An internal memo that a Walmart VP sent out became public a couple weeks ago. In it a vice-president of Walmart made the observation that shoppers and purchases were off to the slowest year start in over seven years. Of course once that leaked out, there were scores of articles speculating on the cause and what it forebode.
And I will speculate also. My guess is that there is that some folks are finally voting with their feet and taking their business elsewhere. But I think a bigger share is that even the mythical ‘low price leader’ is too expensive for many at the bottom rung of our society. They no longer can afford Walmart and have now taken what little business they have elsewhere. Employers can be proud that they have literally starved their employees.
Branstad and Medicaid
Well another couple of Republican governors have decided that it is better to sign up for Medicaid expansion than to hurt their own people. Not Terry Branstad, though. He may claim he is a man of principle. My guess is that he is beholden to someone with some money or someone who will take care of him in his post-governor days. The chance to get a large amount of federal aid coming in to Iowa, to help those who do not have health insurance and at the same time creating thousands of jobs sounds very suspicious to Branstad.
Branstad is a person who has seen 18,000 jobs created in his state in 2 years and takes credit for 150,000. He is also a guy who takes 2 paychecks from Iowa, yet stands in the way of a little help, mostly from the federal government for one of us common mooks. I have always said most people do not pay attention to anything that doesn’t directly affect them. I propose Branstad as Exhibit A.
Is Medicaid Welfare?
My representative, Tom Sands, stands in full opposition to Medicaid Expansion. His objection is that it is welfare and he is opposed to welfare. Welfare is one of those code words that comes with a series of images attached to them. I am sure that your mind has already brought those pictures up – the Cadillac, the sitting in front of the TV collecting checks.
One of the main objectives for Medicaid Expansion is to cover workers in low wage jobs. Walmart is probably the biggest offender in this area. So I would ask Mr. Sands if he has an alternative for Walmart workers in particular. Walmart policy is to dump their workers onto the government medical workers as much as they can by giving them too few hours to qualify for company health care and paying way too little for an employee to buy their own health care.
Also, if Medicaid is welfare, was rural electrification? What about those businesses in Iowa that get research credits and actually not only do not pay taxes, but get millions back?
Be Careful What You Wish For
A little snow (and I do mean a little snow) and we start hearing all the “I hate snow” people sing a chorus of their old song. Let me caution them that 6 months from now when the temperature is 98 degrees in the shade and rain is nowhere in sight, they may miss the days of 30 degrees and a few clouds in the sky.
Well, Now we Are Sequestered
It amazes me that Republicans continue to find ways to hurt poor and average Americans. It is like they inherited a bag of tricks from the Inquisition. What doesn’t amaze me is that the main stream media which is owned 99% by the wealthy has very little bad to say about our new state of governing. The Democrats introduced a concept of planning in the 1930s. Plan for old age, put some money aside for disasters, even plan for such things as bank foreclosures and other human screw ups.
With Reagan, Bush and Bush, Republicans created this concept of lurching from one man made crisis to another. “Shock Doctrine” was how Naomi Klein stated their new way of doing business. Now we see that in a a democracy a minority so determined to wreck things for the majority can do so by misusing the rules of the democracy.
Lurching from crisis to crisis is a terrible way to run anything. But Republicans have come to the conclusion apparently they can’t run anything so the only power they have is to screw everything up and scare the citizens half to death. Thus they can come to power occasionally long enough to empty the treasury out to their buddies.
Congratulations To Marcus Branstad
On being named to the Natural Resources Board. Way to pick your parents.