Might private, not public, be the dirty word?

Consider: Which of these sectors is the one really doing a number on society? At the birth of the American republic, the word “private” had a sinister connotation. Derived from the Latin privare, meaning to reduce or tear apart, it described behavior often contrary to the public interest. In the late 18th century, a pirate was called a privateer. Today “private” has become a positive, even boosterish word, while “public” carries a shady undertone. “Private sector” has become synonymous with efficiency and innovation, while “public sector” connotes bloat and unresponsiveness, even corruption.… Read More

Our Take: Responding to Reich on Wal-Mart

Date: 8 Mar 2005 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Our response to the destructive force of mega-corporations like Wal-Mart ought to involve much more than adopting regulations that "soften the blows" and "slow the pace of change," as Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under Clinton, argued in a recent New York Times op-ed entitled Don’t Blame Wal-Mart. Yes, we most certainly should raise the minimum wage and require companies to offer employees affordable health insurance, as Reich suggests. … Read More

Thousands of Wal-Mart Workers Enrolled in Medicaid

Date: 25 Jan 2005 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Nearly one-quarter of Wal-Mart’s 37,000 workers in Tennessee rely on Medicaid, according to state officials who released the figures at the request of the Chattanooga Times Free Press.The data show that Wal-Mart has more employees enrolled in TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program, than any other company. Other states have also found that Wal-Mart’s labor practices are placing a heavy burden on public assistance programs.… Read More

How Wal-Mart’s Health Coverage Stacks Up

Date: 1 Feb 2004 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The annual premium a full-time Wal-Mart employee must pay for coverage for her and her spouse is $2,672 (with a $350 deductible), which amounts to about 19 percent of her pre-tax earnings, according to the report. Part-time employees (under 34 hours per week) are only eligible to enroll after two years on the job and even then, coverage is available only for themselves, not their families. Full-time workers are eligible for family coverage after six months.… Read More

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