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  1. #181
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    Jul. 19, 2007
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    We complain about our job all the time. We all are experts are coming up with busywork so our managers won't send us home to save money (but it WILL happen eventually once party season is over.) I only started in September, but I already know, assuming I'm still there, I AM working New Year's Even, Valentine's Day, and Mother's Day. Everyone does. If I don't show up those days, I won't have a job, period.

    If I don't like it, I'm free to quit.

    The problem with saying how AWFUL low wages are, how IT'S NOT FAIR, how DARE they not be able to take time off whenever they want, not show up, not get paid "enough", and they didn't ASK to wind up with their only option is...well, yeah, life's not fair, we don't automatically deserve to be paid $25+ an hour with unlimited paid time off because that would make life easier, we shouldn't have to work any holiday we don't feel like...I've got three degrees, two from universities most people couldn't get into on a bet, no poor life decisions like children I can't afford, drug habits, or self-inflicted illness, I work at whatever job I can get whether it's "fair" or not. If that were at Wal-Mart, that's where I'd be, if they'd even hire me (which is unlikely as I'm not a good long-term retail investment. Did someone say they get 401Ks? I wish...) I can live just fine. I can't spend on everything I want to spend on, but I can live. WITHOUT asking for government help.

    And definitely no Wal-Mart strikes around here..the only person outside yesterday was the Salvation Army bellringer freezing his butt off. (I gave him some money.)


    4 members found this post helpful.

  2. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    You contradict yourself there.

    Look, I know diddly about the facts in this case. But it stands to reason that the employee involved had far less power than the manager to correct his actions, even if they were against company policy. After all, just how many times do you get to be the person who asks your superiors to toe-the-line before you a fired for not doing your job... which is, among other things, to be subordinate?

    I also think that your reference to "the nature of retail" is a mistake. There is no inherent nature of this business. It's a human contrivance so it can be structured any way we'd like. There are many, many companies out there who do their best to keep employees on the job even when business conditions don't warrant it. I believe Walmart has fat that can be trimmed or spread around more evenly. Who says that the CEO must be paid as handsomely as he is, at all costs to employees who are stuck in trying to stay committed to being ready to work when called but are underemployed?

    At bottom, the strike isn't much more than an effort to gain this redistribution of spending, right? Were there more effective and easier means to take, I assume that out of pure self-interest, employees would have done otherwise. A strike is a PITA.
    I don't think anyone is on strike, for what was reported on national news.
    Those were union organized "demonstrations", for publicity, using WM because they are handy.

    Very few WMs had anyone "demonstrating".
    No one around here, the only ones I know of were in a few big cities where it made the news that we are all commenting on here.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  3. #183
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    All this talk about Justice in the work place.

    Let's dispense with that. We are too poor as a nation to afford it.

    Rather, let's talk about what happens when you create an underclass and huge disparities between rich and poor.

    Look, if you'd feel leery about parking your Escalade in a bad neighborhood over night, then you have a sense of the problem: What people cannot earn, they will take. You'll feel ripped off to be sure. But that's not the problem. The real problem is that you don't know where that will stop, what you will lose that is not within your control.

    I can't imagine that any 911-dialing American would be happy to live in a country without all of the stability and predictable services we have here. I truly think that everyone tells themselves that It Will Happen To The Other Guy and then makes up a retrospective story about how something they did *earned* them whatever freedom from that crime that they got.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #184
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    Nov. 8, 2005
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    NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    JetsMom, that's all well and good, IF you live in an area where people are willing to pay for those things AND you can afford the transportation to get to those people who are willing to pay for those things.

    Around here, no way.

    And what part of...there are no other jobs, do you not understand?

    I can recall two very upsetting visits to Walmart (I no longer shop there). One, a grandmother, received a call from her granddaughter's school; she was having a very serious asthma attack and needed to be seen by the doctor ASAP. The grandmother was filing for custody of the granddaughter (mother ran off, was absent, whatever), but the final paperwork was not complete. She was sobbing at her station, because her manager wouldn't let her leave to pick up the granddaughter because she wasn't a immediate family member and was told if she did leave she would be fired.

    Second woman, elderly woman at the checkout I was using, was very upset when she saw the coming weeks schedule. Although she was promised at least 20 hours, they gave her 5. She didn't know how she was going to buy gas for her car or food, and said they had been cutting her hours for months. I said you guys need a union...and she said not to say that too loud, she could get in big trouble.

    So, is this the kind of place you'd be happy to have your mother work? Just curious.
    I don't feel comfortable somehow posting all the personal detail behind the now vastly happier, now appreciated, now-ex Walmart person I know the best. She is a very bright, kind-hearted Mom, animal lover and horse owner (barn-work exchanged for board). She ended up there because of some despicable shenanigans growing out of her divorce that sabotaged and deprived her of her previous job.

    She experienced the cut-back hours noted by others, as well as arbitrary personnel decisions that barred her from taking a few days off to go visit her child who was in a life-crisis. At some point, given the reduced hours, it was costing her almost as much to commute to work as she was netting.

    There was no other work available because of the local economy and national economic conditions and she had no capital to start any kind of business that her experience qualified her for, or even to rent a place and set it up to groom dogs, which she would have been happy and willing to do.

    She eventually located a job that drew on her skills. No great pay, but appreciation and an opportunity to make ends meet, and, I think, some very modest benefits as well as the possibility for advancement.

    I learned so much beyond my prior experience because of the nightmare scenario I saw unfold in real time for this fine person who, if she were to participate in horse forums, might be be one of us. (Believe me, she knows horses and riding.)

    So &#*%@& unnecessary, because Walmart's current dolt management is so myopic that they do not see other paths that would unify their organization and enhance their profitability along the way.
    "Things should be as simple as possible,
    but no simpler." - Einstein

    “So what’s up with years of lessons? You still can’t ride a damn horse?!”


    6 members found this post helpful.

  5. #185
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    Dec. 4, 2002
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    Alpharetta, GA
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    It seems to me that if Walmart was such a godawful, miserable, unhappy job environment, then that unhappiness would be reflected in their workforce and in their employees' interactions with the public. The negativity and discontent would inevitably cost Walmart the very business that puts money into the pockets of the owners. The "good" employees would move on to greener pastures (and other, better retail establishments) and all that would be left would be the miserable dregs- those crummy employees being Walmart's bridge to their clientele. Customers would stay away, sales would drop and management would be smart enough to then hire good employees and pay them enough to keep them happy- whew! Isn't that the way free enterprise is supposed to work?

    Since this hasn't happened (yet), it begs the question, "how bad can it be?"

    This thread has certainly given me a lot to think about. I've appreciated reading the different points of view. Let's discuss again next OT day....


    3 members found this post helpful.

  6. #186
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    Jul. 20, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    We complain about our job all the time. We all are experts are coming up with busywork so our managers won't send us home to save money (but it WILL happen eventually once party season is over.) I only started in September, but I already know, assuming I'm still there, I AM working New Year's Even, Valentine's Day, and Mother's Day. Everyone does. If I don't show up those days, I won't have a job, period.
    creating busywork so you won't get sent home? seems like a waste of your employer's resources......


    If I don't like it, I'm free to quit.

    The problem with saying how AWFUL low wages are, how IT'S NOT FAIR, how DARE they not be able to take time off whenever they want, not show up, not get paid "enough", and they didn't ASK to wind up with their only option is...well, yeah, life's not fair, we don't automatically deserve to be paid $25+ an hour with unlimited paid time off because that would make life easier, we shouldn't have to work any holiday we don't feel like...
    I don't think that's what anyone is asking for here. What people are asking for is a living wage. A living wage from a company that can afford it. A living wage from a company that advertises all the opportunities for people working there.....(ha)

    Let's ask a bigger question....... What are the limits for a company? when do we consider them to be exploiting workers? Does it have to be a sweat shop in a third world country? the same arguments can be made for those.... those people don't HAVE to work there. There are options.... they could move, find other work or whatever options have been given the WM folks....

    Improving conditions in a foreign sweat shop just increases costs for the consumer and "we can't afford to pay more"....

    truth is, WM provides sub-poverty level jobs and no more. They are a first world sweat shop. The provide the minimum required to keep the down and out coming back for a few more crumbs...because those working there think it is better than not working....they know they have a captive audience and they capitalize on that.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  7. #187
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adamantane View Post
    I don't feel comfortable somehow posting all the personal detail behind the now vastly happier, now appreciated, now-ex Walmart person I know the best. She is a very bright, kind-hearted Mom, animal lover and horse owner (barn-work exchanged for board). She ended up there because of some despicable shenanigans growing out of her divorce that sabotaged and deprived her of her previous job.

    She experienced the cut-back hours noted by others, as well as arbitrary personnel decisions that barred her from taking a few days off to go visit her child who was in a life-crisis. At some point, given the reduced hours, it was costing her almost as much to commute to work as she was netting.

    There was no other work available because of the local economy and national economic conditions and she had no capital to start any kind of business that her experience qualified her for, or even to rent a place and set it up to groom dogs, which she would have been happy and willing to do.

    She eventually located a job that drew on her skills. No great pay, but appreciation and an opportunity to make ends meet, and, I think, some very modest benefits as well as the possibility for advancement.

    I learned so much beyond my prior experience because of the nightmare scenario I saw unfold in real time for this fine person who, if she were to participate in horse forums, might be be one of us. (Believe me, she knows horses and riding.)

    So &#*%@& unnecessary, because Walmart's current dolt management is so myopic that they do not see other paths that would unify their organization and enhance their profitability along the way.
    That may or not have been a special case right then, or general operating procedure for your regional WMs, or just what goes on in many other such places, that happened to affect so negatively your friend, when it may not have others or other places or times.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #188
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    What it comes down to is how do you feel about your tax dollars supporting Walmart's low wages. Because that's what we're doing? You OK with that?
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


    8 members found this post helpful.

  9. #189
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    Nov. 2, 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    What it comes down to is how do you feel about your tax dollars supporting Walmart's low wages. Because that's what we're doing? You OK with that?
    I see where Walmart draws the ire since it is one of the nations top 5 corporations.

    However, the wages are competitive for the areas and the skill level.

    And sadly a lot of companies do not offer benefits like health insurance, or programs that are lacking in inclusiveness.

    If not for walmart, the people working there would be completely depending on welfare...

    And they are not alone. there are plenty of working stiffs who have to get additional funds from Uncle Sam to make ends meet.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  10. #190
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    Nov. 18, 2010
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    california
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    What it comes down to is how do you feel about your tax dollars supporting Walmart's low wages. Because that's what we're doing? You OK with that?

    I agree. The corporation I work for has people go on unemployment and subsidize them with occasional billable work. I really don't know exactly how it works.

    I have two meetings with potential clients Monday and I am hoping I can get enough work to keep two employees. Without them, there is not much work that our office can produce even if we had the opportunities. As I have stated previously, I am not management and am the lowest paid project manager in my office (which actually makes me more profitable) and if upper management were actually doing their jobs, we would have more work.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  11. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    What it comes down to is how do you feel about your tax dollars supporting Walmart's low wages. Because that's what we're doing? You OK with that?
    I really don't understand this continuing rant.

    Mostly because even the small businesses in our area pay just-at minimum wage. And most don't offer any benefits whatsoever. Nada. They simply can't afford to. So how do they differ from Walmart? Because they're small & thus under the radar & unnoticeable to the masses?


    7 members found this post helpful.

  12. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alagirl View Post
    I see where Walmart draws the ire since it is one of the nations top 5 corporations.

    However, the wages are competitive for the areas and the skill level.

    And sadly a lot of companies do not offer benefits like health insurance, or programs that are lacking in inclusiveness.

    If not for walmart, the people working there would be completely depending on welfare...

    And they are not alone. there are plenty of working stiffs who have to get additional funds from Uncle Sam to make ends meet.
    OK, I'll give you that. Then are you OK with our tax dollars supporting companies that don't pay a living wage?
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


    6 members found this post helpful.

  13. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    OK, I'll give you that. Then are you OK with our tax dollars supporting companies that don't pay a living wage?
    Heck, our tax dollars do support the companies that do. Subsidies, baby....big oil gets them, automotive....that bit of foodstamps is pocket change.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.



  14. #194
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    Nov. 6, 2001
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    SV - I'm puzzled by the persective. You place the personal well being of the employee solely on the corporation. Why isn't it the employees responsibility to find a more stable or full time job if the company can't keep them fully employed? Are they helpless? The company, I'm guessing, said to some employees i have sporadic only work for you. Maybe the employee goes and collects unemployment, and maybe they go out and land another job, but that is their personal decision to make. Employment is often an at will arrangement on both sides. A company is not obligated to keep folks employed if it is't economically in their best interest, just like the employee can walk when it's no longer in their best interest.

    You say you don't know exactly how it works. There may be more to it than it currently appears to you. Just a thought.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  15. #195
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    May. 10, 2009
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    I think the difference between places like Walmart and other low-paying companies could be in how they make their employees feel. It's possible to work in retail and feel valued, appreciated, and as though you are a human being. With a little work, it's possible to be flexible so that employees can attend to emergencies or take a sick day without having to fear for their jobs. It's possible to allow employees to ask for certain days off on a first come, first served basis so they can attend special events, etc. It's possible to hire the correct number of people so that if you tell a new hire they will have at least 20 hours, they get at least 20 hours. It's possible to provide correct training and to have realistic expectations of employees as far as finishing a project, or allowing them extra time to do it. I worked for a couple such companies, so they certainly exist. (Heck, we even got a little paid vacation time based on average hours worked) You can make minimum wage and still be treated like a human being with a life.

    In fact, from experience shopping in the stores of the chain where I worked, the customer service was far superior to Walmart's. Perhaps that's because workers who feel they are treated well take pride in their work and treat it as more than just a paycheck?

    No, corporations are not required to do the right thing and treat their employees as well as they possibly can. But perhaps it would behoove them to remember how they got successful in the first place. Treating others as you would like to be treated yourself is not just something you learn in school or church, and it shouldn't go out the window because you're raking in millions in profit and can get away with not doing it.

    To me, that's the real issue here...why shouldn't corporations be held to certain moral standards by the consumers who utilize their services? It is possible to treat workers well, regardless of their paychecks. That some people think it's okay for them not to, and even to go so far as to blame the workers for wanting to be treated with respect and decency says volumes about what kind of people they are. Remember that how we judge others may not say much about those we judge, but it says volumes about us. It is possible for corporations to treat every employee like a valued member of a team and to fulfill their word to those employees on things like hours etc. And it's not the employees' fault if the company does otherwise.


    8 members found this post helpful.

  16. #196
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    Dec. 4, 2002
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    We talk about Walmart, but how is the Mom and Pop small business any different? Individual opens a business, risks everything, does well and before long, he has more work than he can handle himself. He goes out on a limb and hires an employee- it's a stretch. He pays that employee over minimum wage, but can't afford health insurance- heck he doesn't have health insurance for himself. Is that small business owner a bad, evil person because his employee can't support himself and his family on what he's paid? Business owner can budget $400 per week, but he can't afford $1000 per week plus benefits. The business owner's responsibility is to his own family. He's offering the job, but he's not taking that employee on to raise. He's not going to go into the red to pay the new employee a "living wage." The employee must weigh his options and make a decision about whether to accept the job.


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  17. #197
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    Who doesn't support the idea of a living wage? I've never met anyone. But in certain places and situations, the ability of a business to provide that in terms of a wages/salary/benefit package may not be justified by conditions.

    I'm not going to win any friends here with this reality-check, but businesses don't exist to provide employment for their workers and managers, they exist to provide, over time, a return to those who have invested and made the business possible. If no return is possible, if a business is running break-even or at a loss, then it needs to do whatever is *rationally* necessary to make it worthwhile for the investors to continue their investment rather than to dump it and go elsewhere for a reasonable return.

    As I have said repeatedly, Walmart is perfectly capable of making an even better return to its investors if it doesn't abuse its workforce as it clearly has been doing for several years. It is a matter of competent management, something that Walmart lacks.

    You can get a mare with a sound work-ethic to go forward by kicking and swatting the crap out of her with a whip, yes, but if you work with her and understand her and communicate with her and share a common vision with mutual partnership and trust in your mutual best interest, she will do so readily, happily and far more smoothly and effectively.

    You both win.
    "Things should be as simple as possible,
    but no simpler." - Einstein

    “So what’s up with years of lessons? You still can’t ride a damn horse?!”


    4 members found this post helpful.

  18. #198
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    Oct. 9, 2012
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    Washington State
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    OK, I'll give you that. Then are you OK with our tax dollars supporting companies that don't pay a living wage?
    As near as I can tell, in my state Walmart pays more than minimum wage. After reading this thread I was surprised. So maybe instead of complaining about Walmart people should petition their states for a higher minimum wage?


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryisBlaisin' View Post
    I think the difference between places like Walmart and other low-paying companies could be in how they make their employees feel. It's possible to work in retail and feel valued, appreciated, and as though you are a human being. With a little work, it's possible to be flexible so that employees can attend to emergencies or take a sick day without having to fear for their jobs. It's possible to allow employees to ask for certain days off on a first come, first served basis so they can attend special events, etc. It's possible to hire the correct number of people so that if you tell a new hire they will have at least 20 hours, they get at least 20 hours. It's possible to provide correct training and to have realistic expectations of employees as far as finishing a project, or allowing them extra time to do it. I worked for a couple such companies, so they certainly exist. (Heck, we even got a little paid vacation time based on average hours worked) You can make minimum wage and still be treated like a human being with a life.

    In fact, from experience shopping in the stores of the chain where I worked, the customer service was far superior to Walmart's. Perhaps that's because workers who feel they are treated well take pride in their work and treat it as more than just a paycheck?

    No, corporations are not required to do the right thing and treat their employees as well as they possibly can. But perhaps it would behoove them to remember how they got successful in the first place. Treating others as you would like to be treated yourself is not just something you learn in school or church, and it shouldn't go out the window because you're raking in millions in profit and can get away with not doing it.

    To me, that's the real issue here...why shouldn't corporations be held to certain moral standards by the consumers who utilize their services? It is possible to treat workers well, regardless of their paychecks. That some people think it's okay for them not to, and even to go so far as to blame the workers for wanting to be treated with respect and decency says volumes about what kind of people they are. Remember that how we judge others may not say much about those we judge, but it says volumes about us. It is possible for corporations to treat every employee like a valued member of a team and to fulfill their word to those employees on things like hours etc. And it's not the employees' fault if the company does otherwise.
    Who is saying WM is not making schedules and people can trade around and get the breaks they need for other in their lives, just like in any other job?

    I see them myself doing that, one cashier coming by and taking another's place because she had other to do and so and so could not come that day, etc.

    I think that WM may or not be all that bad, but because they are big, they are an easy target to pick on.
    No one would care to comment much or hunt bad/good stories down if the local printing shop was doing what they say WM is doing.

    In our area, they also use some of the mentally and physically handicapped people as stackers and bringing carts in and such, which more upscale stores don't seem to do.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  20. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacardi1 View Post
    I really don't understand this continuing rant.

    Mostly because even the small businesses in our area pay just-at minimum wage. And most don't offer any benefits whatsoever. Nada. They simply can't afford to. So how do they differ from Walmart? Because they're small & thus under the radar & unnoticeable to the masses?
    The rant-- about taxpayers subsidizing Walmart's bottom line is mine as well. I'll try one more time to explain:

    It's that Walmart (rather famously) has shown its employees how to apply for government benefits. Not only does that mean that a "job" at Walmart does not pay enough, but that Walmart actively tells its employees were to go for supplemental income-- in the form of HUD eligibility, food stamps or similar.

    In short, it would be like going to the payroll office for currency and another part of the corporation for food and housing.

    The only problem, of course, is that Walmart is not a branch of the US government. Nor did voters explicitly decide that, whether or not they patronized Walmart's stores, they'd spend their money with that company anyway.

    With respect to the "Hey, Walmart is only doing what the little guys are doing... why go after them first," is specious. Walmart, by virtue of it's size, has the ability to afford to do better. I suppose you could spend DOJ dollars nailing all equally. But it would hardly be an economical way to go about plugging up this kind of hole.

    I can imagine that there are small businesses out there *that function* by paying unemployment insurance for workers in order to make them eligible for unemployment part of the year. It is illegal, but done. The obvious industry that could benefit from this is education, but teachers at all levels cannot collect unemployment during the summer months.

    I do think one of the major problems that we saw in this election cycle was the confusion about how to distinguish Big Business from Small Business. I don't think Walmart deserves the same tax breaks or protections as Small Business.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    3 members found this post helpful.

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