Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/19/2013 (1 year 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 (1 year 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 nave 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 November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Living Faith

Take the Catholic Online Thanksgiving Challenge! Watch

Image of Reaching out to others is precisely the way to show that we are thankful for what we have.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a holiday filled with family and food, often spent on televised parades and football, and naps after lunch. Kids play in the yard or the streets as everybody generally has a good time. However, this is not the case for millions of ... continue reading


Pope says he's willing to speak to Islamic State - says nations are likewise guilty of 'terrorism' Watch

Image of After addressing the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, Pope Francis also told journalists that the threat of terrorism was not the only horror weighing on the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Asked about the possibilities of discussion with Islamic State, Pope Francis said, "I never count anything as lost. Never. Never close the door. It's difficult, you could say almost impossible, but the door is always open." The Pontiff went forward to say that ... continue reading


Unborn, terminally ill and elderly are treated as objects in Europe, Pope Francis says Watch

Image of If we uphold the dignity of the person we are acknowledging the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Despite talk of human rights, too many people are treated as objects in Europe: unborn, terminally ill, and the elderly," Pope Francis said. Speaking at the European Union Parliament in Strasbourg, the pontiff said that "We're too tempted to throwaway lives we ... continue reading


Church recognizes six new saints as Pope Francis canonizes in Sunday ceremony, speaking about how we too shall be judged Watch

Image of Indian well-wishers gather at the Vatican for the Canonization ceremony.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has canonized six new saints, two Indians and four Italians, praising their lives as "extraordinary" and reminding us all that we will be judged by how we treat others. VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis recognized six new saints on Sunday, ... continue reading


Pope says church must extend help to immigrants, 'so that all may be treated as children of God' Watch

Image of The world must now recognize the advantages of migration. Host countries get new workers to meet production needs,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Speaking to the 300 participants in the Vatican-sponsored World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants, the Pope says that the Catholic Church "is a mother without limits and without borders." He says that the church must welcome and assist all of God's children, ... continue reading


Feast of Christ the King and Advent: What Does it Mean? Watch

Image of The Church really IS the Mystical Body of the Risen Christ. That Body is inseparably joined to the Head. Jesus Christ is alive, he has been raised, and he continues His redemptive mission now through the Church, of which we are members. As we choose to actually live our lives liturgically, not just go through the motions, we can move through life in the flow of the liturgical calendar. We can experience the deeper mystery and meaning of life, now made New in Jesus Christ, the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6,7) Jesus Christ is King! Jesus Christ is meant to become the Lord of our whole lives, and inform the very pattern of how we live them.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

On November 23rd we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Liturgical Church year offers to each of us consider the creature which is called time, receive it as a gift and begin to really live differently. Yet, for ... continue reading


Two bishops dine and dialogue with peace activists

Image of War doesn't decide who is right, just who is left.

By Tony Magliano

During the recent U.S. Catholic bishops fall assembly in Baltimore, two bishops decided to forego the military chaplains dinner sponsored by the U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains Office, and attended instead a simple supper and discussion on peacemaking. On the evening of ... continue reading


'God always forgives, but the earth does not,' Pope warns Watch

Image of The Pope urged the world's leaders to rein in their greed and help the hungry.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A doomsday scenario in which Mother Nature would exact her revenge is possible, even likely, Pope Francis warns. The pontiff was speaking out against the exploitation of natural resources for profit. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pope urged the world's ... continue reading


Pope Francis' special message: Why Poverty? 'And while we speak of new rights, the hungry remain'

Image of When we give our loaves and fishes to Christ, there is no end to the Good that can come from it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has asked the world to do more to help those who suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Despite gains made in infrastructure and outpourings of food, too many people with plenty have done too little to help. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - With ... continue reading


How do you raise a good, upstanding child? With daily prayers, weekly church attendance and the knowledge of God Watch

Image of Billy Graham, now 96, has reached out to millions with his joyous words of the truth of God and Jesus Christ.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Reverend Billy Graham, the world famous television evangelist and founder and chairman of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has said that the reason the world seems to be in such dire straits is that children are not being raised right. LOS ANGELES, CA ... 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, Revelation 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9
1 After this, I saw another angel come down from ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:20-28
20 'When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 27th, 2014 Image

St. James Intercisus
November 27: James was a favorite of King Yezdigerd I of Persia and a ... 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