50 years ago, America’s biggest employer was General Motors, where workers made the modern equivalent of $50 dollars an hour. Today, America’s biggest employer is Walmart, where the average wage is eight dollars an hour.
… And Walmart released their annual report this month, and in it was the fact that most of what Walmart sells is food. And most of their customers need food stamps to pay for it. Meanwhile, Walmart’s owners are so absurdly rich that one of them, Alice Walton, spent over a billion dollars building an art museum in Bentonville, Arkansas… And she said about it, “For years I’ve been thinking about what we can do as a family that can really make a difference.” How about giving your employees a raise, you deluded nitwit?
In 1979, when the minimum wage was $2.90, a hard-working student with a minimum-wage job could earn enough in one day (8.44 hours) to pay for one academic credit hour. If a standard course load for one semester consisted of maybe 12 credit hours, the semester’s tuition could be covered by just over two weeks of full-time minimum wage work—or a month of part-time work. A summer spent scooping ice cream or flipping burgers could pay for an MSU education. The cost of an MSU credit hour has multiplied since 1979. So has the federal minimum wage. But today, it takes 60 hours of minimum-wage work to pay off a single credit hour, which was priced at $428.75 for the fall semester.
I went to a prep school where kids had money and did every drug known to man, and I never saw a cop. There are guys who work here in downtown Manhattan, guys who work on Wall Street, they’re doing blow, they’re doing pills, they’re doing everything. They don’t have to worry about getting picked up and strip-searched by the police on their way home. It just doesn’t happen.
… The problem is that after we allow the situation to go on, it starts to feel natural. “Oh, of course, that’s where crimes are committed, so that’s where we put cops.” That’s not true. If you sent cops into the community where I grew up, you would have just as many drug arrests as you do in Bed-Stuy.