Stupid Ole Barstow
Again Courting The Wrong Bride

Local officials are incompetent.

June 17, 2013

      Newberry Springs' Community Service District's boards of directors, over the years, have been wholly inept in assisting the rural community to grow.  In the last two decades, there has been a reversal in growth.

      Likewise, the Newberry Springs Chamber of Commerce has been completely inept in bringing in new businesses and jobs.  The chamber under the leadership of Sandy Brittian has been relegated to simply supporting a few social events such as the annual Pistachio festival and the Independence fireworks display.

      This shouldn't be surprising when one considers the amateurs who volunteer.  Well meaning individuals, but many of whom are basically stroking their egos.  Sure, most would like to take credit in accomplishing something positive for their community but they're clueless as how to accomplish anything meaningful except to spend taxpayers' revenue.

      Newberry Springs isn't alone, big city Barstow's leadership has also shown repeated examples of stupidity.  We will skip the highly overpaid City Manager Curt Mitchell and Assistant City Manager Oliver Chi's grandiose ideas of roundabout intersections and center on something that nearly everyone in the Barstow area uses. . .  Wal-Mart.

      The city of Barstow has been taking great pride that Wal-Mart has been planning a major produce distribution center in Barstow.  Barstow is looking at the many jobs that such a distribution center would create for Barstow.  Yet, like the Wal-Mart retail store, Barstow's leadership doesn't look too closely at the types of jobs that Wal-Mart provides.

      Looking at the source of many of Wal-Mart's products, Wal-Mart cuts its products' cost through third world countries where children making Wal-Mart products earn slave wages; and employment of children is used to lower the wages of adults to low proverty levels.

      Wal-Mart uses a business model in the U.S. that reduces employees work hours to limit pay and provide no benefits.  This qualifies a majority of their employees for federal and state assistance.

      Wal-Mart's entrance into Barstow has forced the closure of a number of small retail outlets that provided a number of people with middle class incomes.  The incomes have been replaced with Wal-Mart's minimum existance incomes and profits are not reinvested back into Barstow but are shipped to the corporate offices in Arkansas.

      Wal-Mart actually pays lobbyists in Washington, D.C., and many in states, to support federal and state assistance programs.  Wal-Mart collects job creation tax breaks and then depends upon U.S. taxpayers to offset their minimum pay as 80-percent of Wal-Mart employees qualify for food stamps.

      According to an article in last week's Los Angeles Times:

Wal-Mart wages are so low they force many of its employees onto the public doles, creating a drag on taxpayers and the economy, according to a new report from the staff of Congressional Democrats.

The report analyzes data from Wisconsin's Medicaid program, estimating that a single 300-person, Wal-Mart Supercenter store in that state likely costs taxpayers at least $904,542 per year and could cost up to $1,744,590 per year, or roughly $5,815 per employee.

"While employers like Wal-Mart seek to reap significant profits through the depression of labor costs, the social costs of this low-wage strategy are externalized," conclude the report's authors, the Democratic staff of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce.  "Low wages not only harm workers and their families - they cost taxpayers."

      With the eagerness that Barstow embraces Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart is sticking it to the city; not helping by providing uplifting, middle class wages, but rather by excellerating proverty within Barstow.  Wal-Mart is expected to expand this by increasing the size of it's Barstow store to handle a wide range of groceries.  This will likely impact jobs at Von's and Stater Bros.

      To counter Wal-Mart's proverty-inducing business model, the Chicago City Council in 2006 created an ordinance to force big box chain stores like Wal-Mart and Home Depot to pay a living wage of $10 per hour plus a minimum of $3 per hour for benefits.  Two years later the state of Colorado altered its constitution by establishing a general living wage that rises on the city of Denver's inflation rate.

      Big box stores and fast-food restaurants have been a big part of Obama's employment recovery numbers; but these figures largely consist of underpaid, underemployed jobs that are shifting America's shrinking middle class to dependency and further control under the federal government.

      Employment for millions of America will only get far worse with Obama's illegal alien citizenship program.  Once becoming citizens, the estimated 11 to 15 million new citizens will be able to petition for the entry of their related family members from outside the U.S.  That is estimated to total about 50-million.  Business powers lobbying in Washington want the cheap labor that Obama's immigration policy will bring.  Those who will suffer the most are current Blacks and Hispanic Americans.  Big businesses will use the new citizens like Wal-Mart uses the third-world children to undercut the pay of the existing adults (Blacks and Hispanics).

      According to Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division, Wal-Mart has "put the public and the environment at risk and gained an unfair economic advantage over other companies."  Just last month (May 2013), Wal-Mart pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $60 million for violations of the Clean Water Act in California; $14 million for a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act in Missouri; and a $7.6 million civil penalty to the E.P.A.  All total, Wal-Mart's recent penalties for environmental violations is over $110 million; but it is a minor consideration for a company that had over $128 billion in revenues in 2012.

      California legislators are fearful that the state's public coffers will be stuck with handling the growing expenses from Wal-Mart and other big box store employees' health care as the federal health care law expands.  Some democratic legislators are calling for fines that could reach $6,000 for all full-time employees who end up on Medi-Cal.  The democratic controlled legislature would likely only further exasperate the problem by further forcing employers to reduce full-time employees to part-time.

Related story:
Oliver Chi, Barstow Assistant City Manager

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