Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/19/2013 (8 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Outrages include WalMart food drive for fellow employees and McDonald's workers on food stamps.

If you're reading this article, then your Catholic identity is probably pretty important to you. You appreciate Catholic values and you try to live them in your daily life. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things out there designed specifically to undermine your values, often without your knowledge. The holidays are a prime example.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for these gifts...

Heavenly Father, we thank you for these gifts...

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/19/2013 (8 months ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Benjamin Harrison, Black Friday, shopping, morality, greed, CEO, compensation, pay, wages, low, slavery, starves, McDonald's, Wal Mart, list, socialism


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The holidays are filled with shopping, among other things. It's a good time for we, who treat ourselves to egg-nog and peppermint-flavored treats, who enjoy shopping for bargains, and look forward to a couple of hearty holiday meals surrounded by the warmth of a fire as well as faith, family, and friends.

However, there's a growing chorus of voices that are out there to tell us that much of our collective holiday cheer is sung and danced upon the backs of a growing multitude of low-wage workers who are asked to sacrifice their holidays so we might enjoy ours. Worse, this isn't about people who choose to work, but rather people who are forced to work and paid so little they rely on the government dole to make ends meet.

And they can forget about a fancy turkey feast.

According to the Huffington Post, companies such as Kroger, Starbucks, Wal Mart, and McDonald's pay so little to their employees that these individuals can't afford much holiday cheer. Many work on Thanksgiving now, since the rest of America is addicted to shopping-just hours after telling God and each other how thankful they are, and few can afford a proper holiday dinner.

Case and point, McDonald's employees are actively told by the company to seek out social services, such as food stamps, to feed their families. That's right. Your value-menu item costs more than you think.

You may pay a dollar for a burger, but you also have to pay more in taxes to provide public assistance for every worker that makes your sandwich. Suddenly the value menu isn't such a value anymore.

McDonald

McDonald's employees have also been protesting. The protests are a sign that a much larger, socialist movement is developing. How we respond determines what happens next and if we'll like it.


So who's eating the profits?

Apparently the CEOs and executives are slurping at the trough while the workers toil to keep them fat and happy.

Have a look at these numbers from HuffPo. Employee pay figures are averages.

Starbucks
U.S. workforce: 120,000
CEO compensation: $28.9 million
Employee pay: Less than $9/hr
Revenue: $13.3 billion
Net income: $1.4 billion

TJX Companies (TJ Maxx)
U.S. workforce: 138,211 (est.)
CEO compensation: $21.8 million
Employee pay: Less than $8/hr
Revenue: $25.9 billion
Net income: $1.9 billion

Macy's
U.S. workforce: 175,700
CEO compensation: $13.8 million
Employee pay: Less than $9/hr
Revenue: $27.7 billion
Net income: $1.3 billion

Darden Restaurants
U.S. workforce: 203,389 (est.)
CEO compensation: $6.4 million
Employee pay: Minimum wage, usually less than $10/hr. Some staff earn tips, which are shared, but not all. Common in the food service industry.
Revenue: $8.6 billion
Net income: $412 million

Sears
U.S. workforce: 246,000
CEO compensation: $1.3 million (Louis D'Ambrosio, former CEO)
Employee pay: Less than $8/hr
Revenue: $39.9 billion
Net income: -$930 million
Note: Sears is failing as a company and sales are slipping.

Yum! Brands (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, etc)
U.S. workforce: 694,712 (est.)
CEO compensation: $14.2 million
Employee pay: Less than $8/hr
Revenue: $13.6 billion
Net income: $1.6 billion

Kroger
U.S. workforce: 343,000
CEO compensation: $11.1 million
Employee pay: Less than $9/hr
Revenue: $96.8 billion
Net income: $1.5 billion

Target
U.S. workforce: 361,000
CEO compensation: $20.6 million
Employee pay: less than $9/hr
Revenue: $73.3 billion
Net income: $3.0 billion

McDonald's
U.S. workforce: 739,055 (est.)
CEO compensation: $13.8 million
Employee pay: minimum wage
Revenue: $27.6 billion
Net income: $5.5 billion

Walmart
U.S. workforce: 1.4 million
CEO compensation: $20.7 million
Employee pay: Less than $9/hr
Revenue: $469 billion
Net income: $17.0 billion

WalMart has a special place on this list. The company is starting its Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving day at 6 p.m. which will rob most of its associates of their family time. The company pays so little that at several locations, it's asking other employees to donate to food drives, for fellow employees.

At an Ohio WalMart, employees are being asked to donate food to other employees for the holidays.

At an Ohio WalMart, employees are being asked to donate food to other employees for the holidays.


That's right. The richest retail company in America is asking its lowest paid employees to share with their fellow employees instead of just paying a fair wage.

In addition to being denied a fair living wage, many employees are kept deliberately at part-time status, to prevent any requirement to provide benefits.

WalMart employees want $25k per year for their labor.

WalMart employees want $25k per year for their labor.


Most Americans look upon these jobs as "starter jobs" or stepping stones. Places where young people can work their way through college and mature folks can earn a few extra dollars. Yet, this isn't the reality and hasn't been for a long time.

College, for one, costs tens of thousands of dollars, even to attend cheaply. To cover the costs students must take out loans. College savings are no longer enough to pay for costs which outstripped savings years ago. Students are attending college and graduating under mountains of debt.

Then, they must find jobs in a very competitive workforce where degrees are losing their value. Even high-end, high-skilled occupations are losing their demand for talent as more complex processes become automated or require less skill and attention.

In addition to the college multitudes who can't find jobs to pay off their crushing student loan debt, there is a large number of people, many born into poverty, who never make it as far as college. They're sometimes lucky to finish high school. They, along with migrant workers, make up the backbone of America's cheap labor industry.

All this keeps prices low and profits high, for which CEOs are lavishly rewarded. Shareholders also appreciate the bump.

However, we are naÔve to think this ends here.

Our nation bears an awful burden because half of its citizens don't even earn enough money to pay taxes. At least that same half also relies on government services to make ends meet. This is the multitude that will flock to Obamacare for Medicaid, a cost the working few left among us will bear.

Ultimately, this pattern can't continue. The days of the value menu, and dollar store, and cheap big-box shopping are drawing to a close. The age of outrageous CEO compensation while employees are asked to share a turkey, is coming to an end.

No nation, which denies to half of its people the right to work and earn a reasonable living can long expect to stand.

When half the population is reliant on government, how do you think they will vote? What policies will they adopt? Yes, the corporations and the wealthy own Congress, but it's just a matter of time before a "man of the people" emerges, tapping into the anger of half-a-nation or more and turns that against our long-beloved Republic.

It's happened before, since the days of ancient Rome. It will happen again.

So change is inevitable. We must then decide how we will effect this change. We can ignore the numbers and persist in our habits until one day the revolution takes us by surprise sleeping in our McMansions, or we can control the chaos by averting it altogether.

Cleaning up our government, curtailing outright greedy business practices, mandating that corporations, particularly large ones, pay their employees so the taxpayers don't have to. Everybody who wants to work should be allowed at least 40 hours in some occupation. And nobody who works 40 hours should require government assistance.

Whatever policies we need to implement to arrive at this safe destination, we need to develop them now. Nobody wants to live in a socialist state. It's a cure that's worse than the disease. Yet it's just what's coming if we don't demand change from our politicians and our corporate leadership.

Of course, you can start by staying home this Thanksgiving and instead of busting doors, bust prayers and enjoy your family.

Live your Catholic values.

Don't abide the hype. Let workers have their holidays too-- they're not all volunteers, and they're not being paid generously enough to put up with the experience shoppers put them through on Black Friday.

At the very least, avoid the top 10 on the list above. Those are the worst offenders. They may stand as paragons of the free market, but I assure you they might as well be flying socialist banners from their corporate headquarters. By condemning their choice-less, thankless workers to lives of deepening poverty, that's precisely what they're doing to our beloved country.

I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth or shapes it into a garment will starve in the process. -President Benjamin Harrison.


A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Living Faith

Let the Holy Spirit Teach us How to Become Prayer Watch

Image of St. Paul wrote to the early Christians in Greece, telling them to pray without ceasing. (1 Th. 5:16-19) They did not live lives of ease, in any sense of the word. They had families, occupations, bills, and yes, difficulties and struggles beyond what many of us could imagine. They also suffered greatly for their faith. Yet, he instructed them to Pray without ceasing. Did he really mean it? I believe that he did.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

When the Spirit dwells in a person, from the moment in which that person has become prayer, he never leaves him. For the Spirit himself never ceases to pray in him. Whether the person is asleep or awake, prayer never from then on departs from his soul. Whether he ... continue reading


MIRACLE IN ENGLAND: God's face smiles over Norfolk, or is it Sean Connery or Karl Marx? Watch

Image of This image is suspected to show the face of God in clouds over Norfolk, however, it may also be the face of Karl Marx or Sean Connery.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The English have long thought themselves special, and a new photograph from Norfolk in England may just prove that God does indeed smile on the English. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Amateur photographer Jeremy Fletcher took an image that shows a face in ... continue reading


Pope Francis to visit Mafia stronghold this weekend Watch

Image of Pope Francis' stance against organized crime is seen as remarkable; the Mafia and the Catholic Church have previously been seen by many as having

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Incensed about the loss of innocent life in his immediate surroundings, Pope Francis plans to travel to the Mafia stronghold of Caserta, near Naples this weekend in an effort to set things right. The murder of three-year-old Nicola "Coco" Campolongo, a boy who ... continue reading


Pope expresses regret with exodus of Christians from Mosul Watch

Image of

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

In his weekly Sunday Angelus address Pope Francis mourned the fleeing of the last Christians from the Iraqi city of Mosul, who were told by ISIS forces last week to either convert, pay the Jizya tax or leave. (CNA/EWTN News) - "They are persecuted; our brothers are ... continue reading


Your Catholic Voice Foundation delivers for Sisters of St. Joseph

Image of They're on their way, thanks to you.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An order for 350 Bibles for a Catholic school in Grenada has been shipped to the sisters free of international shipping charges, thanks to you, the readers of Catholic Online. The shipping charges stood at approximately $800, and was covered by donations. Now, Your ... continue reading


This is Ch__ch. What is missing?

Image of What's missing? You are!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What's missing from this church? You are! Are we mistaken? Show up and tell us you are already there and get your daily prayer and more for FREE as our thanks.Click here now to say you're there!Now you can share this question with your friends. Are they at church? continue reading


Unaccompanied migrant children need our help

Image of This is an image of immigrant children presently housed in conditions that would be unconstitutional for convicted felons. These children are without their families, alone and afraid and without control over their future, they are the victims of many culprits.

By Tony Magliano

Tens of thousands of children fleeing desperate conditions have entered the United States asking for help. And many more are coming. What kind of welcome is being offered to them? The answer to that question is still largely undetermined. According to Human Rights ... continue reading


Freedom, Choosing and Becoming: Moral Life and Truth Watch

Image of Our Moral Life in Christ.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

What we choose determines who we become. Choosing what is good changes the chooser, empowering him or her to proceed along the pathways of virtue and develop the habitus - or habits- which promote Christian character. The Catechism of the Catholic Church ... continue reading


Pope Francis warns of migrant children falling prey to 'racist and xenophobic attitudes' Watch

Image of Pope Francis is calling for help and concrete solutions tot he plight of migrant children now flooding U.S. borders.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As hundreds of thousands of migrant children from Central and South American continue to flood the United States across the border of Texas, Pope Francis is calling for help and concrete solutions. Speaking at the Mexico's Foreign Relations Secretariat yesterday, ... continue reading


Pope Francis seeks 'urgent intervention' for migrant children flooding U.S. border Watch

Image of The U.S. has deported Honduran children as young as 1-1/2 years old this week. It was the first such flight since President Obama pledged to speed up the process of sending back illegal immigrant minors from Central America.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In response to the thousands of unaccompanied South American children flooding the Texas border, Pope Francis has called for "urgent intervention." The pontiff says the U.S. needs to welcome and protect minors who travel on their own to seek a better life in ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 1:1, 4-10
1 The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:1-9
1 That same day, Jesus left the house and sat by the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 23rd, 2014 Image

St. Bridget of Sweden
July 23: Saint Birgitta was the daughter of Upplandís Lagman, Birger ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter