And the Dollar Store for people who don’t see a problem with Halloween candy in June.
I mean, just think of how many dollar places there are now. [slides of business logos shown] The Dollar Store, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Dollar Giant, Family Dollar, the 99 Cent Store, the 98 Cent Store.
Where does it end? Just a homeless guy handing out expired toothpaste for free?
But…but that’s our economy now. You’re either buying Rembrandt’s or Chinese cosmetics made from dirt.
But, in the middle, tough times. True of restaurants as well. The moderately-priced ones like Applebee’s, Red Lobster and Olive Garden are all in trouble, because they’ve lost their best customers: people with a little money who fill up on bread.
They’re the restaurants that say, “I still love you, baby, but just barely.”
Fifty years ago, America’s biggest employer was General Motors, where workers made the modern equivalent of $50 an hour. Today, America’s biggest employer is Walmart, where the average wage is $8 an hour. Which means you can share a room in a transient hotel with a drifter who cuts his toenails with a machete.
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, 500 miles away from the nearest person who ever would want to look at art.
And she said about it, “For years, I’ve been thinking about what we could do as a family that could really make a difference?” How about giving your employees a raise, you deluded nitwit?
And, what we are seeing now as the income inequality increases is a lot of Americans who work hard and play by the rules starting to not play by the rules.
At a McDonald’s in Pittsburgh, an employee was arrested for selling heroin packed right in with the Happy Meals. [laughter] And she didn’t do it because she likes heroin, although it’s probably no worse for you than the Filet o’ Fish.
She did it because you can’t raise two kids on $7.72 an hour.
And for those who say, “She shouldn’t have had two kids then,” well, maybe, but she did. So, what’s she supposed to do now? Give them away in front of the Petco on Saturday?
Or, take the case of Belle Knox. [slide shown] She is the Duke University freshman who was recently outed as a porn star. But, she doesn’t have the typical porn star biography: abused by an uncle, addicted to coke, locked in a closet by Charlie Sheen. [laughter] No, she’s a level-headed, articulate, 18-year-old majoring in women’s studies. Just like I did.
So, people say, “Why the porn?” Because Duke costs 61 grand a year!
Since 1980, college tuition has increased 600% above the inflation rate. I’m surprised they’re not all doing porn. And even if Ms. Knox wanted to pay her way through school serving hotdogs at Wienerschnitzel, there are no jobs at Wienerschnitzel.
So, instead, she occasionally takes a “wiener” in the “schnitzel.”
And this is what…this is what the Paul Ryan’s of the world don’t understand, that this is not a country of lazy people and good people, so much as it is a country of rich people and desperate people.
Do you know how much Americans owe in student loans? $1.3 trillion. We’re going to have to sell a lot of ass to pay that tab.
Yeah, I’m afraid we’re treading water and losing ground. And if you just said, “Hey, that’s a mixed metaphor, congratulations, that’s your English degree in action!”
Now, lube up. It’s time to do some porn.