Thursday, November 28, 2013

This Thanksgiving Try Not To Be A Consumer Whore

This Thanksgiving Try Not To Be A Consumer Whore

Originally this was just going to be an article about how Wal*Mart had put out a donation container begging for canned foods for their employees because they are pretty much borderline in poverty. 

 But let's move past that for a moment and let's tackle the bigger issue. As to why companies feel the need to undercut each other for Black Friday sales. I mean, we all know why, to turn that red mark on their books into a black one. Especially important in an era were it seems like the recession is still a major problem for those investors.

But hey, this story was pretty terrible, so read on;
A Walmart in northeast Ohio is holding a holiday canned food drive — for its own underpaid employees. “Please Donate Food Items Here, so Associates in Need Can Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner,” a sign reads in the employee lounge of a Canton-area Walmart.
Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesman, says the drive is a positive thing. “This is part of the company’s culture to rally around associates and take care of them when they face extreme hardships,” he said. Indeed, Lundberg is correct that it’s commendable to make an effort to help out those who are in need, especially during the holidays.
But the need for a food drive illustrates how difficult it is for Walmart workers to get by on its notoriously low pay. The company has long been plagued by charges that it doesn’t pay its employees a real living wage. In fact, Walmart’s President and CEO, Bill Simon, recently estimated that the majority of its one million associates make less than $25,000 per year, just above the federal poverty line of $23,550 for a family of four. When the Washington DC city council passed a living wage bill requiring Walmart to pay workers a minimum of $12.50 per hour, the chain threatened to shut down its new stores if Mayor Vincent Gray didn’t veto the bill. Gray vetoed the bill.
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.
That last line cracks me up. Well, more to the point I have to laugh because if I don't, I may very well go fucking crazy in a mad rage at what society has be turned to. We've become a single minded cell that is all about consumerism. We must buy the latest toy to pacify ourselves from our sad existence that there's an actual demand that stores like Wal*Mart stay open on Thanksgiving to give us those door buster sales.

Instead of, you know, spending Thanksgiving with friends and loved ones and enjoying a meal of what you can afford, we pretty much have turned it into an excuse to buy that big screen television or new game console that will be replaced in a few years. When we should really be focused on the relationships we build and memories we developed over time, and most importantly, over a meal shared by your loved ones.

That's the real meaning that needs to be taken away from this day when we made up some bullshit about Pilgrims an Indians putting aside their uneasy trust for one another, especially when the Indian should have totally taken off those English bastards' head and put it on a spike to let other explores know they won't be fucked with.

Anyhow,  where was I? yeah, so I don't think that even Honest Abe could have expected what his lie of a day has turned into. When we can't even enjoy food with one another. That's the true level of sadness. Especially more so with the fact that we aren't even paying the workers of Wal*Mart a wage they could live on, let alone afford something like a turkey or some buck stuffers. I mean, don't they have enough Turkey's in the shopping center that they can't just take a few cents profit from a few dozen birds sold and just invest that in making sure that those poor employees that aren't even able to scrape by are taken care of for the one day of the year where it's important as to where you enjoy your meal?

But hey, I'm sure there' Hungry Man TV diners in the freezer section they could munch on, you know when they aren't being called into work on a fucking Holiday just so people could save a couple of bucks on shit they don't need anyway.

It's not like Wal Mart's shitty lack of a health benefit plan is hurting America, right? Oh wait, it is. But that's a whole other can of worms that I don't want to get into right now. I guess I shouldn't be all that surprised that society has fallen so far. 

Did you know that more than 50 large U.S. cities have an "anti-camping" or "anti-food sharing" law in their books over the past few years. What this law says is that you basically can't share food with the homeless. It's a tactic used to try to get the homeless population of that city to simply go away. How fucking heartless.

 The Los Angeles City Council recently decided to hear from the uproar from homeowners, decided to put up to vote a ban on feeding the homeless in public spaces.  Saying that if you give out free food on the street with no other services to deal with the collateral damage involved with feeding them, then you simply can't feed the homeless.

Apparently the neighbors of the area were complaining that the homeless would stick around long after the bread line was gone. They're complaining that it now feels like a mental ward to live in their neighborhood, what with all the homeless. All I have to say to that is, man, it's sure nice that they aren't living on the street or, for that matter, go without a meal and go to sleep fucking cold and hungry.

I'm a bit sick by this notion that in order to correct the problem, you simply brush it under the rug and tell those people to go away. It's pretty sickening.

Especially problematic when you factor in that there's around 54,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County. So the answer and solution they have to this is to simply not feed them. To pass the buck to the next area and tell these people, who have nothing already, that they should fuck off?  Wow. I mean, talk about being thankful on this day that you are so well off. 

So on this day just make sure you turn to those you are thankful for and the things in your life that aren't complete shit, and realize you've got it better off than most. So fucking enjoy it. 

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