The Fat White Family want to inject you with their ‘Wet Hot Beef’
01.28.2014
05:25 pm

Topics:
Class War
Music
Punk

Tags:
Fat White Family


 
Like… well, like a lot of other people—I’m hardly alone in this opinion—I’m prepared to call The Fat White Family the best new group in rock and roll. They’re obnoxious. They’re trashy. They’re brash, they’re young, they’re (quite) wasted and they don’t give a fuck. According to one journalist, they stink. Musically, they remind me of The Fall, The Birthday Party, The Cramps, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Captain Beefheart. They’re Marxists. They make completely insane videos and their debut album, Champagne Apocalypse, is one of the best things released last year. These randy, freaky, sleazy, druggy motherfuckers are committed.

What’s not to love?

If the epic “Wet Hot Beef (Parts I,II & III)” from their recent EP (a three-song/two song split with Taman Shud favoring Fat White Family) is anything to go by, 2014 is going to be their year, but right now, they’re broke and trying to raise some dosh to do a short American tour:

Alas, my budget for flying out to tour America currently stands at £3.47. With the rest of the group languishing in similar or worse financial hopelessness, we are turning to you, sisters and brothers, to fund our venture; don’t let those yanks go away thinking that all this country produces is middle of the road, safe as houses homogenized industry crap, send them the Fat White Family, make a difference, make a pledge….

In return for your pledge we are offering ourselves up body and soul, for the next 6 weeks we are on sale. You can have the band come around to your house and cook you dinner, you can have any member of the band give you a special massage, you can purchase a 25 track limited edition anthology of rarities and b-sides, you can have us do some casual labour on your property, there is no low to which we shall not comfortably stoop; the future of bad taste is in your hands, don’t let it slide through your fingers and mucky your shoes.

The list of available rewards for donating include: massages; a “Primal Scream workshop”(?); drum lessons; dinner for two with The Fat White Family cooked by a band member; you can sing backing vocals onstage with the group; be in one of their videos, get a tattoo from the drummer, some original art or even a show at your own home. They were also offering a limited edition CD of unreleased material with handmade artwork, but sadly they’ve all been snatched up already.

The Fat White Family’s US tour is supposed to be some dates at SXSW and then a crawl up the Eastern seaboard. I hope they get out to Los Angeles, too. In February, they’re taking their act on the road across the UK.
 

 

“Cream of the Young” (DO watch this one until the end, won’t you?)
 

“Wet Hot Beef (Parts I,II & III)”
 

“Auto Neutron”
 

“Heaven on Earth” (directed by the notorious comic artist Mike Diana)
 
Plenty more of The Fat White Family after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
‘Our Lenin’: Soviet propaganda book for kids, 1934
01.17.2014
06:07 am

Topics:
Art
Books
Class War

Tags:
Communism
propaganda
Lenin

Our Lenin
 
While the word “propaganda” has a rather nasty, manipulative connotation, it isn’t necessarily defined as “lies” per se. All that WPA art encouraging people to brush their teeth and get tested for syphilis? Excellent uses of propaganda! And whether you’re trying to organize a community garden or start your own fascist regime, I think the most effective propaganda follows that same model of simple, informative, attractive messaging, easily interpreted by children or the uneducated. Catch ‘em young, and make it pretty, I always say.

Our Lenin, a children’s biography of Vladimir Lenin, does this perfectly. Translated and adapted from a Russian book, the US version of Our Lenin was published in 1934 by the US Communist Party. Although teaching the kiddies to revere Vladimir Lenin uncritically is certainly problematic (to say the least), the book is a beautifully executed piece of messaging, and the illustrations are just exquisite.
 
Our Lenin
 
Our Lenin
World War 1
 
Our Lenin
Would you like a socialist utopia, or capitalist fascism? Pick carefully now, children!
 
Our Lenin
Ohhhh, so that’s how it works. Seems easy enough.
 
Via Just Seeds

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
The Socialist Skinhead Soul of The Redskins


 
This is a guest post from Jason Toon

Socialist skinhead soul outfit The Redskins were so conceptually perfect, that they seemed like something someone made up. And they sort of were. Head ‘skin Chris Dean wasn’t some snaggletoothed bootboy urchin from a cement skyscraper. Dean wrote for the NME, he was a member of the Socialist Workers Party, and he had a head full of ideas about youth culture, Trotskyism, and the power of the proper trousers. It was from those ideas, not from the “streets,” that The Redskins sprang.

But The Redskins were a real band, they did inspire a real (if small) left-wing skinhead movement, and most importantly, they did make real (and really great) records. Their 1982 debut single, “Lev Bronstein” b/w “Peasant Army”, paired a post-punk-soul A-side with a chugging Oi! B-side, all produced by Jon Langford of The Mekons and released on his CNT Records. Intriguing enough, especially considering the strident left-wing poetry of the lyrics, but The Redskins really caught fire with their second single, “Lean On Me,” a hyperfast take on ‘60s soul analogous to what the 2-Tone bands did with ‘60s ska. It hit #3 on the UK indie chart, and made The Redskins an electric presence in the ‘80s left-wing pop ferment. When the miner’s strike heated up in 1984, The Redskins’ socialist stance resonated like a brass section.
 

 
If you found Crass too tuneless, if Billy Bragg was too quiet, if The Style Council was too slick, The Redskins were your band. And Dean wasn’t afraid to call the others out for insufficient ideological rigour: “If there’s a tour organized by the Labour Party, one thing you can be sure of is that it’ll sell out,” he said about Red Wedge, Labour’s attempt to mount a travelling anti-Thatcher pop circus. And Dean called Bragg “Neil Kinnock’s publicity officer.”

Touche! But the people in those acts are still around, still doing something. Where’s Chris Dean now? It didn’t take long for his revolutionary fire to burn itself out. After a stack of classic singles and one great LP (Neither Washington nor Moscow), The Redskins fizzled out by the end of 1986. Dean was great at writing stirring anthems like “Keep On Keepin’ On!” and “It Can Be Done!”, but alas, failed to walk the walk. He reportedly retreated to a reclusive life in Paris, leaving the rest of us with a totally unique example of how to weave a handful of diverse cultural and political threads into a thrilling band. Whatever you think of The Redskins’ Trotskyist politics, music could use this kind of commitment, imagination, and style today.

The Redskins perform “Lean On Me” live:

 
Chris Dean and Martin Hewes talk about the band and show the video for “Keep On Keepin’ On!”:

 
More from The Redskins after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Occupy Wall Street: Memories for sale at walmart.com
12.18.2013
06:52 am

Topics:
Class War
Politics

Tags:
Occupy Wall Street
Walmart

owm
 
The Occupy movement may be dead, or it may not, but irony will never, ever die. In a spectacularly brazen display of co-optation, the corporate retail behemoth Walmart—inarguably one of the entities most responsible for the unflaggingly aggressive ongoing campaign to throw the American Working Class into serfdom—is selling panoramic photos of the Ur-Occupy encampment at Manhattan’s Zucotti Park, via its online marketplace. The retailer of the prints is listed as The Poster Corp, and their publisher is named as Lieberman’s—that’s their watermark faintly visible on the images reproduced below.
 
ows1
 
Occupy has generated plenty of irony before, visible from wherever you stand with respect to its objectives. There was a deep and regrettable irony in the proliferation among Occupiers of those Guy Fawkes masks from the film version of V For Vendetta—products manufactured in Asian sweatshops under license from the Warner Bros. corporation. There was an altogether more vicious irony in the senselessly brutal police response to the movement—somehow Tea Partiers who showed up to protests openly brandishing loaded firearms and calling for the President’s death weren’t enough of a potential risk to public safety for police to bat an eyelash, but peaceable demonstrators camping out in public space to call attention to economic injustice needed to be subjected to repeated violent invasions by militarized cops? But does Walmart—the company that recently drew fire for running a canned food drive to benefit its own impoverished workers—profiting from the sale of images from this genuinely populist anti-corporate uprising not take the prize?

Not ironically at all, but quite fittingly, Occupy itself recently released a t-shirt to benefit Black Friday strikers. Wouldn’t it be something if they got a piece of the posters being sold via Walmart and used that money to help organize retail workers? The very idea is surely pure fantasy—it’s so doubtful that Occupy is getting any of that poster action that it hardly even seems worth asking.

“The Revolution Will Not Be Privatized” may, alas, have been a premature slogan.
 
ows2
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
Mother Jones speaks: The only known voice recording of ‘the most dangerous woman in America’
12.13.2013
06:51 am

Topics:
Activism
Class War

Tags:
Mother Jones

Mother Jones
 
In times like these, a voice like that of Mary Harris “Mother” Jones grows more and more needed with every passing day.

If you’ve never heard it before, take the time to listen to that voice. It’s the only recording we have of it. The occasion was May 1, 1930, the 100th birthday of Mother Jones.

If only we had a nationally famous person who would ever dare to say the kinds of things Mother Jones used to say. I can’t think of one.
 
Mother Jones
Mother Jones marching to give Theodore Roosevelt what-for about children spending their days in coal mines instead of schools.

Here are some other pithy things the microphone might have recorded if it had been available on other days in Mother Jones’ life:

I’m not a humanitarian, I’m a hell-raiser.

No matter what the fight, don’t be ladylike! God almighty made women and the Rockefeller gang of thieves made the ladies.

I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.

If they want to hang me, let them. And on the scaffold I will shout Freedom for the working class!

By the bye, Mother Jones was capable of stretching the truth every now and then. This recording was supposedly made on Mother Jones’ 100th birthday, but the evidence shows that when she died later on in 1930, she was actually only 93 years old.

Politifact has called this “the lie of the last 100 years.”
 

 
via Lawyers Guns & Money

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
Dangerous Idea: Every American needs to SEE David Simon’s ‘My country is a horror show’ speech!


 
It’s a very big Internet, so you can be forgiven if you’ve missed David Simon’s absolutely incendiary op ed ‘There are now two Americas. My country is a horror show’ that was published on The Guardian’s website on December 7th. But if you’re reading this sentence, you no longer have an excuse and need to click over to said essay NOW and return here after you’ve read it.

You’ll thank me. Trust me, you’ll be smarter after you’ve read it. Go. Now. If there is anything worth your time, it’s THIS. Who wants to be ignorant? Not you, right? NOW.

In the days since it was published, Simon’s essay has turned into a shot heard ‘round the world. In my opinion it’s the most incredibly articulate, passionately argued, well-thought out meditation on America since, I dunno, something Mark Twain (or Kurt Vonnegut) wrote. I believe David Simon’s words to be of historical importance, that is to say future historians will read his essay in an effort to try to understand HOW the American people let it get THIS BAD and still allowed those responsible to continue to operate exactly as they had before. You’d think the economy crashing might have ushered in some change. And it has: Bad for the common man, but great for the capital-hoarding elites.

As Simon rhetorically asks—I’m paraphrasing here—“How much longer until the entire shithouse goes up in flames?”

David Simon’s words have incredible power. The kind of power that educates people, changes minds and makes them do something. It needs to be passed on and on and on until everyone has read it, even your idiot teabagger Fox News-watching Uncle Dumbshit. Especially him.

If you’ve already read Simon’s piece, what you may not be aware of (and the YouTube views thus far would seem to bear this out) is that the essay is actually an edited version of an extraordinary speech that The Wire creator gave in Australia at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas at the Sydney Opera House. Simon spoke for about 30 minutes and then there was an extended Q&A beyond.

Watch this and then pass it on. On and on and on. He’s not exactly offering much of a prescription here—that’s not his goal—but the diagnosis is spot on…
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Republican Insurance Commissioner compares pre-existing conditions to car wreck that is ‘your fault’


Why—HOW—does this clown-man have a job?

Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, a Republican, is the asshat who bragged earlier this year that his office was deliberately creating bureaucratic hurdles to slow implementation of “Obamacare” in his state. As reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Hudgens boasted to an audience of Republicans, “Let me tell you what we’re doing (about Obamacare). Everything in our power to be an obstructionist.”

People in the audience—presumably people who believe themselves to be followers of Christ—shouted “Amen!” when Hudgens made these remarks.

Hudgens apparently just doesn’t know when to quit and he should have quit the day he uttered those foul words in public, but instead he was just pissed off that he was videotaped and the public mockery it led to:

“I didn’t realize I was being videotaped and that got on the Internet,” he said during another speech. “I never received so many nasty e-mails. I’ve been told that they hope I die. I’ve been told that they hope my children had cancer, just all kinds of things.”

Well, what did you expect from the people that you—you personally, Ralphie boy—are keeping from getting affordable health care??? Frankly Hudgeons seems damned lucky that a few impolite emails are all that’s happened to him, if you ask me. Imagine you are the parent of a child with major health issues and you’d meet Ralph Hudgens on the street. What would you say to him to his face… with a tire iron or a broken bottle?

But like I was saying, Hudgens doesn’t know when to quit and now his very own words, caught on videotape again, are starting to percolate outside of Atlanta.

It’s positively mind-blowing, even for the most callous Republican clown to say something like this:

“I’ve had several companies come in and they have said just the fact—just the fact—that in the individual market pre-existing conditions have to be covered on Jan. 1, that that is going to double the cost of insurance. And if you don’t really understand what covering pre-existing conditions would be like, it would be like in Georgia we have a law that says you have to have insurance on your automobile. You have to have liability insurance. If you’re going to drive on Georgia’s roads, you have to have liability insurance. You don’t have to have collision. You don’t have to have comprehensive. You don’t have to have rental car or towing or anything else. But you have to have liability.

“But say you’re going along and you have a wreck. And it’s your fault. Well, a pre-existing condition would be you then calling up your insurance agent and saying, ‘I would like to get collision insurance coverage on my car.’ And your insurance agent says, ‘Well, you never had that before. Why would you want it now?’ And you say, ‘Well, I just had a wreck, it was my fault and I want the insurance company to pay to repair my car.’ And that’s the exact same thing on pre-existing insurance.”

That’s one nastyass politically poisonous phlegm ball to cough up, ain’t it? Even in a red state, that’s taking it a little too far.

Worth noting that when he was in the state Senate, Hudgens sponsored a bill that would end the law requiring insurance companies to cover mammograms. At one point a video clip went around with footage of Hudgens at what appears to be a candidate forum questioning why insurance companies should be forced to cover screenings that can help detect breast cancer before it spreads.

And yet he won the election for Georgia Insurance Commissioner anyway… Awfully counterintuitive vote there, Peach State. You might want to think harder next time before pulling that lever again for Ralph Hudgens?

Due to the policies of Hudgeons and Atlanta Governor Nathan Deal blocking the federal government from offering Medicaid coverage, they’ve denied health insurance to more than 600,000 lower-income Georgia citizens.

UPDATE: RALPH HUDGENS HAS A PRE-EXISTING CONDITION HIMSELF!!!

Here’s the video taken from Hudgens’ appearance last month at the CSRA Republican Women’s Club meeting. It will be interesting to see what ‘The Daily Show’ will do with this
 

Below, watch how proud of himself this slimy Republican weasal seems to be about keeping people from getting affordable healthcare in his state!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Republicans are vile creeps


 

“Some people are shits, darling.”—William S. Burroughs

Like Republicans.

I live in Los Angeles, where I honestly don’t know ANY Republicans. I’m sure there must be at least a couple of them living here, but I’m not planning to actually go out looking for them any time soon. Let ‘em stay under those rocks. In fact, I don’t even know a single Republican who I am not related to by blood or by marriage. As in none, not one, zero.

These family members aside, I do not like Republicans. I hate them. If you are a Republican, I hate YOU. Seems like the majority of my fellow Californians might feel the same way, luckily—the GOP is a politically insignificant entity in California, where the Democrats hold a supermajority and practically every top job in the state—so Republican idiocy will probably never touch my life in any sort of meaningful way, except, of course, for reading annoying, blood-pressure raising articles about the GOP asshats we do still have here, like this at The LA Times.

Opponents of the Affordable Care Act never stop producing new tricks to undermine the reform’s effectiveness. But leave it to California Republicans to reach for the bottom. Their goal appears to be to discredit the act by highlighting its costs and penalties rather than its potential benefits.

The device chosen by the Assembly’s GOP caucus is a website at the address coveringhealthcareca.com. If that sounds suspiciously like coveredca.com, which is the real website for the California insurance exchange, it may not be a coincidence. Bogus insurance websites have sprung up all over, aiming to steer consumers away from legitimate enrollment services. Just a couple of weeks ago California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris shut down 10 bogus insurance sites, some of them with names very similar to the real thing. She must have overlooked the GOP’s entry.

A goddamn fake healthcare website! How low is that? If you click on a tab that reads “Don’t have health insurance” on the homepage, you are taken to a “penalty calculator” and not a premium calculator. Shits! They’re evil shits. Imagine that you’re an earnest person with preconditions seeking affordable health insurance and you stumble into this site by accident. It would be infuriating.

The GOP site also takes careful pains to explain to the young how THEIR money will be subsidizing health care for the old. Keep it classy GOP… Hey wait a minute: I thought old people were the GOP base?

And don’t young people eventually become old people? This may have already occurred to some of them. Bit of a mixed message there, isn’t it? Not like cognitive dissonance has ever been much of an impediment to Republicans, but this strikes me as being as incompetent as it is evil and in such a small, petty way. There’s even a section devoted to scaring people that signing up for Obamacare will result in identity theft!

Shits.

Hunter at Daily Kos wrote:

If you are so nasty a person that you can’t live with the thought of insuring yourself because it means some other person might get healthcare using one one hundredth of a cent of your money, the world will certainly not be missing you much after you are gone. Godspeed!

This is yet another of the reasons the current incarnation of the Republican Party is little more than a political oozing sore. There is probably a downside to trying to kill off your own voters to score a momentary political point, but let’s just say the members of the party brain trust in my state could meet in a closet and still have enough room for the vacuum and boxes of Christmas decorations.

Yep, that’s our Republicans. How I love California.
 
 
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Quality television programs equal income, argues horrible person


 
In what would surely be the most amazing troll posted to a serious web site in recent memory if it didn’t seem to be perfectly earnest, columnist, author, and apparently completely shameless toady to the ruling class Virginia Postrel has argued on Bloomberg View that ordinary people are better off economically today than we typically reckon - because the quality of TV has improved. I’m not even slightly kidding about the impossibly stupid thing I just told you.

On a flight across the country, you watch the playoff game on live television, listen to some favorite playlists as you catch up on work, then relax with some video poker. Arriving home, you delete the game from your DVR and consider your options. Too tired for an intense cable drama—which you prefer to experience in immersive weekend marathons of at least three episodes each—you stream a first-season episode of “Duck Dynasty” from Amazon.com, then run last week’s “Elementary” from your DVR queue. While watching, you check IMDB.com to see where you’ve seen that familiar-looking guest star before, then you jump to your Facebook and Twitter feeds. You finish the evening with “SportsCenter,” recorded just far enough ahead that you can skip most of the commercials.

Little of this customized entertainment would have been possible a decade ago—and almost none of it shows up in the income and productivity statistics that dominate our understanding of the economy. A form of progress that large numbers of people experience every day, the increase in entertainment variety and convenience represents a challenge to the increasingly conventional wisdom that American living standards have stagnated, at least for the middle class.

Hear that, middle class? Standard of living, schmandard of living, you people have TIVOS!

Now, I suspect that viewings of Duck Dynasty and SportsCenter don’t show up in income stats because TV shows aren’t income. But what do I know? I’m not the former editor of Reason. Or a shockingly tone-deaf, overprivileged asshole.

After all, it’s not as though no one has noticed the improvements. Critics often opine on whether the proliferation has produced a “new golden age of television,” while media companies and advertising agencies live in fear of what all that competition means for future profits. From the mobile-phone business to social media—not to mention movies, games, music and sports—an enormous amount of innovative talent goes into developing new entertainment goods and services.

Yet in the economic statistics that measure living standards, this real-life value goes largely ignored. For the very reason that entertainment is so cheap, the enjoyment people derive from having a better chance of finding exactly what they want, when and where they want it, doesn’t count for much. Giving consumers new features for little or no additional money increases well-being but doesn’t do much for productivity statistics.

I would venture a guess that the proliferation of the entertainment industry into every nook and cranny of American life doesn’t find its way into productivity statistics because sitting on your ass watching So You Think You Can Fart Your Life Away is the opposite of productivity. But of course, I’m just a humble pop culture scribe for Dangerous Minds, not a respected, Ivy League-educated columnist for The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The New York Times and Forbes. Or a self-satisfied, grotesquely over-rewarded libertarian tool.

But let’s skip to the money shot, huh? Does she or doesn’t she tell us to watch cake?

“Too many people presume that what the poor want from the Internet are the crucial necessities of life. In reality, the enchantment of the Internet is that it’s a lot of fun,” the Indian journalist Manu Joseph observed in a September New York Times essay. “And fun, even in poor countries, is a profound human need. Quality of life is as much an assortment of happy frivolities as it is the bare essentials of survival.”

Holy free market, she actually managed to outsource her “Let them eat cake” line to India. Got that, poor people? Quit hogging those public library Internet terminals for your stupid job searches and bill payments! There’s fun to be had - ENCHANTMENT, even!

So let’s recap - time wasted is income! We can fairly extrapolate from this that the unemployed are the wealthiest people in America - so long as they watch assloads of TV. Thinking of goosing your budget by canceling that cable subscription and using the savings for unproductive mundanities like heat and food? Not so fast! Grey’s Anatomy is health care! The Apprentice is a national jobs program! BY GOD, THE SYSTEM WORKS.
 
postrel
Virginia Postrel, totally down with the commoners—the kind of Libertarian you can have a beer with!

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
Wal-Mart’s Walton family are parasites and moral pariahs and should be treated that way


 
The Winchester House, a sprawling Queen Anne Style Victorian mansion in San Jose, CA with no apparent rhyme or reason is a bizarre architectural manifestation of the guilty conscience (if not acute schizophrenia) of Sarah Winchester, widow of gun magnate William Wirt Winchester and one of the richest women in American history.

After the death of her baby daughter, and later her husband, Sarah Winchester came to believe that her family were haunted by the ghosts of people who had died by Winchester rifles, and that only by continuously building the spirits a home could she appease the ghosts (Through a medium her husband was alleged to have told her that the house must never be finished.)

I could not help but to think of Sarah Winchester when I read an item this morning on Business Insider that tells of how a Cleveland, Ohio-based Wal-Mart store is holding a food drive — for the very people who work there…

A sign in the store reads: “Please donate food items so associates in need can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.”

Breathtaking isn’t it? This is America’s largest employer. THIS is how low things have gotten.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer quoted Norma Mills, a Wal-Mart customer complaining “That Wal-Mart would have the audacity to ask low-wage workers to donate food to other low-wage workers — to me, it is a moral outrage.”

Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesman, said the food drive is proof that employees care about each other.

“It is for associates who have had some hardships come up,” he said. “Maybe their spouse lost a job.

“This is part of the company’s culture to rally around associates and take care of them when they face extreme hardships,” he said.

Extreme hardships like working at fucking Wal-Mart!?!?

Wouldn’t it be awesome if when someone told a lie, they’d just spontaneously combust? I would love that…

But what does any of this have to do with Sarah Winchester’s guilty conscience, you ask? At least she had one. Sarah Winchester acutely felt the wages of death that made her so rich and it ruined her life.

As everyone should know by now, but it still bears repeating, the Walton family is the richest family in the world and they collectively own over 50% of Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer and second largest corporation. The family is worth a combined total of $150 billion as of August 2013 and the six most prominent members of the family have approximately the same net worth as the bottom 30% of American families combined.

They didn’t do a goddamn thing to earn this money. Nothing. They inherited every cent of their billions.

Every item that is purchased at a Wal-Mart has a tax built in for the Walton family. The supply chain that reaches to factories in Chinese and Indian slums? There is a tariff at each stop along the way that goes, ultimately, into the Waltons’ bank accounts. Think about it for two seconds, that is what’s happening.

If it was a sea of faceless shareholders, well, that’s harder to personify, but this is ONE family.

Wal-Mart is America’s #1 private employer.

And they don’t pay a living wage.

The Waltons live like pharaohs and their workforce can’t afford the necessities of life. In a very real sense they and Wal-Mart are beginning to personify everything that’s wrong with capitalism. A single family owning the equivalent of the collective wealth of the poorest third of the country? Could even Karl Marx have predicted THAT? It’s preposterous and yet… it’s the way things are.

If the Waltons wanted to change the fundamental fabric of American life for the better, they could raise their associates up to $20 an hour and set a powerful example for other companies to treat the people who DO ALL THE WORK with actual human dignity. If they did that—and studies have shown it wouldn’t hurt their bottom line much at all, and even if it did, I think they can take the hit—well, it’s a whole new America. It really would be.

But to hold back on improving the lives of so many people, that is one of the single most obscene things I can contemplate.

Up to the Waltons, of course, for now at least, but when the revolution comes—and it will eventually—it’s their heads that are going to be on the ends of sharp sticks…
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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