“Millions of Americans work full time yet are still impoverished, their wages so low that they qualify for federal health care and food assistance programs even though many of them are employed by the biggest and most profitable US companies,” write Nir Kaissar and Timothy O’Brien in Bloomberg. “Because those companies don’t pay their workers a living wage, taxpayers are forced to foot the bill for daily necessities those employees can’t afford to buy themselves.
“In short, corporate America is pawning off the cost of rock-bottom wages on taxpayers.
“And one of the most prominent companies socializing the cost of substandard wages is Amazon.com Inc., according to a study from the Government Accountability Office. Amazon figured prominently in a Senate Budget Committee hearing Wednesday that looked at the human and economic perils of income inequality in the US.
“Income inequality isn’t merely an academic issue. As more and more workers find it difficult to stay afloat, their purchasing power decreases, which stunts economic growth. It’s also inequitable and inefficient to have taxpayers opening their wallets when the corporate till is filled to the brim. …