Friday, August 8, 2014

So here we sit..

Several months ago I wrote about the myth of the welfare queen, and at that time I said that while there was some truth in it, some people abuse the system, I also stated that it was like Bigfoot or an UFO.  Something reported often, but there just wasn't much proof of it.  Well, I stand here today telling you all, I was wrong.  There are welfare queens.  They leech off the system, and we need to cut these ticks off.

So, everyone ready.  Lets go round us up some welfare queens shall we?  Well... I tried to find a list, but Google nor my brain are functioning properly.  So, douse the torches, hang the pitchforks on the all, and lets just talk, because we can reason through this first.  If that fails, we can look to other options.

So, Boeing took home thirteen billion ($13,000,000,000) dollars in government subsidies, while making a profit of four and a half billion before the subsidies.  Not great profit for a company that is pretty large, but thats still a lot of money, more so when you take into account the fact they didn't pay any taxes.  Intel, god bless Intel, the maker of the processor that is likely powering your computer as you read this.  Well, they grabbed $3.8 Billion dollars ($3,800,000,000), while making a lackluster $9.6 Billion ($9,600,000,000).  Now I have heard that the boarder issue could be greatly helped by $3.7 billion, but I do not see a fence as being the answer (Israel tried that, now they have a bunch of tunnels to deal with).

Look, I am not against corporate welfare in its entirety.  It can be used to keep prices artificially lower.  However, I have a problem here, my cognitive dissonance starts kicking in, red flags start waving, and I hear a train horn going off somewhere in the bowels of my mind.  Sure, corporate welfare can keep prices artificially low, but they come with a cost, and if not for a slight readjustment of principles would not be needed. 

See, the problem is that corporations exist to profit.  More profit equals more success, which means the companies that profit the most, grow and gain greater profits.  Less successful companies do not grow (they remain static) or they fail.  At one time, this worked.  A company that was run correctly, would meet success, which then went to better wages, and job perks.  Today, the system is broken, a company being run correctly makes profit, but that profit might mean axing the jobs of a thousand people, while moving other jobs to a second or third world country. 

See, there was a time that companies would eat profit, if it meant that employees made better money.  See, I tend to follow a very old school thought process, one filled with compassion for the people I employed.  Here is how I ran a business, I paid a living wage.  I paid well, exceptionally well for this area.  I found that when I paid well, when I gave perks to employees they were happier.  As happy as someone could be shoveling shit anyway.  I did not have high employee turnover.  I had it, but usually because I had to fire someone for not doing their job, or thinking that I wouldn't mind showing up late, being unprofessional (being needlessly cruel to animals).  That actually saved money.  I didn't have to train someone new constantly, I did not have the overtime expenses because I didn't have to spend more time training someone else to replace an employee who quit due to crappy pay.  Because I was actually saving money I was able to do stupid things that improved moral, and helped the employees more (I could actually give each employee a five hundred pound steer once a year, along with a bonus check roughly twice what they normally made).  It wasn't much, four hundred pounds of beef isn't a lot, but it does take a chunk of grocery money out of the store, and puts it to another use.

We have companies now who want maximum profit, and they get it, but the price they will pay actually does more harm to them to get it.  One of my former employers had to pay me to train new employees, and that was almost always overtime (time and a half).  That hurts profit.  Think about it for a moment?  You have a new employee who is on the clock, the supervisor or trainer is also on the clock, and someone is going to be getting additional overtime.  If that new guy or gal doesn't make the cut or they quit (I have had people quit almost immediately after training), someone is going to have to cover their shifts, which means more overtime, more costs to hire someone else, and additional time to train said new employee.  That comes off at the top of the profit.

Alright, I have started ranting again.  So, corporations are getting subsidies (welfare) and they don't really need it, except that their profits won't be as large.  But there is a darker side to this corporate welfare.  Wal-Mart actually gets a large chunk of it, but not in the way you think.  See, where Wally World gets its welfare is in the form of its employees.  Because they pay so little, many of their employees are on regular welfare.  We are basically paying Wal-Mart to pay their employees the minimum.  No, they are not the only company doing this, there are tons of them doing it, but they are one of the larger companies doing this.  Just think of what could be done if we took the focus off of propping up companies and decided to really prop up the people?