Walmart Is The Poster Child For Corporate Welfare And Why We Need Democratic Socialism
Because corporate behemoth laissez-faire lobbyists, neocolonialist nationalists and neoliberal capitalists have turned the Republican Party into an oligarchy of economic interests bent on upholding the status quo of unprecedented economic inequality, American society is in need of a paradigm shift of politics.
This paradigm shift is democratic socialism, and with it we can enact an American reformation.
America currently has a deranged, capitalistic lust for oblivious self-destruction, and the near-sighted greed of supply-side economics is an epic failure. And here is why, it is very simple: money is not conscientious.
The philosophy of a free market economy is inherently flawed because it assumes that people will always make the right decisions with their money and that profits will reward the best, most deserving companies with the most honest, self-regulating adherence to the honor of ethical business.
But people are terribly irresponsible with money, and big banking is terribly irresponsible in taking advantage of this in generational cycles. From Great Depression to Great Recession banks are notorious for building doomed economic bubbles of runaway debt and projected growth profits that seem never to affect the bankers who inflate them. Free-market economic policies only grant freedom for the super-rich, or rather the super selfish, who have found how to profit consequence-free by ruining everything for everyone else. Laissez-fair economics translates to “Fuck-everyone-who’s-not-me” economics. No wonder why uber-capitalists stick with the French term.
As opposed to democratic socialism, which tries to protect people and society as a whole from obsessive profits, the GOP’s grand economic utopia is a society in which companies can do whatever they want without any executive regulation or, even better, any oversight at all. And this is obviously and especially bad for workers because their crumbling livelihoods are collateral damage while pure monetary gain is the only motivation for the economy.
The race for maximum profits is simultaneously a race for minimum societal health, and these races destroy entire chains and networks of local economies as well as mom & pop stores and products that have become community bottom feeders in the globalized world of free trade.
The corporate Darwinism flourishing in America’s economy has legalized the economy cancer of oligarchy, with Walmart as the perfect poster child. Walmart is the perfect example of “fuck-everyone-who’s-not-me” economics in action with its magnificent corporate welfare.
While Republicans have been demonizing social welfare as a rampantly abused system of free cash handouts in order to get minority votes since Reagan, Walmart is the real Cadillac welfare queen. Regular welfare opposition is usually tinged with a dose of Silent Majority racial insensitivity and fear of Democrats buying minorities’ votes, but America’s excessive corporate welfare is much more a rampantly abused system of free cash handouts for the1%’s votes. And often at the direct expense of minorities.
Ironically many minority groups disproportionately have jobs at Walmart, and the company is infamous for its government subsidies in the form of welfare dispensed to these largely minority employees. Walmart denies these employees a living wage and full-time hours so that employees need governmental help to live.
Now like in any social program, there is going to be abuse, and The College Conservative published a fine, firsthand account of welfare abuse seen at Walmart. But as this report from Eat Drink Politics shows, a substantial share of food stamp money, as much as half in the study case of Oklahoma, is spent at Walmart. Meanwhile, Walmart lobbies against Congressional efforts to cut back on food stamp spending, and against efforts to ensure that food stamps must be spent on healthy food items.
This means that government money is basically funneled straight into Walmart via food stamps because Walmart employees are paid in part with the government welfare that they then spend overwhelmingly at Walmart. No wonder Walmart has such a humanistic concern food stamps! The grocery superstore has created its own insular, self-sustaining economy subsidized by the government.
And to add capitalistic insult to socialistic injury, the Walton heirs themselves are notably stingy with charitable contributions in proof that Walmart’s wealth never trickles down.
But this level of capitalistic greed is not just seen in Walmart. We have banks literally too big, with much too large a share of assets, to fail, so that when they start to fail the government has no choice but to bail them out. Bailouts are not a bad idea in terms of companies with too many jobs to fail, as seen in General Motors, but the pure profit of giant banks is not spread out like jobs are in GM with its 212,000 employees. However, GM’s employees are in the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, and Republicans hate unions, which is why UAW gives way more money to Democrats, catalyzing further Republican hypocritical hate of unions.
And that’s not the end. The Koch brothers want to lower their own taxes and prevent new regulations against their planet-killing oil industry with their nearly $1 billion network of anti-green interests. With that much money, the Koch brothers would be better off starting their own political party rather than trying to simply bribe the Republican Party. With so much money their Koch Party would be able to compete against both Republicans and Democrats, and at least with a third-party organization their political activism would be more transparent in a moral victory for democracy.
It is a truly horrible consequence of recent First Amendment judicial interpretations that the Koch brothers can, and are planning to, spend $1 billion in the 2016 elections. They now have a combined net worth of over $100 billion so why do they feel the need to do anything to change the political system that allowed them to earn $100 billion and place in the top ten of wealthiest people on Earth?
Oh yeah… “Fuck everyone who’s not me economics.” And this is why we need democratic socialism.