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Monday, November 26, 2012

Griper Blade: Walmart's Phony Low Prices

Walmart Storefront
It's pretty clear by now that Republican economic policies can be boiled down to "penny wise, but pound foolish." The idea is that it's possible to save your way to prosperity. This ignores simple math: if you don't make enough to be wealthy, no amount of saving will make you wealthy. It's a question of incomes, not savings. Rich people are rich because they make a lot of money. And you make a lot of money by spending wisely. Of course, Republican economic policies make no sense because they're rationalizations for the transfer of wealth from the bottom to the top. Some really do believe this math-challenged mumbo-jumbo -- perhaps even most Republicans. But those few who understand don't expect it to actually help everyone. It's just a con to help those few at the top. Tell the chumps the wealth will trickle down and, if the question of when actually ever seeps into their sheepish brains, tell them it'll happen any minute now, just you wait. Because Reagan. But what's the penny wise and pound foolish thinking look like in the wild? Pretty the opposite of this:
Mother Jones: Chances are you missed this particular bargain on Black Friday: Agree to spend 15 cents more on every shopping trip, and Walmart, Target, and other large retailers will agree to pay their workers at least $25,000 a year. Big box retailers aren't actually offering that deal, but a new study by the liberal think tank Demos argues that it would be a great bargain for us all if they did. Increasing the average wage at large retailers from $21,000 to $25,000 would probably cost you less than $20 a year at the register yet lift some 1.5 million people out of poverty (including your cashier), create 100,000 new jobs, and boost GDP by some $13.5 billion. Demos argues that retailers would benefit, despite higher labor costs, because their low-wage employees could suddenly afford to buy more of the basic necessities that they scan and load into plastic bags every day.
If you're like me, this is the part where you release a loud and resounding, "Duh!"...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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