Sometimes we wish we didn’t dig so darn much.
It gets us in trouble.
It makes us pen what is surely to be one of our most controversial columns yet.
But the truth is the truth. And Know-How is Know-How… even if it involves Hillary Clinton, food stamps and an economic boondoggle larger than the GDP of most countries.
You see, we recently stumbled upon an interesting fact.
We learned that Amazon now offers a discount to its popular Prime subscription to folks who receive food stamps.
That’s right. While most of us would be charged $12.99 per month (no… we don’t subscribe), the folks getting help from Uncle Sam pay just $5.99 per month.
What’s next, we wondered after we heard the news… “poor person” discounts for movie tickets, restaurants and lotto tickets?
Ah… if there were enough votes in the idea, we’d surely see the notion come to life.
Free (Money) for All
You see, the real reason Amazon is offering the discount is that it’s in an all-out battle with Walmart… the leading beneficiary of the nation’s $75 billion food stamp program.
While the government deems the official annual payouts to retailers confidential (apparently it fears riots in the streets if folks knew where their tax dollars are going), we got confirmed word that in 2013, Walmart raked in a whopping $13 billion worth of food stamp sales.
In other words, nearly 1 in 5 dollars in the food stamp program was spent in a Walmart store.
That’s good news for the Walton family. After all, the chain posted a profit of just $10 billion that year. We hesitate to think of the rough shape the company would be in without this stiff windfall from Washington.
That brings us to Hillary Clinton and the retailer’s deep ties to the political world.
Few folks know it, but the presidential wannabe once was quite a bigwig at Walmart. From 1986 to 1992 – while serving as the first lady of Arkansas – Hillary had a coveted seat on the company’s board.
Not only did she get paid handsomely for the role… but she amassed more than $100,000 worth of the company’s stock.
But we’re not here to pick on poor Hillary; we’re here to expose the greedy secrets of the nation’s largest retailers and their utter addiction to taxpayer money.
It’s no stretch of the imagination to think Walmart would be in big trouble if it suddenly lost its mega-share of the nation’s $75 billion food stamp boondoggle.
It’s one of the leading reasons the company pours millions of dollars each year into political coffers across the country… and, dare we say, is also a reason it refuses to pay its workers a living wage. (Some 15% of its workforce receives benefits.)
Washington has so badly skewed the system with its “handouts for votes” mentality that even the nation’s largest companies desperately rely on subsidies.
Again, please remember your government wants to keep all of this a secret.
It refuses to release the real numbers.
It refuses to tell you whose pocket your tax dollars are lining… and what companies they’re keeping afloat.
A Prime Opportunity
Knowing what food stamp money has done for Walmart, it’s no surprise Jeff Bezos is stretching his hand out, reaching for some easy money. Through Amazon and now Whole Foods, he’s primed to take full advantage of the 1 in 7 Americans on food stamps these days.
Until recently, Amazon was unable to accept food stamp payments. It allowed Walmart to continue to corner the market.
But thanks to a pilot program from the fine folks at the USDA, the online retailer is getting in on the game.
Now the nation’s “underclass,” as the media is calling the poor these days, can order food, diapers and a whole host of other goodies all without getting off the couch.
And with a discounted Prime membership… they can get free movies, music and a mess of other stuff nobody needs.
It’s big business for the behemoth online retailer and is one more reason it plays the politics realm so well.
“They could be raking in millions more dollars,” one person close to the situation said. “It’s a no-brainer that accepting SNAP could be a lot of money for [Amazon], especially since it’s getting into fresher groceries.”
We’re sure folks will read our thoughts and blast us for not caring about the nation’s poor.
Go ahead. You’d be flat-out wrong.
Instead of a blind reliance on the greedy hands of politics (see the names above), we rely on the free markets to do the heavy lifting. We don’t believe a company with such close ties to Washington should dominate simply because it benefits from billions of dollars’ worth of taxpayer handouts… and by keeping folks poor.
We argue this information is critical Know-How.
It’s vital every American knows how the economy really runs and just how politically perverted it has become.
Without food stamps… the nation’s largest retailer would stumble.
And it ain’t healthy.