across Ruling elite controlled America. Corporate America, along with all the smaller businesses, has thought Republican, believed Republican, and voted Republican. They have screwed American workers all right along with the Waltons. Only the Waltons have done it better. These right-wing scum-bags are at the top of the dung heap....but I'd still buy from them because their prices are cheaper and the alternative is to buy from someone else a little lower on that dung heap. They are all supporting that bit at the top called Walmart and are jealous as hell that they aren't at the top too.

So, even though I hate all the things that Walmart stands for (products produced abroad stealing American jobs, screwing their workers, etc.), buying from them versus all those that made Walmart possible (all the other businesses who voted Republican and a laissez faire capitalism), I will continue to buy from Walmart because not only will I be getting lower priced products but I will be penalizing those other numbskull businesses who made Walmart possible.
On the flip side...Walmart has 8500 stores in 15 countries...employs over 2 million people...all of whom are not forced to work there...or, put another way...Walmart is not forcing them to work there. They may have no other choice but that is not Walmart's fault directly..maybe incidentally, but only when put in context of what all the other corporations are doing to people. And, lastly, Helen Walton was quite a philanthropist and when she died in 2007, she has left her fortune to charity.

fjkapustka2's picture
fjkapustka2 11 years 49 weeks ago

The good: WalMart and the Waltons have eliminated distribution companies and gone straight to companies for products. This has saved many people lots of money. WalMart has invested in automation as well, streamlining the stocking of stores.

The bad: WalMart, like many companies, seems woefully ignorant of OSHA or criminally negligent. The OSHA (1993) safe limit for picking a box up off the ground is 51 lbs and 60 lbs for a suitcase (If you're ~5'10" tall). The shorter and heavier (muscle or fat) you are, the less you can lift. As the center of gravity of that object gets farther away from the center of your spine, the less you can lift. I have never met a teacher(not even an OSHA instructor), tradesmen, doctor, insurance rep or workers compensation attorney that knew this information. I verified this information with the people that wrote the OSHA ergonomics manual. WalMart has also engaged cheating people out of wages, slave labor, deceptive business practices, etc. They have taken the corporate attitude of just sue us. If you want to screw over a grocery store, fill a cart with parishables and leave it in aisle. It is not yours until you pay for it. Walmart has also failed to properly insulate stores. They should hire better architects and engineers. Moreover, WalMart has failed to recognize that people that make the products for their stores are potential customers. A store near production facilites will make back any small increase in price to keep production in the USA or whatever country the product is being manufactures. WalMart is in serious trouble of being left with stores full of crap that cannot be sold. The anticipated inflation cycle may stick it to companies like WalMart.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 48 weeks ago

Can you believe it? There are about 400 billionaires in the of 2009 figures.

95,000 with more than $30million in the world.
36,300 with more than $30million in North America.
3,104,000 with more than $1million in the US.
Los Angeles County has the most millionaires at 268,138.
Santa Clara County, Ca has 74,824.
4 out of 10 top nationwide counties are California counties with 561,257 millionaires in those 4 top California counties.
The top 10 US counties total 1,164,608 millionaires and the rest is spread out to all other counties in the US totaling 1,939,392 millionaires.
2009 data.
The population of the US in 2011 was 311,591,917.
So, taking into consideration the error for using 2009 millionaire data with 2011 population data, approximately 1 percent of the US population are millionaires.

Another source, from the Wall Street Journal...quoting Spectrum Group...says 200,000 new millionaires were added to the US just last year in 2011...and that there are now 8.6 million households in the US with a total net worth (minus principal residence) of $1million or more. That is about 2.76% of Americans. There are now 1,078,000 households worth $5 million or more (.35%) and about 107,000 people worth $25million or more (also about .35%).

The $5 million-plus crowd, is dominated by senior corporate executives and entrepreneurs/owners.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 48 weeks ago

But Walmart is not alone in the "just sue us" practice. It seems like many companies take that stance now.

I listened to the last "Security Now" podcast and they told of how one of the newest top of the line Cisco/Linksys routers being sold now (the ones selling at over about $120-$180) has an agreement statement you have to agree to that you should read very carefully. When you hook up your new automatically downloads a firmware upgrade without telling you, changing some settings you previously might have made...including your administrator password...which locks you out... and combined with the agreement may not make a lot of people very happy. The gist I got from the show was that Cisco has adopted this new sneaky way of doing business that if you are not one of the very few who catch this and complain, you will be one of the many who may be unknowingly operating in a Cisco generated malware that spies on you. They seem to be adopting similar business practices as we have seen with Facebook and others.

I'm not too happy with Microsoft right now because right after their last security update my Bios changed values including date and time and my passwords which went to no passwords at all. This happened the next day when I powered up I saw the problem. I know...Microsoft update cause BIOS problems? You've probably got a virus! Maybe...quite possibly. I know, with the hacking tools that are is not hard to hack into someone's computer...not that I have ever done it myself.

Thought it might be my BIOS battery but my BIOS has held up ok since I corrected the problem...but I will likely replace it anyway sometime soon. The problem happened right after the update.

This happened to me also on a previous computer I had...right after the Microsoft 2nd Tuesday security computer didn't finish the POST routine enough to display anything on my monitor. Tried to replace the BIOS battery and chip with a pre-installed BIOS. But no good. Keep telling myself...I really need to switch totally to Linux.

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 11 years 48 weeks ago

No one is jealous of the wealthy--the responsible citizen wealthy. They are causing themselves to be hated. They began class warfare against the working person--the very person who produces their product and buys their product and pays the taxes they avoid while they enjoy the benefits of such taxes. They are buying our democracy--the ONLY thing the "rest of us" can call our own and the thing that is our ONLY protection against the greed of "the others." We've had wealthy rule before--and they lost their heads--maybe that needs to happen again.

underpaid/unemployed workers equal penniless consumers equals eventually (after all their money dries up) NO PROFIT for business. The equation is very simple--no calculus required.

Who will they cannabalize next for profits when they have rendered us all impoverished--dried up that turnip? Their wealthy friends? It's just STUPIDITY. The wealthy aren't SMART. They are damned DUMB and short-sighted.

The wealthy in America are destroying the economy. The ONLY way the economy will get moving again is for the wealthy to spend--the middle class is being dried up--that source in the economic circle is broken. What ever happened to the business phrase: You have to SPEND money to MAKE money?

Let's call for rule by the worthy NOT the wealthy!!!

douglas m 11 years 48 weeks ago

this article shouldnt be about someones name. this is simple about the extreme differences growing due to laws by a society thats eating itself.
this country grew only when the taxes were high enough on the people that had it/ the wealthy,to a much greater tax rate. at the end of the day our system of government will change or our government will go bankrupt/which it is. but the real problem exist is when other governments figure it out.
if congress cared about something else besides getting reelected for two terms so they can collect full pay for life,we might start seeing the middle class stop dying while international business eats them.

js121's picture
js121 11 years 48 weeks ago

Walmart is a member of ALEC and as such is priviledge to get laws/regulations written - By themselves - For themselves. When we had the recession of '78, I was unemployed for 2 yrs. I exhausted all the $$ I saved and was supporting a child. Welfare denied me benefits and told me to get a job at Walmart. Thank God, I found a temporary job until the recession ended and could return to full time employment. I hated Walmart for destroying our small town of 8,000 and all the small business' that closed down and our town has never been the same since. We could always buy our goods/services with the local people at competitive prices to Walmart; but, not anymore. Now, you go in there and there aren't any people working in it to help you and their prices? Oh, they went up!! Driving 30 mi to the next big town is ridiculous!! I still HATE Walmart!!

Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 48 weeks ago

Mr Ware, Look I am not sticking up for the Walton Group they don't need it. We both live in countries that allow us to be unequal, so to me good for them. Keep in mind Walmart is a public company so anyone can own a part of it and "reap enormous profits". We also live in countries where we choose where we work and shop. Don't shop or work there if you don't like them that is what freedom is all about. I can't get over how jealous Americans are towards the wealthy there. When did PROFIT become a bad thing. It is what seperates us (me being Canadian) from the rest of the world. If you can't make it in America what would you do Africa or South America? Americans need to stop whining and get back to building America up to the envy of the world again.

k78333's picture
k78333 11 years 48 weeks ago

They have also helped create many low income families also. The Waltons and the ever growing number of US companies that have outsourced have found a great chance to exploit a foreign labor market and screw the American worker. They are doing well here,no doubt, with their low prices, because of this exploitation.They have had a Great hand in impoverishing a new class of people and are benefiting greatly from this on the retail end!

rks306's picture
rks306 11 years 48 weeks ago

I've got a commercial running in my area. Says that the dividend tax is fixing to go up. Congress must act to kept the massive tax increase from happening.

PeterPrance's picture
PeterPrance 11 years 48 weeks ago

I agree!

This is a very true statement!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 48 weeks ago

If you have a boss that yells at you, demanding that you do this or that the way he wants you you call that "whining"? Americans are not "whining" they are yelling and demanding that the war that these wealthy people have been waging against us for 30 some years...STOP!

Maybe certain people who appear to be sticking up for the wealthy ruling class should stop their "whining" about how Americans are yelling and demanding a change.

I heard this kind of idiotic sniveling from the right-wingers during the Bush years...they would say to Democrats as they pummeled us mercilessly..."stop your whining...just get over it!" And so to you I say...stop your whining and just get over it! The 90% of Americans who have taken a big hit from the rich guys don't need to just get over it...they need to get really pissed off and yell even louder and longer and if that don't work to change things they need to take it a step further.

Brasil66's picture
Brasil66 11 years 48 weeks ago

On your show today, I heard you quote a famous 19th Century journalist but couldn't remember his name. Here's my humble assist:

"Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."H. L. Mencken
US editor (1880 - 1956)
I love your show!

Faccia D'Coulo's picture
Faccia D'Coulo 11 years 48 weeks ago

Trickle down economics does not work. Those with these massive piles of money, merely need to use the current vehicles of investment manipulations and the lack of regulations to generate more wealth.Who needs to make a darn thing, pay an employee, or start a business. Who would pay taxes to government for anything when you can go directly to washington, buy a politician(s) and achieve an much more direct and effective result. Our problem is the money influence in Washington. We need to reinstate Glass Stiegel and overturn Citizen United and hit people like the Koch Brothers with the tax bill for the last 30 years of reprieve. I learned something long ago while working retail in a very high dollar luxury item industr. There are none cheaper or more selfish than the rich.

Christophe's picture
Christophe 11 years 47 weeks ago

All we want is equality!

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