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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Next time you drive past a Walmart, think about how much in taxes you pay to subsidize the nation’s largest private employer, owned by the nation’s richest family.

Your cost this year: $24 if you are single, $49 if you are a couple, and $99 if you are a couple with two kids.

And you pay whether or not you shop at Walmart or its Sam’s Clubs.

Put another way, if you are single and a minimum-wage earner, the first four minutes you are on the job each week just goes to provide welfare for Walmart and the Waltons.

For a family of four, the cost of welfare for Walmart and the Waltons probably comes to more than your weekly take-home pay, based on government data on incomes.

American taxpayer money explains almost a third of Walmart’s worldwide pretax profits last year. But that understates the scale of taxpayer assistance to the retailer, which made 29 percent of its sales overseas last year.

Figure about 44 percent of Walmart’s domestic pretax profits were contributed by local, state and federal taxpayers directly and indirectly, based on company disclosure statements.

These figures on welfare for Walmart and the Waltons were calculated from a report released today by Americans for Tax Fairness, part of a broad coalition of union, civil rights and other organizations trying to shame the Walton family into paying wages that if not good, are at least enough to make sure Walmart employees do not qualify for food stamps.

So far the Waltons have shown themselves to be shameless and utterly unapologetic for foisting any of their costs onto taxpayers instead of earning their way in the marketplace.

This is in a way not surprising. The best-known heir of the retailing innovator Sam Walton, his daughter Alice, 64, has a long history of drunk-driving accidents, including killing a woman hit by her vehicle.

While repeat drunk drivers are routinely prosecuted in most jurisdictions, often as a matter of policy, and upon conviction get the time behind bars their conduct deserves, to date no law enforcement agency has seen fit to prosecute Alice Walton. Instead she basks in the glow of encomiums for the philanthropy enabled by the fortune her father built and boosted by the steady flow of money taxpayers are forced to give her, her relatives and other Walmart investors.

Compared to this taxpayer largesse, Walton philanthropy is small change.

The Walton Family Foundation ranks 22nd in America with $2.2 billion in assets, which may seem large. But Walmart and the Waltons have already extracted that much from the taxpayers this year. In fact they hit about $2.2 billion of taxpayer subsidies on Saturday, April 12, based on the Americans for Tax Fairness report.

The $7.8 billion a year annual cost estimate in the new report is based on a study last year by the House Education and the Workforce Committee Democratic staff. It showed that each Walmart in Wisconsin costs taxpayers between $905,000 and $1.75 million in welfare costs.

Americans for Tax Fairness extrapolated to all the Walmarts in America based on that study and then took into account other costs taxpayers are forced to bear to subsidize the company and, thus, its controlling owners, the Waltons.

The study estimates that if the subsidy costs were divided equally among the company’s 1.4 million American workers, the cost would be $4,415 per Walmart employee.

Welfare for Walmart workers, the Americans for Tax Fairness report says, costs $6.2 billion, making it by far the bulk of the costs taxpayers must bear.

The study estimates that only $70 million is for the use of tax dollars to build Walmart stores, distribution centers and other property provided by the largesse of the taxpayers. That number is small because Walmart has pretty much built out across America.

To date Walmart has probably received $1.5 billion from taxpayers to build and equip stores, distribution centers and other buildings, according to Phil Mattera, research director at Good Jobs First, which on a budget of about $1 million annually has for years dragged out of local, state and federal officials details of how much welfare Walmart gets.

The discounted rates at which dividends are taxed, a policy first put forth by then-President George W. Bush in 2003, save the Walton heirs $607 million in taxes annually, the Americans for Tax Fairness report calculated from company disclosure reports.

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131 responses to “Walmart On Welfare: Government Subsidies & Taxpayers For The Waltons”

  1. Budjob says:

    Wal-Mart and the Waltons are an infectious disease thrust on the American economy.A large part of this problem is due to the fact that many in the U.S. workforce making minimum wages through no fault of their own are forced to shop there because their economic circumstance dictate it.Please folks,avoid patronizing any and all of the Chinese Warehouse facilities. Thank You!

  2. option31 says:

    Good article! It is not only WalMart that is on the dole. The entire corporate America structure is. If it was not for the tax breaks that these companies get for locating in your city by city leaders they could not nor would they be able to expand so fast. These behemoths come to a city and offer numerous jobs ( low paying jobs) the politicians offer subsidies so they have a feather in their hat and those of us running small businesses pay for the breaks until we are bankrupt because we pay taxes and have to charge more because WalMart etal are not paying their own way. It is time for ALL of us to demand that what ever party we support to end this activity.

  3. jne4klpk says:

    one day they will ask you what did you do to stop the Fascist’s take over of the United States.

    • Mark Forsyth says:

      My reply will be,” Along with doing everthing I could to oppose Citizens United and McCutcheon,I did not shop at Walmart I also spent a great deal of my adult life sounding the alarm about the fascist threat.” Anyone who thinks because they are just one person that their vote is small and ineffectual,has never spent the night in a room with a mosquito.

  4. Droit et Avant says:

    As long as the people continue electing crooked law makers (Congress) this way of doing business in the U.S. will never change. Lobbyists pay Congress to look the other way and to create laws that will benefit only them (the rich). Because lawmakers only worry about what they can get in return, we the people will always been enslaved by the rich and the powerful lawmakers, after all they created the laws so they know all the tricks to get away with it while they continue getting richer day by day. Also when they (Congress) retired, they are set for life getting benefits and receiving pay while we the people continue paying taxes to donate to all the rich and lawmakers welfare, just because is the law, of course the law they created.

    • Allan Richardson says:

      As long as lawmakers were only BEING crooked, and claiming not to be, things were bad enough. But now we have an actual IDEOLOGY of why it is “good” to be crooked, and anything they want to do “ought” to be both totally legal and totally unregulated, regardless of who is harmed by it. And they have SOLD that ideology to a large minority of their VICTIMS (and a majority, at least of those who bother to vote, in certain states and districts) to convince them that it is OK for corporations and the crooked portion of the wealthy to take from them, since any one of the victims COULD become rich tomorrow, and would then have a “right” to steal from anyone else!

      In other words, we now have a party that does not BOTHER to hide their corrupt collusion with corrupt businessmen (and women); they proudly proclaim that such collusion is the RIGHT thing to do, and they get their victims to vote for them on that basis. And when the party with the morally higher ideal (which usually tries to live up to it) OPPOSES that corruption, they are denounced as representing the “lazy” or the “takers.” It is not only chickens voting for the fox to guard the henhouse, but being told that they should be “honored” to be taken by the foxes, and any creature that tries to PROTECT them from the foxes is doing the wrong thing!

      Crooked political deals cannot be stopped if too many voters think they are OK (as long as THEIR side does it, forgetting that they are on the WRONG side for their OWN good).

  5. itsfun says:

    Why does the author just choose Walmart to destroy. Why not add Target, Sears, Macy’s, etc to the article?
    These policies will never change. The politicians make too much money from big companies. They won’t bite the hand that feeds them.

    • Sand_Cat says:

      I believe he did mention other companies.
      Perhaps Walmart is the worst, in that it is owned solely by 4 or 5 extremely wealthy individuals and probably pays less to its workforce than the other stores you mentioned.
      But I guess you just have to get in your complaint about any suggestion that Walmart might not be a very nice place for most people to work. I understand that Target actually has dirty, filthy unions, so it’s not surprising that you included them, but what have you got against the other two?
      And I’m sure your post neglected to mention the hundreds or even thousands of other companies: why did you just choose Target, Sears, and Macy’s “to destroy”?
      Finally, I’d be interested to hear how you think this article is going to “destroy” Walmart.

      • itsfun says:

        I don’t have anything against any of the companies. That is way I said “etc” when mentioning companies. I didn’t feel like typing a couple of hundred or so names. Destroy may have been too strong, but the author kept using Walmart as his example of a terrible, mean, uncaring company.

        • Independent1 says:

          It’s probably because despite what you may think, Target actually treats its employees well even though it doesn’t pay them much more than Walmart.

          I know you live on another planet, and have missed the fact that WalMart has been the brunt of numerous employee strikes and demonstrations because it goes out of its way to treat its employees badly. I don’t recall seeing any demonstrations by Target, Sears and other workers complaining about those stores deliberately setting up their employees hours in order to cheat them out of any benefits a person working over 35 hours I believe would receive.

          This article picks on WalMart, because Walmart is in a class of its own with respect to being downright despicable to the people who work for the company. Have you had your head in the sand as usual and have missed all the news items about the mistreatment that WalMart inflicts on its workers?? And the retribution the company takes when its employees bring that mistreatment out to WalMart management?? And that’s not just in the stores, it includes mistreating the WalMart employees that work in the companies many warehouses.

          And as I believe as Sandy pointed out, it’s not helping WalMart that Sam Walton’s heirs have been voted the Greediest Family on the Planet, for them insisting that they are going to continue operating WalMart in a way that will ensure that they won’t pay their employees one dime more than they have to in order to keep the company operating or pay one more dime than they can get away with in taxes they owe locally or to the federal government – all this despite the fact that they operate WalMart in such a way that it foists a large burden for running the company on the American taxpayer.

          • Sand_Cat says:

            Thank you.

          • itsfun says:

            If people don’t like working at WalMart, they can quit. If every body hates them, why do they shop there?

          • 4sanity4all says:

            Sometimes it is the only job they can get. And in some towns, they have squeezed out all the family stores, and they are the only store for many miles.

          • idamag says:

            You are describing my community. I can go to a neighboring community where there is a K-Mart and that is what I do.

          • Anthony Fisher says:

            Good question. I have had the exact same thought, so I started asking.

            Despite the non descript emotionless demeanor of many walmart employees they are usually all to happy to discuss their situation with someone who really wants to listen.

            Ive found that most Want a full time job but they cant find one. Many have years of experience in varied fields usually former office or retail but lack advanced degrees.

            Many are supporting a family and have nothing left to save at months end. They are literally a paycheck from losing everything.

          • Ed Portela says:

            itsfun: You won’t get an intelligent answer to your questions among these people.

          • Sand_Cat says:

            Yes, and they can all move on to corporate CEO positions and live in luxury for the rest of their lives. IS THAT REALLY THE BEST YOU CAN DO? I guess all the people Hitler killed have only themselves to blame because they didn’t leave, as some few prominent Jews were able to. That would certainly be consistent with your position on this and other issues affecting the poor.

          • itsfun says:

            I have no idea how Target or Sears or others treat their employees. The article is about how companies get so much in corporate welfare. Almost every company is getting the welfare. If one hates working at WalMart, they still have the right to quit. If one hates WalMart, they don’t have to shop their. I live in a big union city, but you see the WalMart parking lot full of cars of union workers shopping there. If you hate WalMart so much, don’t get a job there or go shopping there. If you don’t like the welfare policy of our government, vote the people out of office.

        • Sand_Cat says:

          C’mon, the part about listing the companies was a joke, a parody of your own statement.
          But now that you mention it, all indications are that Walmart is a terrible, mean, uncaring – except for money, of course – company.

      • 4sanity4all says:

        Sears used to be a great place to have a career. They gave profit sharing to full time help, and anyone who asked for it and was available for full time generally got it. They gave health insurance, and a pension plan. There was also an employee discount, if I recall, it was 20%. They did not fire anyone for foolish reasons, although if you stole merchandise, you were out. Their merchandise was high quality, made in the USA stuff, guaranteed, and you could bring it back years later and they would exchange it. That was then. Now, their merchandise is inferior, and is not guaranteed as it once was. Employees are mostly part time, and very expendable. There is no profit sharing, hasn’t been for decades. They “destroyed” themselves, and I rarely shop there any more. They are not the business I worked for in the 60’s.

      • Ed Portela says:

        Sandy boy: Walmart “… is owned solely by 4 or 5 extermely wealthy individuals…”; get your act (and your market data) together, man !!

        • Sand_Cat says:

          Maybe you should try sampling reality sometime.

          • Ed Portela says:

            Sand: “Reality” for your information, is that Walmart is a PUBLIC corporation; it is NOT owned by 4 or 5 individuals.
            Get off the “inequality” whining and the class hatred.

    • Mikey7a says:

      Then we need to vote them ALL out of office. Any who supports, and passes these laws, need to go. Your vote is your Voice! Get out and tell as many as you can, they must vote. Vote them out, and let the replacements know exactly why, they were voted in. Make changes, or next election, we will vote YOU out too. It sounds so simple, but I realize that apathy is our enemy. How much worse must things get, before America wakes up?

      • Allan Richardson says:

        It is not just “the” politicians, it is the politicians who actually PREACH that what these crooked companies do is RIGHT, because, well, “freedumb.” The politicians in the other party are occasionally (not always) crooked themselves, but at least they are not trying to make ALL CORRUPTION LEGAL on the basis of a phony reading of Adam Smith and the Constitution (spiced up with Ayn Rand).

        The best Presidents of the mid 20th century were FDR, Truman and Eisenhower: FDR because he saved us from Fascism TWICE (first the homegrown kind with the New Deal, then from the foreign kind with the war); Truman because he carried the legacy of FDR; and Eisenhower because, in DEFIANCE of partisan ideology, he continued that legacy for another 8 years, beginning the civil rights era that would be expanded by JFK and LBJ.

        There is still time for Barack Obama to act like Truman or FDR and stand up to THIS “do nothing Congress” for the true promise of freedom for EVERYONE, not just those who can afford to BUY it.

        • Ed Portela says:

          allan: Nope ! Too late for Obama….

          • Allan Richardson says:

            Not referring to President Obama. He’s not running again anyway. I’m talking about the Rethuglicans who block legislation that could help millions, and promote legislation that would hurt millions, just to “get back” at him personally and give corporate welfare to their wealthy pals.

            There IS a difference between parties. Democrats want to fix PROBLEMS which the majority of Americans want solved, while Republicans only want to fix ELECTIONS for the benefit of a few.

          • Ed Portela says:

            Allan: Actually, it’s the other way around….

    • 4sanity4all says:

      Probably because Walmart is the most patronized store in the U.S. Either everybody shops there a little, or some people shop there a lot. They take the most corporate welfare, in the form of tax breaks and government aid to their underpaid employees. So if public pressure can get the biggest retailer to change, others will follow. Personally, I don’t see the Walton family ever doing the right thing on their own, so I think our tax code needs to be revised so that no American company can evade taxes in all the devious ways that they have been. And trying to evade taxes with tactics like manufacturing overseas should earn them a fine, as well as a tax bill. Since I heard about their business practices, I have stopped shopping at Walmart.

      • itsfun says:

        I hear and see many saying “do the right thing”. Who gets to decide what the “right thing is”? Many years ago Jimmy Carter got taxes raised on companies that make luxury type items like yacht builders. What did the yacht builders do? They moved completely out of the United States taking their jobs with them. Many cities give tax breaks to companies to get them to move to their city. This brings jobs to the city and also more tax revenue. What about the companies that have the self checkout lanes? They are creating them to avoid paying minimum wage to a person. There are no easy answers to this problem. Just follow the money trail right to politicians in Washington.

        • Ed Portela says:

          itsfun: You really want to know who decides what the “right thing” is?
          Progressive political correctness decides, that’s who; ….and libtards will say and do ANYTHING if it is considered “fair” and “compassionate”.
          Oh brother….

    • davidcayjohnston says:

      Columnist here, its fun. I have written extensively on other companies as my column indicates, citing among others Alcoa, Boeing and a firm that refuses subsidies — Gander Mountain. My column makes clear that it is about Walmart because of a new report that focused on that company. But I have written on many retailers as well as companies in other industries that are on welfare.

      • idamag says:

        David, I really enjoyed your article. It takes courage to fight a power like Walmart. I just want to tell you ifsun is an annoying troll who usually posts ugly rhetoric about the President.

        • Ed Portela says:

          ida: itsfun is way more intelligent and street-smart than you.

          • Mark Forsyth says:

            That’s enough! Were you born stupid or do you practice?

          • Ed Portela says:

            hee, hee! You are funny Mark!!
            To you mindless liberals, everybody except you is stupid.
            Mark: If you want to see stupid get a picture of Joe Biden (… and a mirror, Mark!!)
            Markey: Don’t mess with me; answer in a nice way while disagreeing with me, but do not try to mess with me. I can “run rings” around you, Mark.

          • Mark Forsyth says:

            Take your best shot.You don’t even qualify as a troll because you are a troll turd.I and others here on the Memo have lots of experience dealing with shit like you.The only thing that will happen if you run rings around me is that you’ll become dizzy,further exacerbating your critical condition.You’ll get no traction here,you best fall back to the troll pages.

          • Ed Portela says:

            You just proved my point which is that you libtards consider “stupid” anybody who disagrees with what Obama commands you to believe.
            Tsk, tsk, Markey, wise up.

          • Mark Forsyth says:

            Typical troll banter.

          • Ed Portela says:

            Poor Markey: The only argument he has managed is that I am a troll.
            As for ability to counter (or at least to approach) my arguments, ….. forget it, no IQ whatsoever….
            Oh brother.

          • Mark Forsyth says:

            You wouldn’t know IQ if it bit you in the ass.As with all things requiring intelligence,you fail to recognize that those of us here on the National Memo have years of experience dealing with knuckle draggers such as you.Your kind try to lure someone into a debate,but you never recognize any proven facts,much less offer any.So,in spite of what you may think?,we are smart enough not to waste our time with purveyors of nonsense such as yourself.

          • Ed Portela says:

            Wow Markey, boy!
            For being such a smart guy you seem to be doing the exact opposite of what you claim: you ARE “wasting” time answering such a stupid guy (remember, Markey, that everybody is stupid except the guys who post here) as me.
            Remember Markey boy: I can run rings around you, …… and so far you are proving me right.
            Poor Mark.

    • FredAppell says:

      For once I agree with most of your posts. My last job was at a small bedding retailer. We couldn’t compete with the largest bedding giant
      on the East Coast in price or variety. This big bedding company has a practice of opening stores everywhere where other bedding stores exist. In larger towns they saturate the area with 2 to 3 stores in conjunction with around the clock T.V. and radio advertisements. Small businesses can’t incur the kind of operating costs it takes to compete. I agree that people have a choice to either shop or not to shop with companies such as Walmart but that works both ways unfortunately, you know as well as I do that people are easily led by
      a great sales pitch.

      Politics are even worse, all our politicians are bought and paid for by big money so it’s difficult to determine who actually has all of our best interests. I know the solution to many of our problems but implementing them is the real challenge.

      P.S. It’s great to see that you’re talking to everyone on here instead of attacking. Thanks, I appreciate that.

  6. idamag says:

    The United States has anything but a free market. In my community, the small business owner, of a teach supply store, told me she pays a hefty property tax, while Walmart pays none.

    • Allan Richardson says:

      And I’ll give you one guess which one has a larger variety of art supplies, maps, globes, flash card sets, etc. AND can give somewhat expert advice on which one is best for a particular class or child!

      • Independent1 says:

        Aside from being a greedy retailer, my biggest gripe with WalMart is that the only thing you can buy there are items that WalMart was able itself to purchase dirt cheap. WalMart has a terrible selection with respect to the majority of its merchandise lines – over the years, they’ve hoodwinked the buyer into believing he’s gotten a really good deal on that one or two brand it offers as an alternative. When the fact is, that I can purchase almost anything WalMart says on-line for 20-25% cheaper than I can buy it at WalMart. WalMart IS NOT your low price merchandise leader – the notion that WalMart is the lowest price around is only a figment of most WalMart shoppers’ imaginations.

        • idamag says:

          So, quit shopping there.

          • Independent1 says:

            For all practical purposes we have. But because of Wal-Mart’s cutthroat purchasing practices, there are a few things which are somewhat expensive that we like a lot which are hard to find cheaper even via the internet. For example: mixed nuts. We haven’t been inside a Wal-Mart to pick even these up since early last fall.

          • Mark Forsyth says:

            Word is that you can buy all the mixed nuts you want on Capital Hill but they’re not cheap.That is to say not inexpensive.

          • charleo1 says:

            I’m with you. I won’t cut off my nose to spite my face.
            But if I wind up in Walmart, I’ve failed to find the item
            anywhere else. Same with Home Depot. I know the owners politics, I hate them, and feel hypocritical for shopping there. Same, by the way with Papa John’s,
            and Chic Fillet. If company’s in, and they want to go,
            I’ll reluctantly hold the same nose, I didn’t cut off for
            Walmart, and go. P.S. The wife loves Hobby Lobby!

          • neeceoooo says:

            If I can’t find it in any store but Walmart, then I don’t need it. If I do, I will make something else work for me.

          • Ed Portela says:

            charleo: what is exactly your “beef” with Chick-fil-a? With Papa John’s? Chick-fil-a pays the highest wages in the fast food industry, ….and gets the best, most respectful and happy employees.
            What’s the matter with you guys??

        • NutherGuy says:

          Lack of selection is an issue. If you’re willing to pay more, there are stores that offer a wider variety, particularly online.

          But so much stuff now has been commoditized: Do you care what major brand of flashlight batteries, milk, toothbrush, or hammer you use?

          There are exceptions: 3M sanding blocks are cheaper at Wal-Mart than in other places, but they’re also considerably smaller. The value is the same or even a bit less.

          Many items simply aren’t made in the U.S. anymore. Singer Sewing machines appear to be Brother machines with a different case; electrical generators under about 5 kw are all from one factory in China: Whatever Wal-Mart carries is likely the same as what you’ll get anywhere else.

          BUT — for more costly items read the Wal-Mart buyer reviews: If the model is a special W-M design you want to know what people think.

          What makes sense for me is buying the stuff for which I don’t care about the details at Wal-Mart; for more costly or risky items I’m careful to save the paperwork so I can take it back if it doesn’t work out. And for the few exceptions — some tools, many computer-related items, etc. — I go online or visit a specialty shop.

      • Independent1 says:

        Something that this article didn’t bring out, is that WaMart is not only putting a large burden onto the American taxpayer, it is actually working to destroy some companies by it’s purchasing practices. Because of WalMart’s great purchasing power, it actually dictates to many manufacturers what it will pay for a given item. An article I read a little while back was about WalMart virtually running the company that procudes Vlasic pickles and condiments out of business.

        WalMart insisted that Vlasic had to sell it a gallon of pickles for a price between $2-$3. Which was actually about the price that Vlasic normally got for a quart of pickles. But WalMart was determined to corner the market on pickles I guess. And unfortunately for Vlasic, with WalMart being the largest grocery retailer in the country, if another producer got the WalMart contract for providing the gallon of pickles, it would have had a devastating affect on the turnover of Vlasics pickles in other grocery retailers; so the company had to try and provide WalMart with the pickles at the price they insisted even though they were losing money on each gallon of pickles they shipped.

        Vlasic tried to convince WalMart that it was not economically feasible to produce a gallon of pickles for under $3 but WalMart basically said tough, either sell them to us at that price or we’ll find another distributor that will.
        So WalMart’s not only cuthroat with respect to paying its employees, it’s also cuthroat with respect to its suppliers.

      • Mark Forsyth says:

        One cannot even purchase a good book at Walmart unless one thinks that paperback romance novels and the Duck Dynasty Holiday Cookbook qualify.

  7. bobsog says:

    It is retal for Gods sake. ALL retailers pay low or minimum wage. People vote with their wallets and that is why Walmart is so successful – low prices. If they pay their employees too much than people will shop elsewhere (Target, Sears, etc.) and they will go out of business.

    • stcroixcarp says:

      Going out of business is just an empty threat of a monopoly. These folks are too greedy to go out of business.

    • Paul Bass says:

      If this were true, how does Costco stay in business?

      Costco pays ALL their employees a living wage. Please stop repeating republican lies…

    • Independent1 says:

      As Paul Bass said, not only does Costco pay a living wage (cashiers make $15-$20/hr), they give their cashiers and others, paid vacations, healthcare coverage and retirement plans. And with all that, their stock has way outperformed Wal-Mart over the past 30 plus years – Costco stock is up more than twice what Wal-Mart’s has increased over the past 3 decades because with treating their employees well, people really enjoy shopping in Costco so their profit margins are better despite paying the higher wages. In Fact, a study was done recently on what is the most recognized gas brand in America – and Costco took number 1 in that study.
      Let’s look at another company that chooses to shortchange it’s employees when it doesn’t have to: McDonald’s. McDonald’s little over $8/hr; despite the fact that Elizabeth Warren proved they could afford to pay a $10.10 minimum wage by adding 4 cents to the price e of their combo meals. And despite the fact that the McDonald’s in Europe are more profitable than their outlets in America even though the$12 minimum wage. And guess why –
      Because with a $12 minimum wage, even McDonald’s own workers can afford to buy the more expensive profitable items on their menu, unlike here in America where a lot of McDonald’s customers are forced to buy off what was the old $1 menu which often were items on the menu which McDonald’s made little or no profit on.

    • idamag says:

      Why don’t you take a look at their profit margin. They can afford to give employees a living wage.

      • Independent1 says:

        Given the huge number of SKUs that Wal-Mart offers, they could cover their costs for paying their employees the same as Costco by simply adding a few cents to the price of a selected number of the thousands of SKUs they sell. Paying their employees below livable wages is just Wal-Mart wanting to maintain a cheap labor force.

  8. Jambi says:

    Wean yourself off of Walmart!!!

  9. Excellent article. In Wisconsin, Walmart leads the list of employers whose employees are forced to seek public assistance while pulling in huge profits. Sad that this is even tolerated in any way. Maybe we need a new law in this country to counter the ‘redistribution’ of wealth from public coffers to private companies whereby the amount paid out in public assistance is taxed 100%. Beyond those issues is a bigger one, in my view. It is that Walmart (in particular) is missing out on a huge opportunity to reverse it’s well-earned yet unflattering reputation. This company, maybe more than any other, could seize this issue and become a genuine leader in the community by paying it’s employee’s what they’re actually worth. Instead, they pay low wages not because of any lack of profit, but because they see their employees as costs to be managed and not assets to be developed. Go here for more:

  10. Michael MacPherson says:

    There are several problems facing us, Walmart
    and other large store chains are taking part in the Wall Street Corporations
    plan to eliminate the middle class. We are being governed by a ruling
    Aristocracy, not the White House or the Constitutional government.

    Walmart and the other large store chains are paying their employees very little
    because they are part of the ruling Aristocracy, and the ruling Aristocracy
    wants to eliminate the middle class, so these large companies do not want their
    employees to get more money because that would bring them up to middle class

    The Republican Congress is getting their orders from Wall Street and the ruling
    Aristocracy, by using their political arm the Republican Congress to not pass
    minimum wage raise legislation, not pass the unemployment Extension, not close
    the loopholes the rich use to get big tax breaks, not stop the about 1 Trillion
    Dollars in subsidies from taxpayer’s money companies and corporations get every
    year and to cut food stamps so those who work for Walmart, Sam’s club and the
    other large stores will stay poor, because ultimately Wall Street wants there
    to be only two classes of people the poor and the rich.

    This is what happens when the people of this country will not do their part for
    their country, by getting out and voting. We need to vote out of office next
    election all politicians who are on the payroll of Wall Street and the ruling
    Aristocracy. Unless this happens the ruling Aristocracy will take complete
    control of our country and we will lose our voting privileges, and people will
    be appointed to office.

    If anyone thinks that cannot happen, then go back to 2000 when his bother Jeb
    Bush’s Florida Supreme Court appointed George W. Bush president in Florida. We
    have 5 Chief justices in the US Supreme Court (Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Kennedy
    and Scalia who work for the Ruling Aristocracy and are doing their part to make
    sure our government is for sale, money is speech and corporations are people to
    be protected under the constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    We need everyone to write, email and or call their representatives and tell them
    to stop their politics as usual, and start proceedings to impeach those five
    Supreme Court Chief justices or what ever it takes to get them off the bench,
    along with the other traitors in Congress and the Senate who get their bribes
    from and working for Wall Street.

    If this is not done we cannot blame anyone but our selves when we no loner have
    the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, what we will have is a ruling
    Aristocracy that has taken complete control of the country and we no longer
    have freedom or democracy, but a plutocracy and an Oligarchy.

  11. Bob Williams says:

    Personally, I would rather support WalMart who creates thousands of jobs, as opposed to some crack-smoking ho who does nothing for society but live off the public teat. The last time I looked, a low-paying job is better than no job – unless you are a hard-core moocher. So use this as a lesson for everybody, that no education means a low-paying job.

    Besides, Obama told us that he was going to create millions of jobs, so it shouldn’t be long before that happens. You didn’t hear that?

    I think he said it right before he said “If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan. Period!”

    Or maybe it was right after he said “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period!”

    • Bronxgirl181 says:

      Sour grapes much? -_-

      • Mikey7a says:

        Please don’t feed the Trolls! Bob here, is a paid troll. He is paid to go to all Progressive minded websites, and spew The Republican Party line Talking points. Notice how he sounds like a pet parrot, repeating the same lines, over, and over, while in fact, adding nothing to the conversation? If you resist the urge to reply to him, he will eventually go away.

        Lana Ward, OMG, Bikerjedi, they all vanish once we refuse to acknowledge their Right Wingnut rhetoric!

        • charleo1 says:

          I see your point Mickey. But here’s the deal. Bob is
          voicing probably the number one justification used by mostly Right Wing advocates, for corporate welfare. “They create jobs.” They don’t call it welfare ever, of
          course. And they don’t means test it either. What they don’t like to mention, (and never will,) is most of those jobs are subsidized, in one way or another, by stacks, and stacks, of other people’s money. Another thing they won’t discuss, is the, “deal,” Walmart cuts with the local Town Council, before it ever laid the first brick of it’s brand new Super Center. Who’s going to
          dig the water, and sewer lines, if we decide to bless
          your town with our newest store? We will, We will!
          Is often the Town Council’s answer. Now, that tract of
          land, the city owns, Walmart wants to know. You guys
          know Centerville, right up the road offered us a 10 acre lease, at a dollar a year. Corporate really likes
          your location. But, the lease. Some land would seal
          the deal, we’re sure of it! It’s also why, if one only reads listens to, or watches Right leaning media, they use 100% of their time demonizing crack hoes, a surfer kid on food stamps, or, the “inner city,” woman with 8 or 10 kids, loading up on lobster, and junk food, at the super market. Usually presented as first person testimony. “I was behind the this woman…” The fact any corporate subsidy you want to name, has only ever been increased, never cut. Good times, bad times, doesn’t matter. That WalMart is America’s largest employer, and one of the top 5 most profitable Cos. in the world. Or, the fact subsidies create an uneven playing field, running 100s of small businesses out of business each year. Despite the fact, they continue to complain about government picking winners, and losers. The fact remains, every tax cut, or deregulation, coming out of government, sold as a boon for small business. Big businesses,. like Walmart, are consistently the big winners, every time, by a factor of 10 to 1. My point is, maybe Bob really don’t know what he’s paying, for what. They aren’t
          exactly talking about this stuff on O’Reilly, or Fox, and

          • 4sanity4all says:

            This makes me proud of the city I live in. We are just outside of Chicago, and have no big box store. They always want tax concessions and other freebies. Our city council understands that if they pay no taxes or very reduced taxes for a long time, our schools and parks get zip. Just having them here isn’t enough of a big deal to us, we expect our businesses to pay taxes, as the homeowners do. It’s the cost of doing business. I try to shop here as much as possible. Maybe I pay a little more, but then I buy a little less. No one really needs 2 cases of paper towels in the closet, anyway.

          • idamag says:

            I just need a closet.

          • charleo1 says:

            Good for your town council. You’re absolutely
            better off. I was reading an article a few months ago. And the author made a very common sense
            point. That an economy’s function at the end of
            the day, is to work for the betterment of the society
            in which it exists. Now, today too many Americans continue to equate the monetary success of a business within their community, to the community’s overall financial well being. And for a good number of years that was true. And they just assume since Walmart has millions in sales every year, it must be good for the tax base, and provide better schools, and roads, etc. They just haven’t noticed yet, the decoupling that has happened over the last 30 years. Where very successful corporate enterprises, have failed to share the fruits, of that success, in the towns that made their success possible in the first place. So, that in itself is a kind of unfairness, that borders on stealing. But here, Walmart is not only not sharing their success. They are actually feeding on their own customers! It really is outrageous. And as pointed out, it’s not just Walmart. It’s most all of America’s largest businesses. The question then becomes, how much more of this kind of success, can we afford?

          • idamag says:

            My town bought them the land, put water, sewer and electricity on it, made two new streets to accommodate it, built them a building and equipped it to bring jobs in. Now, who is the ho?

          • charleo1 says:

            Great point!

        • Mark Forsyth says:

          Aw c’mon.I used to enjoy bashing those bastards along with our good friend Fern Woodfork who could really give them a good cussing.Point taken though.

        • BillP says:

          Mikey unfortunately bikejedi is back and writing his non-provable facts. I have had a running dialogue with him that started when he called George Soros a Nazi puppet and fails to back up his “irrefutable facts”. His current “fact” is that President Obama is hiding his schools records. You are definitely correct about the troll parroting.

    • Sand_Cat says:

      Actually, a low-paying job probably isn’t better than no job. But there’s obviously no point in mentioning that to the likes of you.

    • Faraday_Cat says:

      I think you are missing the point that Wal-Mart is a “hard-core moocher” as you put it…

    • idamag says:

      That crack smoking ho is far more honest than the other faction who sells to the highest bidder. In real life, the john is the big business and our legislators are the “hos” We pay them a decent base salarly. They get the best retirement plan and they have great health and life insurance that we pay for. They have some unbelievable perks. They do nothing for us, but they do much for the big money boys. Now, who is the “ho” here?

  12. Kurt CPI says:

    While this is a deplorable situation, it is not Wal-Mart that is to blame. They have created one of the most successful business models of all time by tapping into the entitlement culture. Now before you go accusing me of being an uncaring jerk, our entitlement culture is not just public assistance recipients. “Corporate welfare” is also an egregious situation, and in fact is responsible for a good deal of the necessity for pubic assistance. There’s no more literal example of this than the Wal-Mart situation. So this begs a question:
    If a business sells an item at an anti-competitive profit margin (often forcing a smaller competitor out of business as a result), that practice can be construed as anti-trust. Why then is it not anti-trust against the taxpayers to bilk the people of this country out of billions of tax dollars in order to sell items at a low cost?
    Wal-Mart is a for-profit corporation with a legal mandate to maximize value for their shareholders. It is the failure in the pursuit of fair trade practices that is to blame. Forbid the practice and, to quote an old Smith-Barney commercial, Wal-Mart will have to make money the old fashioned way – earn it.

    • itsfun says:

      No one should be calling you any names. Everything you said is right.

    • idamag says:

      You are correct. Walmart moves into a community and generally locates where there are businesess, they can destroy. In Yuma it was next to K-Mart and the huge K-mart super store closed. They did the same in my city. I traded at a store for 50 years and when I asked them why they were closing their doors, they said they could not compete with Walmart next door. Remember when they started, they said everything, they sold, was made in the USA? Then someone exposed them. This is indicative of their integrity. People worship money and think Walmart is an example of getting the American Dream. They aren’t like J.C. Penney who did not destroy anyone to get rich. He couldn’t do it in today’s greedy society.

      • NutherGuy says:

        So … are you saying your K-Mart went out of business rather than sell stuff made in China?

        Our local K-Mart when out of business about 10 years ago. When they held their final everything goes sale I wandered through the isles looking in wonder at the stuff they hadn’t sold: they had easily 50 sets of golf clubs and dozens of very nice table lamps. How many people in a mostly rural population buy golf clubs or nice table lamps at K-Mart?

        Our Wal-Mart has furnishings but they are tuned to local college students who will use them for 3-4 years and then dump them at Goodwill. Golf clubs? Maybe a few … they do, however, have a modest selection of fishing gear and a fine if modest-size selection of popular rifles and shotguns, suited to this farming/hunting/rural area.

        I’d say that Wal-Mart has smarter buyers and better management than K-Mart. Perhaps they pay them better?

        As for ‘destroying to get rich,’ read what Sears Roebuck did to the local general store a century and a bit more ago. Sears was the Wal-Mart of its time and hated by all those among our great-grandfathers who were well enough off to not have to buy from their ‘Cheapest supply house on earth’ catalog.

        They did it in the days before Chinese imports, too. Their stuff was made in a sweatshop factory in Chicago or Gary and helped put your local blacksmith (who used to make the local shovels and horse shoes) out of business.

    • Mark Forsyth says:

      Great post Kurt,Thank You!

  13. Mark Forsyth says:

    The country is broken.The government has been stolen by fascists and corporate crooks and the wolves are howling at the door.What’s your plan?

    • Paul Bass says:

      To not listen to defeatists propagandists like you…

      • Mark Forsyth says:

        Why don’t you go fuck yourself Paul.I’m not either one,merely someone who is telling the truth and pissed off at the way certain people in and out of government want to give the whole shooting match to corporate fat cats.If you are in favor of that,then you are on the wrong side.

        • Paul Bass says:

          A list of Obama’s accomplishments:

          1. Ordered all federal agencies to undertake a study and make recommendations for ways to cut spending
          2. Ordered a review of all federal operations to identify and cut wasteful spending and practices
          3. Instituted enforcement for equal pay for women
          4. Beginning the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq
          5. Families of fallen soldiers have expenses covered to be on hand when the body arrives at Dover AFB
          6 Ended media blackout on war casualties; reporting full information
          7. Ended media blackout on covering the return of fallen soldiers to Dover AFB; the media is now permitted to do so pending adherence to respectful rules and approval of fallen soldier’s family
          8. The White House and federal government are respecting the Freedom of Information Act
          9. Instructed all federal agencies to promote openness and transparency as much as possible
          10. Limits on lobbyist’s access to the White House
          11. Limits on White House aides working for lobbyists after their tenure in the administration
          12. Ended the previous stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan longer than their enlistment date
          13. Phasing out the expensive F-22 war plane and other outdated weapons systems, which weren’t even used or needed in Iraq/Afghanistan
          14. Removed restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research
          15. Federal support for stem-cell and new biomedical research
          16. New federal funding for science and research labs
          17. States are permitted to enact federal fuel efficiency standards above federal standards
          18. Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants) after years of neglect
          19. Funds for high-speed, broadband Internet access to K-12 schools
          20. New funds for school construction
          21 The prison at Guantanamo Bay is being phased out
          22. US Auto industry rescue plan
          23. Housing rescue plan
          24. $789 billion economic stimulus plan
          25. The public can meet with federal housing insurers to refinance (the new plan can be completed in one day) a mortgage if they are having trouble paying
          26. US financial and banking rescue plan
          27. The secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere are being closed
          28. Ended the previous policy; the US now has a no torture policy and is in compliance with theGeneva Convention standards
          29. Better body armor is now being provided to our troops
          30. The missile defense program is being cut by $1.4 billion in 2010
          31. Restarted the nuclear nonproliferation talks and building back up the nuclear inspection infrastructure/protocols
          32. Reengaged in the treaties/agreements to protect the Antarctic
          33. Reengaged in the agreements/talks on global warming and greenhouse gas emissions
          34. Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any president in his first six months in office
          35. Successful release of US captain held bySomali pirates; authorized the SEALS to do their job
          36. US Navy increasing patrols off Somali coast
          37. Attractive tax write-offs for those who buy hybrid automobiles
          38. Cash for clunkers program offers vouchers to trade in fuel inefficient, polluting old cars for new cars; stimulated auto sales
          39. Announced plans to purchase fuel efficient American-made fleet for the federal government
          40. Expanded the SCHIP program to cover health care for 4 million more children
          41. Signed national service legislation; expandednational youth service program
          42. Instituted a new policy on Cuba, allowing Cuban families to return home to visit loved ones
          43. Ended the previous policy of not regulating and labeling carbon dioxide emissions
          44. Expanding vaccination programs
          45. Immediate and efficient response to the floods in North Dakota and other natural disasters
          46. Closed offshore tax safe havens
          47. Negotiated deal with Swiss banks to permit US government to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals
          48. Ended the previous policy of offering tax benefits to corporations who outsource American jobs; the new policy is to promote in-sourcing to bring jobs back
          49.. Ended the previous practice of protecting credit card companies; in place of it are new consumer protections from credit card industry’s predatory practices
          50. Energy producing plants must begin preparing to produce 15% of their energy from renewable sources
          51. Lower drug costs for seniors
          52. Ended the previous practice of forbidding Medicare from negotiating with drug manufacturers for cheaper drugs; the federal government is now realizing hundreds of millions in savings
          53. Increasing pay and benefits for military personnel
          54. Improved housing for military personnel
          55. Initiating a new policy to promote federal hiring of military spouses
          56. Improved conditions at Walter Reed Military Hospital and other military hospitals
          57 Increasing student loans
          58. Increasing opportunities in AmeriCorps program
          59. Sent envoys to Middle East and other parts of the world that had been neglected for years; reengaging in multilateral and bilateral talks and diplomacy
          60. Established a new cyber security office
          61. Beginning the process of reforming and restructuring the military 20 years after the Cold War to a more modern fighting force; this includes new procurement policies, increasing size of military, new technology and cyber units and operations, etc.
          62. Ended previous policy of awarding no-bid defense contracts
          63. Ordered a review of hurricane and natural disaster preparedness
          64. Established a National Performance Officer charged with saving the federal government money and making federal operations more efficient
          65. Students struggling to make college loan payments can have their loans refinanced
          66. Improving benefits for veterans
          67. Many more press conferences and town halls and much more media access than previous administration
          68. Instituted a new focus on mortgage fraud
          69. The FDA is now regulating tobacco
          70. Ended previous policy of cutting the FDA and circumventing FDA rules
          71. Ended previous practice of having White House aides rewrite scientific and environmental rules, regulations, and reports
          72. Authorized discussions with North Korea and private mission by Pres. Bill Clinton to secure the release of two Americans held in prisons
          73. Authorized discussions with Myanmar and mission by Sen. Jim Web to secure the release of an American held captive
          74. Making more loans available to small businesses
          75. Established independent commission to make recommendations on slowing the costs of Medicare
          76. Appointment of first Latina to the Supreme Court
          77. Authorized construction/opening of additional health centers to care for veterans
          78. Limited salaries of senior White House aides; cut to $100,000
          79. Renewed loan guarantees for Israel
          80. Changed the failing/status quo military command in Afghanistan
          81. Deployed additional troops to Afghanistan
          82. New Afghan War policy that limits aerial bombing and prioritizes aid, development of infrastructure, diplomacy, and good government practices by Afghans
          83. Announced the long-term development of a national energy grid with renewable sources and cleaner, efficient energy production
          84. Returned money authorized for refurbishment of White House offices and private living quarters
          85. Paid for redecoration of White House living quarters out of his own pocket
          86. Held first Seder in White House
          87. Attempting to reform the nation’s healthcare system which is the most expensive in the world yet leaves almost 50 million without health insurance and millions more under insured
          88. Has put the ball in play for comprehensive immigration reform
          89. Has announced his intention to push for energy reform
          90. Has announced his intention to push for education reform

          Oh, and he built a swing set for the girls outside the Oval Office.

          Did I mention he passed health care reform ?

          There are policies that many of us disagree with or wish he would improve or facilitate more quickly, but come on, this is a pretty sweet list.

          So NO, you are defeatist, and a name caller. Thanks for reading this though!

          • Mark Forsyth says:

            You are mistaken.I have been on the Memo for a number of years and if you had been here too,then you would know who I am and what I support and who and what I oppose.If you were familiar with me then you would know how stupid your previous comment was and what a waste of time preaching to the choir your latest litany of Obama’s achievements is.I am not opposed to the President’s efforts,but I am too much aware of the Supreme Courts further steps toward fascism.Perhaps you missed the latest debacle.Go soak your head and get up to date.

          • Paul Bass says:

            Wow Mark, What’s up, low blood sugar?
            Yes, I realize you are NOT a troll, or right wing idiot, I’ve seen your posts, but still maintain you are being defeatist. The list of accomplishments was just that, accomplishments.
            Of course I pay attention to SCOTUS, as you can see from MY posts on the topics. But at least I, (and I’m sure you also) will be at the ballot box in November. That is what us as individuals can do. So come on, chill, no name calling needed!

          • Mark Forsyth says:

            Where in my comments to you can you identify name calling.I think you need glasses and you are still wrong to call me defeatist.You don’t know me,so shut the fuck up.I’ve probably lived much longer than you and know more than you think.People who survive are hardly defeatist.

          • Paul Bass says:

            Gee, I was raised not to say “shut the fuck up”, but silly me for calling that name calling!
            Yea well I remember voting for McGovern, so you may not have lived longer, and certainly have “survived” less. And I don’t need to compare “knowing more” or “survival” with you. Obviously you are one unhappy dude, so I will not be baited on this post anymore. You have a wonderful life, Thanks for your reading this post.

          • Mark Forsyth says:

            Baiting? Just how dishonest do you intend to be when posting comments here on the Memo.You tried to get me to call you something while all the time calling me a defeatist..And you have not lived and survived longer than me.You revealed yourself.
            Were you born stupid or do you practice.You should get off this page.The Memo has enough trolls without you adding your shit to the pile.

          • idamag says:

            I think Paul Bass has just misunderstood what you were trying to say.

      • idamag says:

        And down the road, when Farenheith 451 comes to pass, you will lament that no one listened to Mark Forsyth.

        • Mark Forsyth says:

          Thanks idamag.I definitely agree that he misunderstood me but I’m not entirely sure that it wasn’t intentional.That being said,there definitely is a lack of comprehension in differentiating between a directive and name calling as well as perceiving the fascist threat occurring in high office.

    • Ed Portela says:

      Mark: Thank Obama for that.

  14. Vance says:

    I’ll have to read the original report since this article tells me nothing about how and why Walmart and the Waltons qualify for taxpayer money. I assume it’s probably due to tax deductions which could be said of all corporations that file taxes. If that’s the case this isn’t news.

    • Faraday_Cat says:

      You are correct, and the author mentions that…the difference is that stores like Target take advantage of some breaks but still pay a living wage, whereas Wal-Mart takes every break it can on top of negotiating some serious sweetheart deals from municipalities prior to building…deals that continue for a long time and that most stores do not have, or have the power to negotiate for. (of course, if local governments didn’t bow to the Wal-Mart will, that could change as well, however with most of the stores that they are planning to build already having deals…)

    • davidcayjohnston says:

      Columnist here, Vance. You can also read my 2007 bestseller FREE LUNCH that exposed all sorts of subsidies hardly anyone kew about. The specifics of the current estimate are in my National Memo column. I suggest you read it again.

    • Independent1 says:

      I believe where David is coming from is with respect to the fact that Wal-Mart sets up its pay structure and working hours policy such that it knows its employees will have to apply for welfare and food stamps in order to survive. Not only does it pay its workers minimum wage, but it limits their hours so that they can’t even earn the employee benefits that the company only allows a few of its workers in each store to earn. Wal-Mart actually runs classes that teach its employees on how to apply for welfare benefits and food stamps.

      So what David is saying is, that Wal-Mart is intentionally structuring it’s pay and benefit practices to put a large portion of the burden of supporting its employees living expenses on the American taxpayer – by having the American taxpayer via their welfare and food stamps benefits. According to the studies they’ve done, the amount that American taxpayers are paying to support the employees of each Wal-Mart Store (via welfare and food stamps) is between $900,000 and 1.75 million dollars each year.

  15. Faraday_Cat says:

    I did not know that about Gander Mountain…I have been shopping there for years as they were the closest to a “Mom and Pop” store for the items I buy. I had a bad customer service experience there recently, bu based on that article, I will make sure I go back there first.

    • Mark Forsyth says:

      I have both a Gander Mountain Store and a Dick’s Sporting Goods store in my area of northern New York State.I’m glad to hear that Gander is not on the dole also.If your return to Gander is not to your satisfaction,I would highly recommend a visit to Dick’s.Over the years,I have found that I can confidently go to Dick’s and often receive a lower price than what is posted just by asking.A few years ago I purchased a pair of Wolverine Insulated Hunting Boots.Originally priced at $120,they had been marked down once and were on sale the day I shopped for $85.When the clerk asked me if I had found something I wanted,I indicated my interest in the Wolverines and asked if that was the best price on those books.The clerk asked me to wait there and returned five minutes later to say that I could buy the boots for $65.They sure are a good pair of boots and I am a repeat customer at Dick’s.I do not know if they receive government funds.

      • Faraday_Cat says:

        I go to Dick’s every now and then, but I really hate how much they play the “SALE!” game…read any flyer you get from them regarding a sale, there are more things excluded from any sale they have than items they carry in the store. By itself, that doesn’t bother me, but they could be more honest and just say “This one item is on sale” as opposed to having “Shoe Sale!” when the fine print excludes everything but the one pair. I just got tired of getting sale flyers like “Camping Sale”, thinking “Oh, good, I was looking to buy a new tent” and reading that tents were not part of the sale…seriously, it cannot be a “Camping” sale if none of your tents are on sale!

        • Mark Forsyth says:

          Yeah,I know what you’re talking about.Some years ago I responded to one of their camping sale flyers.I went to the local Dick’s store and selected a Coleman sleeping bag rated for twenty degrees.Upon taking the bag to the checkout,the cashier informed me that the bag was not included under the sale.I had the good fortune to have the store manager standing nearby who overheard the exchange,who told the cashier to give me the sale price on the bag if I wanted it.So I purchased a very good sleeping bag for $19 dollars.
          I can’t speak for your personal experience but I do take your point about the need for more clarity in the flyers.I do have to say that I have repeatedly found Dick’s to be very accommodating on their prices,especially when asked.

  16. mikem42 says:

    “They” will keep folks fighting and fussing over Obamacare, gun laws, abortion and contraception, regulations and “FREEDOM”, whatever that is supposed to mean. Meanwhile, the congress and corporations continue to stick it to the public at large. Corporate welfare and fraud is robbing us of our future. The Supreme Court has allowed this to continue with their inane rulings that money is free speech, corporations are people, and the right to vote is not as much a right as it should be. North against South, rich against poor, black against white, native against immigrant. It will go on until we wise up and get rid of the right wing conservatives who push this agenda, against their own best interests.

  17. bcarreiro says:

    we need to adjust capital gains tax

  18. howa4x says:

    Funny how republicans can rail about taxpayer fraud and not say anything about Wal-Mart’s practice of encouraging their employees to seek public food and housing assistance. If there was one argument we could make for raising the minimum wage that would be it

  19. Lynda Groom says:

    I really wish this was new story, but it is not. This has been going on to one degree or another for decades. When I drive by Walmart on my way to Costco I give them no thought at all.

    • Independent1 says:

      We’ve been hoping for a few years that Costco would build more stores in New England. Unfortunately. the nearest Costco for us is more than 5 hours away. We would really appreciate being able to patronize a store that is focused on doing what’s right by the employee first. America needs more retailers like Costco.

  20. Richard Piamai says:

    It is sad that these people can get away with that. Thank you repubicans for making that all possible.

    • option31 says:

      take the blinders off. Both parties support this crap. Hillary is a former WalMart board member, did she do anything to stop this stuff then? Did she in the Senate? When Bill was Gov of Arkansas did he? NO!!! Now Alice Walton has given 25K – the maximum to a super pac encouraging Hillary’s run for President.
      This blaming of the other party is why the games will continue and the middle class will be moved to the poor class and the poor will be poorer. The Reps blame the Dems and the Dems blame the Reps in the mean time while we’re fighting over which party is screwing who THEY are screwing all of us.

      • Independent1 says:

        First of all, Hillary was a Wal-Mart board member when Sam Walton was still alive. That’s when it was Wal-Mart’s objective to sell American Made goods as cheaply as it could. When Hillary was on the Wal-Mart board it was not the pariah that Sam’s heirs have turned Wal-Mart into with their obscene lust for money!!
        Although you’re right that neither party is wholly honest, the difference in the two party’s of today is like night and day. The GOP is nothing more than a supposedly legitimized Italian Mafia (because they’ve undertaken the cover of being fake politicians) while it goes about all its efforts to steal as much of us taxpayers’ money as it can for the 1-5% while not even wanting to leave scraps for those of us less fortunate than they.
        There’s a stark difference between those vultures and the Dems, who although not being completely honest, at least work to help the less fortunate have a reasonable life while they’re working to make a better one for themselves.

        • charleo1 says:

          Right. If they were both Parties were the same, we
          could read about a Republican version of WPA, or Social Security, or FDIC, And later on, if they were
          both the same, we could look up their push for
          elderly healthcare. Their suggestions for housing
          homeless single Mothers with children. Or OSHA to
          improve workplace safety was needed at one time.
          Did the GOP sponsor a bill? How aboutThe G.I Bill?
          A Climate Change Bill? Twelve years of GOP Congressional Control “94-06.” Immigration Reform,
          then? Their version of a National Health plan? Finally!
          A Republican Plan, for the working man! And they
          want it dead! The EPA, signed into law by a Republican! A great step forward to protecting the planet, from the world’s greatest polluter. Every Republican Presidential Candidate has vowed to
          eliminate the EPA. As every Democrat has wanted to
          strengthen it. Civil Rights was a great Republican
          cause. They can’t stand it! The Voting Rights Act,
          Upheld by the Senate 98-2, under Bush. Gutted by the Supreme Court, and now, they could not be happier. Citizens United is not the same as Move On.
          Barack Obama is not John McCain, and is certainly
          no Mitt Romney. And no one could confuse Rachel
          Maddow, with Rush Limbaugh, or Fox News with any
          other media outlet.

      • Independent1 says:

        By the way, you don’t happen to be one of those GOP lovers do you?? Trying to criticize Hillary for being a Wal-Mart board member before Bill was even elected as president?? Trying to distort the true facts by criticizing her for being a board member – at a time when Wal-Mart was looked up to and operated totally different than it does today – is a typical GOP lie and distortion trick. Bringing out facts which have no relevance to today and pretending that somehow those nefarious facts should discredit a person they’re trying to denigrate.

        • option31 says:

          NO I am NOT GOP! I am capable of thinking for myself without having a “party boss” tell me what to think, read or write, and I certainly will not defend criminal activity of ANYBODY left, right, center you name it. IF you would go back and look the time she was on the board these predatory practices were going on. Did she stop or try to stop them? During the time she was on the board my business had several customers try to sell to WalMart, the profit Walmart left these people were negative and I refused to cut my miniscule profits ( less than 3%) . They went elsewhere -CHINA to get the price down. So the whole she served on the board while WalMart was buy American while true is in a way BS because WalMart beat the US manufacturers up so bad they had no place to go bug CHINA! As far as the Reps, they are just as bad, haliburton, Searle, Monsanto… but then the Dems get funded by them also. The whole thing is a cluster and both sides deserve a resounding NO VOTE election day. We need more options to get rid of the BS on both sides.

          • Independent1 says:

            Thanks for forcing me to do further research on Wal-Mart. I had read some articles that gave me the notion that it was Sam’s heirs who had moved the company into buying a lot overseas when his heirs were only expanding on the model Sam had established. In doing some further research I found this:

            In truth, Walton’s “Buy American” campaign did rescue some U.S. manufacturers, but only those who followed his playbook. In a letter he wrote to suppliers in 1985, he made clear he was committed to buying U.S. goods only if they upgraded their operations and improved productivity to “fill our requirements.” “We’re not interested in charity here; we don’t believe in subsidizing substandard work or inefficiency,” Walton wrote in his 1992 autobiography Made in America. “So our primary goal became to work with American manufacturers, and see if our formidable buying power could help them deliver the goods, and in the process, save some American manufacturing jobs.”

            As one retired senior Wal-Mart executive explained: “Sam wanted everything possible [made] in the U. S., but he was not going to pay [extra] for it to stay. The main thing he asked was: ‘Is it good for our customers?’ If not, we went and made it overseas.”

            And so it is equally true — and far less well known — that Sam Walton was the architect of Wal-Mart’s unpublicized “Buy Asia” program.

            In this strategy, Sam Walton was playing catch-up. Sears, Kmart, Target, and JCPenney all had established procurement networks in Asia long before Wal-Mart arrived. Wal-Mart’s decision to arrive unfashionably late was deliberate, according to the retired executive. “In going to Asia and then into China,” he said, “department stores always beat us. A lot of people were there long before we were. But it was part of the strategy to let them go through the initial tortures. [Wal-Mart would] step in when all the groundwork had been laid.”

            So by the time Wal-Mart opened its first buying office in Hong Kong in 1981, “manufacturers were already very competent in Taiwan,” said Gary Hamilton, a professor of sociology at the University of Washington. “There was already a high level of confidence and responsiveness that allowed Wal-Mart to rapidly expand.”

          • option31 says:

            Wow great info./insight. Thanks for doing that. I agree American Manufactures got sloppy and needed somebody like Walton to say hey you need to up your game, which he did and some manufacturers did and stayed here. Some went overseas. What should be done is some how equalize things at the port. We have all these rules and regs on labor and the environment here in the US that put us a huge disavantage vs China, Vietnam etc… . Some agency somewhere knows what these rules/regs cost and a tariff should be imposed reflecting that cost. It is virtually impossible to be competative when the other guy has no rules. Kind of like getting in a fight and having 1 hand tied behind your back.

          • Independent1 says:

            Since you were once a supplier, you may find the following article of interest if you haven’t seen it; it’s entitled: Manufacturing Jobs Returning to America

            The article outlines 7 reasons why America will be the manufacturing center of tomorrow’s world. Here’s an excerpt:

            4. Human capital. The wage gap between the U.S. and China has been shrinking. In 2000, U.S. wages were nearly 22 times higher than comparable wages in China, but by 2015 the difference will be less than four times. Factor in the U.S.’s faster gains in productivity and lower worker turnover rates, and by 2015 many pundits believe labor cost comparisons may no longer be a factor in determining the location of manufacturing operations. Most people don’t realize the U.S. also enjoys a future demographic advantage over other countries. By 2050, the expected to offer the youngest labor force among the major economies, while China and Japan will have the oldest.

            Read more:

            I can attest to the fact that Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in Hartford has concluded that even today, it can produce the parts it needs for its engines cheaper in the U.S. than having them produced abroad when you consider shipping costs and the quality of the parts manufacturing. After years of suffering through one fiasco after another with failed parts suppliers, Pratt has decided to pull back all its parts manufacturing to the U.S.

          • option31 says:

            Thanks Independent, I had not seen this article, have seen others in my industry – wood component manufacturing. I have new customers weekly because of the poor quality parts coming from overseas. Even have foreign customers because they cannot buy quality at home. So it is indeed interesting. Quality stands the test of time IF a company can survive the initial cheap parts meme from customers. People are finally coming to the realization that cheap is not cheap in the long run, quality can last years of a lifetime vs a few months or even a few uses before having to buy another. If US manufactures would focus on quality at a reasonable price they will thrive, its when short term profits are the focus they get in trouble in the long run.

            Enjoyed our conversation, enlightening

          • Independent1 says:

            You’re so right! And when you’re a jet engine manufacturer like Pratt and Whitney, quality of the parts is of the utmost importance. Pratt was even finding that they were having problems even locating foreign job shops who had the people that could even figure out how to produce some of the parts they needed. They were getting parts from overseas (including from places like Poland and Isreal) which did not even look like what the specs required.
            Have a great day! Nice chatting with you!!

  21. The Beech Bums says:

    Since liberty unleashes the knowledge of millions of free people, free countries are able to use far more knowledge than socialist systems.

  22. paulyz says:

    This article states that the 1st. 4 minutes you work pay welfare for Walmart & the Waltons. What about the Federal Government taking much more for welfare & all the state & local governments taxing us to death? More class warfare to fool the masses into accepting Socialism. Then where will all the jobs come from, the Government? And who pays? Wake up!

  23. dpaano says:

    Pretty sad to say the least!! Which is EXACTLY why I won’t step foot in a Walmarts for ANY reason!!

  24. SteveD says:

    Regarding “free stuff,” here is an iron rule of any society: the richer you are, or the higher on the social ladder you are, the more you receive “free stuff” in various forms. And yet, the more you tend to claim to be a “maker” and a “self-made man.” You order your slaves to build you a monument. Afterward you say, “I built this.”

    Meanwhile the poorer you are, the less you receive “free stuff” in its various forms. And yet, the pampered rich call you a “taker.” You do all the work. You keep everything moving. You are invaluable to society. You are the source of everything in civilization. And yet you are a “taker.”

    Which is more indispensable? If all rich people were to disappear, then others would take their place. But if all the not-rich were to disappear, then civilization as we know it would end. And yet, average people are called “takers.”

    The irony: Those federal “benefits” Walmart receives don’t cost anyone anything. In our Monetarily Sovereign nation, taxpayers don’t pay for federal spending. Additionally, if Walmart itself has a higher federal tax obligation, guess who indirectly is accountable for it? That’s right, you are, with higher prices.

    In short, those who object to the “free stuff” that keeps people alive or goes to corporations to keep our economy running (how well of course, is another matter), don’t even pay for the “free stuff.”

    REMEMBER: if a person believes the Big Lie (that federal taxes pay for federal spending), then he automatically works to widen the wealth gap. No matter whether he is a “liberal” or “conservative,” and no matter how well intentioned he may be, he serves the rich at the expense of the rest. It is unavoidable.

    Final note: You indeed do pay for Walmart’s chiselling via your state or local taxes. Often, like many corporations they are very good at swindling idiot state or local politicians into tax breaks or full tax exemptions. They claim that the additional income derived will benefit the citizens of the local economy as a whole or they will increase employment numbers (thereby offsetting tax revenue losses) . Of course that is simply a way to make the rich that much more rich and you that much poorer by paying greater local or state tax rates. Example:When Mercedes Benz of Alabama received additional tax incentives awhile back to expand their plant and production levels-they did not even hire one additional worker. Also, do you realize that your state or local tax liabilities are often just pocketed by these very same corporations instead of being paid to the local or state tax authorities as they should be? (Another devious yet absolutely LEGAL sweetheart scam.)

  25. crusher1944 . says:


  26. NutherGuy says:

    So … food stamps and such are only available to Wal-Mart employees?

    No, that can’t be it. Wal-Mart employees could work somewhere that paid more but they like low pay?

    Don’t think so. You, gentle reader would pay your employees more than the market price for their skills so Wal-Mart should do the same? (I.e., take home less money yourself in order to put more in your employees’ pockets.)

    Yeah, that’s probably it … The majority posting here are more charitable than the owners of Wal-Mart. I get that, and I’m impressed.

    There’s one other possibility, though I’ve already figured out that it’s wrong: Our government shouldn’t be taking so many tax (and borrowed — $0.30 of every dollar the government spends is borrowed from our grandkids) dollars and giving them to people who are actually working. If government cut back on that, workers generally would have more left after taxes and our kids would inherit less debt.

    But I know that’s wrong — this is really just a question of Wal-Mart needing to be more charitable rather than pay its owners (your retirement fund would likely be one of those owners) that money.

  27. Paul Edward says:

    I read your article about Walmart with keen interest. It really pisses me off that the richest family in America worth over $150 billion gets some much preferential treatment and has done so little to help its employees. The daughter that murdered another driver person should be in prison-so much for our judicial system Reminds me of an article I read years ago about Laura Bush when she was in high school in Midland, TX killed a motorist outside of town. She got off easily because her wealthy father had clout in the community and the case was dropped. Walmart and its management along with the family should be ashame of themselves for not paying their employees a livable wage.

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