“I Work In Retail”

Some years ago I had a ham radio acquaintance who lived in West Virginia and worked in a Radio Shack. Anytime someone asked him what he did he very proudly said, “I work in retail.”

I never really understood how someone who sold capacitors and 7-transistor portable radios could swell up with such pride as he displayed. Maybe jobs that didn’t require working underground and breathing bad air were just that rare in the Mountain State.

I’m not really making fun of the guy, or any retail clerks for that matter. I once had an exchange with a Walmart clerk who was required to work on Thanksgiving. She was smiling profusely and seemed to love her job. I asked why and she bluntly stated that around here jobs were scarce and she was just glad to have one. She didn’t want to be there but she said she might as well have fun doing it. I can fully understand her situation and commend her for her attitude. By the way, that was during the worst of the Great Recession.

What reminded me of this was a post by a Facebook friend. It was a map showing who the largest employer was in the various states, I’ve posted the map below and you’ll immediately notice that in a major swath of the nation, the answer is Walmart and the majority of Walmart employees work as clerks.

The average retail clerk in America earns between eight and fourteen dollars an hour and most likely is a part-time employee with little to no fringe benefits. Again referring to the map, it’s easy to see that those areas dominated by the nation’s largest retailer are also some of the poorest areas of America.

So, if some of the poorest paid Americans live in some of the poorest parts of America, why is the Republican Party so successful in those regions? Why is that where Donald Trump finds so many of his strongest supporters?

Frankly, I don’t have a good answer for this. But, I’d sure like to hear from someone who did.

Both political parties are subject to the power of big corporations but it is the GOP who has been the strongest defender of corporate interest. Whey are they so strong in areas of low wages?

One thought on ““I Work In Retail””

  1. Larry, if you find out, please share. Cause I can not conceive how they support trumpo. Met and visited Carr line cousins this summer in Milledgeville, GA (small town America). Her husband works some days 13 hours (per cousin) – double shifts. If he didn’t he could lose his job. (Once again per cousin). She works for the County water department – the dept that keeps check on the quality of water. Loves trumpo. Doesn’t make sense, does it. As for Walmart, my daughter lives in a smaller town in GA. Single Mom of 19 yr old college student. Tricea, daughter, had been working for an Assisted Living, doing housework.. you can imagine what this requires. She had been looking for another position, specially since she had to have knee surgery. Had applied everywhere in Swainsboro, GA. – including Walmart. Finally, she was called and offered a position in the Deli of the local Walmart. She was thrilled. $5 to $6 more dollars an hour than the Assisted Living place, evening shift (not thrilled about this – hoping after a while she is able to moved up to at least 2nd shift). Thing is she makes $12 to $13/hour for 38 to 40 hours a week. She will have benefits – she did not have at Assisted Living place. Yes, she will have health insurance and hopefully she will be able to afford the cost this time. Since Kyle (my Grandson) is now 19 child support has stopped as has Medicaid that covered him. Last I heard his dad was going to add him to his health insurance (I stay out of that as much as possible). So it would seem, Walmart has been a great thing for Tricea and Kyle. At least much better than the other job. And, shhhhh – don’t share LOL the other ladies that she now works with know how to work the system and gave her instructions on how not to lose her SNAP. She must count every penny. She is hoping to be able to obtain a better car than she has now that she is working for Walmart.

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