In the contentious debate over voter ID laws I see time, and time again the lack of understanding that an american, in this day and age can exist without an ID. After all- you need an ID to fly or drive a car, but this is something millions can’t afford. But then the claim- you need an ID for a bank account- something everyone has…right?
Well, let’s look at wal-mart. They recently unveiled a system so customers can shop online- and then go pay cash for the purchase at a store. You see, only 15% of purchases at wal-mart are made with a credit, or bank issued debit card. To quote the article “Walmart says the new program is specifically designed for these “unbanked” or “underbanked” customers, who make up as much as a quarter of the U.S. population.”
And really, let’s not forget the explosion of check cashing businesses in our country. Businesses that serve the huge percentage of our population without a bank account. The majority of which also offer their own ID’s for the large part of their customer base with no government issued ID.
And let’s not forget that Wal-Mart, one of the largest companies in the world andwhose top executives have become multi millionaires and billionaires, a company that heavily funds numerous right wing groups and the GOP (not to mention the current controversy of buying mexican politicians), pays so many of their employees so little that full time workers require public assistance. See for example Ohio representative Hagan saying wal-mart employees in his state require tens of millions in public assistance. In California, even more. Or Wal-mart providing little to no healthcare- forcing employees on to government run medicaid. All while supporting groups that want to end or severely curtail such programs…