Glenn Beck took to the airwaves yesterday to argue that if you, like virtually all economists, are concerned about the greatest wealth disparity in the history of the United States (what we have going right now) and you vocalize it, then you’re responsible for inciting class warfare and even murder.
As Right Wing Watch noted, the man Obama supposedly influenced to commit murder doesn’t even speak English.
Well Mr. Beck, I agree with the President on this issue. Take a company like Wal-Mart, which is doing pretty well for itself. Wal-Mart rakes in about $15 billion every year in pure profit. Their CEO Mike Duke is paid $18.1 million every year (and forget what the Waltons make). This amounts to $49,589 every day (and that includes weekends spent living it up). This means that, $15 billion annually in pure profit aside, Duke makes more in a single day (even if that day is spent in the Caribbean drunk off his ass) than virtually all Wal-Mart employees make all year – more than double what most of them make in a year (since 2/3 of them make less than $25,000/year).
So despite $15 billion in pure profit annually, you and me, and all other taxpayers (who don’t make %15 billion in pure profit annually) are helping Duke and Wal-Mart pay many of their employees. Many of those employees receive assistance from the government (via your tax dollars) because they aren’t paid enough to get by:
Wal-Mart’s poverty wages force employees to rely on $2.66 billion in government help every year, or about $420,000 per store. In state after state, Wal-Mart employees are the top recipients of Medicaid. As many as 80 percent of workers in Wal-Mart stores use food stamps.
Why is this happening? Rich people are getting richer on the backs of underpaid workers, part of whose living costs the company isn’t even paying. That’s falling to people like us who reap none of the Wal-Mart’s wealth. And guess who is fighting the minimum wage increase that would force Wal-Mart to re-assume some of its own responsibility to its employees. If you have an intellect that surpasses the perspicacity of a weed then you guessed Wal-Mart, and you are correct.
I only use Wal-Mart because they’re an easy example, but countless companies do the same thing. Hell, McDonald’s has told its employees to sign up for welfare rather than pony up and pay its employees a better wage. Why cut into your own massive profits to provide the minimal support necessary to live for the workers who produced those profits when you can cut into the shallow living pool of people who wouldn’t even stop to take a piss in a McDonald’s? I’m all about a social safety net, but I’m not all about a handful of people getting insanely rich by fucking over the poor, which includes me.
If your argument is that people who are vocally pissed off about this are inciting class warfare, you can go straight to the hell of shitty logic. Being hacked off about being forced to make up the difference in somebody’s wage so they can work to make people who are not me rich, unscrupulous people who clearly don’t give a fuck about anybody but themselves, is not an endorsement of murder, it’s a demand for ethics and justice. To spin it any other way is an inversion of reality so obscene it would be pornography were it not painful to watch.
Seriously, Glenn Beck sucks. But it’s not so much that I want to relocate Glenn Beck to heaven by way of uppercut…I just want to do it to everybody who listens to him and says “Yeah, that sounds perfectly reasonable.”