Career Calling

October 2, 2012

Walmart Protestors Meet Robocops

Walmart Protestors Meet Robocops

Abby Zimet of Common Dreams reports on a recent protest at a Walmart facility in Elwood, Illinois.  650 protesters were met by police dressed in riot gear.  The police were working with a private security.  47 protesters were arrested for civil disobedience in protesting Walmart’s practice of paying “poverty wages.”

I take two things from this story:

  1. Why do these police officers need to be dressed like this?  They look like Robocop, more machine than human.  Is this body armor meant to protect the officer, or intimidate protesters?  We live in a time when too many people automatically assume that anything the military or law enforcement does is right.  Some day we might walk up to find that such thinking has cost us our freedom.
  2. What is the real cost of “poverty wages”?  When large companies pay their workers badly, we taxpayers supplement the wages through food and housing subsidies.  Our taxes pay for free school breakfasts and lunches.  Certain politicians point at poorly paid workers and call them “takers” and “victims.”  I would say the real “taker” is Walmart, a company that is using tax payer funded programs to feed and shelter its workers and their children.

We should never forget the great lesson of Watergate:  “Follow the money.”  It’s all going up.

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