June 25, 2014

Erica Smiley

Erica Smiley

Walmart’s Food Stamp Scam Explained in One Easy Chart


Walmart, the nation’s most profitable corporation, may also be the greatest beneficiary of the taxpayer-funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly referred to as food stamps.

But how has Walmart managed to make so much money off of taxpayers? For the short answer, take a look at the chart below where we’ve illustrated the scam. For the long answer, keep reading.


Step One: Pay your employees so little that they are forced to rely on food stamps to survive.

Even at Walmart’s definition of a full-time job, an employee earning the company’s average wage of $8.81/hour makes just $15,500 per year, placing them well below the federal poverty line for a family of four. With such low wages, even when working full-time hours, many associates are forced to depend on taxpayer-funded assistance such as food stamps and Medicaid to survive. In other words, Walmart is shifting responsibility onto the public for ensuring their associates’ basic needs are met. One study showed that a single Walmart can cost taxpayers anywhere from $904,542 to nearly $1.75 million per year, or about $5,815 per employee for these programs all because one of the world’s most profitable retailers is paying substandard wages and benefits. A more recent report by Americans for Tax Fairness revealed that Walmart’s reliance on programs like food stamps cost federal taxpayers an estimated $6.2 billion a year.

Step Two: Exploit loopholes to avoid paying billions in taxes that fund food stamps.

While taxpayers are shouldering the responsibility to ensure Walmart’s employees can make ends meet, the company zealously avoids contributing its fair share of taxes using a myriad of schemes. Another report by Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies claims the company exploits a little-known loophole to avoid an estimated $104 million in U.S. taxes by granting extravagant “performance pay” bonuses to top executives. You read that right – the more Walmart pays its executives, the less it pays in taxes.

The Waltons, the nation’s wealthiest family and owners of Walmart, contribute almost none of their personal wealth to the charitable foundation that bears their name and instead uses the charity’s tax structure to avoid an estimated $3 billion per year in estate taxes.

By fervently minimizing its tax liability, Walmart has once again dodged its responsibility in addressing its employees’ basic needs and is instead letting the rest of us foot the bill.

Step Three: Reap billions in profits when food stamps are spent in your stores.

So what happens to all those food stamp dollars? They’re spent at Walmart!

Last year alone, Walmart collected an estimated $13 billion in revenue from food stamps spent in their stores. As Slate and NPR reported in April,

“The same company that brings in the most food stamp dollars in revenue – an estimated $13 billion last year – also likely has the most employees using food stamps.”

There you have it. Walmart’s perfected its food stamp scheme by keeping its employees dependent on taxpayer-funded food stamps, not paying its fair share in taxes to  fund SNAP, and then reaping all the profits from food stamp redemption in its stores.

For a company that can easily afford to pay its employees decent wages, Walmart has decided to do just the opposite. Just last week, the company’s spokesman, David Tovar, published a snarky retort in response to a recent New York Times opinion column denouncing the company’s refusal to meet its employees’ most basic needs. As the Huffington Post revealed, Tovar’s “fact check” was short on actual facts, but it did illustrate another of Walmart’s usual strategies: when problems are exposed within your ranks, unleash a well-funded PR machine instead of addressing the issue.

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  • taketime2str

    This can be amplified to every large retailer out there who exploit workers by keeping them as part time avoiding giving them company benefits, paying low wages while training their workers for specialist jobs handling freight with heavy equipment etc. I.m talking about Penny.s, Sears, Home Depot, Lowes Target and a host of others. We may as well get everyones dirty laundry out in the open.

    • disqus_eslqC70Xbi

      I’ve been looking for work and 99% of restaurants do not have any full time employees. I had an interview yesterday with Bojangles. I was told that I would only get between 10-15 hours/week at minimum wage. I cannot pay my very small mortgage on that.

      • godisafairytale

        Mortgage?? I assume you’re looking to work at a fast food place because you don’t have a college degree. Why did you take on a mortgage in the first place without the means and education to pay for it?

        • liberalinlove

          Do you honestly think there are not college graduates working at restaurants and that people who buy houses don’t lose their jobs.

          Have you fact checked the statistics?

        • disqus_eslqC70Xbi

          I have a Bachelor’s degree, thank you. I’ve had interviews for positions within the State gov’t where I previously had a nice job. I had figured out exactly how much mortgage I could afford before I even applied for a mortgage = 25% of net income to be precise. The loan officer was surprised as most people have no idea what kind of payment they can handle.

          The reason why I was applying to restaurants is that they are always hiring. My mother (who died in 1981) said that people have to eat so restaurant work is always available. She owned a deli and I worked there to keep a roof over my head.

          I am currently working in a distribution center for a worldwide company. I’ve just finished working my first ‘week’ of 6 12 hour days in a row. It is a job and I can make my payment. I’ve just been able to make all the payments in a streamlined modification. My next mortgage payment will be slightly less than my previous mortgage and I am not in arrears either.

        • disqus_eslqC70Xbi

          I am trying to keep a roof over my head. Over the last few years I’ve worked 6 days a week at 3, sometimes 4 jobs.

        • jake

          has it ever occurred to you that this person you are insulting may have lost their good paying job because of George W. Bush and his David Copperfield economics in 2008?

    • happylada

      Out government has made new fulltime jobs impossible for most companies that have very limited margins.

    • They are all following in Walmart’s footsteps though. Walmart set the precedent. It’s sad to think that all of the Walmart business model followers would probably have started doing this a long time ago if they had known they could get away with it.

    • I think airing everyone’s dirty laundry is a great idea!

  • robregon

    That is corporate America for you !!!

  • shane_menken

    They are a cancer on the American economy.

    • theonethatlived

      We all know this~what can we do to stop its growth? As long their employees continue as “indentured servants” by working there and then taking their earnings along with their food stamps to spend there, it will continue. I know the employees get whopping 10% discount! Woo Hoo!
      It would be so cool IF any of the Waltons or any of their stock holders were given the challenge to work at one of their stores for a 2 week period~part time~getting paid as the other employees do, live in an area that many workers live, pay for every need out of their pay~wonder of that would change their perspective~NOT A CHANCE! These people would NEVER step outside of their sanitized lives.

      I do not envy wealthy people, would not want what they have. I know wealthy people and they are generally unhappy, never is anything “enough,” they fear losing their status/money. We are blessed that we have all we need and a little extra to give back to those that are in need. Do not qualify for tax deductions, but that is not why we do it. It is just the right thing to do. Many with the income to give, give for the deduction and for no other reason.

      • happylada

        A bitter comment at best. You are obviously oblivious of the real world on the next block to where you live. And rich people MAY appear unhappy to you, because they have responsibilities – they have a million mouths to feed, not just one or two.

        IF you were willing to take on that responsibility, you would NOT have to worry about a minimum wage job. IF they make a mistake, the business is gone, and their jobs with it. Wmt has hired 42,000 veterans in the past year. No one else would.

        And WMT is VERY generous with their charities and personal donations. They are anything but the greedy scumnbags you portray.


        • shitzugirl07

          How would you know? Do you know any one of them personally? And why is it that just because they do a good deed that anything that is on the scummy side is glossed over by you and them? And as they said, charity starts at home. Instead of being “Very generous” with others, how about raising their employees income so they are not dependent on government assistance? They have the cash, it’s very well documented. The Walton children each take home over a Billion dollars a year. And what do senior managers make? Most of them get over several million dollars a year. If you lower their bonuses or salary just a bit the store employee could get a raise and everyone is a part of the solution.

        • godisafairytale

          Lol did you just link that ridiculous fake “fact check” written by Walmart’s PR firm and posted on Walmart’s website, as “evidence” of Walmart’s good deeds?? Wow.
          I smell a PR man in here.
          Nice try, happylada, how about posting some hard numbers?

  • del2124

    Walmart is a wonderful example of why policy solutions, not just individual corporate decisions, are needed to address things like wealth disparity. Even if the CEO of Walmart woke up one morning and decided that it might morally better (or just better in the long run for the health of the company) to pay workers more and give them benefits, in the sort term the quarterly profits of the company would go down, the stock prices would fall, and the CEO would get fired. The problem is basically impossible to solve without new laws.

    • Kevin Sibona

      So what you are suggesting is government regulation of private companies, correct? That every business in this country, no matter the size, should allow the federal government to walk in its doors, tell them what to pay their employees (regardless of how it affects their profit margin), what benefits to give them, how many hours to work them, how many employees to hire, etc.? Why stop there? Why not tell them what services and goods they can offer? Why not tell them that no matter whether the person is qualified for the position they have to hire x-amount of whites, x-amount of blacks, x-amount of latinos, x-amount of asians, and so on?
      What you are proposing here is no longer any semblence of a free market. It is the destruction of capitalism, which is what built this country whether you like it or not. This is the introduction of a socialist-fascist government overreach into the private sector.
      The number one reason companies like Walmart, Target, and Sears are in business is to make money. To turn a profit. The CEO makes more than you and I 3 times over because he has more responsibility than we do. Could you wake up tomorrow morning and step into his position? Run a multi-BILLION dollar, multinational corporation? Probably not. Neither could I. Which is why we don’t do it.
      Lastly, to the point that the “average worker makes $8.81/hr, far less than the poverty level for a family of four…” I say this: If you have a family of four, why are there not 2 incomes? I realize that jobs are short right now, as is money, but this article assumes that in a family of four only one person is making an income. Why not assume that both adults are working, thereby increasing the average income to around $31,000/year. Which, I can guarantee you, is more than enough to support a family of four, especially in the areas of this country that Walmart is concentrated in.
      Your assertion that we need more laws, more government, to solve the problem is short sighted and ignorant.

      • Fatboyardee

        Nice strawman argument there. If we do X, then it’s a very short time until we have 10x or 100x …

        I guarantee that the CEO of walmart makes more like 100x (or more) what you and I make per year, not 3x.

        Go back to your Ayn Rand fantasy world and its boilerplate arguments. Realpolitik says that the very rich are getting richer, everybody else is getting poorer, and a massive correction is about to take place.

        • Kevin Sibona

          OK, agreed that the CEO makes much much more than what I put for an example. However, the point of the example remains: He is in place because he has the knowledge, the education, and the ability to be responsible for this large company. Nobody here on this thread could step into his office tomorrow and do his job. It takes years of education and experience to get to that point. And do you know what he started out doing before he made it that far? I’ve got 10 bucks that says he worked a menial job for menial pay when he first got into the work force.
          The division between rich and poor is growing, but not because the poor are getting fleeced. It’s because the poor are being told on a constant basis that they have no other choice than to be poor, that they have to stay poor because those big ol’ meanie rich CEO’s are taking all the money. Redistribution of wealth (your “correction”, I’m assuming) is nothing more than government sanctioned theft. To deprive the men and women who have worked hard to get where they are, made sacrifices, spent time and money to achieve the high level they have of the rewards they so justly deserve is criminal at worst and mean-spirited at the least.

          • theonethatlived

            The current CEO Doug McMillon is 48 years old. Here is a time line of his rise to the top:

            1984 – Summer associate at a Walmart Distribution Center
            1990 – Began full-time career working at a Walmart in
            2006-2009 – President and CEO of Sam’s Club
            2010-2013 – President and CEO of Walmart International (succeeding Mike Duke)
            2013 – CEO of Walmart (taking office February 1, 2014)He does have an education~bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1989,
            MBA in 1991.
            1990, while pursuing his MBA, he rejoined the company in a Tulsa, Okla., Walmart store.
            Much of McMillon’s 22-year career has been in merchandising in the
            Walmart U.S. division, with experience in food, apparel and general
            merchandise. He has also held various merchandising positions at Sam’s Club and Walmart International in addition to holding leadership roles in all three operating segments of the company.
            He is on the board, He also worked within the overseas operations of the company.
            So, he did start at an entry level job at a distribution center, apparently did that one summer. Then he attended college.
            Good for him to be as wealthy and powerful as he is. Part of his success is that he is a “friend” of the Walton family. So he got to where he is because of that. Who you know kind of thing. Chance are if you are a friend of a powerful family like that, you are part of that social circle. Not many of those that make it to that level are “outsiders.”
            As for the “poor,” there will always be those that will be so. I know of many hardworking people trying to get a head of the poverty level by working at Walmart and the other big box stores/companies, but if you are not part of that inner circle, you will not advance within those companies. Getting an education give them the way out. And some do it.

          • Kevin Sibona

            Knowing the right people always has its advantages. That will never change.
            Thank you for putting his timeline out there for us. While he may not be the poster boy for the blue collar success story, it does show that he at least worked within the company before taking over the Big Chair.
            Not everyone will be able to work themselves out of poverty. That is a sad, harsh reality. But for anyone to say that the failures of one group of people is directly connected to the success of another group, especially in this sense, is a poor attempt to connect dots that unfortunately will not connect.

          • theonethatlived

            Many of those underpaid under appreciated “working poor” within this corporation just want to get a better level of pay and benefits for what they do. With as many stores and the amount of profit each rakes in on a weekly basis is a failure to its employees when these employees are not paid a living wage and must seek food stamps to feed their families. Again there will always people that are not able to get a higher education to climb that ladder, but they can be and many are loyal to the company to spend all their working years in the postions that they are capable of doing. Paying them more based on performance, years of service with even the basic of benefits would be the best PR this company could do. But after all these years of continued growth and the pool of employees they can exploit, fat chance of that happening.

          • happylada

            Its called class envy. Bill gates doid NOT come from money – he had an idea. Herman Cain did NOT come from money – he worked hard. Ben Carson did NOT come from money – he studied hard because his mother MADE him do it

            You cannot be lazy, stupid and uneducated and expect to get rich.

          • shitzugirl07

            You need to stop making up things and take a good look around. Most CEO’s do not have degree’s, many dropped out of school.
            You are nothing but a taking point messenger. Good bye!

          • Kevin Sibona

            Really? That’s your argument, that “Most CEO’s do not have degree’s, many dropped out of school..”?
            Are you delusional, or just ignorant? Do you seriously believe that you can become the head of a multinational, multi-BILLION corporation without some sort of credentials or being a drop-out?!
            Please, PLEASE, stop thumping yourself in the head with a cast iron pan and think for once. I know it’s going to hurt, but try it out.

          • Sue Keirsbilck Tanea

            Please leave us all a list of CEO’s without degrees and also a list of those with degrees. If you are going to post comments as crazy as this please back it up.. There are over 6 million corporations in the US.. Can’t wait to see your list…

          • Aidan F

            Stealing money from taxpayers, in this case in the billions of dollars, is equally criminal. There must be retribution for it.

          • kmarsh

            did you not read the fucking article? they are using our tax money to subsidize their employees asshole! does that not bother you?

        • happylada

          China tried that – the Cultural Revolution – the nations just about collapsed after getting rid of all the people that KNEW how things worked. I can see you are just waiting to collapse the US, and the futures of all the poor people who depend on these very bright individuals who actually KNOW how to run a business – as compared to some sports player of singer who contributes NOTHING but gets fabulously wealthy. Their wealth I think you would be justified to take – they produce nothing of value.

      • Jessie Mae

        The CEOs sometimes earn 750-1000 times the average hourly worker in companies like at Walmart and McD.

        I believe that companies who make their fortunes using roads, ports, public utilities, education of employees who went to public schools, and on and on…..there should be some returns of prosperity to the community…there is a moral component, an appreciation for the benefits the company has received. Success and wealth are not the problem. Utter disdain for workers who make money for the company and an absence of conscience is evidence of psychopathology.

        • Kevin Sibona

          Walmart routinely spends more money in the local community than any other large retailer in the world. The associates that work at the local stores are extremely active in charities, usually posting 1000’s of hours of volunteer work. These workers do it out of the goodness of their hearts, and management encourages it, even gives incentives on occasion. Through donations of goods, money, and time Walmart gives back more than you can possibly imagine.

          • theonethatlived

            Gives back more than we imagine~really~I would like to see them pay their employees better, treat them better and stop being the toxic work place that it is.
            As for their giving to the community~that is just another “dog & pony show” to make everyone think they are “the good guys.’
            I gotta ask you Kevin Sibona~do you work for this company? If so, what is your position? Your defense of them has to be due to that.

          • Kevin Sibona

            I did work for them, for about 4 years. I started out as a regular deli associate, moved up to department manager of the deli, and then to electronics department manager. I left because I found a position with another company that worked better with my college degree. I decided that Walmart was not the career path for me, so I went somewhere else. In the four years I was with them, I received regular quarterly bonuses, regular pay increases, and enjoyed a benefits package that would rival any other company out there. When I left, I had enough accrued vacation, personal, and sick time that I kept receiving a paycheck for almost a month after I stopped working. I participated in fundraising drives for Children’s Miracle Network, various charities for Veteran’s benefits, and local charities as well. We worked within the community to donate food to the local food bank, merchandise to local carnivals and festivals, and time to helping improve the look of the city we lived in and worked in.
            Walmart consistently pays their employees more than minimum wage even for entry level positions like cashier and stocker, and encourages each individual within the company to advance to higher positions (Zone Merchandise Manager, Department Manager, Assistant Manager, and even Store Manager). It has been my experience that, while Walmart may not be the absolute best job in the world, anyone that works there has the chance to move up and improve themselves (and, as a result, the company itself) to any level they want. All it takes it the desire to advance and the dedication to apply oneself to do so. While I do not recommend every person to go to work for them, it is far from the Evil Corporation that so many make it out to be.

          • theonethatlived

            Okay, now where is this Walmart that you worked for? How long ago was this?
            I ask because here in North East Fl and North West Fl Walmarts pay their entry level employees just at minimum wage & only part time hours. As for store/department/assistant manager positions they may get a decent “package” but overall the ones that are on the deck dealing with customers, hassled by said managers that want to “shine” for corporate, those are the ones that are making the profits for the company.
            I am well aware that in any business the biggest “burden” is employee pay/benefits.
            My family member, with an AA, started as a cashier, worked overnights as shift supervisor, cash office accountant, trained for “store cop,” last position was what you call “Zone Merchandise Manager.” All hourly. Tried to advance, but it did not happen. Kept getting empty promises. Left the company as soon as could.
            As for all the good will participation, here it is always just an exercise in PR. Yeah I have given to the Children’s Miracle Network by adding a couple of bucks to my total. Have not seen anything for veterans. I am a veteran and this area is loaded with veterans and retired military people.
            My main point is that a company like this that has taken over so much of the retail business on a global level, has not taken care of those that are making the company the profits and they are not compensated for it.

          • Kevin Sibona

            The store I worked at is in Southeast Kansas, in one of the poorest counties in the state. When I started in 2009, I had just moved with my wife and less than one year old son from Texas, where I worked as a Working Partner with Sonic Drive-In. I made good money there, but the work kept me away from my family, so we moved to Kansas to be closer to family.
            I left in 2013, just over a year ago.
            To your point of advancement in the company, I saw people move from cashier to Customer Service Rep, to Support Manager, to Department Manager, to going and taking the training for Assistant Manager. Not everyone makes it. Some people excel at advancing, some come up short. The point is that it is available to anyone who wants it. If the store management continually made promises that they did not keep, that is one particular store and is not indicative of the company as a whole.
            Walmart is required to pay their employees what they feel they are worth, nothing more. The fact that they do participate in profit sharing, they allow employees to purchase stocks, and offer health benefits that are competitive with other companies is what is known as “fringe benefits”. They are not required to offer these things, but they do because it is how they recognize the hard work and dedication of those that put in the time and effort.
            There are many things that each store does for their employees that people never see: Catered Christmas dinners, free meals from the Deli for every person working on Thanksgiving, accident-free incentives like ice cream, movie giveaways, and gift cards, retirement celebrations, birthday celebrations, the list goes on. Not everyone will love their job, that’s for sure. There were many days that I dreaded going in because I knew there would be that one manager that would make my day horrible. Which is why I started looking for something else. The thing is, some people do really love working there and make it a career, others don’t.
            If the only reference we have for how Walmart treats their employees is biased articles on the Internet (on either side, mind you) or the experience of a single person that we are related to or happen to know, then we are not getting the whole story. I find it hard to believe that, if everyone hated working there so much, that they would be as successful a company as they are. If it was so bad, nobody would work for them and they would fold within a year.
            Talk to some other employees, ask them about their experiences, talk with some of the people who happen to work in the corporate office that started out as a cart pusher or cashier and became the head of an entire division and then talk to some of the people that have been a cashier their entire working time at Walmart. You will get a variety of stories and viewpoints, but one thing will be clear: Walmart is just like any other employer in the country. The only difference is that they are REALLY big and that garners a lot of attention in the media, both good and bad.

          • theonethatworkedthere24years

            I simply can’t listen to any more from you Kevin Sibona. I worked there for 24 years.My husband worked for the company for 30 years, mostly as an assistant manager. I watched the company go from a company that really did care about their employees while Am was still alive to a company that wants to force everyone into part time work-except for department managers. The result is inexperienced floor personal who don’t care about thier jobs and know very little about how to help customers. The workload has shifted to department managers, giving them more areas them they can run properly. The stores are a mess. Their instock is deplorable but who cares? The back rooms are empty! I have spoken to workers in all the stores in my
            area. The long time workers hate their jobs but have been there most of their working careers so they are at a decent wage (they used to actually pay a decent wage) that they could not get in an entry level position anywhere else. It’s all they know!. Without college and approaching retirement they feel they are stuck there.
            The other people – well they are all gone!
            Moved on to greener pastures. The part time kettle they are hiring are going in at it the door at record speed. My manager husband can’t hire a competent dependent manager ir other

          • Poet L DeHart Torres

            After 6 years of trying to get out of a cashieer posistion I had to quit. I was told that I was too valuble on the front end and the would not let me go. As a result I could not get the management posistion I had been after for 4 1/2 years and cross training in while we wern’t swamped. The store manager wouldn’t even work with me on trying to get me out although he said he thought I would be perfect for the posistion. Don’t even get me startd on the crazy hours and trying to get a school scedule worked out every semester! It was keep your scedule open or quit school. Zero give on their end for anything!

          • happylada

            You are an idiot!

          • theonethatlived

            Really? Oh my~I am an idiot because? I do not think like you? I read some of the other things you commented on. I understand you a bit more.

            I have been called way worse that idiot and to my face! Served 5 1/2 years active duty in the military, worked on aircraft then and continued on working on them as a civilian. Since the job was all guys less me and maybe 2 other females, I learned to accept name calling due to the weak nature of many of them. Ah, those were the days.

            So, if you are a male or perhaps a female, I have been insulted by both. My usual response is “BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

          • godisafairytale

            “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”

            -Margaret Thatcher

        • happylada

          Walmart pays enough taxes directly and indirectly to run the US government IF it was as well run as Walmart. Your irrational statement is without any intellectual merit. The loyalty of their employees makes the rest of your statement a lie

      • Fool_me_twice_shame_on_ME

        “The number one reason companies like Walmart, Target, and Sears are in business is to make money. To turn a profit.”

        And that’s all well and good UNTIL they do it dishonestly by fleecing the American government with their shady business model. At that point “We, the people” should and do have a say in the matter. Well, to be honest, that may not be true when it comes to the criminal Wall Street banks, but USUALLY there is an intervention by government to stop this business practice. After all, making a profit isn’t ALWAYS “the end all and be all” of American business. People who cheat and harm the public through sales of counterfeit or defective products, practice deceptive theft, and other greed driven scams are not allowed to continue because our government is SUPPOSED to be looking out for us (in spite of all the right wing lies and phony rhetoric to the contrary).

        And just to wake you up to reality, CEOs typically make OBSCENELY more than you and me (not merely three times the amount) and he/she NEVER has that much additional risk or effort for the money received. You and me are the ones actually CREATING that profit – not the CEO. The CEO is usually the leech skimming the top and leaving you to fend for yourself. You really need to get therapy to address your low self esteem and idol worshipping. Your abusive boss is a false god.

        • Kevin Sibona

          You actually had me thinking that you were making a valid point until you turned to the name calling and baseless accusations.
          The CEO has no risk or effort? This is a person that is in charge of millions of employees, thousands of stores, billions of dollars worth of inventory, etc. Ultimately the performance of the entire company itself rests on this man’s shoulders since he has to answer to the shareholders. If the company is not performing well on a consistent basis he has the RISK of losing his job as well as millions of dollars in stock for the shareholders (which, by the way, the workers are part of). The workers are part of the machine that drives capitalism forward. Yes they need to be recognized. Yes they should be living decently. YES they should learn how to live within their means. YES they can move up in the company and begin making 2-3 times a year what they made as an entry-level cashier. YES they can make a better life for themselves if only they apply some hard work ethics and dedication.
          Walmart in no way participates in any kind of sale of counterfeit or defective products, deceptive theft, or any other “greed driven scam”. To make such a claim is preposterous and ignorant. If you have any proof to the claim (real proof, please. No Wiki, NYT, or Mother Jones) I would love to see it. Otherwise you make a baseless claim that only makes your argument weaker.
          Then again, I might just be buying into the “right wing lies and phony rhetoric”. Because they have been proven wrong SO MANY TIMES.

          • Fool_me_twice_shame_on_ME

            What are you, a victim of the Stockholm Syndrome? IF you had any reading comprehension, you would have noticed I stated even though a CEO takes in HUNDREDS (if not thousands) of times more in compensation than the people actually creating the company wealth, his/her risks and responsibilities are never HUNDREDS of times greater (I never once claimed he/she had NO responsibilities). If company performance screws up, who is the FIRST to be dismissed for it? It’s rarely the CEO, but more likely the upper and mid-level managers that CEO DELEGATES those responsibilities to (that you want to claim the CEO bears directly). In reality, all too often the compensation package FAR outweighs the actual personal responsibilities. They seem to get away with this scam because they can inflate their value with “worshipping” people like you, though.

            I also stated IF a company sells counterfeit or dangerous product, the government justifiably can and should step in to stop it. Regulating capitalism is vital to keeping it from being as dangerous and toxic as any of the other unregulated “ism” out there. I never once claimed WalMart (or any other company specifically) sells counterfeit product. What is this? A reading comprehension problem or a desperate attempt to make your point by bending my argument and making stuff up to reinforce your own?

            And yes, so many right wing lies and a lot of their phony rhetoric HAVE been proven wrong. REPEATEDLY. That’s what makes them lies and phony, but I guess you don’t pay attention to reality. Or it’s your troubling reading comprehension problem again.

          • Kevin Sibona

            “After all, making a profit isn’t ALWAYS “the end all and be all” of American business. People who cheat and harm the public through sales of counterfeit or defective products, practice deceptive theft, and other greed driven scams are not allowed to continue because our government is SUPPOSED to be looking out for us (in spite of all the right wing lies and phony rhetoric to the contrary).”
            Your words, exactly. There is no “if” anywhere in there. The insinuation is that you are referencing Walmart, since that company is the subject of conversation. Why bring it up unless you were trying, in a rather underhanded way, to infer that Walmart ascribes to the same sort of practices? You then attach the side note about right wing lies and rhetoric, again insinuating that anything that is said against your argument of the Big Evil Walmart is nothing more than propaganda and lies.
            If you want to be clearly understood about your comments, maybe you should be a bit more clear in your comments. When you make vague generalized statements like the ones above, they can be taken in a certain way. Like I took them. As to your “point” about the CEO, the level of compensation is up to each individual company. If they decide that he is worth 2 million plus a hefty benefits package, so be it. Being jealous of what he makes will not increase your net worth, so why harp on it? Walmart and the CEO agreed upon compensation when he was hired. Sorry that nobody consulted you or the millions of people that feel they have some sort vested interest in how Walmart pays their company officers, but that is the way of the world.
            No reading comprehension problem here, just a problem trying to understand the twisted logic of someone who apparently adds and subtracts words at their leisure.
            Does that clear it up for you, or would you like to continue your personal attack on me? Because from where I am sitting, you are running out of arguments that actually make sense.

          • Fool_me_twice_shame_on_ME

            Now, Sherlock, please point out where I stated WALMART sells counterfeit or defective product in my actual response (and not where you imagined it). YOU may have naïvely been defending WalMart, but I never stated any specific company or corporation, and that was intentional. On all your other malarkey, I can not be held accountable for your poor reading comprehension or even your desire to bend my comments to fit your narrative.

            “Walmart in no way participates in any kind of sale of counterfeit or defective products, deceptive theft, or any other “greed driven scam”. To make such a claim is preposterous and ignorant.” These are YOUR words exactly, Sherlock. By the way, I agree wholeheartedly with your last feeble attempt at an insult. Since YOU are the only one who mentioned WalMart, I guess we know who is preposterous and ignorant. Thanks for making that clear to us. And speaking of ignorance, will you PLEASE knock off the phony right wing talking point that is so false on so many levels (actually on par with your old chestnut, “they hate us for our freedom”) that ANYONE is jealous of the income of the 1%? Not only is that such BS and disingenuous, but it’s embarrassing to everybody but the idiots making that stupid claim. Only the easily manipulated neocons ever believe their own BS. Since you clearly can’t grasp content, there is no point in continuing this conversation. We’re done. I just suggest you re-read my comments and your responses until you can somehow realize just how confused and off track you are. …Or don’t. I really don’t care.

          • Kevin Sibona

            If you would like to end the “conversation”, that’s fine. I’m all for that. Just don’t try to end it with making yourself seem smarter or better than you were being this entire time.
            We are talking about Walmart. Walmart is the subject of the article that we are commenting on. You made a comment about deceptive practices, defective products, and greed driven scams. In a post about Walmart. And then you try to say that you were NOT talking about Walmart or referencing them in any way? Do you think everyone here (myself in particular) are idiots? You deftly inserted the slam about those things and then, like the great deflector that you have been trained to be, immediately made the claim that you never said those things. Walmart was insinuated when you made those comments! Own it! If you are big enough to say it and plant the seed in someone’s mind, then be big enough to defend it when someone calls you on it. There is no naivete going on here, except in your own mind. You seem to think that you can say whatever you want and then backtrack and deny what you truly meant. Typical Liberal BS. Make an accusation, and then run away when someone asks you to defend your position.
            Putting the whole “right wing talking point” thing on me is just another form of deflection, since you come across as being extremely jealous of what others have, how they spend it, and how they got it. If you weren’t so jealous of this guy’s personal wealth, why do you harp on it so much? How does his income affect yours? What impact does the CEO of Walmart and his compensation package have on you, your family, or your friends? Let me answer that for you: NONE. This is the problem with people like you and the person who wrote this article, you all seem to think that things that are inherently disconnected are somehow all tied together and that they affect everything. Your sense of “social justice” is skewed because you have been trained to think that you HAVE to care about EVERYTHING, otherwise you are a bad person. Heads up, slick: You don’t have to care about everything to be a good person. Unfortunately, in your case, it wouldn’t help because I believe you are just fundamentally a mean person, and nothing can help that.
            Good day, if you can have one that is.

          • Fool_me_twice_shame_on_ME

            LOL! What a pathetic buffoon. I like your “technique,” though. It’s rather unique and creative for a neocon, but just as dishonest as all the other common tactics your ilk employ. You insert your own imaginary assumptions into anybody’s comments in order to make it all fit neatly into your narrative. That way you’re never wrong…In your own mind, at least. WOW!

          • Kevin Sibona

            Now you are just being facetious. Seriously, you should take this act on the road, it is funnier than anything I have seen for some time now. You might even land a gig on Late Night with Letterman.
            You really believe that Walmart, a company that has modeled their business around providing goods and services at a reasonable price, should pay unskilled workers more than what the market demands? How much training and education do you think it takes to be a cart pusher? Or a cashier? Or a stockperson? These are positions that are universally filled by people that have no other employment options, i.e. unskilled, uneducated, or first time employees. In your worldly wisdom, we should pay everyone a massive starting wage so that they could make a career out of a decidedly non-career position. I insert imaginary assumptions? Oh you, with your jokes! You claim that you have provided real evidence to dispute my claim that you have and continue to reference Walmart with your comments, but the only “evidence” that you give is your “word” that you never made such a claim! O-HO-HO! Please stop! You’re making my sides hurt with laughter!
            Then you follow up with the unsubstantiated claim that Walmart pushes their “employer responsibilities” onto the public by not offering, among other things, “some sort of healthcare”. OK, Jester, here’s a tidbit for you: even the part-time employees are eligible for benefits after 2 years of employment. *GASP* That’s right, slick. Your argument just became totally invalid, and all because you are claiming knowledge about a subject that you have ZERO experience with. Look, if you don’t like Walmart, their products or services or business model or pay scale or opportunities that they offer their employees or the charity work they do, fine. Don’t shop/work/participate there. That’s your RIGHT. Take your money and work experience and passion for a cause somewhere else. I guarantee they won’t even notice. But don’t sit there, behind the safety of an anonymous avatar name and a keyboard an try and sell your version of events like you know what’s really going on.
            Stay ignorant, or mad, or indignant, or self-righteous, or whatever you need to feel in order to get to sleep at night. But if you want to really get an idea of what this company is all about, try doing some actual interaction with the people who actually make up this company instead of guzzling the rhetoric that your beloved Liberal sites pour down your throat so that you may dutifully regurgitate it. Get some knowledge, some insight, some sense about you and THEN make an informed argument.
            Until then, keep the jokes coming. Comic gold!

          • Fool_me_twice_shame_on_ME

            Well then, I take it by your “comments” (specifically your description of Walmart employees) that you must be a WalMart employee yourself. Comic gold!

          • Kevin Sibona

            I have already explained my involvement with Walmart in a reply to another poster here. If you want to know, scroll up and read it there. I will not waste my time retyping the entire thing just for your sake.

          • Fool_me_twice_shame_on_ME

            ” You claim that you have provided real evidence to dispute my claim that you have and continue to reference Walmart with your comments, but the only “evidence” that you give is your “word” that you never made such a claim!”

            No, Sport, I have the evidence of my claims in my previous comments (including the initial one). YOU, on the other hand can’t seem to cut and paste any instance where I wrote what you imagined I did. Because I didn’t. But since you imagined it, I guess that’s proof enough for you. My stars, you are such a right winger. They all believe the lies they tell each other. We don’t, but they do. Pathetic fools.

          • Kevin Sibona

            Once again, the only “evidence” that you have provided is your own comments. Nowhere in any post you have made did you make a reasonable claim backed up by some sort of hard evidence. You make fallacious remarks, bold statements, and untrue comments and then hold them up as if they were fact. Back them up! Show me where Walmart has ever participated in any form of criminal behavior. Show me court rulings, judgments handed down, sanctions filed against them, anything that supports your claim of wrongdoing by way of defective/counterfeit products, greed driven scams, or deceptive theft. All of these things you levy against them are criminal acts and, if true, would have some record of event in the legal system.
            You come here, throw personal insults at someone who dares to disagree with you, make allegations that you cannot support with anything other than “I said it, so it is true”, and then tell me that I have a problem with comprehension?! You are so wrapped up in your hatred for this company that you cannot and will not accept the facts as the are presented to you. Your stubbornness and refusal to see reality only give way to a deeper self-conviction that you are right and anyone who opposes you is not just wrong, but stupid, blind, idiotic, or hateful.
            If you want to express your opinion about a topic, great. That’s what makes this country what it is, the fact that even if you are wrong you still have the RIGHT to speak your mind. What you do NOT have is the right to spread lies and misinformation and try to pass it off as the truth and fact.
            You said you wanted to end the conversation earlier. So end it. Be done with it. Let it go. Unless you have some sort of narcissistic need to fill that compels you to continue this farce of a “discussion” in which everything you say is the gospel and everything I say is a complete fabrication.
            Even then, maybe you should learn how to just drop it and move on with your sad pathetic life that is full of hatred and envy for a corporation that has very little impact on your life in general.

        • happylada

          You don’t take much convinving to believe lie, do you?

          • Fool_me_twice_shame_on_ME

            This comment seems to be coming from someone who would rather believe such “reliable” sources as Rush Limbaugh and Fox “News” rather than do any real research into what is actually a lie and what is political manipulation. Even so, I’m not sure what specific lie this person is referring to. There are SO MANY coming out of the right wing echo machine these days.

          • Kevin Sibona

            Nice assumption there, slick. Based on what evidence do you know, for a fact, that happylada gets their information from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh?
            Oh, wait, I remember now. You like to simply make the “facts” up out of thin air, say them, and then simply because the words were uttered from your mouth (or typed by your fingers, as it was) it is therefore undisputable fact.
            You harp about credible information, and then do everything you can to avoid actually providing any. Way to support your position, Bucko. I would say you get a gold star, but then that would mean that you are being singled out for some sort of recognition, and we all know that the Liberal Left everyone-gets-an-award-because-nobody-is-more-special-than-anyone-else would just lose their MINDS over that. So, you get nothing. Which is funny, because it is exactly the same amount that you contributed.

          • Fool_me_twice_shame_on_ME

            “Nice assumption there, slick.”

            Coming from you (the KING and master of all assumptions), I take that as a compliment. Thanks. And I didn’t realize you responded for ALL commenters on this thread. Take a break and save yourself an aneurism by enjoying the holiday. It must be awful being in the frustrated, confused, and hateful state you seem to be in all the time. Be that as it may, I have better things to do than banter with a fence post, so I’m off to enjoy the day. Farewell, oh royal King of All Assumptions. LOL!

      • Conuly

        How much profit do they need?

        • Kevin Sibona

          That is your question?
          How much money do you need before you have EVERYTHING you want/need/desire? The question of “How much profit does a single company need?” is a misinformed one. This company operates at such a high level that it takes billions of dollars to keep it going. The top level officers in it are rewarded for managing it, and (little known fact among Walmart detractors) each hourly associate benefits from the profitability of their individual store on a quarterly basis. That’s right, folks! Walmart SHARES ITS PROFITS with those that helped make it profitable!
          “How much profit do they need?”. Capitalism may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the hard reality is that some people are going to make more than others. There is no “fair share” in capitalism. That’s kind of the point, that there is no limit to the amount of profit one can turn. You want more? Work harder. Jealous of what the other guy has and how much success they have had? Work harder. That is the point. That is the beauty of it.

          • Lisa V

            “Work harder?” You mean labor day and night to make (or sell) more useless plastic widgets that will be in a landfill in two months?

            Perhaps you’re feeling jealousy, but most do not. It’s more outrage at one monopoly destroying entire communities and doing it with public funds.

            There’s no beauty in that. Only stupidity. Unfortunately, you can fix that level of stupid.

          • Kevin Sibona

            Walmart moves into communities and provides the same goods and services that their competitors do, and sometimes they do it at a lower price. This is called “competition”. (It’s a big word, I know. If you like you can go get the dictionary and look it up, then come back and finish reading this post. Keep that dictionary handy, though, you might need it again. BTW, the dictionary is that big book with no pictures and lots of words.)
            The other businesses in the area have a choice: They can attempt to match or better the prices that Walmart is offering, or they can look for another way to draw customers to their stores. A third, less desirable option is to close up shop. Which happens more often than not, because small stores cannot compete with the buying power that Walmart has. So they go out of business, and most of the time those people end up going to work for Walmart. Kind of ironic, I know.
            You know why those useless plastic widgets are being mass produced? Because there is a demand for them. If everyone in the world stopped buying the useless stuff, they would no longer be made. It’s another business term called “supply and demand”. (Whew! We are learning a LOT today, aren’t we?)
            You objection to Walmart is not based on any personal experience, I’m guessing. I’m willing to bet that the only reason you “hate” Walmart so much is because you buy into every story that is printed about them, at least all of the negative ones. You want so badly to believe that they are evil, and operate almost entirely from public funding, and that they treat their employees only marginally better than a sweatshop, and that they have some sort of magnificent power that they wield to force the government at all levels to comply with their every wish and demand. The truth is, as much as you are going to hate to hear this, they are just another successful company in America that has gotten big enough to hate for really no reason at all. If you don’t like them, don’t work there, don’t shop there, don’t support them in any way. That is your right to take your money and business somewhere else. To demonize anyone that supports them, works there, or shops there is ignorant and mean spirited, though.
            I have no jealousy for Walmart. I just understand how capitalism works in this country, and how Walmart has used that model to their advantage.

      • del2124

        There are lots of regulations on private businesses, and always have been. What I am proposing is nothing specific. I’m simply pointing out that the management of a large publicly-traded company just can’t decide to hike wages or increase benefits dramatically, even if that would be in the long-term interests of the company, because in the in sort term such companies have to answer to shareholders, who are sensitive to any downturn in profits.

        • Kevin Sibona

          On that point we can agree, then. Any change in the operation of the company must surely go through the proper channels to get approved, naturally. I am just resistant to having any kind of government reach into the world of private business and start regulating to such an extent. Of course there should be some amount of control so that each business does not commit illegal acts that would be harmful to the workers (OSHA), the community or to the overall well-being of the people themselves (SOX Act). This does not mean that the government should start telling them how much money they get to make and how much they can keep and where the remainder goes. That sounds dangerously like a gangster operation where the business has to pay for “protection” and give up a chunk of their profits to the “people”. Let’s not advocate for a mobster government that decides that x% should go to them in order to forcibly help the “community”. We’ve already seen how well this particular government handles money, I see no reason to increase their take and allow them to misappropriate even more.

      • shitzugirl07

        yep, that’s what were saying. NO! No wonder we are no longer number one in any area that is positive. We get this reaction on everything, “the sky is falling, the sky is falling!” ( by chicken little) Look for solutions that is fair to all.

        • Brian Smith

          I want to say ..i am not anyones employee, i am disabled and i recieve Social Security to live…Yes I get food stamps, and as the government keeps reducing the amount…and food prices keep going up…the only plce in our area where we can get the most for our FS dollar is Wal Mart…what can we do??

      • Lisa V

        The government is supporting Walmart and providing nearly 100% of its profits in the form of supporting its employees for them as well as ensuring a desperate populace has taxpayer money to spend in their stores, as well as direct local subsidies from the community.

        If we, the people (which is what government is), are supporting Walmart nearly entirely, then why shouldn’t we have at least a slight say in what they do and how they treat the community that ensures their existence?

        We need to stop fetishizing work, to start with, There’s nothing inherently good about “hard work,” What’s good is “smart work.” None of us needs to work our asses off 40-50 hrs a week anymore. We all should be reaping the benefits of technological advances.

        What’s short sighted and profoundly and glaringly ignorant is that an entity like Walmart, which is so willing to shamelessly suckle at the public teat, will step up and be responsible in any other way. No, they won’t. Yes, they do have to be forced to act decent by the community (and the community is “government.).

        Your Randian fantasy is just that … fantasy. You get by on the good graces and generosity of everyone around you. You’re not an island and you’re not a special snowflake. When you grow up a little, you’ll realize that …

        • Kevin Sibona

          Please do not patronize me to the point that you think I am some uneducated child that needs a lesson from you, of all people.
          Walmart is a private corporation, not in any way subsidized by the federal government. If you have proof otherwise, I would love to see it. They receive no extra funding to help stock their shelves, or for hiring employees, or for maintaining their properties. All the money that Walmart receives that it uses to do business comes from the profits it made in the previous quarter and year. That is how a business works.
          I realize that it is easy to hate a company as large and omnipresent as Walmart, but take a step back, breathe, and come to the realization that, in a capitalist society there will be big winners and there will be those that don’t win at all. When this company was started, Sam Walton built it. He did not ask his entire town, or neighborhood, or church, or anyone else to help him start it up. Yes, it became successful because of the people that came and shopped in his stores, and the people that eventually came to work in them. But that is the cycle of business.
          It does not take a village to make a success. It does take hard work, dedication, and a willingness to bust your ass 40, 50, or 80 hours a week to make it a success.
          I have no idea what you mean by Randian fantasy as I have never read any Ayn Rand and am not familiar with her work. My point of view comes from the work ethic that was instilled into me at an early age by my parents, and how they taught me that if you want something you have to work for it and earn, nothing is free.
          Take your condescending attitude and shuffle off, your “collective” perspective is falling on deaf ears.

          • Lisa V

            Are you for real? Walmart doesn’t take subsidies? Dude, do you live in a cave?

            I’m not talking about Sam Walton, I’m taking about Walmart as it exists today …

            Walmart gets most of its profit from various subsidies, grants, tax breaks, and the rest of us supporting their employees.

            “This includes more than $1.2 billion in tax breaks,
            free land, infrastructure assistance, low-cost financing and outright
            grants from state and local governments around the country.”

            I think people like you have a genuine fantasy that they are somehow like the people who run uber big corporations like Walmart. You are not. At. All.

            Sam Walton busted his ass. His children and grandchildren do not.

            I didn’t begin with condescension. But I have to say, your ideas are so naive and child like that I don’t consider you an equal. If that’s condescension, so be it. You have immature and childish views of the paternal position of large corporations. Unfortunately, there are no IQ tests required before voting, so the rest of us are always at risk of the fascism that results from the unfettered power of state funded corporations (like Walmart).

          • Kevin Sibona

            Perhaps you are related to the person above, since you have an issue with someone asking for facts and you supply a quote or your own opinion without any actual proof.
            The quote you put in there, the one about 1.2 billion in tax breaks, etc. Where is that from? Who said it? What organization are they with? These are the basic components that are required when providing a supporting arguments. Simply making a statement that someone did something because you heard it somewhere doesn’t do you any good. Please, just provide a link. That would be great.
            As to the rest of your ridiculousness, if my ideas are so naive and childish and I am not “equal” to you, why even debate me then? Why not simply blow me off as some basement-dwelling, living at home with Mom, Internet troll that has the mind capacity of a 5 year old and the maturity of a 3 year old? Why even engage me in the first place?
            There is validity in my statements, whether or not your choose to recognize them. Just because they do not mirror your ideals and opinions 100% does not mean that they are “childish” or “naive”.
            And really? “Unfettered power” of Walmart? Do you even think about these things or do you just automatically react when someone starts talking about the Big Bad Corporations? Once again, I would LOVE to see some sort of proof of your claims that Walmart has any kind of unfettered power over any branch of government, be it city, county, state, or federal. I would like to hear about how they do not comply with any of the local and federal laws that are required of EVERY business in this country. I would like to see how they constantly, illegally, circumvent regulations to increase profits and make bigger bonuses that are paid to ONLY the CEO and other officers.
            I understand that taking the time to research facts and using them to support your statements is time consuming, and sometimes frustrating when you cannot find any to support your position, but if you want to step into the Internet Discussion Ring, you had best come prepared.
            Now run along, kitten. The grown ups are talking.

          • shitzugirl07

            I can’t believe we are still arguing that Walmart is not the Mother Teresa of companies. Your facts are so out of line it’s really a joke. And since you have no real info to provide in this conversation and you do not seem to be willing to evaluate a situation and see it with new eyes, maybe you could spend some time and look these issues up at the library and then come back and share what you learned. And since when do you not count Link as a government subsidy?
            The problem with corporations we have is that the margin between the wealthy and the poor.is to large. I am too tired to continue right now. See you later dude.

          • Kevin Sibona

            My “real info” comes from being a part of the Walmart pool of employees for 4 years. It comes from seeing what happens on BOTH sides of the coin, customer and employee. I have dealt with Walmart for nearly as long as I can remember and I know the frustration of looking at my check every 2 weeks and seeing how little I get to take home for all of my hard work. My point is, though everyone here seems hell bent on ignoring it, that even though the wages at Walmart are not stellar, they are in line with what other companies around the country are paying for UNSKILLED labor in the retail industry. You do not need a degree or even a high school diploma to work there. It is menial work, and as such it commands menial pay.
            This reference to “Link”, what is that? Pardon my ignorance, but it is something that I have never heard of. Is it a regional thing, or is it nationwide? What kind of benefits does Walmart see from it? What effect does it have on taxpayers in general, and the Walmart employees specifically?
            Everyone is arguing that the margin between the rich and poor is very wide. I understand it, really I do. However, the whole basis of capitalism in this country is that some will be successful, some will not, and out of those that are successful some will be extremely so, so much so that it will seem almost obscene. This company was not handed to the Walton family on a silver platter. It was built from nothing to become the huge conglomerate that has reached beyond the borders of this country and into foreign lands, and for that they get nothing but derision and hatred from those that seem to think that Walmart owes something more than they really do. Just because you work for them does not mean you are entitled to anything more than a paycheck. Same as any other company in America. You want more? Go make your own fortune, build your own conglomerate, get so big that you make everyone else mad at YOU. Hating Walmart because they are too big and too successful (boiled down, that is what this argument is really about) is like hating doughnuts because you are on a diet. It makes no sense.
            Finally, I have said many times and I will reiterate again: Walmart is NOT the best company to work for. They do NOT present themselves as being such, either. But there are far worse places to work than there. Never have I said that they are the “Mother Teresa” of companies.
            Argue what you will. You say I am blind to the facts, that I refuse to evaluate a situation with new eyes? Try looking at yourself, and then tell me that you have evaluated every aspect of this argument, every point taken into consideration, every opinion and fact placed at your feet examined and thought out.
            I am suddenly reminded of an old saying about a pot and a kettle…..

      • godisafairytale

        Yes. The government already does tell companies what’s the least amount to pay its employees, Kevin. It’s called the minimum wage. We also have affirmative action laws to ensure equal opportunities and ensure diversity in the workplace. We have these laws for a reason, and it’s not “socialism” or “fascism” by a long shot. No need to be dramatic. President Bush was also all about deregulation, and look where that led us: the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression.
        And the idea that even $31k per year is a living wage for a family of four is ludicrous. The Economic Policy Institute updated their family budget calculator last year. When accounting for housing, food, childcare, transportation, and other necessities, a two-parent, two-child family in Jackson, Mississippi costs $53,172 – and that was the cheapest city in the country. New York City costs $93,502 for a family of four.
        We certainly need better policy to address this disparity, and I think it’s coming.

    • happylada

      WE have too many laws already. Stoopid laws are what makes this type of business possible and necessary

  • Nicko Thime

    The loss of unions and the mindset that corporations are only answerable to stockholders has produced a corporate welfare state.

  • theonethatlived

    This company exploits everyone by making their prices so attractive that even those with higher than average incomes will shop there. Read a comparison of what the CEO makes per hour~if income was broken down to 40 hour work week~his is over $11,000 an hour~average walmart worker~$8 per hour. Oh and must factor in that there are few full time employees. As with many of the big box stores/businesses, to avoid paying heath care or any other “benefits” it “uses” part time employees. 20 or less hours a week at less than minimum wage. That is “fair” if you are a high school student starting out in the working world & still on parents health care and under their roof.
    A close family member~after being “used” by this company left after 5 years making just over $11 an hour as a department head! Hourly supervision exploitation at its finest.
    I try to stay away for this store, go to dollar stores or pay a little more at grocery stores. The one stop shopping and the prices send me there at times. Am I the only one that feels like I need a shower after I leave the store?
    Walmart and all the big box big companies are privileged by the tax codes. They are written for them, not for us the average citizen.
    The cliche, “the rich get richer” is probably printed platinum on their wall.

    • Kevin Sibona

      OK, just to take some of your points head on:
      – The CEO works more than 40 hours a week, guaranteed. He also has more responsibility and more at stake than the average cashier.
      – If the average hourly wage is $8/hr, and most people start out over the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hr, and it is a fair assumption that the average employee receives a wage increase after 90 days (which they do), and many employees are making OVER $8/hr by the time they hit one year of service, how is the AVERAGE wage so low? (Hint: It’s not a true number. It is skewed downward to support the argument.)
      – Nobody at Walmart, in any state, city, or municipality makes less than minimum wage. Walmart, being a company with multiple locations across the country (and across the world, for that matter) must comply with at least the federal minimum wage requirements. To say such a thing is grossly ignorant.
      – Part time workers at Walmart do qualify for benefits, but whereas full time workers get benefits after 1 year, part timers must wait 2 years before becoming eligible.
      – The “hourly supervision” performed by department heads is largely overestimated. They really have very little administrative power over anything at all. All decisions must be cleared by an assistant manager or store manager. I am speaking as a former department head myself.
      I appreciate the fact that you use a personal experience to help support your view, but using the experience of a single person to fill the argument against an entire company is hardly an argument at all. I am sorry that your family member had such a poor situation with Walmart, but it is hardly indicative of the entire company.

      • theonethatlived

        CEO works more than 40 hours a week~yeah well his “work” does differs so much from the person on the floor, but he is well compensated for it. RHIP~know this first hand.
        Minimum wage with a “raise” at the 90 day mark is a corporate standard~this raise is usually not much~but hey it is a raise!
        Part time employees used to get some benefits, but with AHC, Walmart as with the other big box corporate stores do not provide health care for them. As for being able to buy into the stock plan~do not know how anyone could afford to with part time employment unless they work 2 or 3 PT jobs and try to invest.

        Oh how well I know that those hourly department heads have little power to do anything but work their shift to the best of their ability.

        I know more that my relative who works or has worked for Walmart. So my opinion of the way it is run and the way in which the employees are treated is from their experiences. I also observe the employees when I do shop there. Which I try not to~but there is ONE item only they carry that is essential to my health. Could get it one line~which I will start doing soon.
        All this said, I am happy that you are where you and your family want to be, You have employment which you appear to enjoy. I am done with this discussion with you. I am content wethatac”respectfully agree to disagree

  • InTheMorning

    The point is that Walmart is one of the largest Welfare recipients in America, so any Atlas Shrugged argument is invalid. Without the government subsidizing the labor force and local governments giving all kinds of financial incentives to attract stores, the Walmart model couldn’t exist. The cheap imports that are sold there undercut local manufacturing and force local businesses to shut their doors while sending most of the profits out of the local economic zone.
    Government doesn’t have to do anything to stop this. It’s up to the consumer, as always. People should not shop there. Period. The pressure that Walmart tried to bring to bear on changing the Labor laws in Germany did not work, and they left.

  • Darren

    People go to work for this company knowing exactly what kind of money and opportunity the will get out of the deal. Loopholes whether you like them or not is ” Tax Law” and Wal Mart pays a lot of money to make sure they follow the law and avoid issues with the IRS. More than 50 Million on Government assistance and you people blame Wal Mart? Please educate yourselves and think about who you vote into office on local up to the national level. It probably shouldn’t be the guy who gives you stuff like say maybe an Obama phone.

    Some of the comments here only reflect your willingness to believe you are a victim which I have heard many times from politicians up to the President himself. Just think about that when you say, “I wish they would pass a law and stop that”. Capitalism is as much a part of our society as freedom and liberty. If it iis so bad, why do so any people try to come here?

    • Kevin Sibona

      Hear, hear.
      Finally, a voice of reason in this otherwise chaotic forum.

      • Darren

        I worked for Wal Mart when I was a kid. I left and finished college and went on to work in much better places. I refused to be a victim and never understood those who do. Besides having the Gubment fix a it for them, I would like to see some suggestions that can help these folks understand what running a business is like. What is the correct pay scale? How much would you take if you were CEO at Wally World? Would you suggest any kind of personal responsibilities for your employees? Would you help those on SNAP to become motivated and find something better? Or would you just complain because you have no idea what you are talking about, except to believe that MSNBC hosts have perpetuated the belief that you are a victim?

        • Kevin Sibona

          I worked for Walmart for 4 years. I quit just over a year ago when I found a job that worked more closely with my college degree. I saw people rise through the ranks and I saw people stay were they were. All of them made a choice. Not a single one of my co-workers ever blamed the CEO of the company for their lot in life. None. It seems that so many that would lay blame at his feet have never worked there themselves, or known someone, or known someone that knew someone. It’s all third- and fourth-hand information.
          When the people stop believing the talking heads and the vitriol being spewed about “victimhood” they can empower themselves to become more prosperous, more powerful, and more successful than ever before. All it takes is a bit of thinking for yourself and denying anyone who would deny you that chance.

  • Juan Valdez

    Wow Erica. It’s really hard to get past the first sentence of your post and take the rest seriously. Wal-Mart is NOT the most “profitable” corporation in the nation…it has the most sales. Profits and sales are NOT the same thing and it’s astonishing you don’t understand that. What else don’t you understand? Probably a lot, I’d imagine. But, hey, don’t let anything like the facts get in the way of your biases. And thanks for the chuckle.

    • Kevin Sibona

      Facts only get in the way of perpetuating the narrative, Juan. How can they attack a corporate giant like Walmart and use true statements that would destroy their argument? They can’t, so they have to make things up as they go along and hope that the mindless masses will nod their heads and bleat their agreement like good little sheep.
      Which they will, as is witnessed by nearly every post in this forum.

    • del2124
      • Juan Valdez

        That’s nice. The author claims they are the 1st most profitable company in the US which is pure baloney.

  • happylada

    Just more deliberate lies. Their average salary for full time employees is $12.41 PLUS benefits and contributions. BUT don’t expect facts from those suffering from Walmart Derangement Syndrome.

    • Lisa V

      And the employee can still get food stamps at that wage because they are still poor and below the poverty line. So the company is still being supported by taxpayers. It’s tragic that people think $12 an hour is “good pay.” Wow.

  • Jenni Mansfield Peal

    Thanks so much – insightful and well-supported.

  • Boycott Walmart

    Why isn’t anyone questioning the fact that in the next couple of months walmart is going to make their employees dress professional? So now the little money they make they are going to have to go buy new dress up clothes to be able to have a job. They want them to dress like they make 40-50k a year when reality is they don’t make half that some probably don’t make a tenth of that. You know their motto should be we save our money (by paying low wages) so walmart billionaires can live better!

  • jeffrey davies

    welcome to tory britain jeff3

  • Mike

    Are companies like Wal-Mart holding guns to people’s heads and forcing them to be low paid talentless losers their entire lives?

    If someone works at places like that, it’s because they aren’t smart enough to work anywhere else and they’re getting paid what they’re worth. That’s called reality.

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