Debbrah wrote:I wonder if the early theorists of capitalism would have seen this coming, or if they assumed people would have been self-protective enough to forcibly object long before it got to this point.
Forcibly object at ANY retail establishment these days and you will be fired - they will find a way to do it that is "legal" even if it means setting you up for the fall.
I despise retailers in general, big retailers specifically, for the very reasons already stated - they treat employees like crap and pay nothing because they know that there will be someone else standing in line to take the job.
What does it say about our country when they have proven and released the data that shows that a person making minimum wage cannot pay rent on a one bedroom apartment - That a person making $8 an hour still can't afford to do anything more than simply exist from paycheck to paycheck, having just enough money to pay for some hole in the wall apartment and for transportation to the job that doesn't pay them enough to even buy decent food to eat - and yet the country does absolutely NOTHING to change it? Really, anyone who is in a minimum to just over minimum wage job is nothing more than a slave to the system - they live to work and they work to live.
What is really sad in all this is that my husband has what is considered a "good" job with "good' wages - he is responsible for production, personnel, scheduling, trouble shooting, shipping, etc. but he is NOT paid for it as he should be, he's paid for it just enough to make it more than a "better" retail position. I think it is pathetically sad that Americans have come to look on wages as "I could have less" rather than "I deserve more" and that we so fear (with good reason) not being able to find "more" that we settle for "less".
In the case of my husbands company, they cleverly found a way to deceive ALL the employees the last time they did reviews by saying "This is the rate that you are eligible for, is this acceptable?" and when the person said "yes" and signed the paper work they laughed behind their hands because when it came time for the raises NO ONE got "what they were eligible for" because, "Oh, you all misunderstood, that was the MAXIMUM amount you could make in the position you hold, NOT what we were going to give you." AND THIS ISN'T A RETAIL COMPANY. Sadly, it seems that ALL companies are of the mind set that their employees are something to be screwed over as much as possible, not something that actually makes their business run that deserves to be treated as such. The dollar is God and the people who work for you are nothing but the dirty crap that is going to take some of those divine dollars and you gotta make sure they take as few as possible.
All that said though, I am guilty of shopping at Walmart - I'm of this mind set:
The number of people who will shop at Walmart will always be high enough to keep them open - not enough people will ever band together to boy cot them because not enough people can afford to pay higher prices elsewhere - they (we) are ALREADY caught in the sticky, nasty web that has been spun by big retail and Walmart specifically - if you struggle against the web you'll just attract the spider all that much faster, the "spider", in this case, being what comes to bite you when you have spent more than you can afford shopping at other stores and don't have enough to pay your bills anymore.
Eventually, it will all catch up to us like the super giant star which expands so far that it's core can no longer support it and it collapses. The process of collapse releases enough energy to rip the star's outer layers to bits and that's what will eventually happen to the American economy, IMO, but when? I don't know. In my lifetime? In yours? But the fact is that the star has begun to expand, it is past the point of no return, nothing is going to stop the current trends in retail until they stop themselves.
So I am a pragmatist - and a hypocrite because of it - but I'd rather be a hypocrite that shops at Walmart and can pay all my bills because of it, than someone who deludes myself into thinking that anything is going to change until it has no other choice - the collapse I spoke of.