The hidden cost of Wal-Mart…

…is welfare. From the NY Review of Books: “In analyzing Wal-Mart’s success in holding employee compensation at low levels, the report assesses the costs to US taxpayers of employees who are so badly paid that they qualify for government assistance even under the less than generous rules of the federal welfare system. … The report estimates that a two-hundred-employee Wal-Mart store costs federal taxpayers $420,000 a year, or about $2,103 per Wal-Mart employee. That translates into a total annual welfare bill of $2.5 billion for Wal-Mart’s 1.2 million US employees.”

Home again

Well, we made it after an uneventful drive.

Did some more research on the press this morning before we left State College. I found a place where theoretically I can buy rollers, so tomorrow I give them a call. (Seems like a lot of the printing world is still not too web-savvy, so I couldn’t find a place that sells online).

I’ve also already learned much more than I ever knew before about my press, the company that produced it, and letterpress in general from Briar Press. If the press hadn’t had its manual intact, I wonder if I would have been able to learn to use it too well back in high school. Where would I have gone for information? A library? Written to some organization?

Still, the manual was really more than I needed to get up and running. It is thorough and well-written, and actually teaches a good deal of general printing terms and history. It’s as if they actually expected you to read it. When was the last time you bought anything with a manual that you were expected to actually read?

The other thing I’ve learned that’s pretty exciting is that is much cheaper than I thought to get your own “cut” made. The estimate is $7 for a 4×4″ block, and you just need camera-ready art.

Last thing, and I’ll shut up about the press until at least tomorrow. Terri’s mom found a block for a printing press with a logo of the Candy Cane, the candy/coffee/gourmet store they used to own in State College. It probably would fit my press if they ever want to print anything with that logo again, just for yucks. She found it while she was digging through some old papers on the Candy Cane to find the exact years they owned it, so that it can be part of the inscription on the State Theatre sidewalk brick that Kim, Glenn, Terri, and I are getting them for Christmas.