Maybe you saw the news item about the Walmart near Canton, Ohio that’s holding an in-house canned food drive “so associates in need can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.” It seems retail employees at the monster store are so badly paid, many of them can’t afford to eat right. The solution? Employees who aren’t quite starving should feed employees who are.
I showed the last part of the story to Swamp Rabbit:
Walmart’s low wages come at a public cost. Because low-income workers still need housing and health care, taxpayers end up doling out millions in benefits to bridge the gap faced by many of the store’s retail workers. They have also led to strikes at Walmart stores from Seattle to Chicago to Los Angeles in recent weeks.
Even if the canned food drive successfully gathers enough to help out the Canton store’s low-income workers, many of them might not even be able to have the food on Thanksgiving. That’s because Walmart is one of a group of retailers that will open its stores for Black Friday sales beginning at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving afternoon.
The rabbit said, “Somebody oughta do somethin’ about them greedy Arkansas skunks who own that company. Somethin’ to git their attention.”
The funky old rodent is in a foul mood because the weather’s getting too cold for his hangover cure, which is to jump off the porch of my shotgun shack and swim a few laps around the swamp. He’s been pestering me to buy him a bottle of Wild Turkey to get him through Turkey Day.
I said, “Walmart is beyond satire. It’s like trying to satirize Nazi war crimes. Not even that New Yorker guy, Andy Borowitz, could pull it off.”
“I ain’t talkin’ about no satire,” he said. “Skunks care about action, not words. Them so-called associates oughta burn down one of them big, ugly stores. That’ll get their attention. Or walk out together and tell customers to shop somewhere else till Walmart pays a living wage.”
“That’s crazy talk,” I told him. “There aren’t enough employees willing to strike. When they fight back they don’t get a raise, they just get fired.”
He shrugged. “What’s worse, gettin’ fired or slow starvation? Ain’t nobody ever got nothin’ in this country without fightin’ for it. It don’t pay to be meek. It’s like my pappy used to say, the meeks shall inherit the dirt… You’re almost broke, Odd Man, you oughta know better.”
“You’re hopeless,” I said. “You’ve been in this swamp too long to know about the global economy. It’s too complicated for you to understand.”
He spit into the swamp. “Bullshit. The meeks can fight them skunks or they can kiss their asses. They can demand enough income to eat right or they can eat shit and die. What’s so complicated?”
It’s at moments like this that I usually buy him a bottle, which is what I did today. Anything to make him shut the f*ck up.
Footnote: Check out this story: “One Walmart’s Low Wages Could Cost Taxpayers $900,000 Per Year, House Dems Find.”
Another: Go here to help “associates” who were fired for fighting back.
Correction: OK, Stephen Colbert can satirize Walmart and make it funny, but he’s in a league of his own.