Monday, November 18, 2013

The poor are the most generous givers to charity

It's a well known phenomenon that it's always those with the least that are most likely to share. It took a new twist last week as photos leaked out of a Food Drive conducted at a Walmart store in Cleveland OH. It wasn't supposed to be made public as it was conducted in the employee breakroom for the benefit of other Walmart employees who couldn't afford Thanksgiving dinner. The poor feeding the poor in the belly of corporate greed.

Walmart is having problems meeting sales goals, and they've issued a laundry list of excuses for why this is. The newest excuse is that their customers are fearful of the cost of the ObamaCare mandate to buy insurance. The reality is that their own business model is destroying the economy so that their target demographic simply can't afford to shop at Walmart. People are too poor to go to Walmart so they go to the Dollar stores (they're booming) or the Food Bank and Thrift stores. Mostly they just don't buy much, and the whole economy is dragged down.

New Unemployment claims continue to edge downward as the damage done by the Tea Confederates attack on the Government of the United States slowly heals. Some economists are predicting that the average family will spend less for the holidays than last year. The National Retail Federation however is predicting total sales volume to increase by 4.6%. Inventories have been built up in anticipation of a good retail season so that would be a double hit if the goods don't move. Excess inventory will require cutbacks even larger than what you would get from weak sales.

The stock market is flirting with 16,000 and the right wing can't say it often enough that it's from the Federal Reserve printing money. They're wrong about that, just like they're wrong about everything else. There is one problem with the Fed keeping interest rates so low, it's helping fuel the Dark Money lending market. Non-banks are using hedge fund money to make high interest loans to businesses that don't qualify for bank loans. There is an awful lot of it going on, and it's only speculation what sort of problems this will lead to if there is a crash in 2016, but it's not going to be anything good.

Gold is down again. It's been yo-yoing up and down and everytime it jumps up a $100/oz people actually buy more. They think this is the time that the Gold Bugs are going to be right, and the price will hit $10,000/oz as the USD collapses. There are stupider things that you can buy than gold, but I have a hard time thinking of any.

Twitter @BruceEnberg - don't forget to take your canned goods to the Food Bank before they expire


Anonymous said...

The four heirs to the Walton Estate of the founder Sam Walton combined wealth is 133 billion dollars according to Forbes Magazine's 400 richest people in the world. The even exceeds the Koch bros combined 64 billion dollars. They cannot aford to pay their full time workers more than $25,000 and the majority of their employees are part time 30 hors or less to prevent individuals from getting overtime pay. 40% of all US workers are in this hell hole of sub living wages of $20,000 or less. I have no children of my own but I feel diheartened for my nieces and nephews and their friends. Several are veterans of multible tours in Iraq and Afganistan.

Roman Law said...

It's no accident real wages and especially full time employment have lagged far behind that of outsized executive salaries and bonuses.

After all, since the decline of organized labor in the United States, the Corporatocracy's goal of creating hordes of wage slaves to subsidize unsustainable and bloated bottom lines have been wildly successful.

And as you have said and the numbers have shown over the last few years, Walmart's business model of creating a more welfare dependent work force has had a mushrooming effect of alienating the very people who used to be able to afford their marginal goods.

As an added bonus, the "Walmart way" of depressing wages was eagerly adopted and incorporated by Wallstreet.

With their tanking sales and the rising fortunes of dollar stores, it's not just the working poor, but even those of us who are the in-betweens (not quite poor enough yet) that are at rock bottom.

The best incentive for shopping at dollar stores over Walmart? It's much cheaper to buy pitch forks!