December 20, 2013 6:47 AM

Merry Christmas: If you work at Walmart, it's because that's what you deserve


(apologies to Keith Olbermann)

Peter Schiff

So libertarian investor Peter Schiff — who believes Wal-Mart is under no obligation to pay its workers a dime more — went to Wal-Mart and staged an absurd, fake version of their rally in an attempt to prove his point. Schiff, the founder of Euro Pacific Capital, approached shoppers in the retailer’s parking lot and told them he was representing an organization called “15 For 15.” He said the organization — which doesn’t actually exist — wants Wal-Mart to raise its prices by 15% to support a $15 minimum hourly wage for workers…. Ha! Look at me! A super-rich investor mocking the working poor who only want their work to pay them enough to live without government assistance.

‘Tis the Christmas season, so what better way to show your love for your fellow man disdain for the poors than to mock their desire to be paid a living wage. Schiff, who made his fortune the old fashioned way- gambling with other people’s money- acts as if he’s surprised Walmart has to pay their employees anything. ‘Tis the season for joy, laughter…and trampling on the desire of others to at least be treated fairly.

For reasons as cruel and heartless as they’re impossible to explain rationally, Schiff thought it would be GREAT fun to mock Walmart workers by staging his very own faux protest. Why someone worth $70 million would think it appropriate and/or reasonable to mock the desire of poorly-paid workers to be compensated fairly is something I couldn’t begin to explain. Branding Schiff an asshole, while likely accurate, doesn’t begin to shed light on the black hole that is his soul…or what impact paying Walmart workers fairly could possibly have on him.

Walmart (like Target, K-mart, Best Buy, and so many other big box retailers) is a very profitable business. Senior managers make hundreds of thousands, and in some cases millions of dollar in annual compensation. Yet front line employees are expected to get by on around $9.00 and hour (in some cases even less)? Walmart maximizes its profits on the backs of its workers, yet they’re loathe to recognize those who make those profits possible. It may not be the literal definition of indentured servitude…but it’s not far off.

If you’re Peter Schiff, you’re thinking that America needs a two-tier society, with the lower class tasked with serving the needs and interests of the wealthy and well off. I can’t begin (and certainly have no desire) to get into Schiff’s head to understand his thought process, but I suspect it would have something to do with the “I got mine…they can damned well get their own” philosophy so common on Wall Street.

It would be too easy to despise Schiff, but that would imply he’s worth the effort. No, my hope for Peter Schiff is that he’ll wake up in an alternate universe on Christmas morning. It would be a universe in which he’s poor, works at Walmart, and has to figure out how to feed his family and pay the rent and electricity when he’s given only 29 hours a week at $8.50 an hour. Let’s see how his “Let them eat cake”

Somewhere warm and breezy, Ayn Rand and Ebeneezer Scrooge are snickering into their Dos Equis….

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jack Cluth published on December 20, 2013 6:47 AM.

The real reason behind the "War on Christmas" was the previous entry in this blog.

Happy Holidays...and so here's a Festivus pole made of beer cans is the next entry in this blog.

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