Donald Trump Is a Fraud: I Am a Member of the White Working Class, and We Must Not Fall for His Lies

When you are one illness or broken-down car from losing everything, it’s scary. But Donald Trump is not the answer.

Source: AlterNet

Author:Stephanie Land/Salon

Emphasis Mine

I get it. As members of the middle- to lower-class, as people living in poverty, we are angry. We are angry and we are looking for someone to blame. We are looking for someone to lead. Because living on the brink of losing everything from one slip-and-fall, one major illness or even one broken-down car is a scary place. I’ve been there for many years. It’s hard, living in that fear.

I have a lot in common with most Trump supporters. I’m white, I live in a rural area that is predominantly white where many people struggle to find a job. My family, for generations, has struggled through the effects of working blue-collar jobs long past the age of retirement. I’ve seen, and experienced, the anxiety of not being able to find work for months on end.

I’ve tried to ignore Donald Trump. I didn’t want to give him the pleasure of my energy. I didn’t want to help the media glorify him by clicking on and sharing their articles, even if they were against him. But he’s growing, and feeding, like The Nothing. Remember The Nothing? It was a gigantic, black storm from “The Neverending Story” that fed on fear and doubt and sadness and hate and uncertainty and didn’t stop until everything was gone. That is what Trump feels like to me.

After listening to his speeches, it’s hard to know what he wants. When asked direct questions, he talks around the subject, puffing himself up even more in the process. His narcissistic nature breeds a textbook case of manipulation by lying about or covering up what he’s said and telling his accusers they are crazy and misinformed.

As a voter, as a college graduate with student loans, as a person who has lived in the forgotten population of the impoverished, I, too, am sick of the political jargon. I look for an ounce of like-mindedness behind the podium. I look for empathy, for understanding, for caring.

Trump doesn’t show these qualities, yet his supporters rally behind him. Because they want change. They don’t want a politician. They don’t want someone who’s funded by banks. They hear him promise to not only bring back their jobs, but prevent others from taking them again, and that’s hope for them. There’s hope in having steady work. They don’t want the same, cookie-cutter politician to lead them anymore. They want passion, fire and something different. I can understand that, too.

But while Trump supporters are distracted by the literal, physical fight he supports and growing in their hatred for those they’ve chosen to blame, legislation has been quietly passing, pulling the rug out from many who are in the very crowd, shouting for change.

In West Virginia, a bill passed that limits the food people can buy with food stamps. In Indiana, a bill passed that forces women to pay funeral expenses for aborted zygotes, among other things. In several other states, legislation is currently in the works to expand work requirements to get food stamps, and others are trying to limit foods acceptable to purchase. In Illinois, a bill was proposed that will not allow babies born to single mothers a birth certificate if they don’t identify the father.

This year, an estimated one million single, childless, unemployed Americans will lose their money to purchase food. Trump won’t change that. He won’t make it better by building a wall or deporting people he thinks don’t belong here. The only thing he’ll do is produce the storm that will destroy any chance we have to make things better for ourselves and our children.

I wish I was being dramatic, or even exaggerating. After watching people at Trump rallies, my urgent plea sounds like a whisper amid all the raucous anger roiling through his supporters. My thoughts drift to a few lines of another story about the lust for power, Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” when the main character surveys the tragic results of his megalomania and says, “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player. That struts and frets his hour upon the stage. And then is heard no more: it is a tale. Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury. Signifying nothing.”

When will we see that Trump, while so full of sound and fury, is hoodwinking us with a lie and to follow him is to follow a shadow, nothing concrete, nothing real, that diverts our attention so we can’t see what we’ve lost?

Stephanie Land’s work has been featured on Vox, DAME,, Manifest Station, through the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, and as a writing fellow with the Center for Community Change. Follow her @stepville or read more at


If Wallmart paid a living wage, how much would prices go up?

Walmart employees consume billions in food stamps each year, but raising their wages to a point where they wouldn’t need them anymore would only increase prices by about 1.4 percent

Source: Think Progress, via Portside

Author: Bryce Covert

Walmart prices would go up by mere pennies if it were to pay all of its workers enough to live above the poverty line, according to an analysis by Marketplace and Slate.

In a video, they explain that Walmart employees consume billions in food stamps each year, but raising their wages to a point where they wouldn’t need them anymore would only increase prices by about 1.4 percent:

A single mother working at Walmart is eligible for food stamps if she makes less than $20,449 a year. Industry analysts put the average wage for cashiers at $8.81, or for someone who works typical retail hours of 30 a week, 50 weeks a year, $13,215 a year. Raising that single mom’s wages to $13.63 an hour, however, would push her to a point where she no longer qualifies for food stamps. Doing that for all of its employees would cost the company $4.8 billion a year. Yet if it passed the entire cost on to consumers, it would raise prices by 1.4 percent, making a $0.68 box of macaroni and cheese cost just a penny more.

The video also notes that doing this would save the country millions in spending on food stamps. It notes that in Ohio, for example, as many as 15 percent of Walmart employees use food stamps, meaning that all workers consume about $300 million each year. That sum would no longer have to be spent if its workers simply made more. Including food stamps, Walmart workers at single store consumer around $1 million in public benefits each year.

Researchers have come to similar conclusions. Ken Jacobs, chair of the Labor Center at the University of California, Berkeley, estimated that raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would add $200 million to the company’s labor costs. If it passed the entire cost on to consumers, it would increase the price of a $16 item by a penny.

It’s also worth noting that the company could very well decide not to pass the cost on to its shoppers. Jacobs estimates that while some of it might be passed through in higher prices, it’s probably not going to be 100 percent. That’s at least in part because a higher wage means more money for its workers to spend in its own stores, which would increase its sales. The company even told Bloomberg it was considering supporting a minimum wage hike because it would give its customers additional income, although it warned it hasn’t made any decisions on its support. A $10.10 minimum wage would mean $31 billion more in earnings for nearly 17 million people across the country.< /p>

It could also raise wages for its workers with the $7.6 billion it currently spends on buying back shares of its own stock and ensure they all make over $25,000 a year, a level demanded by workers who have repeatedly gone on strike. It gets little value out of the stock buybacks.

Emphasis Mine


Minimum wage hike would cut food stamp costs beyond Republicans’ dreams

Daily Kos LaborRSS
Daily Kos group
Minimum wage hike would cut food stamp costs beyond Republicans’ dreams

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Cashier in a store.
Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would cut food stamp spending by $4.6 billion a year, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress:

Source: DailyKos Labor

Author: Laura Clawson

“According to the finding in this report a 10 percent increase in the minimum wage reduces SNAP enrollment by between 2.4 percent and 3.2 percent and reduces program expenditures by an estimated 1.9 percent. Taking into account each state’s 2014 minimum wage level, we apply these results to the legislative proposal put forward by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Rep. George Miller (D-CA) to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Our results imply that the effects of the Harkin-Miller proposal on wage increases would reduce SNAP enrollments by between 6.5 percent and 9.2 percent (3.3 million to 3.8 million persons). The total anticipated annual decrease in program expenditures is nearly $4.6 billion, or about 6 percent of current SNAP program expenditures.

Harkin-Miller proposes to index minimum wage levels in subsequent years to the consumer price index, or CPI. The minimum wage would then increase at the same rate as SNAP benefit and eligibility levels, which are also indexed to the CPI. Consequently, the savings over 10 years in 2014 dollars would be 10 times the one-year savings, for a total of approximately $46 billion.

That $46 billion over 10 years is more than the $40 billion House Republicans wanted to cut, only this reduction could be achieved by raising people’s wages, not by simply taking away the nutrition assistance they need to survive. Naturally, Republicans are more opposed to requiring businesses to pay wages that keep working people off of food stamps than they are in favor of reducing the expenditures. Because their crusade is much less about saving the government money than it is about redistributing money upward to the already rich.”

Emphasis Mine