Letter: Working at McDonald’s, eating on food stamps
Re “Poorly paid workers end up leaning on taxpayers for help” (Monitor Forum, March 12):
Thanks to House Speaker Teri Norelli for her column depicting McDonald’s outsourcing its employees’ food expenses to taxpayers via food stamps. And thanks also for the notification that in many states the largest number of Medicaid recipients are WalMart employees.
The Walton family, which still controls Walmart, has a net worth of $89.5 billion. Between 2007 and 2010, the Waltons’ wealth increased by 22 percent while median American incomes dropped by 39 percent. Compare the Waltons’ near-$90 billion worth with the 2013 budget for the state of New Hampshire, signed into law by Gov. Maggie Hassan last June: $10.75 billion. If the Waltons felt so inclined, they could underwrite the cost of running our entire state government for a whole year and still have almost $80 billion left over!
These numbers offer a terrific illustration of growing income inequality. President Obama has been trying to combat this inequality through executive orders.
But even more frightening are the ways families like the Waltons (and, of course, the Kochs and others) are trying to manage information. Because of Citizens United, it is difficult the trace the money they spend on political campaigns, but I have no doubt they have spent huge sums already to defeat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and our two congresswomen. Moreover, the Walton family has simply bought and paid for an entire academic department at the University of Arkansas. UA now houses a Department of Education Reform. That’s the euphemistic language used by right-wing think tanks and agitators to promote the privatization of America’s once-great public school system. It certainly means to undermine teachers and make educators into low-wage workers who will need to join the applicants for food stamps and Medicaid.