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Archive for October 17th, 2013

According to a new study out of the University of California, Berkeley, people from working families made up 73 percent of all enrollments in America’s benefits programs, such as foods stamps, welfare, and more. That’s because many of these people earn insufficient wages to pay for basic necessities. Fast food workers make up the bulk of these people, but we can’t forget that Walmart employees are also among these. Many fast food companies, such as McDonalds, are making record profits. That’s because they’re paying insufficient wages, but also stuffing their hamburgers and other products with cheap poison, called genetically modified organisms (GMOs). McDonalds could pay their employees a liveable wage, but that would slice into their earnings.

Reducing earnings to provide a liveable wage will reduce McDonalds stock price because rich investors will sell off their McDonalds stock. When there are more sellers than buyers the price of stock drops. The stock price is the only measurement to determine how well a CEO and his or her team are running the company. If the stock goes down, especially in the long-run (say, 3 or more consecutive quarters) the CEO looks inept, and is in jeopardy of losing his or her job. Consequently, McDonalds keeps its labor costs down, while simultaneously putting cheaper, poisonous GMOs into their products.

The study found that:

  • More than half (52 percent) of the families of front-line fast-food workers are enrolled in one or more public programs, compared to 25 percent of the workforce as a whole.
  • The cost of public assistance to families of workers in the fast-food industry is nearly $7 billion per year.
  • At an average of $3.9 billion per year, spending on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) accounts for more than half of these costs.
  • Due to low earnings, fast-food workers’ families also receive an annual average of $1.04 billion in food stamp benefits and $1.91 billion in Earned Income Tax Credit payments.
  • People working in fast-food jobs are more likely to live in or near poverty. One in five families with a member holding a fast-food job has an income below the poverty line, and 43 percent have an income two times the federal poverty level or less.
  • Even full-time hours are not enough to compensate for low wages. The families of more than half of the fast-food workers employed 40 or more hours per week are enrolled in public assistance programs.

Manufacturing employees on average earn wages and benefits somewhat over $70.000 per year, but those jobs have in large part been shipped overseas due to free trade treaties. This has forced citizens to seek work in lower paying jobs, like fast food. In turn, free trade deals have crippled our social service nets because our tax base, in part, has been shipped overseas, at least on the surface. In reality, our tax base has been redistributed into the pockets of the super rich via these free trade treaties because the difference between the old, higher US wages and benefits and the new lower wages (and no benefits) in say, China, Pakistan and Vietnam, go straight into the pockets of the super rich via higher corporate profits, soaring dividends and rising share prices.

This also holds true when free trade treaties pave the way for US corporations to create jobs oversea, rather than here.

According to the Federal Reserve, nearly 30 million US jobs have been shipped overseas since 1990. Some sources suggest the figure should be closer to 40 million. It’s likely that another 20-40 million jobs have been created overseas rather than in the US because these treaties paved the legal road for this income redistribution scam to occur.

The result is that the richest people in the US are getting richer because these parasites are sucking the rest of us dry of our financial life blood.

That’s because corporate stock prices must go up, relatively constantly. If they go down in the long-run, the value of corporate stock (and corporate bonds) go down. This same rule holds true for all stocks. In other words, we have an economic system created through legislation that intentionally sucks the finanial life-blood out of the 99 percent in order to keep the stock prices of parasitic publicly traded limited liability corporations going up. Stock prices going down sometimes results in total, or nearly so, devaluations of stock prices.

During the Great Depression, the stock value of Weyerhauser dropped from $50 a share in 1929 to .50 cents a share four years later. That’s a ton of paper wealth that evaporated because corporate profit, while still historically high in 1933, continued to drop for four consecutive years. The same thing can and will easily occur again.

This is exactly why Wall Street investment firms, CEO’s, and other politically powerful people push their politicians, such as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, to enact free trade treaties. These are really income redistribution treaties that redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent. The process of redistribution is outlined above. The income redistributed keeps corporate profits going up by reducing labor costs. And this keeps stock prices going up, which makes the ponzi scheme known as Wall Street happy.

Thus, today, we have a situation in which our social safety nets are being strained because our tax base has been redistributed to the 1 percent by a parasetic system, while simulataneously pushing more and more citizens into using the social safety nets.

Check out the link below for results of the study.

Fast Food Wages and Public Assistance–University of California Labor Center

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