Tom Emmer and the Wal-Martization of our economy


Minnesota Republican Gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer and his fellow Republicans have one real goal with our economy.  Reduce salaries so that corporations can make larger profits.  I call this the Wal-Martization of our economy.  The NY Times weighed in on this topic back in 2003:

The 70,000 grocery workers on strike in Southern California are the front line in a battle to prevent middle-class service jobs from turning into poverty-level ones. The supermarkets say they are forced to lower their labor costs to compete with Wal-Mart, a nonunion, low-wage employer aggressively moving into the grocery business. Everyone should be concerned about this fight. It is, at bottom, about the ability of retail workers to earn wages that keep their families out of poverty.

Grocery stores in Southern California are bracing for the arrival, in February, of the first of 40 Wal-Mart grocery supercenters. Wal-Mart’s prices are about 14 percent lower than other groceries’ because the company is aggressive about squeezing costs, including labor costs. Its workers earn a third less than unionized grocery workers, and pay for much of their health insurance. Wal-Mart uses hardball tactics to ward off unions. Since 1995, the government has issued at least 60 complaints alleging illegal anti-union activities.

So it’s no surprise that Tom Emmer wants to slash server salaries so that owners can make more money.  It’s been the Republicans economic plan since Reagan.  Bust unions and force workers to take low/no benefit jobs with crap salaries.  They still believe in the trickle-down economics.

Workers’ real incomes have barely risen if you figure in inflation since Reagan took office:

In contrast, the rich have gotten richer.  

Yet, in Emmer’s mind (and his fellow Republicans) our devastated economy is the fault of the greedy, overpaid teachers (starting salaries $30K, max $60K), the greedy, overpaid government bureaucrats ($30K to $50K max) and now wait staff and bartenders who make in excess of $100K.

In their minds, if only these greedy parasites on the economy would accept lower salaries and benefits, Minnesota’s economy would start to recover.  Do we really want these kind of people running our state?