Walmart is the real moocher

Who are the real government moochers? I think Walmart nicely fits into this category.

So do many other huge corporations, especially in certain sectors like retail and the hospitality industry, that pay their top-tier executives ginormous compensation while paring their workers’ wages and benefits at every opportunity.

How do these behemoths mooch off the rest of us? Any company that isn’t paying a real living wage, but  paying the majority of its employees so little they qualify for food stamps and Medicaid and a bunch other services mooch — our tax dollars and our communities end up with these burdens, end up paying for what the Walmarts of the world get out of paying.

Allowing them to grow larger and larger at the expense of the taxpaying citizenry. Plain and simple, that’s the real mooch.

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Author: KAY WOOD

  • slamfu

    Its not a new story. Corporations and businesses will all to often pay the absolute minimum they can to their employees. This is especially true in industries where much of the work is done by unskilled labor, which is generally a huge pool of people to draw on with little competition on the part of those hiring to pay for it. The amount of profit the company is making is absolutely no factor in this decision process. Lots or little profit, they will pay whatever they can get away with. This is exactly why unions are were and are so important. Unions can become a bad thing when they over reach, but just look at the difference made to the majority of workers in such industries. Not just in pay but in safety.

    At the start of the 20th century there wasn’t a middle class to speak of, working conditions were horrible, and worker safety was a joke. Go look at the stats and you will be horrified how many people were maimed or killed at work back then. And just like they do today, companies wail and moan that any changes forced on them to make conditions better will destroy them are largely false.

    Without collectively bargaining for their labor, which the companies need greatly, there is no way for those providing the labor to get any kind of decent wage or slice of the pie from those who employ them. Again, this is regardless of how much money the employers are making or how much they need them. Unions are the one way that the laborers of the world have a way to reach the middle class. Wal-Mart is just once again proving all of this.

  • dduck

    Yup.

  • zusa1

    It seems in essence the union restricts access to the huge pool of unskilled labor. These jobs do play an important role: they act as entry levels jobs that allow a large number of people to establish work histories and develop work ethics. I don’t think every job needs to meets the criteria of supporting a family.

  • zephyr

    Walmart is the poster child for the new feudalism. Why pay your employees a living wage when you can get away with paying them near the federal poverty level? Costco is the model worthy of emulation in this arena. It isn’t just about the honor system either (basic decency) if your employees feel valued then morale is higher, better work gets done, less turnover of employees, etc.

    Zusai, speaking from the standpoint of someone with a college degree and a background considerably more glamorous than the world of Walmart – BUT who now is forced to work in a similar environment due to circumstances beyond my control, I have to say your comments strike me as glib and uninformed.

    “The world is indebted for all triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression.” – Thomas Jefferson

  • SteveK

    they act as entry levels jobs that allow a large number of people to establish work histories and develop work ethics. I don’t think every job needs to meets the criteria of supporting a family.

    If you go into a Wal-Mart ( I don’t but I do go to Sam’s Club which, right or wrong, I consider its equivalent) and look around at the employees. Very few of them are in the age group I’d consider ‘entry level’ workers.

  • zusa1

    I think Costco is smart….they are able to attract, hire and retain high quality workers. When I am at Costco, I get the impression that Costco gets a lot of bang for their buck. I think Walmart could be successful with the same model. But unionizing won’t create that model.

  • slamfu

    Costco is unionized. At least it was when I worked there back as a wee lad in the 90′s.

    EDIT – It seems that most Costco locations are not unionized, but operate under an Employee Contract, the terms of which are highly influenced by the stores that are using collective bargaining via their unions. So they semi-union, with the ones that are setting the bennies for the ones that aren’t.

  • http://www.americaincontext.com Barky

    A good reason to go to a national health care system. Why should one’s health care be tied to his employment?

  • EEllis

    The issue with wages most likely has something to do with the abundance of labor more than how cheap Walmart is. In all honesty for many on the low income side Walmart is a great employer. If you are full time, which I do understand some stores play games with, you make a wage equivalent or greater than most cashiers and clerks in the area, you get surprisingly decent insurance and benefits when other employers don’t offer it, and have a decent chance to move up in the company.

  • zephyr

    Try working there for a year, then come back and talk about what a “great employer” they are. I’ll listen to you then.

  • EEllis

    Well I’m a little past the time when I would be working there and in a different field but as a youth I worked in a couple of local stores and Walmart both paid better and had much better benefits. As to this making them a great employer or not I guess it all depends on where you stand but why should anyone listen to anyone Z if that is your attitude? No contradiction that Walmart might pay clerks better, more advancement opportunity, better benefits, than other stores just you saying you don’t want to listen to me. Great communication and way share.