How big money is made | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

How big money is made

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Posted: December 19, 2011 - 4:37pm

I ask the Republican candidates: How can we also get so wealthy? No one is capable of doing the work each day of 100-400 other people, nor is 100-400 times smarter, yet this is what the wealthy expect they’re worth, and expect to be paid.

So how is it done?

Consider the familiar example, Walmart. Other large businesses are similar: thousands of employees, working part-time, without benefits, starting nationally around $8 an hour. (Some gradually improve on this.) Employees aren’t given a “living wage”, so WalMart has occasionally instructed them how to apply for food stamps, fuel assistance, medical, etc. Taxpayers end up subsidizing Walmart (and others)!

Does it work? It did for Sam Walton, who died with something like $40 billion (which was split among his children).

But I wonder: what if employees had been paid a living wage, perhaps $10-$12 an hour? Mr. Walton would not have amassed $40 billion, maybe “only” $1 billion; maybe only a few hundred million. How much is enough? Can someone get by on $100 million?

This is how big money is made: squeezing relatively small amounts out of lots of people. These employees work hard, try their best, and amazingly, still develop company loyalties

The company isn’t interested in having employees, but profits.

Whenever a way is seen to increase profits, the wealthy go for it, even if it means dumping employees onto the street, where their only options may be to swallow their pride (and too often their self-respect), and ask for government assistance.

This added cost to society from the way American capitalism and business works is why it’s not only necessary, but morally correct, to tax the wealthy more, to pay for the poverty and inequities they’ve created in their thirst for money.

A. Martin

Merrifield