Owen and Fullerton are desperately trying to protect the Walton family from Measure R

One of the big local wage abusers, that are the focus of Measure R in Eureka, is Wal-Mart. Just read this Reuters story and just see how despicable this filthy rich Walton family is. These are the Oligarchs that Matthew Owen and John Fullerton are trying to protect in their scurrilous anti-R ad campaign. Funded with at least 10,000 in dark money.
This year Rob, Jim and Alice Walton are projected to receive an estimated $3.16 Billion dollars in dividends from their inherited shares of Wal-Mart.  If they were actually working for an hourly wage, that would work out to $1.5 million dollars an hour.  The average Wal-Mart employee earns $8.81 per hour.

(Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the biggest U.S. private sector employer, said on Tuesday that its 1.3 million workers would have to pay more for healthcare and it would end benefits for some part-time staff in a move that could prompt other companies to follow suit.tycoon

The world’s largest retailer said it would raise health insurance premiums for its entire U.S. workforce beginning in January. In addition, Wal-Mart will end coverage for employees who work fewer than 30 hours a week, a change that will impact 2 percent of U.S. workers, or about 30,000 people.

The move comes as U.S. companies brace for a January 2015 deadline under the Affordable Care Act. Starting then, companies with 50 or more employees will have to offer health insurance to those working at least 30 hours a week, a mandate that has drawn criticism from some companies worried about higher costs. (Cutting into their massive profits)

Wal-Mart said the move would bring it in line with many of its competitors. Target Corp and Home Depot Inc recently announced cuts to benefits in light of the Affordable Care Act.

According to consulting firm Mercer, 62 percent of large retailers did not offer health-care benefits to part-time workers as of 2013, a comparatively high rate that reflects low wages and high turnover in the industry. That figure drops to 37 percent for companies overall.

Brian Yarbrough, an analyst at Edward Jones, said the decision by Wal-Mart could force other retailers to rethink what benefits they provide.

All retailers are “trying to cut expenses, to keep things lean,” Yarbrough said. “At some point you start looking across the board, and this is probably the next place to start looking at cuts.”

Some big retailers, such as coffee chain Starbucks Corp and Costco offer health coverage to part-time employees.

Critics of Wal-Mart’s decision said it would primarily hurt lower-income workers, many of whom are being left behind in the economic recovery.

“Taking away access to healthcare, even though many of my co-workers couldn’t afford it anyway, is just another example of Walmart manipulating the system to keep workers like me in a state of financial crisis,” Nancy Reynolds, a cashier at a Wal-Mart in Florida and member of Our Walmart, a group pushing for better wages and benefits, said in an email from the group.

Of Wal-Mart’s 1.3 million U.S. employees, the company said 1.2 million currently elect to be covered under the company’s health insurance plans.

The company said it was changing some eligibility terms for part-time employees working more than 30 hours a week, but did not provide details.

Full story here:

https://news.yahoo.com/wal-mart-stop-healthcare-benefits-part-time-workers-145535493–finance.html

And just to add more misery to the situation:

Hospitals ask patients to pay upfront:

http://money.cnn.com/2014/09/29/news/economy/hospitals-deductibles-payments-patients/index.html?iid=EL

Measure R skeptics take note: SeaTac’s $15 minimum wage law is working

The community of SeaTac, Washington, home to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, this year became the first in the nation to approve a $15 minimum wage law.15 now

It’s been more than eight months since the policy took effect, and Dana Milbank highlighted the results over the weekend.

   As fast-food workers demonstrate nationwide for a $15 hourly wage, and congressional Republicans fight off a $10 federal minimum, little SeaTac has something to offer the debate. Its neighbor, Seattle, was the first big city to approve a $15 wage, this spring, but that doesn’t start phasing in until next year. SeaTac did it all at once. And, though there’s nothing definitive, this much is clear: The sky did not fall.

      “SeaTac is proving trickle-down economics wrong,” says David Rolf, the Service Employees International Union official who helped lead the $15 effort in SeaTac and Seattle, “because when workers prosper, so do communities and businesses.”

In fairness, SeaTac is a small community and the number of affected workers is quite modest, making this a difficult test case. Still, as Milbank’s piece noted, the owner of a SeaTac hotel, who had strongly opposed the minimum-wage increase during the 2013 debate, said the hike would invariably lead to local layoffs and eliminated jobs.

That was last year. This year, with the $15 minimum wage in effect, the hotel is moving forward with a multi-million dollar expansion anyway.

And what of Seattle, which will soon have easily the highest minimum wage of any major U.S. city?

Milbank’s column added these valuable insights.

In Seattle last week, I stopped in at the jammed Palace Kitchen, flagship of Seattle restaurateur Tom Douglas, who runs upward of 15 establishments. He warned in April that the $15 wage could “be the most serious threat to our ability to compete,” and he predicted that “we would lose maybe a quarter of the restaurants in town.” Yet Douglas has opened, or announced, five new restaurants this year.

        Likewise, the International Franchise Association has sued to block implementation of the law, arguing that nobody “in their right mind” would become a franchisee in Seattle. Yet Togo’s Sandwiches, a franchise chain, is expanding into Seattle, saying the $15 wage isn’t a deterrent.

        And a spokesman for Weyerhaeuser, the venerable wood and paper company, says the $15 wage didn’t factor into its decision, announced last month, to move its headquarters and 800 employees to Seattle from outside Tacoma.

It’s against this backdrop that the political debate continues to unfold. The White House made a minimum-wage increase the subject of its official weekly address over the weekend, and just last week, two Republican opponents of a wage hike – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate hopeful Rep. Tom Cotton – both started hedging on whether an increase is a good idea.

By Steve Benen   http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/seatac-proving-trickle-down-economics-wrong

Photo: Jason Redmond/Reuters

What exactly is Measure R and why does it cause fear of city-wide devastation?

MOLA:42’s Guide to Getting What You Pay For

J warren & virginia

“Our Glorious Dear Leader has announced…”

Watching Channel 3 News is a trifle more interesting (and depressing) than it used to be. That is, since a former president of the Eureka Chamber of Commerce (J. Warren Hockaday) became their News Director.

Since then their news leans toward pro-business stories (especially their “Special Reports”) and anti-anything that inconveniences our heroic business leaders.

Please understand… I’m very much pro-business. We’d all be living in huts and wiping our hinders with our hands without what business provides for us. I get it. But when they go on and on about how oppressed the Business Person is….

Back to Channel 3: The ultimate was one night they ran a Eureka Chamber of Commerce press release as a major news story (they did everything short of starting the story with, “Our Glorious Dear Leader has announced…”) and didn’t even bother to mention the other side of the story.

Oh, the other side? They were the folks who are trying to raise the minimum wage in Eureka from the mandated $9 an hour (as of July 1) all the way up to $12 an hour. That would be Measure R, which the city electorate will vote on in November.

The poor Eureka City Council does not have it easy on this one. Encourage a vote for Measure R and your major financial backers will become unhappy with you (we all know what happens then). Encourage a vote against and you will be the target of a lot of angry people (some of whom do vote in elections).

So the Eureka City Council took the courageous stand of, “We don’t want to get involved.”

Okay, what exactly is Measure R and why does it cause fear of city-wide devastation?

Measure R will raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour for employers within the city limits that employ 25 or more people. It gives non-profit groups 18 months to comply and everybody else 90 days.

flood

How the Eureka Chamber of Commerce sees Eureka after the Minimum Wage Tsunami (Measure R)

So you can see why the Pacific Ocean will crash over the City of Eureka leaving few survivors to tell the tale.

Businesses will either go under or pack their bags and take themselves elsewhere in pitiful lines of refugees pushing rickety carts filled with all their worldly possessions. Their teaming masses choke the roads as they are ruthlessly machine gunned by Nazi fighter planes… sorry.

That is essentially the argument given by the Chamber of Commerce and their like-minded allies (minus the Nazi fighter planes). Combine that with the arguments for Measure Q (the extension of the Measure O “Public Safety” sales tax) and the City of Eureka is on the verge of a Mad Max-like dystopia where life will have no value and death and destruction will be a common entertainment. (Hey… don’t they have that already?)

Old town Image1

You can count on one hand the businesses that employ 25 or more in Old Town

And yes, the cost of doing business will increase… for SOME businesses.

Who are those businesses you may ask?

Well, think on it. Who employs 25 or more people?

Not the boutique on a nice corner in Old Town, not the plumber, not the building sub contractor, not the candy shop nor the Ma and Pa grocery store (but the Chamber of Commerce takes perverse glee in scaring the holy crap out of those folks).

So, who does take the hit?

There are of course Kmart and Walmart and their crowd. As a group they are not likely to pack up their kit and move on.

What local businesses in town employ 25 or more people? Not many and also not likely to flee the city.

The really sad part is actually how few workers will directly benefit from Measure R.

But let’s look at Costco (which wouldn’t be affected by Measure R because it already pays a minimum wage near or more than $12 an hour). Costco could no doubt get a full crew for their Eureka store for $9 an hour.

Does Costco pay its workers more than it has to out of the kindness of its corporate heart?

Which brings us to the pro-Measure R folks main argument (at least that a business person can appreciate). Pay more and you get more competition for every job you need to fill. More competition means better employees to choose from. Better employees mean higher productivity, better customer service and longer retention (so you aren’t constantly paying to train new workers to do the job).

That means more bucks in your pocket.

That is why Costco does what it does. Costco does better by its workers because its workers do better for Costco’s bottom line.

Pretty clever of Costco, huh?

Another Measure R motivation: People at the lower pay scales tend not to hide their money in their shoppersmattresses. They can’t afford to. Their wages flow right back into the community stimulating more economic growth. I mean, my fellow Americans, someone has to buy Stuff, right? The rich can’t buy enough Stuff to keep the rich… rich.

The more money minimum wage earners have, the more they will spend.

Those without cars get cars; those with cars get better cars.

Those who live out of their cars or in tents get a place to rent. Those who live in gawdawful rentals move up to awful rentals. Those who live in awful rentals move up to minimal but decent housing.

They buy more and better food and so are healthier and less inclined for themselves and their families to be a drain on medical resources (like the ER).

What this means is if you are a business person, you may be paying more in wages but you will be getting

During most of the 20th century—until the 1970s—wages of American workers grew much faster than inflation

During most of the 20th century—until the 1970s—wages of American workers grew much faster than inflation

much more in return.

Even a good fascist like Henry Ford understood that. In the beginning he paid his workers far more than his competitors. But… he could look over his company parking lots and see row after row of shiny new Fords that his employees were able to buy.

The moral of the story is: Just because you could hire a worker at $9 an hour does not necessarily mean you are wasting money paying that worker $12 an hour.

Come on Chamber of Commerce supporters; you DO get what you pay for.

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Standard Disclaimer: My opinions are my own and not necessarily those of the Tuluwat Examiner. I am not on the staff of the Tuluwat Examiner. I don’t even know who these people are. But my secret sources at the jail have informed me the entire staff of the Tuluwat Examiner was arrested after loudly playing circus music outside of the latest Eureka City Council meeting (I think they used kazoos).

Fortunately, there were plenty of meth dealers and drug distributors to kick loose to make room for them.

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