Walmart and Welfare

August 3, 2004 at 8:07 pm | Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

I’ve often heard anecdotal stories that in many parts of the country, Walmart employees are often told to apply for public assistance, since Walmart associates do not get sufficient pay nor basic benefits such as health care.

If the above is true, Walmart is practicing an indirect form of corporate welfare. Taxpayers who do not buy from Walmart are subsidizing their low prices, thereby making a mockery of free enterprise. Surely such things cannot happen in high-wage and high-tax California.

Wrong. A new UC Berkeley study find that this subsidy happens in a state where Walmart does not have as dominant of a presence.

As usual, the UC study was dismissed by Walmart spokesperson Cynthia Lin as “based on faulty assumptions.”. That’s corporate doubletalk – the assumptions are outdated, not faulty. Even their claimed average pay of $10.37/hour is still less than the large-retailer average of $14/hour.

What Walmart may be trying to say is that the taxpayer subsidy to keep their employees healthy is only $80 million a year instead of $86 million. Wow I feel much better. Please tell the Governor how he just saved $6 million. Walmart = asshats.

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