REPORT: Walmart's Low Wages Cost Taxpayers Almost $1,000,000 Per Supercenter Store

Chief among the many unnecessary drains on our financial resources -- think war, corporate tax evasion, etc. -- is the trend of large companies earning record profits while making every effort to drive down wages.  The nation’s largest employer, Walmart, has been the poster child of such abuses along the supply chain.

These practices have been institutionalized in the retail industry forcing the government to pick up the slack for countless oppressed employees.  This cost is ultimately paid by the taxpayer who, in this scenario, doubles as the consumer.

The U.S. House of Representatives recently released a report, prepared by the Democratic staff of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workfororce, that evaluates Wisconsin Medicaid data in an attempt to evaluate how much Walmart's low wages cost the taxpayer.  The report, Everyday Low Wages: The Hidden Price We All Pay for Wal-Mart, provides the following facts:

 

After analyzing data released by Wisconsin’s Medicaid program, the Democratic staff of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce estimates that a single 300-person Wal-Mart Supercenter store in Wisconsin likely costs taxpayers at least $904,542 per year and could cost taxpayers up to $1,744,590 per year – about $5,815 per employee.

This problem is spiraling out of control with no sign Walmart and the companies like them releasing their vice grip on the "largest employer" slot. While big business lobbyists push for small government, the companies they represent force maximum government burden through unscrupulous wage behavior. It is parasitic at best.

The report comment on Walmart's inescapable size.

Wal-Mart’s size is nothing short of impressive. It employs more than 2 million workers worldwide. It is the nation’s largest private employer; one out of every ten retail workers in America is employed by Wal-Mart. Approximately 1.4 million Americans work at Wal-Mart.10 Its workforce is double that of the U.S. Postal Service and outnumbers the populations of 96 countries. In 2012, its total revenue exceeded $469 billion, more than the gross domestic product of oil-rich Norway. Wal-Mart reported an 8.6 percent increase in profit in the fourth quarter of 2012 and a profit margin of 4.38 percent.12 In 2012, it earned $17 billion in profits. In 2011, Wal-Mart ranked second in the Fortune 500.14 In 2009, 2010 and 2013 it topped the list. Between 2007 and 2010, while median family wealth fell by 38.8 percent, the wealth of six members of the Walton family – heirs of the founder of the chain – of Wal-Mart rose from $73.3 billion to $89.5 billion.These six individuals own as much wealth as the 48.8 million families at the bottom of the country’s wealth distribution (or 41.5 percent of all American families) combined.

 

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Chaz Bolte
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