Matt HealeyMonday,9 December 2013

The Snap:

A while ago I was reading Adrienne’s views on the cuts to SNAP. I sent her a tweet that said I would be looking into this issue. What I found was that SNAP is the tip of the iceberg. SNAP is one issue in the broader issue of income inequality. So I want to start a series of posts on that topic. The first will be about wages and public assistance.

The Download:

Recently there have been protests demanding an increase in the wages for fast food workers and other minimum and low wage jobs. I fully support the workers right to protest, strike, or use any other legal approach to voicing their opinion. I also fully support their right to unionize, event though I hate labor unions because I think they can be as destructive to the economy as incompetent management.

Regardless, I support the worker’s demands for increased wages. The reason for this is that I don’t like the current back door corporate subsidies that we currently have; specifically, the need for the employees of these jobs to be on public assistance in order to survive. This came to much more public attention when this photo went viral – the picture is of the food drive for Walmart associates. Add to that the “McResource” help line that McDonalds (Did anyone in PR look at the naming of that program before launching it? And if they did, did they consider what would happen when it eventually became public?) and it becomes obvious that the pay for minimum and low wage work is not enough to live on. The problem is that how do we address that? I know that cutting SNAP and other public assistance programs will hurt the poor. The question is if we continue them or expand them, then do we simply enable Walmart and McDonalds, as prototypical low wage employers, to continue to pay sub-living wages and using public assistance, or put another way, my tax dollars, to subsidize their profits?

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Image Credit: Flickr


  1. […] I posted the first in my series on income inequality. That post focused on how corporations are using public assistance to augment their profits. Personally I […]

  2. […] So I took a bit of a break from the income inequality discussion. Well, I said it would be a multi-part series and I intend to continue with it. All be it a bit later than I […]

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