Rick Snyder, the tough nerd governor of Michigan, has just signed into law a pilot program that allows welfare recipients to get drug tested if they are suspected of using drugs. Of course, the public largely thinks of poor people when it comes to welfare, but corporations and businesses are secretly afraid. Thanks to the media, welfare users are commonly thought of as freeloading women with ten children by ten different baby daddies (despite most recipients using welfare to augment the meager wages from their jobs), but corporations are the biggest users of welfare in this country. This is because corporate welfare is big business, when you add up all of the tax breaks and incentives, and will often influence where a company decides to headquarter (which is why some companies actually set up shop overseas, strictly for tax purposes).
Additionally, the amount of money it costs to drug test each individual would cost approximately $60, not including the overhead from paying employees to administer these tests and to provide the oversight for it. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to find out that certain Michigan senators or representatives that voted to pass this bill have connections to drug-testing manufacturers, whether it is friends, family, or equity. Conflicts of interest hidden under subterfuge and voter apathy are the machinations of modern politics. Thanks Mr. Tough Nerd, maybe we should drug test all of the Michigan politicians too, since their salaries are completely paid by taxpayers, and since they have had the least productive year in Michigan government history.
Of course, an argument can be made that corporations actually support the economy by employing people, while the poor do not. Well, this is because welfare is somewhat of a trap, because when receiving benefits, you can only work a certain amount of hours or make a certain amount of money. Common sense dictates that if you can’t use welfare as leverage to get out of the situation that you got in to begin with, then you will be stuck on it for a long time. And corporations, the biggest users of welfare, pay their employees so little to begin with, that many are forced to resort to taking welfare. I would wager that most people, if not all, would actually prefer NOT to be on welfare, but they need groceries for their families and housing for their families.
What does corporate welfare achieve? Besides letting C.E.O.’s upgrade their Gulfstream jets and enabling them to have even more record-setting quarterly profits, it doesn’t do much that actually helps the rest of us. Ironically enough, if businesses paid their employees a decent wage, the amount of welfare needed would then be drastically reduced.
When reached for comment, Sal Smith, Wal-Mart spokesperson, said, “Now I have to think twice whenever I rail up some blow. What if I get drug tested for the millions of dollars that we receive in welfare each year? OK…I’ve thought twice, fuck it.” Maybe Sal should think more carefully, considering Wal-Mart receives almost $8 BILLION in federal government subsidies each year. This is considerably more than the $6 billion the State of Michigan paid in total welfare payments, including housing assistance, in fiscal year 2014. Michigan has a population of almost 10 million. Wal-Mart employs 1.4 million in the United States, most of whom make close to the federal minimum wage, which has been $7.25/hr since 2009.
Remember: welfare is used by EVERYONE. If you have used tax breaks or write-offs for your mortgage or rent payments as a homeowner or renter, you have used welfare. If a corporation gets incentives in order to incorporate in a state, then they have used welfare. If a working-poor family gets $10 of food stamps per month (the minimum offered in Michigan), then yes they have used welfare. Which one would YOU drug test first?
Personally, I would drug test Rick Snyder himself, first. After all, he was the “businessman” who decided to spend millions of dollars in order to save thousands. He’s GOTTA be high on something…