Thursday, October 31, 2013

McHammered


     Here's a suggestion to Adam Ozimek of Forbes: When trying to make your case, never quote a much better article by a much better columnist.
     Case in point: Ozzie's article entitled, "The Liberal War on Food Stamps." Obviously, this is a title that is designed to be provocative by going for the most ironic sentence and one wrenched 180 degrees from its polar opposite (that would be the truth). This pro-corporate fuckstick immediately goes for the jugular by writing,
I can’t remember a more misguided attempt at attacking corporations than the move to frame food stamps as corporate welfare. Clearly liberals clinging to this think they have found a new clever argument for the minimum wage, but instead all they’re doing is making food stamps look bad.
     Really, now? And how are we doing that? This is where he makes his first major mistake, by quoting an obvious truism about corporate welfare from The Guardian:
Perhaps I’m being unreasonable, but it seems to me that when Republicans are so vocal about how much they hate government programs like SNAP benefits (aka food stamps) and Medicaid and indeed anything that makes life a little more feasible for low-income or no-income Americans, they should surely be able to work up a small sweat at such a blatant example of the system being gamed. Just last month congressional Republicans voted unanimously to cut $39bn from the food stamp program, and I surely don’t have to waste words here outlining their opposition to any form of government subsidized healthcare. Why then, when they have made their objection to welfare programs abundantly clear are they seemingly okay with hugely profitable corporations exploiting these programs while they underpay their workers?
     You would think that logic and basis in reality would be unassailable to someone possessed of a brain superior to a slug's but you'd be wrong because this is a Forbes columnist we're talking about, a so-called economic savant who's obviously an acolyte of Milton Friedman and his ruinous Chicago School of Economics. He then goes on to say,
The McResource help line in question is designed to help workers seek assistance. Here is how the company describes the purpose of this on its website:
     He then goes on to cite as his source McDonald's own mission statement regarding its purpose, which says,

  • The McResource Line consultant will research your situation to give you current, accurate information and resources that fit your needs.
  • McResource Line consultants were able to direct an employee to a local energy assistance program and credit counseling after he was told his utilities would be shut off.
  • The McResource Line was able to find late night and weekend hour childcare solutions for a swing manager when her babysitter suddenly quit.
  •      Of course McDonald's McResource page isn't going to tell you that its reflexive answer to your concerns about keeping body and soul together is to go to the American taxpayer to get bailed out because the bloated fucks at the top don't think enough of your hard work to pay you a living wage or even one single penny above the federal or state-mandated minimum wage. After all, as Chris Rock reminds us, "When your boss pays you minimum wage, what he's saying is, 'If I could get away with paying you  less, I would.'"
         I'd already written about this a week ago on a post entitled "McDicking Us Over" that got linked by Jon Perr at Crooks and Liars. In it, I savaged the McDonald's McResource line for telling a single mother of two, Nancy Salgado, a ten-year veteran still making minimum wage, to go on public assistance as well as their budgeting page that tells workers if they want to keep their heads above water, all they have to do is take on a second job. In their sample budget, only $20 a week is earmarked for health care and not a penny for a heating bill.
         I'd also mentioned that a joint university study found that 52% of all fast food workers have to go on public assistance at some point or another. These facts are completely absent on Ozzie's little diatribe against liberals and our insistence that everyone, especially those who work hard, deserve to have enough to eat. And, I suspect, if Ozimek's even aware of these facts, he's decided to blow them off as mere liberal propaganda.
         This cruel brand of wingnuttery (check out the barely literate comments at the end of the article) would drive me crazy even if I wasn't on SNAP myself. Ozimek seems perfectly comfortable with the federal government bailing out bottomlessly avaricious corporations like McDonald's who long ago found a way to game the system and get the American taxpayer to assume much of the burden of their overhead expenses such as payroll and health care. He seems to have not the slightest problem with a person such as Nancy Salgado making minimum wage after a full decade with the company and that company telling her, "Rather than pay you even a penny more an hour, go on public relief."
         People such as Ozimek are bottom-feeding scum who for some inexplicable reason thinks it's their holy mission in life to defend corporations who would just as readily victimize him as it does its workers solely in the interests of making liberals look bad even if it involves telling outright lies and ignoring the truth.
         What Ozimek seems blissfully aware of is that it's the House GOP who've cut $39.9 billion from SNAP over the next decade. And, regardless of what happens with that farm bill (and food stamp funding or defunding has never been part of a farm bill before, which usually sailed through Congress with little to no opposition until Teabagger Republicans decided to make everything fair game), by tomorrow $5 billion will be automatically cut from the SNAP program thanks to the expiration of the 2009 Recovery Act, a piece of legislation we haven't heard too much about because House Republicans would like you to forget that it ever existed, let alone that it's set to expire in about 12 hours.
         And people like Adam Ozimek, when they scrawl their pro-corporate screeds, would also like you to forget that as well as the compact that used to exist between companies and their employees until about the Reagan era: You work hard, do your job and stay loyal to your company and we'll give you a living wage that'll actually enable you to pay your bills.
         Then right wing corporations found out they can simply freeze wages decade after decade, oppose any and all proposed increases to the minimum wage while bloating themselves with endless pay raises, perks and stock options then get the American taxpayer to assume the burden of what used to be their overhead expenses.
         I'd like to see how Adam Ozimek would like it if Forbes paid him minimum wage decade after decade for his pro-corporate jeremiads against liberals.

    5 Comments:

    At October 31, 2013 at 2:07 PM, Anonymous Dee in NJ said...

    Sure. They want me to eat food which causes me chronic diarrhea everytime I eat it, giving me the gift that keeps on stinking, and for this you refuse to pay your poor employees a living wage and you still expect them to eat your shitty food too? I suggest we relegate Mickey D's CEO to a huge, shit filled swimming pool where he'll be given an opportunity to reconsider his position after several hours and some signed documents.

     
    At November 1, 2013 at 8:52 AM, Blogger Mithras61 said...

    I've heard lately a number of people questioning why employees at places like McD's only average 24 hours per week as well.

    My oldest worked at McD's for a couple months. The schedules are setup so that they find out what "shift" they are working the day before or even sometimes the same day that they are scheduled for, and if they miss for anything short of hospitalization they can plan on being fired. They are "on call" for the entire time the store is open. The store manager sets the shifts. As an employee, you might work 6am-10am one day and 4pm-9pm the next day, and you have no control over that. Yes, you get all the McD's "food" you can stand, but that's really only a deal for the first week or so, although I've been told they get pretty creative to make the stuff edible.

    No, overall, McD's (franchise or corporate store - they're all run by the same rules as far as I can tell) is set up to maximize profits, and ensure employees dependency on the job and on State benefits such as SNAP, TANF and various other types of assistance. An increase in minimum wage to something approaching a living wage would only address a small part of the problem (like having standard shifts and at least a regular weekly schedule).

     
    At November 1, 2013 at 3:41 PM, Anonymous CC said...

    I read that Forbes hack job of a commentary. I guess it and the New York Post must recruit from the same (cess)pool of columnists.

    However, quite a number of commenters on that site came out against the commentary.

     
    At November 1, 2013 at 3:44 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

    Not the ones I read yesterday.

     
    At November 2, 2013 at 3:55 AM, Anonymous CC said...

    I read it two days ago. I'm not surprised that the early dissenting commenters were eventually drowned out.

     

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