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Which Companies You Should Shoplift From

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Let’s begin by saying that I can’t legally tell you to shoplift. So from here on out, I’ll be encouraging you to “borrow” from multibillion dollar corporations who receive welfare from the government while you can barely pay your bills.

There have been oodles of books and articles laying out how billionaires and corporations have looted America while people like you and I flounder. Bernie Sanders has been screaming these truths for like 600 years. But I don’t have to tell you this. You already know it.

You’re just as appalled as I am that 12.6 million people are unemployed, yet the wealth of billionaires grew over $10 trillion so far during the pandemic. That’s too big of a number for us to fathom so let me write that out: $10,000,000,000,000. That is SOOO many fucking zeros. The richest motherfuckers in the world are getting unfathomably richer while the rest of us suffer.

And many of the companies owned or invested in by these people get massive corporate welfare from the government resulting in humongous subsidies. This means YOUR tax dollars are helping fund companies that already make billions of dollars. We should all be sharpening our guillotines right now.

All the while Snitch McConnell and his Republican goblins just stopped the government from giving each of us $2000 to help us through a pandemic. These are the same motherfuckers who fight for tax write-offs for yachts and private planes.

And this doesn’t even take into account that companies steal $15 billion from their employees each year. As Ben Schiller mentions in this Fast Company article: “The amount of money employers take from their employees each year–by refusing to pay overtime or misclassifying workers so they don’t get minimum wage–is larger than the value of all the theft by criminals.”

So yes, you should 100% be “borrowing” things from the following companies. You shouldn’t feel bad about it either. They don’t give a fuck about you.

You can find the list of the top 100 parent companies receiving government subsidies right here. Shout out to Good Jobs First for all their detailed research into what companies are the real corporate welfare queens.

It’s surprising how many are energy companies and car companies. Like I can’t believe how much Elon Musk runs his whiny little ferret mouth when Tesla has received $2,441,582,590 in subsidies. Considering it’s quite hard to “borrow” things from energy companies and that “borrowing” from car companies can lead you to very serious jail time, here are a few retailers that you should absolutely borrow from:

Whole Foods

Whole Foods is owned by Amazon, a company who spent several years paying $0 in federal taxes. Since you can’t really “borrow” from an internet retailer, your next best option is to do so from their brick and mortar location. That means healthy and organic borrowings for you and your family! Don’t feel bad, Amazon has received $2,379,871,238 in government subsidies.


Safeway’s parent company, Cerberus Capital Management has received $156,378,705 in government subsidies. Amongst their many holdings is the gun manufacturer Remington Arms, who has itself received $68,900,000 in subsidies. So yeah…gross.


You know what will help expedite your “borrowing” ventures? Some fresh new running shoes! Nike has been the recipient of $2,094,781,049 in government subsidies. Instead of shaming poor people for buying Nikes, we should be be shaming Nike for making billions of dollars while being on corporate welfare.


That nifty phone or computer you’re using to read this article was subsidized to the tune of $820,690,826 by the government yet it still cost you thousands of dollars to purchase it. Not to mention that smartphones are made of materials mined by “children as young as seven-years-old who labor in horrendous conditions”. Sigh…why is the world so fucked up (answer: rampant unchecked capitalism)?


Target is great! It has everything right? Well it also has $173,789,999 in government subsidies. Considering one of their in-house brands is called Good & Gather, sounds like you should be good and gather up yourself some groceries.

Foods Co., Food 4 Less, Ralph’s, Fred Meyer, and More

The Kroger family of companies owns a ton of big name groceries and retailers like Foods Co., Food 4 Less, Ralph’s, Fred Meyer, and more. They’ve also been the beneficiary of $81,875,000 in government subsidiaries. Seems to me like some of their food should be your food.


These are just some of the many many many companies that are receiving government handouts while you’re struggling. So if you can’t afford vitally important things like food, shoes, clothes, or a phone, you should absolutely “borrow” from these retailers. Just make sure you don’t get caught.

Wanna learn what other companies are getting rich from our tax dollars? Take some time to dig into Good Jobs First. This shit is fascinating and infuriating!

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Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.