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 naĸve 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Living Faith

SSPX confessions valid during Jubilee, Pope Francis declares - many pray schism will end Watch

Image of Pope Francis has extended an olive branch to the SSPX. Will our brothers and sisters accept it, or will they perceive it as a slight?

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Absolutions granted by priests of the Fraternity of St. Pius X (SSPX) will have the full support of the Pope Francis and the Church during the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. The notice was given by Pope Francis in a special letter in which he announced the ... continue reading


POPE FRANCIS ISSUES EXTRAORDINARY INDULGENCE - Here's how you and others can obtain it Watch

Image of Pope Francis has issued an extraordinary indulgence for all who seek to reconcile with God.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is issuing a Jubilee Indulgence that he hopes will allow people to experience God's mercy and grace. In preparation for the coming Jubilee, Pope Francis has published a letter to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, who heads his council for the promotion of the ... continue reading


Priest asks, what would St. Francis of Assisi do if he were alive today? Watch

Image of Although Pope Francis presided over the celebration, Fr. Cantalamessa (who has been preacher to the Papal Household since St. John Paul II appointed him in 1980) gave the homily.

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

On the first World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, the preacher to the papal household said that St. Francis of Assisi is a key model in showing the link between faith in God and care for our common home. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - Saint Francis "is ... continue reading


No school days for working children

Image of

By Tony Magliano

It's that time again when adults take off to celebrate Labor Day, and kids head back to the adventures a new school year. But for millions of children worldwide the adventures of a new school year remain but a dream. Sadly, these children will never learn to read or ... continue reading


Catholic lawmakers asked by Pope to rally for pro-life, immigrants and persecuted Christians Watch

Image of The Holy Father was presented with a document by lawmakers outlining their commitment to promoting life in their respective nations, especially in areas of abortion, Christian persecution, and migration.

By Ann Schneible, CNA/EWTN News

On Sunday, Pope Francis urged Catholic legislators to be protectors of human life, calling them to "be strong" against a throwaway culture marked by Christian persecution, and the rejection of the unborn and migrants. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - The pontiff ... continue reading


Will Pope Francis' visit end in disaster? Residents say organizers don't have their act together Watch

Image of Mayor Nutter unveils the 'I'll Be There' campaign to encourage shop owners to stay open during the papal visit.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Philadelphia residents are stressing over the upcoming Papal visit, and for good reason. Preparations for the visit appear ad hoc and are being poorly communicated to the community, according to locals. LOA ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Will Pope Francis' visit to ... continue reading


Bishop Melki, executed after he refused to convert to Islam in 1915 has been beatified Watch

Image of Pope Francis earlier this month confirmed Bishop Melki's beatification saying he was killed in hatred.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Martyred during the Assyrian Genocide in 1915, Bishop Melki is on the road towards sainthood with his beatification this past weekend. Killed in Gazarta during the sayfo, or "putting to the sword" of Syrians in 1915, he was killed after he refused to convert to ... continue reading


For the first time we can see how BEAUTIFUL the 'real' Saint Rose was. Scientists have reconstruct her likeness Watch

Image of According to the news site Peru Catolico, the researchers said the reconstruction shows she was

By CNA/EWTN News

The face of the first saint of the New World may be better known than ever; thanks to a team of scientists, that has analyzed the skull of Saint Rose of Lima. Lima, Peru (CNA/EWTN News) - Scientists from the University of Saint Martin de Porres in Peru and the ... continue reading


Quest for God is modern world's biggest challenge, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI says Watch

Image of The Ratzinger Schuelerkreis will gather Sept. 28-30 to discuss the theme set them by their former professor.

By Andrea Gagliarducci, CNA/EWTN News

Benedict XVI considers the quest for God to be contemporary society's foremost challenge, according to one of the emeritus Pope's former students, who has organized the annual meeting of Ratzinger's students to discuss that very topic. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN ... continue reading


Changing your HEART, not just behavior is a vital part of conversion process, Pope Francis says Watch

Image of

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

In his Sunday Angelus address Pope Francis said that merely obeying the rules isn't enough to make us holy, but that if we truly want to serve God our conversion has to be deeper, changing the heart. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - "It's not exterior things which ... 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, Colossians 1:1-8
1 From Paul, by the will of God an apostle of Christ ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:38-44
38 Leaving the synagogue he went to Simon's house. ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 2nd, 2015 Image

St. Ingrid of Sweden
September 2: Born in Skänninge, Sweden, in the 13th century, St. Ingrid lived ... 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