By @LOLGOP

The Real Walmart: One Store Costs Taxpayers At Least $904,542 Per Year

June 3, 2013 5:25 pm Category: Memo Share, Politics 78 Comments A+ / A-
The Real Walmart: One Store Costs Taxpayers At Least $904,542 Per Year

A new study from Congressional Democrats shows that American taxpayers are helping Walmart get away with paying its workers low wages:

When low wages leave Walmart workers unable to afford the necessities of life, taxpayers pick up the tab. Taxpayer- funded public benefit programs make up the difference between Walmart’s low wages and the costs of subsistence. This public subsidization of the low-wage model of companies like Walmart received significant attention in the early 2000s. With wage stagnation, income inequality, and federal budget deficits of increasing concern to public policy, this issue is due for a re-examination.

Accurate and timely data on Walmart’s wage and employment practices is not always readily available. However, occasional releases of demographic data from public assistance programs can provide useful windows into the scope of taxpayer subsidization of Walmart. After analyzing data released by Wisconsin’s Medicaid program, the Democratic staff of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce estimates that a single 300-person Walmart Supercenter store in Wisconsin likely costs taxpayers at least $904,542 per year and could cost taxpayers up to $1,744,590 per year – about $5,815 per employee.

Walmart’s size is nothing short of impressive. It employs more than two million workers worldwide. It is the nation’s largest private employer; 1 out of every 10 retail workers in America is employed by Walmart. Approximately 1.4 million Americans work at Walmart. Its workforce is double that of the U.S. Postal Service and outnumbers the populations of 96 countries. In 2012, its total revenue exceeded $469 billion, more than the gross domestic product of oil-rich Norway.

Walmart reported an 8.6 percent increase in profit in the fourth quarter of 2012 and a profit margin of 4.38 percent.12 In 2012, it earned $17 billion in profits. In 2011, Walmart ranked second in the Fortune 500.  In 2009, 2010 and 2013 it topped the list. Between 2007 and 2010, while median family wealth fell by 38.8 percent, the wealth of six members of the Walton family – heirs of the founder of the chain – of Walmart rose from $73.3 billion to $89.5 billion. These six individuals own as much wealth as the 48.8 million families at the bottom of the country’s wealth distribution (or 41.5 percent of all American families) combined.

However, Walmart’s profits have not translated into broad improvements in wages or benefits for its employees. In November 2012, Walmart ranked first in 24/7 Wall Street’s “12 Companies Paying Americans the Least.” Accurate and timely data on Walmart’s hourly wages are not always readily available. According to IBIS World, an independent market research group, the average hourly wage of a Walmart sales associate is just $8.81, with Walmart’s Sam’s Club sales associates averaging slightly more at $10.30 per hour.

Walmart employees have complained that they find themselves trapped in low-wage, part-time jobs with little opportunities for advancement. An internal Walmart document obtained by the Huffington Post in November 2012 entitled, ‘Field Non-Exempt Associate Pay Plan Fiscal Year 2013,’ “details a rigid pay structure for hourly employees that makes it difficult for most to rise much beyond poverty-level wages.”According to a New York University study published in 2005, Walmart employees earn 28 percent less, on average, than employees of other large retailers.

The retail giant understands that the perception that their practices hurt workers and lower wages across the industry harms their image. So if you want to get their side of the story, you can visit its new site — The Real Walmart.

Photo: Ron Dauphin via Flickr.com

The Real Walmart: One Store Costs Taxpayers At Least $904,542 Per Year Reviewed by on . A new study from Congressional Democrats shows that American taxpayers are helping Walmart get away with paying its workers low wages: When low wages leave Walm A new study from Congressional Democrats shows that American taxpayers are helping Walmart get away with paying its workers low wages: When low wages leave Walm Rating:

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Comments

  • silence dogood

    If WalMart were unionized and the union were paying the appropriate tribute (money) to the Dems articles like this would never be written in rags line the “National” Memo.
    However they are not participating in the protection racket so they continue to be harassed.

    • Sand_Cat

      If you had any sense, posts like yours would never be written in any publication, but we’d miss out on the laugh from reading your ignorance.

    • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

      WalMart was unionized employees would be paid a living wage, have benefits and workplace safety. The downside, which is where your concern seems to be, is that the Walton family would not have seen as large rise in their personal net worth as 16.2 billion.

      • silence dogood

        If WalMart were to raise its prices to reflect union wages and benefits then they would eventually loose the price battle to Target and other retailers. Not good for WalMart employees or customers. Simple economics but simpletons don’t seem to get even the basics.

        • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

          Why do Republicans always resort to name calling – perhaps because you know you are wrong?
          WalMart will raise their prices anyway, with our without unions, so that excuse doesn’t work. However WalMart family could not pay its “protection” money to the Republican Party.

          Have a nice day.

          • silence dogood

            No other way to say it.

        • Rick MIC

          If you want to take the time to check the Forbes Fortune 500 list of the 400 wealthiest people in the country, you will see that the Waltons from Wal*Mart dominate the list. Sam Walton tuned his brothers, sisters, cousins, etc. into billionaires. This is why we no longer have a middle class, because wall street is stealing all of the corporate profits that should be used for employees wages and benefits. If you want to offset the inflation resulting from wage increases from employee wages, then cut the profits to wall street. This would increase consumer spending and tax revenues, while reducing entitlement costs.

          • silence dogood

            You can’t be as stupid as this comment makes you sound.

        • charleo1

          Given your simple economics, wouldn’t it be better for
          Walmart, if all their employees here, worked for $60.00
          bucks a month, like they do in China? Because, the whole
          purpose of being a Capitalist Nation, is to make damn sure
          Walmart don’t lose the price war with Target. Of course, I
          don’t know who the Hell is going to be able to afford much
          making, $60.00 bucks a month. But, you’re the expert.

          • silence dogood

            If Walmart paid their employees $60 a month they would loose their employees to Target and other local retailers. If they loose their employees they then loose their customers to Target and others who will then need the to hire former Walmart people to meet product demand no longer met by Walmart.
            It’s really simple.

          • charleo1

            Okay. So $60.00 is too low, and a decent wage, that
            doesn’t require a government subsidy, is too high. So,
            I guess we’ll just have to keep on helping the most
            successful retail business of all time, to pay their own
            employees. And that makes sense to you? What good
            comes from a successful business in this Country today?
            If the taxpayer is still stuck shouldering part of what
            should be their responsibility? The oil cos. get billions.
            Has that helped gas prices? Agriculture gets billions to
            not grow crops. Is the price of food going up, or down?
            They hire illegal workers, that just like the Walmart
            workers, use the taxpayers money for a healthcare
            program for their poorly paid employees. And, like
            Walmart, stick the extra profits in their pockets.

          • silence dogood

            Get back to me after you’ve studied Econ 101

          • charleo1

            Sure. You know, I knew you were a real crack economist
            when you claimed Walmart can’t afford to pay the help,
            a living wage, and offer healthcare, or they would lose out
            to Target. So, you’re not all mushy about where your
            priorities lie. As I said, you’re the expert here. So, how
            much more money in the bank, do you figure the Waltons
            would need, you know, until they could afford to pay all of
            their payroll themselves, without government help?

          • silence dogood

            The problem is that you are buying into the phony premise of the article about taxpayers paying over $900,000 per store to support Walmart employees. Don’t you realize this is just some crap that was made up to once again go after Walmart. Learn to think for your self and stop being one of the sheep.

          • charleo1

            No, your problem is, it doesn’t fit with what you’ve been
            led to believe. But, this is by no means made up, or even
            news. Talk to a small business owner. Listen to what they
            say. View the documentary, Walmart, the high cost of a low
            price. There are sheep, but I am not one.

          • oggyyyy

            Prove your words.

          • silence dogood

            By the way, please give us details as to the “billions” that oil companies get ?

          • charleo1

            So, you think oil subsidies don’t exist either? There are a lot
            of details on the many, and varied ways the oil companies
            are taking money out of your pocket. The five major companies,
            Exxon/Mobil, BP, Shell, Conoco/Phillips and Chevron, split
            2.5 billion dollars every year. Even as they are the most
            profitable companies, to ever exist. But, the government
            largess doesn’t stop there. They get low interest loans.
            They get to exploit public lands, that are owned by all of us,
            without paying us a dime. Now, if we figure in the cost of the
            U.S. Navy, guarding, and keeping the shipping lanes open,
            the cost is about 52 billion of our tax dollars paid out every
            year.

          • silence dogood

            Shipping lanes are kept open so you can heat your home and put gas in your car. They pay a fortune to lease government land. They borrow money at competitive rates which reflect their ability to repay the borrowed money. Please explain the subsidies – you can’t.

          • charleo1

            Yes, and I’m John D. Rockefeller. Look, it’s no accident
            you never lose an argument on the economy, or probably
            any other subject. If you don’t have an answer, you claim
            the other guy’s facts are wrong. That’s why you’re such
            a tool for the corporates. Oh, they don’t get money from
            the government. Lazy moochers do. These, are job
            makers. Well, it’s a nice, comfortable little world you live in.
            And, nobody’s going to take that away from you, with, facts,
            or, reality, or anything else. Because, you will always
            have your denials to rely on, even if, if all else fails. Want
            to know how I know? The 2.5 billion cash they get every
            year, didn’t bother you enough to even include it in your
            denials.

          • dtgraham

            That is exactly right charleo1. In the final analysis, who is the economy for? It can’t be just for shareholders and upper management, with everybody else living like Norway rats. I mean, why are we here? In the long term, if you’re going to have a healthy economy and stable democracy, some nations will have to do a better job of spreading the wealth around as the President famously said to Joe the plumber.

    • charleo1

      Right. Like the Walton kids don’t pay, “tribute,” money. The article didn’t
      address the other ways Walmart is destroying small businesses all over
      America. The number of downtown slums Walmart creates, as it crushes
      small town America. Eviscerating the tax base, that once supported
      the schools, police, and fire services. As they take advantage of programs
      sold to the tax payers as help for small business. Walmart is the poster
      pig, in a never ending line of big box, franchise corporations, feeding at the public trough. Somebody needs to get their head out. See if you can figure
      out who that is.

      • silence dogood

        Those would be voluntary payments, not forced union dues or payoffs to Dems to be left alone — big difference.

        • charleo1

          Well, it would be a big difference, if your premise had any foundation, to begin with. This is very typical of right wingers, like yourself. You start with what is nothing, but this huge pile
          of horse manure. Which comes pre-packaged by the way,
          from the usual gaggle of professional liars, hucksters, and
          fiction writers. That not only inform you, but also help the
          morally challenged, bottom feeders, masquerading as
          representatives of the public trust, continue to steal this
          Country blind.

          • silence dogood

            Do you not realize that what you wrote here is not even coherent.

          • oggyyyy

            if you think his statement is incoherent, it serves to prove how little you know.

      • noneed to know

        they may pay tribute money they also say on there web site they pay there employees full and part time a bonus every quarter which is not true. i work for them and have NOT had a bonus in the last year and a half so don’t believe everything you hear !!!!!!!

        • charleo1

          Wal mart is lying? Oh my! What is this world coming to?
          I’ll bet top management got their bonuses. But, you need
          to realize the family is only worth 115 billion.

    • ObozoMustGo

      Now THERE”S a truth teller. You got it figured out, Silence. It’s the only reason the DemonRATS continue hounding a great American company like Wal-Mart. And the leftist freaks and morons on this site cannot see through all of the propaganda thrown up as a smoke screen to hide the DemonRATS GREED for the money of other people. The day the unions stop laundering money to the DemonRATS is the day the DemonRATS will start screaming about how unfair unions are to the American people. You can take that to the bank!

      Have a nice day!

      “When the United States was formed in 1776, it took 19 people on the farm to produce enough food for 20 people. So most of the people had to spend their time and efforts on growing food. Today, it’s down to 1% or 2% to produce that food. Now just consider the vast amount of supposed unemployment that was produced by that. But there wasn’t really any unemployment produced. What happened was that people who had formerly been tied up working in agriculture were freed by technological developments and improvements to do something else. That enabled us to have a better standard of living and a more extensive range of products.” – Milton Friedman

      • Killinumofo

        Quoting Milton Friedman WTF. Do you even have a clue what damage this man has done to the world through his policies? Any? SICK man really and you seem to idolize him. The man is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in several countries around the world. It is clear you have not done your homework only using talking points of others. Disgusting.

        • ObozoMustGo

          Mofo… it’s clear that your more inclined to believe in Karl Marx than you are to understand common sense from Milton Friedman. That makes you a socialist loser. And likely one that would rather be dependent slave on Uncle Sam’s Plantation than to be free to make your own way. If you cannot understand the interrelationship between freedom, liberty, and free market economics, there is no hope for you. You’re too stupid.

          Now, go wipe that drool from your chin, boy. And don’t wander out into traffic…. on second thought…………… you’d be a great candidate for the 2013 Darwin Awards if you did.

          Have a nice day!

          “There is all the difference in the world, however, between two kinds of assistance through government that seem superficially
          similar: first, 90 percent of us agreeing to impose taxes on ourselves in order to help the bottom 10 percent, and second, 80 percent voting to impose taxes on the top 10 percent to help the bottom 10 percent — William Graham Sumner’s famous example of B and C decided what D shall do for A. The first may be wise or unwise, an effective or ineffective way to help the disadvantaged — but it is consistent with belief in both equality of opportunity and liberty. The second seeks equality of outcome and is entirely antithetical to liberty.”
          – Milton Friedman

          • Killinumofo

            You taking a break while home schooling your kids??

            Ever heard of the CBO? Why dont you check out the latest reports from them on the amounts of tax dollars that are given to the obscenely rich in tax breaks every year. You are belittling the wrong person by talking to me like you are 14 years old. I am very sorry your life is so crappy and your penis is too small to keep a woman but those are not my fault. Try to have a good life besides your faults though they maybe so great to over come.

            Your ideals are exactly what is wrong with America today. Its me, me, me for too many. All the while the income gap grows further and further. I pay my taxes, around 25 percent each year. I have never received a refund larger than 300 bucks even though I claim one and have a home to write off. I have been working for the last 30 years of my life. I do not have any kids but am happy to pay my taxes to help send other kids to have a better life through a good education. I do this without complaint because we are a society and its the adult thing to do.

            Please tell me you live in a deep red state and also attend church at least once a week. It will seal the deal of what is REALLY wrong with your person. Guilt is a bitch.

          • ObozoMustGo

            Hey stupid…. how exactly are tax dollars given to the obscenely rich? Please explain.

            Have a nice day!

            “When men once get the habit of helping themselves to the property of others,” warned the New York Times in 1909 about the proposed federal income tax, “they are not easily cured of it.’”

            “Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state lives at the expense of everyone.” ― Frédéric Bastiat

          • charleo1

            I was going to call you a name. But, all the four letter words
            I could come up with, didn’t do you justice. And I’ve been
            cussing since I was 8 years old. So, since you’re so smart,
            I’ll just start out like you did. Hey stupid. If the Walton family,
            heirs to the Walmart fortune, aren’t obscenely rich, then I’m
            the pope. What would you call a business model, that hired
            only part time employees, and paid them, next to nothing?
            No problem, just a business following the Capitalist’s
            philosophy of the free market? Well, not exactly. Because,
            if you’re a taxpayer, Walmart is already in your pocket.
            You, as in Y.O.U. are subsidizing, Walmart’s payroll.
            Yes, Walmart, the largest employer in the Country. And
            one of the most profitable, is mooching off the tax payer!
            Intentionally paying people so poorly, they qualify for public
            assistance! Medicaid, food stamps, public housing, and
            free child care, paid for by the public. So, Walmart can get
            that person in the store, working for them. While paying
            wages that in most cases, cover maybe half, of a livable
            wage. And you, me, and every taxpayer, all across the
            Country, are making up the difference. So, everyone wants
            to live at the expense of the State. But, Walmart didn’t
            forget the State lives at the expense of everyone. They
            just don’t give a shit, about the expenses of the State.

          • ObozoMustGo

            If people hate working for Wal-Mart so much, why do they continue to do so? If it’s such a horror as you say it is, why are they there? Are they picked up, chained, thrown in a van and taken to a place where they are forced into labor? Or, is it likely that a large number of people that work there actually like it? A large number of the ones I see there are older people that are retired and just want to be involved and make a little extra money on a part time basis. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, if you leftist freaks had your way and FORCED unionization on Wal-Mart, I guarantee you that a large number of those part time workers who are doing what they want and are happy will be forced out of jobs. The only reason you leftist freaks are harrassing Wal-Mart is because you want to shake them down for money to launder back to leftist freak DemonRATS. Admit it. You don’t give a damn about workers or anyone else. You’re just a bunch of greedy jerkoffs that think you’re entitled to stick your greedy hands in the pockets of others.

            By the way, Wal-Mart generates billions upon billions upon billions in tax dollars of ALL forms from sales to income to tarrifs, etc. etc. So the point of this yet another hit piece on a great American company is completely misleading. But you leftist freak jerkoffs NEVER care about reality and the truth do you? NOPE! You just want to put your greedy hands in the pockets of private business because you’re “entitled” to do so, or so you think.

            Have a nice day, and remain oblivious!

            “The difference between being stupid and being a fool: A stupid person at least has an idea about their own inadequacies. The fool is oblivious to them, and is more inclined to believe their own fantasies and lies as truth.” – ObozoMustGo

          • charleo1

            You know what? Then you can suck up to them.
            I can’t figure out, if you’re stupid because your
            blind. Or, you’re a fool, and that causes your stupidly.
            But, you sure make an ass out of yourself, every time
            you comment. It’s really no wonder why there are
            these Right Wing imbeciles like Ted Cruz, and Louie
            Gomert, around. It’s nit wits like you, that keep sending
            them back.

          • ObozoMustGo

            Guess you don’t like answering any of my questions, do you moron? NOPE! Didn’t think so. Leftist freak morons don’t like having their fantasies challenged.

            Have a nice day, dope!

            “When men once get the habit of helping themselves to the
            property of others,” warned the New York Times in 1909 about the proposed federal income tax, “they are not easily cured of it.’”

          • charleo1

            Just jerking your chain. Like you were going to listen
            to anything I said anyway. You come on here, with
            your obozo moniker. Then, it’s hey, stupid, this, and
            you’re a moron that, when people won’t buy in to
            your hateful right wing crap. So I thought you needed
            a little of your own medicine. So, how was it for you?

          • ObozoMustGo

            Touche` charleo! :-)

            BTW… I call leftist freaks stupid and moron for the same reason you call someone from New York a New Yorker. it’s not hateful. It’s just true. No need to be offended, my friend. :-) :-)

            Have a nice day!

            “Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.” ― Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson

          • oggyyyy
      • Sand_Cat

        Well, it’s about time the biggest clown of them all checked in!
        You tell ‘em, Obozo, cause we all know you always have the rational, “common-sense” points in any debate.

  • Sand_Cat

    Where’s Montana Bill whining about people taking his money?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

    There is no question that workers in many segments of our industry, especially in retailing and hospitaity, barely make enough to subsist. That is the reason most are second-income earners or young people.

    The unfortunate part is that those sectors of our economy are posting high profits and giving high dividends to shareholders. Make no mistake, if the wages of workers in these sectors go up and, Heavens forbid, if they are offered benefits, the additional cost will be passed on to consumers and inflation will go up. There is no way the big guys will absorb the additional cost and take a hit.

    • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

      Considering that Wal-Mart has managed to hold on to its profits by moving American based manufacturing of companies they have bought to foreign countries, they are already sticking us with a bill for the unemployment compensation of folks who have been left out in the cold by their jobs going bye-bye. Add to that the quality of what was being produced and sold in Wal-Mart had deteriorated significantly over the years.

      Here is one example – Wal-Mart managed to purchase one of the manufacturers of cast iron cookware, and relocated the manufacturing to Asia. They produce what, on the surface, appears to be a decent product. They also offer it ad a “reasonable” price. Compare those products (fry pans, dutch ovens, etc.) to similar products you could buy from Cabellas, Bass Pro Shops, Wilson-Sonoma, etc. The products look similar, but the cost difference is amazing. Here is the problem. Due to lack of quality control over the casting process, what is being produced by the Wal-Mart owned companies is significantly lower in quality due to uneven casting consistency and is more likely to break in normal use.

      Another example – GE produced a specific product line of coffee makers for Wal-Mart made to Wal-Mart standards, not GE standards. They had to recall the entire product line due to fire hazard.

      Here’s a third example – Wal-Mart bought a manufacturer of outdoor footwear in order to become the exclusive retail outlet for that product. While it was never the top line of hiking or work boots, it did produce a durable product that provided decent use life. Once again, Wal-Mart shut down the US based manufacture operation, moving it to China. The resultant boots are a lot less expensive than what you can buy anyplace else. You are also lucky of they don’t fall apart after using them for 6 months.

      Now, you have to ask – do I shop in Wal-Mart? Yes, but I am extremely narrowed in focus of what I buy from them. Why? Because I recognize that while their prices are extremely good, much of the product is questionable as regards the quality. One thing I do give them credit for is breaking the stranglehold the music and movie industries had over pricing of their products on the retail basis, allowing more affordable retail home entertainment products.

    • dtgraham

      I’m surprised to hear you say that Dominick. That’s a right wing canard that I’ve never really seen much evidence of. I compared the U.S. to France, the UK, and Canada on a number of economic indicators over a 10 year period and I don’t see this strong correlation at all of wages to inflation and to the cpi.

      The average hourly earnings from 2003-2012 are $23.87 in the U.S., $26.57 in France (converted from euros), $19.04 in Britain (converted from pound sterling), and $25.20 in Canada. The minimum hourly wage was $7.25 (U.S.), $12.32 (France), $9.47 (UK), and $10.20 (Canada). The ten year average inflation rate is 2.48% (U.S.), 1.77% (France), 2.57% (UK), and 1.99% (Canada). Unemployment averaged 8.3% from 2011-2013 in the U.S., 8.9% from 2008-2012 in France, 7.26% from 1971-2013 in the UK, and 7.3% from 2011-2013 in Canada. The consumer price index averaged 207.95 (U.S.), 117.05 (France), 107.81 (UK), and 112.15 (Canada). I believe the U.S. Federal Reserve calculates core cpi and not non core cpi, thereby leaving out food and fuel which tend to be cheaper in the U.S., partly explaining the inflated American cpi index.

      It seems to me that I debated with Obozo one time on this very topic. There is a growing body of strong empirical evidence that suggests that increasing wages within a certain range has no effect on employment levels. In fact increases may boost worker efficiency and add new demand to the economy by putting more money in the pockets of low wage workers.

      There has been an ongoing study by UMass and the Council of Economic Advisers for some time now on the effects of increases on lower level wages and unemployment levels. They compared similar businesses in similar sectors within a close geographical range. There is a massive database over 15 years showing businesses in border county comparisons and their differentials in wages. They correlated that, controlling for other factors with employment, and found no evidence of job loss in similar sectors that could be tied to wages.

      The portion of wages in costs are relatively small. Even in manufacturing and other areas it’s fairly small. Overhead is a complicated thing and wages are only a small part of it. Labour costs are about 9-15% of sales for retail and about 20-25% of sales for restaurants. Manufacturing costs of vehicles are split between 87% material costs and 13% labour costs. In large airplane manufacturing, labour costs to produce each plane are about 12% of the total cost. In telecommunications manufacturing plants, labour costs are about 2-3% of the product cost.

      As well, prices really aren’t set so much by the cost of making or doing something. Prices are set by what market research tells most companies what the public is willing to pay. You’re not paying $300.00 per night to stay at the Marriot because your room attendant and desk clerk are making $25.00 per hour (nowhere close) or because your small room is the Taj Mahal. The reason a food item at a public event costs multiple times what that same item costs at a restaurant across the street is not because there are suddenly more costs involved.

      The economy has dramatically shifted and the core of the labour market is now service sector low wage work. That’s what’s growing in the economy. The good paying jobs of yesterday are gone for many people. One of the tools to combat the terrible growing U.S. income inequality is an increase in the minimum wage, which will also have a spinoff effect on other lower wages. This should get absorbed pretty easily, as a wage price spiral from increasing the wages of 7% of the population (minimum earners) by 24%– Obama’s proposal– is highly unlikely. I don’t think any mainstream economist would argue that.

      Right now, two thirds of all employees making the minimum work for employers with over 100 employees. Smaller businesses that do pay more are actually subsidizing these corporations with food stamps, Medicaid, etc…

    • ObozoMustGo

      Dominick… Not even I could have put it as well as you did. Nice show of rational thinking there. You are correct. The costs, whatever they are…. wages, benefits, rent, overhead, taxes, etc….. are ALWAYS passed on to the consumer. There is no escaping the accounting of running a business.

      Have a great day, Dominick.

      “The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.” – Milton Friedman

    • greghilbert

      That’s largely because the wealthy Waltons are allowed to both underpay their employees AND pay unfairly-low taxes on the profits they obtain for doing so.

      The current amount of the Walton’s accumulated wealth is over $100 Billion. That’s because Reagan got them an enormous tax cut in 1981, which incents them to underpay their employees and accumulate ever more wealth. Two thirds of that enormous Reagan tax cut are still in force, an ugly fact attributable to Repubs but which Obama goes out of his way not to make clear. The wealthy will not voluntarily absorb the cost of higher wages, but can be made to reimburse taxpayers the cost of their failure to do so, simply by making them pay the same rate of tax the wealthy paid from 1934 to 1981.

    • John Pigg

      YES, listen to this guy he gets it. The only way to make the lives of these people better is by helping them unionizing. Raising their wage a buck or two will do nothing when they raise the price of milk 3 times.

  • Rick MIC

    Socialism provides everyone with health care, a minimum standard of living and you earn extra when you work, and a pension. It would replace all of the private sector scams like company and union pensions that everyone pays into, but only a handful collect, private healthcare that we are paying 2 to 4 times as much for as the rest of the world pays, but our health care system is rated # 38th in the world for quality of care, unemployment, workers compensation, and disability would be eliminated. This would cost businesses less, while it provided for EVERY AMERICAN, and we wouldn’t have to spend billions annually lobbying over our privatization that we are so proud of, and has left this country with a national debt of over $100 trillion, [total debt plus unsecured debt] 50 million below poverty, 97 million earning a low income standard of living, 50 million without health care, and 45,000 Americans dying annually because they can’t afford the medical services they need, and many have health insurance, but the insurance companies refuse to pay their bills.

    The majority of this American Success Story is the result of 30 years of President Reagan’ elimination of “Big Government” in favor of “Privatization.” We all congratulate the private sector for a job well done!!

  • neeceoooo

    Amen, it is about time that someone called Walmart for what they are.

  • charleo1

    This is one reason, why we need to increase the minimum wage. Subsistence
    wages from retailers, like Walmart, and fast food joints, like McDonalds, are a
    major factor in driving down demand for goods, and services, driving up the unemployment rate. Which they then take full advantage of. Since they have
    more applicants than jobs, they hire only part timers, ineligible for benefits.
    And have found, in this environment, they helped create, can now lower the
    pay scale, even more. Actually figuring in the public assistance these poorly
    paid workers will qualify for, as part of their business model. Now, make no
    mistake. These workers are part of the group of Americans the Right Wing
    is talking about, when they complain that only half of the people in the Country,
    pay any income tax at all. This is why they say, we need to lower the rates, and
    broaden the base. These part time Walmart workers are part of that base they
    want broadened to include, so the Walmarts of the world, are not punished for
    their success. In this world, there is ridiculous, and then there is the Republican
    Party. It is widely aGREED upon, by the anti-tax T-Party, that as a matter of
    principal, these people should pay something. If only a dollar, Michelle Bachmann crowed on her quest to become President. There are millions of Americans toiling away, in jobs, where their hours are routinely cut, often without notice. They are
    part of the 47%, Romney said would never vote for him. Because cutting the taxes of people who pay no taxes, is meaningless to them. They are part of the 47%
    not only according to Mitt, but that entire Right Wing bunch, that accuses these
    people of refusing to take responsibility for themselves. That see themselves as victims. So they feel entitled that their government should give them all kinds of things. Healthcare, food, he said. Yes, even food. Does this make you angry? Angry as a T-Bagger, over a free school lunch? Well, it ought to.

    • Allan Richardson

      Yes, the freeloaders ought to pay some taxes, even if only a dollar. Oh, yes, Mittens did pay a dollar.

    • John Pigg

      Completely disagree with you. The economy has changed greatly over the past 30-40 years. The key beneficiaries of minimum wage are high schoolers. If you raise the minimum wage do you think the corporations are going to accept their economic losses? They most likely will throw the cost back onto the consumer.

      Its not far right to be critical of the minimum wage. There was a time when it was vital to the sustenance of working people, now it mostly affects the children who work in the restaurant sector.

      Raising the minimum wage will raise the prices on everything that working families depend on. Most of these working poor make above minimum wage, but their income is steadily depreciated through inflation. The working poor stand to lose the most in the event of raising the minimum wage.

      • charleo1

        That’s what they claim. That the businesses will simply pass
        their increased costs along. But, this doesn’t give proper credit
        to competition. Profits are not marginal. They have been through
        the roof. As far as teenagers being hurt. They are being hurt now.
        Because, there are now, Seniors, and middle agers, doing work
        that may have once been after school jobs. There are any number
        of ways to parse out the reasons for a weak recovery, and slow
        growth. But, the single reason is the general soft demand, the
        economy continues to suffer from. Look, there is only so many
        times, over so many years, economic gains may be directed elsewhere, without the results we are witnessing now. Money
        has went to management. Money has went to buy back stock.
        Money has been directed to larger dividends. While actual wages,
        have not improved, for rank, and file labor, when we figure in
        inflation, since 1972. Labor production is up 200% just since 2000.
        I read that 80% of the gains realized since the recession ended,
        have gone to the top 1%. If that’s only half true, it’s still very bad.

        • John Pigg

          I agree, with most of what you said. Where I diverge is in finding the answer within minimum wage. Wal Mart needs to unionize ASAP. I do not think that giving these people an extra dollar or two in their paycheck will affect the economic system. Or fix these workers fundamental issue.

          The reasons that pay has stagnated is more related to the decline of manufacturing, and the elimination of decent jobs. In my opinion raising the minimum wage is putting on a bandaid that doesn’t resolve the real issue, and actually hurts the working poor.

          • charleo1

            Sure. I like your remedies even better. But anything that
            puts more dollars into more hands, down the income scale,
            is going to help the situation. And, I realize I’m preaching a bit to the choir here. But, the fact is, we are a consumer based economy. And, as such, 70% of the economy rises, or falls, on how much we collectively spend. So, doing the things the Right is insistent on, like cutting corporate rates, or lowering further the rate on capital gains, does next to nothing in terms of increasing demand. Which is, at least in the short run, the reason the job outlook has been so slow to improve.. Even as other sectors, are doing not great, but better. Housing seems to be returning. If so, that will put the construction trades back to work. These are some of the few jobs that still have strong unions. And to no one’s surprise, better pay, because of it. Other fixes, that would help the economy tremendously, have to do with Gov’t tax policy. How smart is it, for example, to allow a company a 100% exemption of the expenses it
            incurred, by moving the business overseas? Or providing the
            same 15% cap on capital gains, even as those gains were
            due to cheap overseas labor? Plus, more than likely, those
            that lost their jobs, due to their employer moving the business, are going to need some form of gov’t assistance.
            Medicaid, for a time. A subsidy perhaps, for retraining for
            another job. And, who picks up the tab for that? You, and I do. And, when they find a lower paying job in the service
            sector. Which is exactly what’s been happening. They have
            now joined the 47%, not earning enough to owe Federal
            taxes. And, of course, we all pay there, as well. In 1955,
            when 37% of the private labor pool belonged to a union.
            When the top marginal tax rates for corporations was 90%.
            And, by the way, at 90%, still the most profitable companies in the world. With the economic dial turned to these settings,
            we, our economy, the Middle Class, the working poor, all
            these groups that were once the backbone of the largest
            creditor nation, in the world. Are threatened with economic
            extinction, in now, the largest debtor nation in the world.

          • tax payer

            I have a friend and I got a job for him, and he would have earned $20.00 an hour, but he refused the job because he would lose all the benefits his family was getting from the Government. I told him he was getting the benefits from the tax payers, but he still insisted it was from the Government.

          • John Pigg

            Your friend is not everyone. I know plenty of buddies of mine that would have jumped at your kind offer. But they are all under employed and trying to improve their situation.

          • tax payer

            He now lives a good life at our expense and people like him will always take what they have never earned. I don’t come in contact with him anymore because he lives in a crime area.

        • silence dogood

          Walmart profit margin in the last 5 years has ranged from 3.4% to 4.4% end of 2012. You think that is through the roof ? Proves you don’t have a clue. Try thinking for yourself.

      • dtgraham

        The key beneficiaries of minimum wage are no longer high schoolers John. That may have been true at one time. The Economic Policy Institute found that 84% of the people that would benefit from an increase in the minimum are over 20 and half of them are full time. Of the people that would benefit, over 54% have a combined family income of less than $40,000.00 yearly.

        If the minimum wage had just kept pace with inflation over the last 40 years, it would be $10.55 today. Look at the minimum wage in the other advanced democracies, and then ask yourself why the much lower minimum wage only makes sense in America (to conservatives) and not elsewhere apparently…taking all economic indicators into account. You’re a throwback John. You’re a reasonable, moderate, thinking man’s conservative and I respect your opinion.

        • John Pigg
          • dtgraham

            Thanks for that. That graph shows about 75%, or a bit more, of people benefiting from an increase in the minimum, being 20 and over. The EPI spokesman, that I listened to, quoted 84% over 20. Close enough.

        • John Pigg

          I hate discussing with numbers, but I think I will have to resign myself to the fact that any conversation over the minimum wage will relate to stats.

          Okay, 4.7 % of the American workforce is on hourly wage (3.6 million people). Workers under the age of 25 represent 1/5 of these, however; they represent 1/2 of those on minimum wage. If you remove waitresses who receive gratuity then you are really dealing with a small number of people. I stand by my previous claim that most of those on min wage are those under 25, and stewardess.

          http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2013/ted_20130325.htm

          Basically, I support the intent. But I am far more worried about people making between 12-15 dollars an hour who have a wife kid and mortgage. This demographic is seeing their budget torn in numerous ways. I don’t think an increase in min wage will help their plight.

  • highpckts

    Never shop at Wallyworld!!

    • neeceoooo

      I am with you on that, I never shop their either.

  • howa4x

    This is why I think that the Walton’s and other people of their income bracket are suffering from a mental illness called the Midas complex. It doesn’t seem to matter how much suffering they cause here as long as their income is enriched. I think in the early days they has Jesus rallies of the sales force. The real crime is the unbelievably low funds they pay to their manufacturers in third world countries. This causes people to work literally for pennies a day. Republicans call this a success, and want more like them.. This is what the Koch bros are pushing with union busting. They all want Americans to be in a work for less culture with no benefits. But it is not only the Walton’s, it’s our fault too. We shop there for the low prices immune to the fact that the workers there and around the world are suffering tremendous hardships so the item we buy is a few dollars cheaper. We all want I phones even though Apple pays no taxes anywhere and uses cheap Chinese labor where people work 16 hr days for a pittance of what investors make. The wake up call has to start with all of us. How many of you are tired of subsidizing billionaires? ADM an agra business giant gets paid for making ethanol. Exxon gets paid to drill with a huge depreciation allowance. This is the richest company in the world. I’m not anti business but I want them to act responsibly both social and environmentally. Their profit can’t be the only reason they exist, and it can’t be had at the expense of everyone else. Even Adam Smith wanted them to act in a reasonable manner. But today they follow Ayn Rand with her winners and losers philosophy where greed is the only thing that matters. And republicans call this greatness.

    • silence dogood

      It is called a depletion allowance not depreciation allowance however it is based on the same concept as GM taking depreciation on the purchase of new equipment. What’s wrong with that ? Same break every corporation is entitled to under existing tax law.

    • silence dogood

      Apple pays no taxes — please look it up — you are looking real stupid here.

      • howa4x

        Apple found a loop hole to not pay any taxes in America or Ireland it was in the news and I’m not stupid you are

        • silence dogood

          They paid $4.5 billion in taxes in the US. They didn’t “find” any loophole. Income generated by foreign based entities is taxed in those countries. Would you like them to scam the taxes in those countries ?

        • silence dogood

          You really believe what you hear on the news. There is no news any more. Just opinion pieces.

    • plc97477

      I like your post, except I do not ever shop at walmart.

  • ralphkr

    I would like to start by expressing my sorrow that this article was not proof-read but that seems to be a problem every where the last few decades…even with books. It is a real shame that Sam Walton did not instill his patriotic values in his heirs. There are hundreds of companies across the US that only existed because he wanted to buy US produced items and someone approached him with their dream of starting a business making those items and Sam gave them seed money. The current management of WalMart is the complete opposite of their founder’s creed.

    I do shop at WalMart for spectacles (Costco does not accept my insurance), a certain candy, herbicide, and for one prescription medication. I am able to beat WalMart prices on food by sticking to the Super Market sales or going to Costco for far better quality products. For every $40 I spend at WalMart I spend $225 at Super Markets and $250 at Costco. It is easy to tell who is being paid decent wages as WalMart employees tend to be trudging at their job while Costco employees are enthusiastic & go out of their way to be helpful. Do you suppose that the fact that Costco pays their people over twice what WalMart pays has something to do with their attitude?

    What really puzzles me is how an area with under 50,000 people can support 2 Super Walmarts, 3 Safeways, a Costco and a number of other supermarkets and independent grocers.

  • Stuck_low_end

    I am a Walmart worker.
    I once had a good job(that I was at 17 plus years), paying $19.75 an hour, over 6 years ago.
    It went overseas, like many, leaving myself with few choices.
    I hired in at Walmart for $9.60 hour, part time(when they told me it would be a full time job) and what a shock its been!
    Management treats its employees disrespectfully and unfairly.
    They have what they call an open door policy, which is nothing more than a way to vent, as it will not fix any problem one has.
    They also, make it impossible to get more than a 40 cent raise a year, paying both the good worker and the poor one(whom the good worker is forced to carry in the name of “team work”).
    Prices HAVE increased in many grocery items at Walmart, so inflation is already here, yet employee wages has not increased to the level of the mark ups.
    During the time I have been at Walmart, for example, the cheapest cut of beef, the brisket, has risen from $1.48 a pound to $3.99 a pound in my local area, more than doubling, yet my wage, is now a little over $12 an hour.
    And those calling for Unionization, should take note, that Walmart deletes or closes down stores that become Union.
    Nothing short of Government intervention, can force this behemoth into paying fair wages, and treating its employees better.

    • dtgraham

      You got that right. I may be wrong but I think that the only Walmart that ever successfully unionized was in Quebec. They actually closed down that profitable Walmart because of it, just to send a message. I also think that was the only Walmart to ever be closed. That kind of pathological hatred of organized labour in this day and age is almost unbelievable.

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