Richest family in the U.S. now 25% richer

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Today, Forbes released its annual list of the 400 richest Americans. Not only can the Waltons still count themselves as the richest family in America, but their net worth rose 25% in the last six months. The six Waltons on the list—Christy, Alice, Jim, Rob, Ann, and Nancy—are worth a combined $144.7 billion, up $29 billion from the last Forbes tally in March. It’s as if the richest Waltons found a long-lost, equally affluent sibling.

#6: Christy Walton, $35.4b
#7: Jim Walton, $33.8b
#8: Alice Walton, $33.5b
#9: Rob Walton, $33.3b
#95: Ann Walton Kroenke, $4.7b
#110: Nancy Walton Laurie, $4b

Income inequality is continuing to set records, and the Waltons are emblematic of this trend. Just last week it was reported that the top 1% of U.S. earners took home 19.3% of household income last year. This is the highest proportion in a century; we have officially surpassed Great Depression-era levels of income concentration at the top. For the other 99% of Americans, household income went up a whopping 1% in 2012.

Walton wealth 2013The bulk of the Waltons’ wealth comes from their shares in Walmart. Siblings Rob, Jim, and Alice share ownership of just over half of Walmart stock. Dividends on those shares line the Waltons’ pockets every year. This fiscal year, Rob, Jim, and Alice (and the various entities that they control) will receive an estimated $3.1 billion in Walmart dividends.

Just don’t expect the Waltons to share that wealth. According to a recent Bloomberg story, the Waltons are America’s biggest users of a particular type of charitable trust that actually allows the donor to pass money on to heirs after an extended period of time, without having to pay the much-debated estate tax. An accountant interviewed by Bloomberg estimated that just one of the Waltons’ twenty-one charitable trusts would result in $2.2 billion for Walton heirs. Closing the two types of loopholes the Waltons appear to use would return more than $20 billion to taxpayers over the next decade.

Walmart workers, on the other hand, are part of a growing chorus of low-wage workers speaking out for respect and better jobs. On September 5, Walmart associates and their supporters gathered in fifteen cities across the country, calling on Walmart to reinstate illegally fired and disciplined workers, publicly commit to improve jobs, and end the company’s aggressive violations of workers’ rights. According to the most recent data available, the six Waltons on the Forbes list have the same wealth as the bottom 42% of American families combined. Walmart associates, in comparison, have been risking arrest in their fight for $25,000 a year for full time work.

Walmart associates make an average of about $8.81 an hour, despite the company’s misleading claims to the contrary. Under Walmart’s definition of full-time work, this amounts to only about $15,500 annually. Meanwhile, the Waltons’ wealth is up 25% in just six months. Basically, in less than 10 seconds, the Waltons made what the average Walmart associate makes in a year. Think something’s wrong with that picture? Sign our petition here and look out for exciting opportunities to join in Walmart associates’ biggest actions yet this Black Friday.

Comments

  1. linda says:

    I have boycotted this maggot of retailing for over three years,,, since they illegally harrased, detained and humilated my 96 year old wheelchair, oxegon bound mother. they endangered her life. When we complained we found out what evil, greedy, lying POS they are. From the old hag greeter/security guard to the very top,,, they will coverup, they will lie , they will cheat,,. they care only about making billions and keeping it all in walton family. Meanwhile our tax dollars go to pay for welfare for their workers.

  2. Andrew McGrady says:

    I have no problem with wealthy people. My problem starts when these people choose to use their wealth to oppress and impoverish others instead of giving back to their communities.

  3. Isla mccallen says:

    I am just wondering when people got the idea that walmart is some kind of government charity. they don’t owe you anything and don’t have to hire you. too bad your dad didn’t come up with the idea of a superstore. walmart does give away a lot of money through its foundations and the benefits for employees is above average for any company.
    this article is biased and misleading because it give half information and is very socialist in its opinion of sharing the wealth. Minimum wage is paid for a reason, you want more you go to college, or move up in the ranks. the whole point of walmart is low overhead so they can provide low prices. crap like what you are spouting is what makes prices go up.
    If you want to go after someone for the cost of living, go after the utility companies, the insurance companies, the real estate moguls. all the people that make you have to shell out the paycheck every month. those are the ones who are bleeding the public.
    you people need to get off your moral high horse and stop expecting someone to hold your hand for everything. walmart is not your mama and did not take you to raise or breast feed.
    walmart just happens to be a family owned business still unlike most companies nowdays.
    the waltons are not obligated nor should they be expected to “share the wealth” anymore than they already do.
    I for one will be at my job on black Friday. I will wear my badge proudly and let everyone know that I am proud to be a part of the walmart family and hope to be there a long time.
    I am not going to let a few “disgruntled” employees ruin the best job I have ever had.

    thank you Mr Walton
    a satisfied and proud walmart employee

  4. Sara says:

    The point isn’t that Wal-Mart should be giving hand outs, the point is they’re getting richer and richer and they are not even respecting the very people who work their asses off so the Walton’s can hoard their wealth to the extent they could never even spend it all. The employees deserve to share what they earn, to be able to work a full time job and have enough money to eat and live. They are treated as expendables and that’s a damn tragedy. And then there’s the post where all the tax payers pick up the tag for all the public assistance they still need to survive.

  5. John says:

    Let’s not forget about all the family owned subsidiaries outside of WalMart that make most of their money from WalMart indirectly. Federal regulators ruled that they did not want WalMart in the banking business so as not to allow a monopoly. So Alice Walton and Nancy Walton Laurie go out and on their own have Arvest Banks and Providence Banks. Between the two 291 locations. I’d be willing to bet in all those locations they gladly process WalMart deposits. It’s called splitting the profits. When the bank charges processing fees it goes to a Walton pocket inevitably.

    And Stan Kroenke, Anne Walton Kroenke’s husband. That’s another $5B in wealth not listed above. He owns shopping centers in 22 states. Nearly all of them have a WalMart and some even a Sams Club as anchor stores. So as a “Tenant” when they pay the rent it goes to a Walmart pocket so to speak. Of course the other tenants want to be near the WalMart traffic so the rent from those as well. Over the years since he has amassed enough to buy Ranches, Sports Teams (one of each along with the apparel company that makes the jerseys), Sports 24 hour Television, Two Wineries, Two Sports Arenas, about 840,000 acres of property in the US, three times the size of Los Angeles and ranked as No 8 of the largest property owner in America. It’s insane.

    What these people need is some old fashioned paparazzi to follow them around for a year or so and take pictures of all this insanity. This crap is way more interesting than what Kim Kardashian had for lunch today. And Hollywood can’t make this stuff up.

  6. Anonymous says:

    When the middle class income stays stagnant or rises by a little more than 1%, we endanger our economy. Who will buy the products we sell???? Not the impoverished late middle class. It is worrisome to note that the income gap between the top” haves” and all the “have nots” is greater than it was before the Great Depression. We seem to speeding toward a plutocracy!

  7. Isla mccallen,,,Really???? When your done brown nosing. You might get heard…. When a company makes this much money. They could do better about taken care of their workers…Anyone having to still lean on the welfare to just survive is just sad….And I have many collage friends who do not have jobs in their fields of study. Paying back loans with no job. So that is not a fail proof option for many… I am glad I do not work around you. Brown Noser’s make the worst co workers….god luck…I hope KARMA never catches up with you….And there is no security in brown nosing. Wal Mart could share 144 Billion. They wont go broke that’s for sure…..

  8. Rob says:

    The Walton family should be admired for the risks they’ve taken and the investments they’ve made in the American economy. If the employee’s don’t like the pay or the working conditions, then they can leave and go elsewhere or open up their own company. It’s still a free country contrary to popular opinion. Nobody is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to work at a particular place. Nobody but you is keeping you from making as much money as you want. My pay has increased by a lot more than 1% each year because I work harder and smarter not because of some company or some stupid bloated federal government. So, quit your whining about your plight and blaming it on the 1% and start improving yourself.

  9. Fighting over money does not serve the country, it destroys the country! Workers’ buying power is what makes a company enjoyable to work for! The workers should consider working for another company because companies that operate for profit doesn’t want your family to grow!

  10. Andy says:

    Well Im happy for the 24.55 per hour plus optional overtime up to 20 hrs a week and five weeks paid vacation plus full benefits working as a mechanic for walmart tranportation .

  11. Russell says:

    I think this family is lost in their own world and oblivious to whats happening in their stores or are they? Since reading this story , I have decided to boycott walmart and inform my family about the unfair business practices and unethical human resources. i am disgusted with this family!

  12. Game Over says:

    Off with their heads.

  13. Ellen says:

    I know the mother of this company and she is a very pleasant, kindhearted woman who has helped lots and lots of childre and adults. She has donated LOTS to her local community and school. She would be donating more if the supt. Of schools there would have some decent PR. The school is asking taxpayers to pay for a tornado shelter there. It would probably be funded if there was some PR in working with Ms. Walton in the past. It was my understanding that Ms. Walton donated and funded the Sports Complex on the Morgan Co. School District campus. She did Not want her name put there, all she asked for was a little ceremony recognizing the donation. Instead of carrying out her wish, they put her name on a bricked area that you see as you walk up there and had no ceremony. This same school was planning an expensive astroturf football field several years ago and Ms Walton was planning to donate all the funds, but this same lady assist supt then, now supt. “made Ms. Walton upset again” so Ms. Walton pulled her funds. Now this supt is asking tax payers to fund this million dollar tornado shelter. My suggestion to this school board would be to look closely at what is happening here and take care of the problem. There are many and most taxpayers that want to keep the children safe, but will vote this down as long as she is supt. There is local donars waiting….how long will they wait before donating their money elsewhere? Good question.

  14. Syntara Sarych says:

    The only thing about Walmart that troubles me is the fact that 80% of Walmart’s employees must seek government assistance in order to have enough income to allow them to live at, not above, the federal poverty level. That is not morally or ethically fair when the rest of us have to provide the tax revenue needed to ensure that 80% of the people who work full time for Walmart can at least survive at the poverty level. To me, it is not the American tax payer’s responsibility to have to make up the difference between what Walmart pays 80% of its workers and what those workers still need financially just to be able to live at 100% of the federal poverty level. I feel that Walmart is taking advantage of government revenue by expecting the government to ensure that the people who work for Walmart have at least enough in order to not be trying to survive as full time workers on an income that puts them beneath the defined federal poverty level. It’s almost as if Walmart is expecting our tax dollars to supply the difference between what Walmart is willing to pay its workers and what those workers need, at minimum, just to make it from pay check to pay check. It is not the American people’s nor the government’s responsibility to ensure some major corporation’s workers can at least live at 100% of the federal poverty level and not on less than that. At minimum, Walmart should be paying its workers enough so that they do not need to depend on government assistance such as food stamps. To do anything less puts the burden of ensuring Americans can at least live at 100% of the federal poverty level on the government, by way of all of us who pay taxes that provide the government with the revenue it needs to give Walmart workers the food stamps the must have in order to at least live right at 100% of the federal poverty level. Ensuring your workers are able to live right at the poverty level, at minimum, is the responsibility of the corporation that employs these people. But I have heard that part of new employee training at Walmart involves teaching new hires how to apply for food stamps. If that isn’t sucking off the government I don’t know what is.

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