MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle explains that huge companies that pay low wages force their employees to use public assistance
Ruhle: "In the state of Arizona ... one in every three of Amazon’s employees depend on SNAP to put food on their family’s table. In Pennsylvania and Ohio, the figure appears to be about one in ten"
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From the July 24 edition of MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle:
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STEPHANIE RUHLE (HOST): In today’s "Money, Power, Politics," are we subsidizing low-wage employees for companies with record profits? A comprehensive report from UC Berkeley’s Labor Center studied working families who rely on public assistance programs like Medicaid and CHIP, the basic household income assistance program Temporary Aid to Needy Families, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. That means U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill. That’s about 153 billion bucks every year.
The Intercept and the New Food Economy examined this problem, focusing specifically on Amazon employees using SNAP food benefits. In the state of Arizona, please listen to this, one in every three of Amazon employees depend on SNAP to put food on their family’s table. In Pennsylvania and Ohio, the figure appears to be about one in ten. The president for his part consistently picks fights with Amazon about their use of the U.S. Postal Service for deliveries and their dominance in the retail market, and even Jeff Bezos owning The Washington Post. But here's what makes no sense. None of those touch the legitimate criticisms of Amazon. You want to criticize Amazon? I’m going to help you do that right now, but what the president is going after is nonsense.
When jobs do not pay enough, workers turn to public assistance in order to meet their basic needs, and that burden is falling on taxpayers. But when the head of that company paying low wages happens to be the richest man in modern history -- let me remind you of this, Jeff Bezos on Amazon Prime Day become worth $150 billion -- when he’s worth that much money, you begin to start asking the question, are companies like this who are paying their employees so little gaming the system?