Bernie Sanders has done his best this entire election cycle to top his last least economically sound tweet with even worse stupidity. Last night, he did it again: “The middle class should not be subsidizing the wealthiest family in America just because the Waltons are too cheap to pay a living wage!”
In a nutshell, Bernie Sanders is complaining that the welfare system that he has advocated for his entire life has so corrupted the market that wage levels are distorted to be below true market value. To this, conservatives say, “I told you so.”
Welfare has made it so that people are willing to work for wages below the poverty line because they know that they will still receive government support anyway. Without welfare, Walmart would have to pay their workers more in order to compete in the market place because otherwise the workers would not be willing to agree to a contract that wouldn’t support them financially. In addition, the lower tax rates Walmart would pay without welfare spending would allow them to pay their workers more without hurting their business. That’s how the free market works, but instead recognizing this, Bernie wants a MORE heavily distorted market place.
Seriously, Bernie Sanders’ argument is along the lines of, “We wanted to tax the middle class more heavily so that we could give free money to poor people, but we didn’t want it to go to THOSE poor people. Walmart is supposed to keep their wages artificially high when it would kill their business to do so. That way they, as the cheapest super market in the country, would have to raise their prices so that the middle class can spend more money on goods than they would have to in a free market.” Really?
Walmart has done more for the poor and working class than perhaps any other corporation in America by providing goods at ridiculously low prices for decades. They could do even more for these people by lowering the prices of their goods further and hiring more workers and paying them higher wages if their corporate income tax rate was lower and if unnecessary regulations were lifted, ideas foreign to Bernie.
Forcing Walmart to pay their workers an artificially high amount of 15 dollars an hour for minimum skill work is not going to help anybody. All that will happen is workers will be laid off and replaced by more self-checkout cash registers and other machines, and prices would probably rise as well.
But economics aside, the part of the tweet that really irks me is the character charge that Bernie made against the Walton family for being “too cheap.” This is coming from a man who did not earn a steady paycheck until he was 40 years old and has been paid by taxpayer money ever since. In his entire time in public life he has advocated for economy killing policies that only make it harder for the people he pretends to help live. In contrast, the Walton family through big risks and hard work has created a valuable corporation that employs more than 1.5 million Americans and provides millions more with cheap goods. I am tired of public officials, from Bernie to Obama, who never created or worked a real job in their life making character charges against successful businessmen. I’ll let you decide who really helps the poor and working class in America.