On my last shopping trip to Walmart on 4-20-2017 I think I experienced some sabotage. There seem to be fewer workers there now. A month or two ago they had up "now hiring" signs. And now they have optional self checkout. That is new to this Walmart. Anyway I loaded up a 10 pound bag of sugar into my cart. A few minutes later an employee caught up to me and said "Sir, you're leaking sugar. Let me have that one and I'll get you a new bag." The floor did suddenly feel slippery and I couldn't figure out what was going on. I was walking on top of the spilled sugar as I pushed my cart along. But they caught it pretty quickly. I bet I wasn't the first person this happened to. It's the first time it ever happened to me. There is nothing in your cart that could punch a hole or rip a hole in one of those pretty sturdy paper bags. I've had flour bags tear on me but never a sugar bag. It certainly came off the shelf with the hole already in it. I didn't notice it at all. I'm just starting to read Elizabeth Warren's new book "This Fight Is Our Fight" and she describes a 50 year old Walmart worker. They don't give people regular predictable shifts. And their big wage increase was 21 cents an hour. The woman and her husband, a roofer, together only make about $36,000/yr. He obviously can't depend on regular work and neither can she. She's been working at Walmart for 10 years. Elizabeth mentions the high cost of housing and how people struggle to make their mortgage payments. One guy worked for DHL, lost his job and his home was foreclosed. His house sat empty. He went by it on his way to work. He was only one of 12 people that DHL called back but it was only part time work and no benefits at a reduced wage. He actually went back to his old house and shoveled the snow, talked to neighbors. It's really heartbreaking. Elizabeth had it a lot harder than I did growing up. Her mother actually slapped her across the face and said "what makes you so special? Why do you need to go to college?" But at least she didn't have to worry about getting drafted and sent to Viet Nam. But her mom got a minimum wage job at Sears and that held the family together. My Aunt Bertha, same age as Elizabeth's parents, actually had a career at Sears in Florida. She never got married and had no children. She owned her own home and had a great life until her mind went in old age. Her younger sister managed her affairs and put her into a long term care facility in Jackson, Michigan where she eventually passed away. But she had enough money right to the end. The minimum wage is 24% less today than it was back in the mid 1960's when adjusted for inflation. Each Walmart store gets subsidized a million dollars when you figure how much their workers get in direct subsidies. The total comes to more than $7 billion a year. I was so lucky to work for Care Choices for 20.5 years (Jan 1987 to April 2007). Then Priority Health for 18 months from April 2007 to Oct 2008. That is what saved me. I bought 2 cars and my singlewide over that period but was saving other than those 3 big purchases.
I only had to get to page 40 of her book to realize Elizabeth Warren just doesn't get it when it comes to housing or she is subconsciously blind to it because she fears who might live next to her some day in a free and fair housing market. Behind the necessities of life, safety is the second most motivating factor for all of us. We need food, shelter and clothing but we also want to feel safe after that. She says "American history is littered with examples of HOUSING LAWS and lending strategies that were designed to deny black and Hispanic families mortgages and that prevented them from building housing wealth." HOUSING WEALTH? Are you kidding me? She says "A home isn't just a place to live." HELLO, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT IT IS. Why are so many people drinking that Kool Aid? Why are they tying up so much of their wealth in a house? They are putting every last dime they have into a house. Wait a minute. That house could burn down or be destroyed by a tornado. Well then you need property insurance then don't you? That's just another expense sunk down the 30 year mortgage toilet. If I had borrowed just $100,000 at 5% and paid it back over 30 years then I would've had to pay back $193,000. Plus I would've had to pay for property insurance and I would've had to pay more property taxes on a more expensive house. These idiots actually want their property values to go up. So you can then pay more property taxes? Right. The real problem is that the housing market is not a free and fair market. You shouldn't have to sign up for 30 years of debt slavery to get shelter. It's called exclusionary zoning, Elizabeth, and I've written to you many times about it. I'll finish reading her book but I didn't have to get far to see that she is blind to reality and apparently likes it that way. She had three older brothers. No one should have more than 2 children and if you are poor then you should only have one. So why did her poor parents need to have 4 kids? Why does she think immigrants should just be able to stream into this country? She apparently fails to grasp the concept of LIMIT. The entire planet is overpopulated. We've actually been saying only TWO since the sixties. But both her parents had WWII. Both Japan and Germany wanted more room and were willing to kill others to get that room. So what did people do right after the war. They had a baby boom. So there you go, Elizabeth. That is what you need to be talking about.