The Corner

‘Food Stamps Subsidize Walmart’

One of my least-favorite bits of progressive rhetoric is the gambit claiming that welfare benefits for poor people are in effect subsidies for companies that employ lots of low-wage workers. It is dishonest, and it is stupid for many reasons, e.g., if you believe that food stamps subsidize Walmart by allowing the firm to pay check-out clerks lower wages, then the thing to do would be to cut food stamps and watch those Walmart wages go up, right? But no Democrat ever suggests this. Instead, they create benefits for people earning at a certain level and then vilify businesses for the fact that there are people who earn at that level and are therefore eligible for those benefits. 

What is the evidence that welfare programs actually benefit employers? Not much, as it turns out

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