Saturday, November 9, 2013

Wages Remain Flat, Food Stamps Are Cut, While Corporate Profits Soar

"They trample on the heads of the poor 
as upon the dust of the ground
and deny justice to the oppressed."
Amos 2:7 (NIV)

According to a 10/24/13 piece in the Chicago Tribune, McDonald's President Jeff Stratton, while giving a speech recently, was interrupted by one of his many low wage employees, Nancy Salgado, who shouted, "Do you think this is fair that I have to be making $8.25 [an hour] when I've worked for McDonald's for 10 years?"

Stratton's only response was, "I've been there 40 years."

Salgado, with other protesters, was arrested. Stratton continued addressing the Union League Club's First Friday luncheon at an upscale Chicago restaurant.

McDonald's can clearly afford to pay a living wage, since it made an impressive $5.46 billion in profits for its shareholders last year, but instead has come up with a list of tips to give its employees on how they can make it on their poverty level incomes, including advice about getting a second job and applying for food stamps. Not surprisingly, the fast food industry is in the forefront of lobbying efforts to resist raising the minimum wage, which means their employees, with the aid of food stamps and other assistance to low income families, are subsidizing the rich.

Meanwhile, food stamps are being cut while subsidies to wealthy corporate farmers remain intact. This includes benefits to over a dozen wealthy Washington lawmakers, 13 Republicans and two Democrats, who are raking in millions from a program about which they themselves are writing legislation, clearly a conflict of interest. Rep. Stephen Fincher (R., Tenn.), for example,  collected $3.48 million between 1995 and 2012. 
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