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Low Wages at a Single Wal-Mart Store


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#16    Lilly

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:10 PM

Christine Walton has a personal net worth of 16 billion dollars....something to think about.

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#17    Michelle

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:12 PM

View Postthewild, on 18 June 2013 - 06:46 PM, said:

That's kind of demeaning to say. Most of us are intelligent there is not much else to choose from around here except health care or fast food.

I didn't mean it to be. :tu:

Both of my parents owned businesses that I was raised in and I have been a business owner for almost thirty years. I have seen a drastic change in that time. The average applicant today can barely spell, follow orders or read a ruler even after graduating college. I don't understand it. I wonder how they expected to get a job in a field they spent a lot of money and four years studying for even if those jobs were available.


#18    F3SS

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:15 PM

Jugoso, how many anti Walmart threads will you make. This was all settled in the last thread and I'll quote my settling arguments again...
Edit: especially the part that states Walmart saves consumers $200B annually in savings.

View PostF3SS, on 25 November 2012 - 06:48 PM, said:

I just came across this article on theblaze and this Pete Suderman guy came up with the same logical conclusions I did, especially points 6,7,8 & 9. So you don't blow it off  I'm just going to paste the whole article. And I'm also going to follow up by posting the articles from the links on points 14 & 17. All these articles really do wonders to render your arguments invalid.

http://www.theblaze....talking-points/
It’s no secret that many on the left (and even some on the right) really, truly dislike Walmart and its business practices. Indeed, just yesterday the union-backed OUR Walmart tried to disrupt the big box retailer’s Black Friday sales by staging a nationwide protest. Luckily for Walmart, the protest did little damage and the much-touted employee walkout never materialized.

But let’s talk about the long-standing and persistent hatred against the company. Let’s face it, ever since Walmart became an economic powerhouse, they’ve been attacked, maligned, smeared, and, in some cases, blocked by certain communities from even opening stores.

We all know the arguments against the retailer: Walmart puts mom-and-pop stores out of work; Walmart doesn’t pay its employees enough; Walmart doesn’t offer the healthcare benefits its employees deserve; Walmart operates on “greed.”

But there has to be another side to this argument. Is there anything to be said that might explain the retailer’s massive and continued success? Perhaps.

Peter Suderman, senior editor for Reason.com, on Saturday used Twitter to lay out his observations on the big box giant. Luckily for us, a tweet from The Heritage Foundation’s excellent Lachlan Markay notified us as to what was happening on Suderman’s timeline and we were able to follow along.

Below are Suderman’s thoughts on Walmart, its employee pay, and what would happen if unions get their way [author's note: We've put Suderman's tweets into list format because it’s much easier to read that way]:

Really enjoyed talking Walmart and Black Friday on @upwithchris [MSNBC’s Chris Hayes] this morning. I’m going to add a few stray observations on twitter.

1. Walmart’s customer base is heavily concentrated in the bottom income quintile, which spends heavily on food.
2.The bottom income quintile spends about 25 percent of income on food compared to just 3.5 percent for the top quintile.
3. So the benefits of Walmart’s substantially lower prices to the lowest earning cohort are huge, especially on food.
4. Obama adviser Jason Furman has estimated the welfare boost of Walmart’s low food prices alone is about $50b a year.
5. Walmart’s wages are about average for retail. Not amazing. But not the worst either.
6. Paying Walmart’s workers more would mean the money has to come from somewhere. But where?
7. Erase the Walmart CEO’s entire salary, and you can raise average hourly wages by just a penny or so.
8. Erase the entire Walton family fortune and you get an average $1/hour boost to Walmart workers.
9. Raise prices to pay for increased wages and you cut into the store’s huge low-price benefits for the poor. It’s regressive.
10. But what about Costco? They pay more, right? Yes, but it’s a different, smaller market.
11. Walmart’s average customer earns roughly $35k. Costco’s average customer earns about $75k.
12. Costco only has about half as many employees as Walmart. What would happen if Walmart adopted a Costco model and shrank to Costco size?
13. Not at all clear that the remaining half of Walmart workers would be better off. Many would almost certainly be worse off. Unemployed.
14. Obama econ adviser Jason Furman did a lot of the work on Walmart’s progressive benefits. His case: http://www.slate.com..._good_news.html
15. Finally, as someone who’s actually been a regular, small-town Walmart shopper, I’d like to argue for its community benefits.
16. Yes, some small stores close when Walmart opens. But in small towns, Walmart can become real community hubs – more so, because of size.
17. As for Walmart workers getting health benefits thru Medicaid, that’s due in part to a policy liberals argued for: wapo.st/axXXNE

We’re not sure which is more impressive: The all-encompassing nature of Suderman’s observations or the fact that he was able to do it in 140-character bursts.

From #14
http://www.slate.com..._good_news.html
Is Wal-Mart Good for the American Working Class?

Although we've never met, I'm tempted to call you "Barb," the name you were given in your weeks as a Wal-Mart employee. I myself have never worked at Wal-Mart, and I can only remember shopping there once. In fact, I instinctively recoil at the big-box shopping centers spreading their uniformity across the American landscape. But I try hard not to let my personal and somewhat elitist shopping inclinations get in the way of an appraisal of Wal-Mart's positive role in America's economy and society. (For my full appraisal, see this paper I did for a panel at the Center for American Progress.

Are you as surprised as I am by how quickly Wal-Mart's critics move past the issue of low prices? You will hear comments like, "Yes, Wal-Mart may have somewhat low prices, but let's talk about its impact on workers, the environment, trade with China, etc." But given just how important these low prices are to the hundreds of millions of Americans that shop there, I hope I can beg your indulgence to linger on them for a few moments.
A range of studies has found that Wal-Mart's prices are 8 percent to 39 percent below the prices of its competitors. The single most careful economic study, co-authored by the well-respected MIT economist Jerry Hausman, found that grocery sales by Wal-Mart and other big-box stores made consumers better off to the tune of 25 percent of food consumption. That doesn't mean much for those of us in the top fifth of the income distribution—we spend only about 3.5 percent of our income on food at home and, at least in my case, most of that shopping is done at high-priced supermarkets like Whole Foods. But that's a huge savings for households in the bottom quintile, which, on average, spend 26 percent of their income on food. In fact, it is equivalent to a 6.5 percent boost in household income—unless the family lives in New York City or one of the other places that have successfully kept Wal-Mart and its ilk away.
Where do these low prices come from? Paul Krugman, writing back in 1993, provides an answer: "The most significant American business success story of the late 20th century may well be Wal-Mart, which has applied extensive computerization and a home-grown version of Japan's 'just in time' inventory methods to revolutionize retailing." Many economists didn't expect the service sector to contribute much to productivity. Many non-economists still have a hard time believing it has. But Harvard economist Ken Rogoff has the numbers, and they are mind boggling:
[T]ogether with a few sister "big box" stores (Target, Best Buy, and Home Depot), Wal-Mart accounts for roughly 50% of America's much vaunted productivity growth edge over Europe during the last decade. Fifty percent! Similar advances in wholesaling supply chains account for another 25%! The notion that Americans have gotten better at everything while other rich countries have stood still is thus wildly misleading. The US productivity miracle and the emergence of Wal-Mart-style retailing are virtually synonymous.
OK, enough indulging. Maybe you're ready to grant my point that Wal-Mart's low prices are great for the 298 million Americans who don't work there. But what about the 1.3 million Americans who do work for Wal-Mart? Here the evidence is murkier, in part because Wal-Mart refuses to release the data on its wages and benefits that could clear up a number of questions. What we do know is that its wages and benefits are about average for the retail sector—which is to say, not so great. It is harder to quantify other aspects of the job, like the quality of the work, the number of breaks, the prospects for advancement. You should let me know how you think it compares.
Studies have reached conflicting conclusions about the impact of Wal-Mart on local labor markets, with some finding that it creates more jobs than it displaces and others finding that it reduces jobs and nominal wages. Personally, I don't put a huge amount of stock in any of these findings because I believe that Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve decide the total number of jobs nationwide. If anything, the greater competition and productivity growth associated with the growth of Wal-Mart may have played a role in allowing the Federal Reserve to tolerate the high level of job creation in the 1990s.
But I understand why progressives are so upset about low wages and inadequate benefits. I am also upset by the rise of inequality and the relatively slow economic progress that the bottom 80 percent of Americans have made over the last several decades. I just think Wal-Mart is the wrong place to put the blame or to expect the solution. But I'll postpone that discussion for another day.

View PostF3SS, on 25 November 2012 - 06:49 PM, said:

From #17
http://www.washingto...5112700687.html
Progressive Wal-Mart. Really.

By Sebastian Mallaby
Monday, November 28, 2005
There's a comic side to the anti-Wal-Mart campaign brewing in Maryland and across the country. Only by summoning up the most naive view of corporate behavior can the critics be shocked -- shocked! -- by the giant retailer's machinations. Wal-Mart is plotting to contain health costs! But isn't that what every company does in the face of medical inflation? Wal-Mart has a war room to defend its image! Well, yeah, it's up against a hostile campaign featuring billboards, newspaper ads and a critical documentary movie. Wal-Mart aims to enrich shareholders and put rivals out of business! Hello? What business doesn't do that?

Wal-Mart's critics allege that the retailer is bad for poor Americans. This claim is backward: As Jason Furman of New York University puts it, Wal-Mart is "a progressive success story." Furman advised John "Benedict Arnold" Kerry in the 2004 campaign and has never received any payment from Wal-Mart; he is no corporate apologist. But he points out that Wal-Mart's discounting on food alone boosts the welfare of American shoppers by at least $50 billion a year. The savings are possibly five times that much if you count all of Wal-Mart's products.

These gains are especially important to poor and moderate-income families. The average Wal-Mart customer earns $35,000 a year, compared with $50,000 at Target and $74,000 at Costco. Moreover, Wal-Mart's "every day low prices" make the biggest difference to the poor, since they spend a higher proportion of income on food and other basics. As a force for poverty relief, Wal-Mart's $200 billion-plus assistance to consumers may rival many federal programs. Those programs are better targeted at the needy, but they are dramatically smaller. Food stamps were worth $33 billion in 2005, and the earned-income tax credit was worth $40 billion.

Set against these savings for consumers, Wal-Mart's alleged suppression of wages appears trivial.
Arindrajit Dube of the University of California at Berkeley, a leading Wal-Mart critic, has calculated that the firm has caused a $4.7 billion annual loss of wages for workers in the retail sector. This number is disputed: Wal-Mart's pay and benefits can be made to look good or bad depending on which other firms you compare them to. When Wal-Mart opened a store in Glendale, Ariz., last year, it received 8,000 applications for 525 jobs, suggesting that not everyone believes the pay and benefits are unattractive.

But let's say we accept Dube's calculation that retail workers take home $4.7 billion less per year because Wal-Mart has busted unions and generally been ruthless. That loss to workers would still be dwarfed by the $50 billion-plus that Wal-Mart consumers save on food, never mind the much larger sums that they save altogether. Indeed, Furman points out that the wage suppression is so small that even its "victims" may be better off. Retail workers may take home less pay, but their purchasing power probably still grows thanks to Wal-Mart's low prices.

To be fair, the $4.7 billion of wage suppression in the retail sector excludes Wal-Mart's efforts to drive down wages at its suppliers. "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price," the new anti-Wal-Mart movie that's circulating among activist groups, has the requisite passage about Chinese workers getting pennies per day, sweating to keep Wal-Mart's shelves stocked with cheap clothing. But no study has shown whether Wal-Mart's tactics actually do suppress wages in China or elsewhere, and suppression seems unlikely in poor countries. The Chinese garment workers are mainly migrants from farms, where earnings are even worse than at Wal-Mart's subcontractors and where the labor is still more grueling.

Wal-Mart's critics also paint the company as a parasite on taxpayers, because 5 percent of its workers are on Medicaid. Actually that's a typical level for large retail firms, and the national average for all firms is 4 percent. Moreover, it's ironic that Wal-Mart's enemies, who are mainly progressives, should even raise this issue. In the 1990s progressives argued loudly for the reform that allowed poor Americans to keep Medicaid benefits even if they had a job. Now that this policy is helping workers at Wal-Mart, progressives shouldn't blame the company. Besides, many progressives favor a national health system. In other words, they attack Wal-Mart for having 5 percent of its workers receive health care courtesy of taxpayers when the policy that they support would increase that share to 100 percent.

Companies like Wal-Mart are not run by saints. They can treat workers and competitors roughly. They may be poor stewards of the environment. When they break the law they must be punished. Wal-Mart is at the center of the globalized, technology-driven economy that's radically increased American inequality, so it's not surprising that it has critics. But globalization and business innovation are nonetheless the engines of progress; and if that sounds too abstract, think of the $200 billion-plus that Wal-Mart consumers gain annually. If critics prevent the firm from opening new branches, they will prevent ordinary families from sharing in those gains. Poor Americans will be chief among the casualties.


Edited by F3SS, 18 June 2013 - 07:19 PM.


#19    Bama13

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:16 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 18 June 2013 - 07:04 PM, said:

There is no hate thing, there is just the fact that they are getting rich with the tax money you refuse to pay while cheering and applauding that you have to feed those they underpay.

"there is just the fact that they are getting rich with the tax money"

Then hate the people giving them the tax money. I don't blame welfare people for getting welfare, I blame the government for giving it to them.

"tax money you refuse to pay"
I pay my taxes, thank you very much.

"while cheering and applauding that you have to feed those they underpay"
The article mentioned how much in Medicaid it cost Wisconsin. I didn't know Medicaid provided food.

Edited by Bama13, 18 June 2013 - 07:17 PM.

" Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything —you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him" - Robert Heinlein

#20    Lava_Lady

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:16 PM

No wonder the employees are so grumpy and apathetic.

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function."  - F. Scott Fitzgerald


#21    thewild

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:17 PM

You would be amazed at how many of us regular associates at wal-mart have degrees. One gal is a M.D. in mathmatics, but is retired so she makes change as a cashier. She is super intelligent, and a hoot to chat with. It is amazing how many are just trying to stretch their social security out. I am leaving retail(thank god) to pursue a career in health care. I used most of my paychecks to pay for college. I'm still not done but on the way to a better future.
*edit for spelling :)

Edited by thewild, 18 June 2013 - 07:19 PM.

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#22    Bama13

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:18 PM

View PostLilly, on 18 June 2013 - 07:10 PM, said:

Christine Walton has a personal net worth of 16 billion dollars....something to think about.

Bill Gates says shes a piker. Let's all get mad at MicroSoft.

" Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything —you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him" - Robert Heinlein

#23    Bama13

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:21 PM

View Postthewild, on 18 June 2013 - 07:17 PM, said:

You would be amazed at how many of us regular associates at wal-mart have degrees. One gal is a M.D. in mathmatics, but is retired so she mages change as a cashier. She is super intelligent, and a hoot to chat with. It is amazing how many are just trying to stretch their social security out. I am leaving retail(thank god) to pursue a career in health care. I used most of my paychecks to pay for college. I'm still not done but on the way to a better future.

So evil Wal-Mart helped you make it through college to get a better job. Good for you! Good luck with your new job. Sorry you hate the company that helped make it possible.

" Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything —you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him" - Robert Heinlein

#24    Bama13

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:22 PM

View PostLava_Lady, on 18 June 2013 - 07:16 PM, said:

No wonder the employees are so grumpy and apathetic.

They're not in Tallahassee, Florida. Very friendly and helpful.

" Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything —you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him" - Robert Heinlein

#25    Michelle

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:23 PM

View Postthewild, on 18 June 2013 - 07:17 PM, said:


*edit for spelling :)

:w00t:  We don't judge here...those are typos.


#26    questionmark

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:23 PM

View PostBama13, on 18 June 2013 - 07:16 PM, said:

"there is just the fact that they are getting rich with the tax money"

Then hate the people giving them the tax money. I don't blame welfare people for getting welfare, I blame the government for giving it to them.

"tax money you refuse to pay"
I pay my taxes, thank you very much.

"while cheering and applauding that you have to feed those they underpay"
The article mentioned how much in Medicaid it cost Wisconsin. I didn't know Medicaid provided food.

And, if I may ask, how many people get Medicaid if they don't get other aid, i.e. food stamps?

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#27    rashore

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:44 PM

Just saying... The report using information from Medicaid is about employees utilizing the BadgerCare+ program. BC+ is only for families or children and does not make up the entirety of Medicaid in Wisconsin. There are about 3,200 of approximately 30,000 Wi Walmart employees enrolled in BC+. It would be unlikely that of a 300 staff store, every single employee would qualify for BC+, let alone every single one of them actively enrolled. It would be interesting in that report if they included all Medicaid, Wisconsin Well Woman Program, and other state programs. It also would have been interesting if they had included say the top 5 employers with the largest amounts of BC+ enrolled employees for a comparison.

That said, a lot of places, including Walmart pay low wages and a lot of employees find themselves seeking assistance of various kinds. And that just sucks.


#28    jugoso

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:47 PM

View PostBama13, on 18 June 2013 - 07:03 PM, said:

Ah, the whole "hate them because they are successful" thingy. Got it. Won't do it. I refuse to hate something/someone just because they are successful. I'm certain all for-profit business are in business to make a profit. I won't hold them making a profit against them.

Even if it costs YOU 6,000$ a year to make such a profit?? I don´t despise Walmart because they make a profit but for all the loop-holes they use to avoid paying benefits.

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Free your mind and you ass will follow.
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#29    F3SS

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:52 PM

View Postjugoso, on 18 June 2013 - 07:47 PM, said:



Even if it costs YOU 6,000$ a year to make such a profit?? I don´t despise Walmart because they make a profit but for all the loop-holes they use to avoid paying benefits.
Post #18... Quit ignoring it. It smashes everything you think to pieces.


#30    questionmark

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 08:04 PM

View Postrashore, on 18 June 2013 - 07:44 PM, said:

Just saying... The report using information from Medicaid is about employees utilizing the BadgerCare+ program. BC+ is only for families or children and does not make up the entirety of Medicaid in Wisconsin. There are about 3,200 of approximately 30,000 Wi Walmart employees enrolled in BC+. It would be unlikely that of a 300 staff store, every single employee would qualify for BC+, let alone every single one of them actively enrolled. It would be interesting in that report if they included all Medicaid, Wisconsin Well Woman Program, and other state programs. It also would have been interesting if they had included say the top 5 employers with the largest amounts of BC+ enrolled employees for a comparison.

That said, a lot of places, including Walmart pay low wages and a lot of employees find themselves seeking assistance of various kinds. And that just sucks.

It is not unique of Wal-Mart, in fact the low wages at the expense of all is very instituted, starting with sweat shops and ending with cheap services at discounters.

Buying cheap at the end comes very expensive.

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