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Hailed as 'Heroes' During Pandemic, Retail Workers Stripped of Hazard Pay While Companies Rake in Massive Profits

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/11/20/hailed-heroes-during-pandemic-retail-workers-stripped-hazard-pay-while-companies


The game “Monopoly” was created by Lizzie Magie in 1903 originally as “The Landlord’s Game.” The goal was to show that wealth creation is better than what happens under capitalist monopolies. The game obviously changed tremendously after Parker released the game in 1935 as “Monopoly.”

The propagandist myth that anyone can and does bootstrap themselves into fabulous economic success continues.

Show me an US millionaire or billionaire and 98% of the time I can unpack the lies about their making it there on their own merits.

Outside the privileged class, both the working class and middle class here have totally bought into the self-depreciating lies fed to them by the privileged. If you only worked harder, and did a better job, then you’d be rewarded.

The tragic reality is all of these retail workers really don’t have the option to opt out, do they?

Got to really appreciate a country where a Starbucks barrista makes more annually than an adjunct professor.


Gotta chant USA! USA! USA! USA! USA interminably to express our profound gratitude for the gifts bestowed on us by our beloved ruling class. What great Murcans, the ones working as philosophy professors, living in their cars, collecting food stamps, with no health insurance! Them folks is just regular real Murcans.


Well here’s a new flash for Public Citizen

I work PT at Home Depot. Two weeks ago we were told that the “… ongoing extra pay” would be ending by Thanksgiving. They replaced that with a small bump in hourly rate. Which brought new full time employees to just over $13/hr

Boycott Walmart, Amazon and the like. Close your Prime account.

Hard for those with less means, especially Walmart that preys on those that can only afford the race-to-the-bottom prices. But those of us with privilege can easily do this, especially with Amazon, and work to build alternatives for ALL of us, so that poor don’t have to perpetuate the cycle by buying from these monopolies.

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Apparently “hero” has become synonymous with “cannon fodder”. Both are expected to risk their lives to make the rich even richer, while getting poverty level wages.

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Retail workers, doctors and nurses, nursing home workers, cops, fire, election officials, delivery drivers and many others have been more at risk, more heroic, more abused and more underpaid in this crisis than one can imagine.
It’s disgusting to hear reports of health care workers sick and dying due to Trump’s deliberate negligence, of being abused, stalked and threatened by Trumphumpers because they tell the truth about COVID.
Near where I live, an armed, frothing Q-Anon Trumphumper almost committed a violent act when told of COVID mask regulations at a hospital.
It’s not volunteer American soldiers who protect our freedoms and risk their lives, it’s nurses, doctors and retail workers!


Phred, Home Depot was founded by a greedy, stupid right-wing traitor who is openly a Trumphumper and tried to bully others into voting for Trump.
Trump has praised this loser profusely.
Further, Home Depot has a long history of treating customers like dirt.
Home Depot ripped off my parents on two install jobs, and it took threats of a lawsuit all the way to corporate in Atlanta to get even a pittance of compensation. Everybody I know who used to shop at HD has stopped doing so, including contractors.
Home Depot sucks.
If you want a more ethical job, work for Lowe’s.
Better yet, don’t work for corporate big box stores at all.
A true progressive should never work for the enemy!

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Life is a maze and we are all caught in it.

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Money is the enemy.


Very well said, my Union Bug Wobblie_Weeble! Your last line on Adjunct Professors not quite rising to the annual income of a Starbucks barista is da ba-da ba-da-BING of our Fallacy Follies!

I’ve been critical while supporting my unions and even those of “skilled Trades.” I can’t say that it has been reciprocated. If it has, what does that say for 50 years (my entire life-time of woke working Wage Slave life here on Planet of the Clock Punchers) of Wage Stag-Nation?
~https://prospect.org/economy/wages-idling-neutral/ (Not just wages, hoarded off-shore tax-evading cash in non-audited bank secrecy accounts has been idling too )

Meanwhile our national infrastructure poses more danger to most of U.S. than any Islamist Terror Cell defended against by the massive 9-11-01 HOMELAND SECURITY budget allocations. Or manufactured Cold War Russkie Cyber Interference in our electoral politics. Even more desperate victims of Washington and Neo-Liberal E-CONomic foreign policies of the Corporate Caliphate and Pay2Play politics that only represent closed loops of elite investor interests of Global Capital turned from a felony called “Capital Flight” and closely regulated until the House of Clinton de-regulated the Supermarkets of Financial Services as Clinton backer and Citi Bancorp Group’s CEO Sandy Weill marketed the trans national interests of his U.S. tax-payer bailed out and otherwise publicly subsidized Privatization of resources that could have been going to growing jobs and circulation of money on Main Street.

Rather than collecting and concentrating AUSTERITY POLICY DRIVING hoarded idle captial on Wall Street’s money laundering Wealth Management accounts, or to cover Venture Capital’s costs and risks as his executives and Clinton’s former Secretary of Treasury and Neo-Liberal E-CON svengali Robert Rubin along with the intellectual author of Neo-Liberal E-CON at Harvard, another Clinton Secretary of Treasury Larry Summers swung through the de-regulating and cashing in ka-ching revolving doors from their brief gigs in the Public Service of the U.S. Treasury. Signing our newly minted money during the House of Clinton and after-math years until successor House of Bush-Cheney-Greenspan-Paulson came to the rescue of Wall Street’s Feudal Lords of Finance via their TARP aka Troubled Asset Relief Program. That was our real barometer on the extent of Financialization of our once productive economy into speculative fiscal incest among the Investor Class.

Also, of the Professional Immunity from criminal prosecution of the actual bid-net modelers of Corporate Looting…

Recall that the U.S. working class’s levels of productivity boasted the most productive manufacturing force in the human history of global trade pre-Free Trade Agreements dba FTA’s. Yes, the House of Reagan-Bush birthed NAFTA and Uber-ization driving down the value of our Wage Slave Labor. However, organized labor never would have green-lighted the FTA’s that ballooned our National Trade Deficits and assisted the shrinking of the Working Class without Democratic signed and approved Financialization legislation, most often drafted by Republican Conservative stalwarts like Texas Senator Phil Gramm’s co-authored with fellow Neo-Conservative GOP congressional reps Bliley and Leach the 1998 BANK MODERNIZATION ACT that the House of Clinton signed on their way out the door of the White House after their impeached second term in office. Longtime Texas arch Neo-Conservative Flag-Waving Phil Gramm then swung through the doors of the world’s most exclusive Country Club in the U.S. Senate and went to make some real bank secrecy money sitting on the board of directors of UNION BANK of SWITZERLAND (dba UBS), where his wife was also provided lucrative employment in the never criminally prosecuted Executive Suites.

To those desperate masses in ever more institutionally corrupt nation-states south of our border and whose Pay2Play leaders are on our Pay2Play elected mis-leaders’ good sides, ‘our’ un-examined and certainly not for Public Broadcast eyes and ears within the corporate-captured U.S. broadcast industry’s air-waves any post-mortem of Washington’s continuum of Kennan followed policies regarding our borders and how porous they have been for investor capital but never for labor migration patterns, except to the advantage of our wealth concentrators.

Kennan’s template of Containment of the Poor have accelerated the already hellish desperation of generations now of loving and well-meaning parents who want their kids to have a better chance at a self-sustaining life than is possible within the crushing confines of the USS Honduras (or the rest of Central and South America). All the Honduran kids stopped in Mexico or at the U.S. border that were showing ujp unaccompanied during the tenure of Madame Secretary of State (Obama’s not so paradoxical appointment of his Democratic Party Hawkish rival that he vanquished in the Democratic Primaries by contrasting his lone voice in the U.S. Senate opposition to the 2003 U.S. invasion and decade-long occupation of Iraq. An Arab nation-state whose brutalizing leader the Saddam Hussein family and military circle saved their most sadistic terror to be directed at Islamists anywhere in the world where the secular regime of Saddam Hussein’s Republic of Fear suspected their cross-border and long underground straw siphoning Iraqi oil field black gold were the Saudis and their ARAMCO partners in Washington.

Honduran parents who had taken to scraping any money they can save over their wage slave lives to give their children a better chance by smuggling their most precious possession, their kids across what that border of ours represents in the New Global Order of Neo-Liberal E-CON hierarchy of unfettered Global Capital.

Take some independent time to look into the Wisconsin midwestern philosopher-formulator of Washington policy of containing the hordes of hemispheric poor rushing El Norte. Leading Liberal Dove and Washington Foreign Policy fundamentalist George Kennan’s clear language on what and who our real Cold War threat was after WW II has been well-referenced by such careful linguists of public and non-classified policy documents of the period that continue to influence whoever is inhabiting the Executive Office. Whether a Red Baiter and Mad Bomber regime changing Paleo-Con from working class roots in Southern California’s inland empire, desperate to show the Eastern Political (Liberal and Old Money) Establishment that he got Neo-Liberal E-CON imperative.

Nixon did in fact publicly proclaim that “We are all Keynesians now” when he established his foreign policy bona fides. That much vexed the Neo-Cons led by Washington’s leading Cold War contract propagandist Milton Friedman and his disciples at the University of Chicago who made a good living off Big Government contracts to spread SHRINK BIG GOVERNMENT propaganda at the USSR and China, but also at any Democratic Socialist Third Way nation-state from Canada to the developing Third World, even the non-aligned developing nations like Indonesia and surely across the colonial and left-in-ruins from 2 World Wars Euro nation states who may have been vibrant free traders (with regulations) but who made sure the sectors of their economy having to do with their own kids’ futures, like Health, Education, Housing and Social Welfare was never left to the cut-throat Market Forces that the Corporate Caliphate always imposes but never accepts for themselves and their own corporate capital ventures.

Even the first partially African-American U.S. President, who was liberally while highly educated at elite Ivy League universities and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize winner, before he took to a foreign policy of extra-judicial killing via drone war-fare like Barack Obama and his point-man on foreign policy Status Quo MBNA Joe Biden. The enforcers of our foreign policies were for much of the Cold War period the bi-partisan Hawk\Dove combo of the Dulles Brothers, whose clients throughout the western hemisphere represented very Private Interests as opposed to any Public Interest :

Mitch Ritter\Paradigm Sifters, Code Shifters and Song Chasers
Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa (Refuge of Atonement Seekers)
Media Discussion List and Looksee

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How much do you suppose corps have paid marketing consultants to come up with their various “heroes” (and BLM) propaganda, instead of actually putting their malappropriated money where their mealy mouths are?

Agree with most of your rant. But, “…work for the enemy” ? Name a corporation that isn’t 'the enemy" (PS: still trying to get into costso) - so breath, and lighten up

Small point, and sure as hell not to defend HD, rather for clarity, all of the install contractors HD uses are independent’s. And they go through them fast. It doesn’t take much to get on the HD contractor list. I never use them myself.

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…and working for barter or chickens and a sack of flower doesn’t make it.

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Weirdly, it’s purely abstract, too. A consensual hallucination if you will.

It’s got zero intrinsic value. Even if we still operated on a gold or even silver standard, it’s just “shiny stuff.” Sure it’s got great electrical and other uses, but in terms of life…not at all. When hunger strikes, and there’s no food to buy - eating that money is not going to help.

And yet, in this strange time of civilization (where coercive force is required to get people to participate), the consensual hallucination has become such a - what? pathogen? - that there’s no way to get outside of it. Unless of course one’s got a trust fund and a lot of land I suppose.


Human beings will be lucky if we can do even that one day, given where money appears to be taking us.

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I shop at Lowes if I can. They honor their 10% discount to veterans, and are happy doing so. HD used to but quit.

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Damn, Damn, Damn, Don’t you just love Capitalism, We sure don’t want no stinking Socialism here in Merica - MAGA, MAGA, MAGA, all over the fuking place. Sick Sociapathic Capitalist Bstards! Hang 'em all.

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Corporations engaging in stock buybacks are in essence telling their investors, “You’ll probably find a better use for this money than we will.”

(Obama wasn’t a U.S. Senator in 2003.)

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