Top Reasons the Walton Family and Walmart are NOT “Job Creators”

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The six Waltons on the Forbes 400 list—Christy, Alice, Jim, Rob, Ann, and Nancy—are worth a combined $148.8 billion. According to the most recent data available, they 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.

Some have responded to criticism of the Waltons by arguing that the family is helping to create much needed jobs. Sadly for U.S. workers and families, the facts just don’t support this statement. Here are the facts.

Fact: Walmart is a job killer.

  • Walmart store openings destroy almost three local jobs for every two they create by reducing retail employment by an average of 2.7 percent in every county they enter.
  • Walmart cost America an estimated 196,000 jobs – mainly manufacturing jobs – between 2001 and 2006 as a result of the company’s imports from China.

Fact: Walmart jobs are poverty jobs.

  • Walmart workers average just $8.81 hour. This translates to annual pay of $15,576, based on Walmart’s definition of full-time. This is less than two-thirds of the poverty line for a family of four, and well below what most families actually need to get by.
  • According to the company, most workers make less than $25,000 a year. In a September 2013 presentation, Walmart US CEO Bill Simon included the fact that out of all Walmart associates in the country, only 475,000 make more than $25,000 a year.
  • Walmart pays less than other retail firms. A 2005 study found that Walmart workers earn an estimated 12.4% less than retail workers as a whole and 14.5% less than workers in large retail in general. A 2007 study which compared Walmart to other general merchandising employers found a wage gap of 17.4%.
  • Last year, Walmart slashed already meager health benefits again, dropping health insurance for new hires working less than 30 hours a week and leaving more workers uninsured.

Fact: Taxpayers are paying the price for Walmart.

  • Taxpayers subsidize Walmart’s low wages and poor benefits. Just one Walmart store costs taxpayers an estimated $1 million in public assistance usage by employees, according to a new report from the Democratic staff of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
  • In many of the states across the country that release such information, Walmart is the employer with the largest number of employees and dependents using taxpayer-funded health insurance programs. A few examples:
  • In Arizona, according to data released by the state in 2005, the company had more 2,700 employees on the state-funded plan.
  • The company also topped the list in their home state of Arkansas, with nearly 4,000 employees forced onto the state’s plan according to data released by the state in 2005.
  • In Massachusetts, in 2009, taxpayers paid $8.8 million for Walmart associates to use publicly subsidized healthcare services.
  • Despite all the damage they have done to US workers and communities, a 2007 study found that, as of that date, Walmart had received 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. This number has surely increased as Walmart continues to receive additional subsidies.
  • Meanwhile, the Waltons use special tax loopholes to avoid paying billions in taxes. 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 much-debated estate and inheritance taxes. According to Treasury Department estimates reported in Bloomberg, closing the two types of loopholes the Waltons appear to use would raise more than $20 billion over the next decade.

 

Updated 3/5/14

Comments

  1. Ben says:

    Does anyone know how much money the Canadian government gives Walmart?

  2. Phil says:

    There is no better store than Wal-Mart. Every employee I have talked to says its a fantastic company. The problem is the liberal government and unions are corrupt scum trying to steal more money from hard working people, so they shit on Walmart. For example, who do you think create this web page and most of the fake responses on it. I’ll give you one guess. The corrupt assholes called unions and government.

  3. Chris says:

    Want to pay more taxes? Then keep shopping at Walmart! How? Because most of what Walmart sells
    is imported from China and buying Chinese-made goods benefits the Chinese economy the same way that pouring gasoline on a fire makes it bigger. You are funding the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), and the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), thus driving up US defense spending and hence more taxes; you are also suppressing wages in competing industries, you are pay more taxes for welfare, health and food-stamp benefits for Walmart employees who earn an UNLIVABLE income. You are also killing jobs in the US. You are putting more people on welfare when wages are depressed. Think about it. Is it really worth the damage to the US economy to save a few bucks here and there? The more your subsidize greedy companies like Walmart, the tougher you make it on their competitors to survive. See “price rollback” signs in Walmart a lot? Of course you do. Do you think Walmart REALLY rolls back prices on some items to save you more money? Not hardly. They rolled the price back because the item wasn’t selling well. If it was selling well, then why would Walmart want to roll back the price? Makes no sense that they would want to.

  4. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked
    submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow,
    just wanted to say wonderful blog!

  5. darrell says:

    I work for walmart in huntsville alabama and I hate and love it….no they don’t pay you what your worth or for all the hard work you put into it…but at least I have a job…screw the politics of it all…cuz no matter what it’s the management in store and the type of people that make it a good or bad store…bad managers and crappie attitudes make for a crappie environment. …welcome to retail
    ..and no walmart as a whole does not care about you as a person or individual. ..they will fire you if you don’t conform to their will….period.

  6. Guadalupe says:

    Hola! I’ve been following your site for a long time now and finally got the
    courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Dallas Tx!

    Just wanted to say keep up the excellent work!

  7. Nick says:

    walmart gives a raise once per year.. here is only 40cents per year, no matter what no matter how hard you work. im glad some ppl enjoy walmart, i assume they are in the easy areas. recently in my store they have put a stop to moving current employees around and just hire new ones, (this came from SM mouth)
    .hours cut in half store wide to prepare for holiday bump..

  8. John says:

    How anybody but the wealthiest can defend Walmart’s practices is quite perplexing and masochistic. Corporations don’t care about you and they will do everything in their power to continue to exploit. How stupid can some people be. This isn’t capitslism like we think it is. Their main objective is to monopolize and exploit. It’s so fustrating to hear average folks defend those that could care less for you. Are we this brainwashed?

  9. john says:

    I worked for Walmart here in meridian Idaho for two yrs. It truly did suck all the way through because the store manager was a jerk to me. I have a disability and he treated me like crab. I remember he wrote me up for something I never did wrong. The whole thing was fabricated in order for him to get rid of me. If Walmart would treat their associates better and with some respect they might get some good workers for a change. I was a good worker who did not deserve to be treated the way I was treated. the store manager who treated me like shit is James Miller. Not the the nicest guy you will ever meet. He is probably the meanest man you will ever meet.

  10. john says:

    I have seen how they treat their people. It is absolutely terrible all the way through with regard to how they interact with their employees. If you want tyrannical rule then choose Walmart. My mom refuses to shop their at all.

  11. Josh says:

    Minimum wage should always be viewed as a starting point. If you’ve worked for years and are still earning minimum wage, that’s on you and not the company. Listen, I personally can’t stand Wal-Mart; however, it serves a purpose. Wal-Mart owns the market. Most American families shop at Wal-Mart and they do so to save money. It’s like a drug, if people didn’t want it around, it would not exist. Folks seem to think that it’s all about the owners…the truth is, it’s all about the shoppers. Historically, their prices are lower, which by the way is the same reason employees earn less. A guy who sells Hondas for a living doesn’t earn the same amount as the guy who sells Porsche. Employees of Wal-Mart sell junk and their pay reflects that simple fact.

  12. Tammy says:

    Walmart is a disgrace and should be shut down. For good!

  13. James Warbington says:

    I worked for walmart for 3 years. When I started, they actually have a routine to sign you up for Food Stamps and all government assistance during the orientation process. Which is really messed up to take a job to get you away from Government assistance, only part of their plan is to help you get it. I never got benefits, but I was disgusted at the fact it was part of their written orientation. This is what America doesn’t see or know. It might be low prices at the registers, but you are paying for it in the long term. Don’t be short sighted, at the end of the day that “deal you got” little do you realize you paid for it through higher taxes. Support independent and smaller retails. It may cost more…..but in the long run you will save more.

  14. sam walton says:

    I don’t understand why all the people in the us don’t just stop shopping at Wal-Mart, there stuff is made by forced overseas labor its made so cheap it don’t last. something at k-mart might cost a couple dollars more but will last twice as long so are you reALY SAVEING MONEY BY SHOPPING THERE. they force there employees to work if there sick or have family sick, now if you miss three days in 6 months you loose your job , and missing a full day is considered leaving 1 hour early. its almost slavery , American people have to make up there low wages in food stamps and welfare. just so wal mart gets bigger . has anyone ever watched the video the ceo from walmart made and put on internet. there is a country walmart buys from that forces small children into slavery until age 35 to make there items they buy. the reason there let go at 35 is because they are so broke down they cant work. they are locked in a warehouse overseas and forced labour and let out at 35, they have destroyed all small bussieness in America all the god fearing good companys they have put out. by shopping there you are adding to the corruption this company has brought across the world. wal mart says but we are making JOBS , yes it is a job but you are required to walk away from your life ,your family , and your religion to work there. and isn’t these things what makes America and we are so after a cheap bargin we will lose what a lot of people gave there life for to shop at a oversized dime store.

  15. Karma says:

    James Parker the associates are evaluated every year and all of which get the same raise of $.40 role model has the highest pay scale walmart has made that unattainable as well as exceeds expectations. Furthermore walmart is one of the lowest paying companies out there and any of you who think they are not you are dead wrong just like their health care plans they rip associates’s pay apart wake up people these are the facts.

  16. Michael Lees says:

    Walmart is a criminal organization. I worked for Walmart for about 10 days and could see right away that it wasn’t a environment I was going to subject myself to so I quit. I am still waiting for my last pay check after nearly a month. I have gone into the store twice and requested my check, receiving only excuses and no check. Mind you the check is only for about $113 for two days work. So I initiated the process with the state labor commission to demand my unpaid wages. I am sure Walmart only 86 people who steal from them, not people who they steal from. Walmart no doubt in my mind is a criminal organization.

  17. Andrew Goodman says:

    To that Creature who is defending Walmart, Walmart is destroying the American Economy, you name it, tax aversion ( Google REIT walmart) simply paying rent for themselves.
    to slashing health Care and promoting the person who is planned it to HR director. (Read Forbes article)
    also violating American with Disability Act by including physical component to each job, so they can easily reject applicants.
    and finally, That Creature is funny and he is saying go unionize, I believe that you must have attended the training that each manager gets to report the club of any concert effort of employees trying to seek unionization.
    Stop Bullshitting.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Yes Walmart has insurance health dental vision life plus 401 know it costs me about $100/month

  19. Jake Eagleshield says:

    All this back and forth is not relevant to one glaring fact. If WalMart,and others would pay their people a decent living wage,and offer regular wage increases to those wh have earned them,instead of forcing them to beg,or keeping them at the same wage forever,they would not HAVE to apply for SNAP or Medicaid,which is subsidized by taxpayers. Wal Mart is double dipping. Their workers get food stamps,which get redeemed at WalMart food stores.
    Reminds me of the line from that old song.”I owe my soul to the company store.”

  20. Keith says:

    I work there and have for about a year and a half. The company as a whole is OK but I’m hourly managment and some of what I’ve seen sucks, I’m looking for other employment. Honestly by how stored are ran I wouldn’t recommend working there

  21. Me myself and I says:

    I believe that Wal-Mart could be sued over their requirement of thirty hr.s a week For telling associates that they can always pick up the extra hours using their open shift policy. They schedule you what ever they want. So let us say that we were scheduled 28 hr.s in one week and we need thirty for every week. So let us say that the associate looks at the open shifts. Those shifts could be Automotive or deli. And our associate calls Wal-mart and asks if he or she could work this shift. Management has complete control over who would get to work the shift, all they would have to say is that you are not Qualified in either dept. Else, lie and say that the shift has already been filled. Thus those who are not favored of management, wont have a chance and it will become a fight of the fittest for those extra hours. There must be some Judge out there who would see our plight and take it on. This is really unjust to people who have worked for them for years. This is discrimination. And lets say our associate has compiled the needed hours for every week and then at the end of that period of time they could schedule that associate for a 5hr shift in a week that they couldn’t make up at the last minute and there you go. They believe that they can do to people what they want and play people like they are puppets and not human beings.

  22. Jess says:

    James Parker will probably be fired for even saying the word Union in the same sentence as walmart. Let alone suggesting that there be a vote if their not happy. He hasnt worked for them long enough or know them well enough if he stupid enough to do it. You even say the word in a store and you fear that tons of men in black suits will immediately rush in and take you out and fire you on the spot.

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Legal Notice: National Labor Relations Board notice regarding settlement in 16-CB-105773. Read notice here,.(Un aviso de Junta Nacional de Relaciones del Trabajo en 16-CB-105773. Lee aviso aqui). UFCW and OUR Walmart have the purpose of helping Walmart employees as individuals or groups in their dealings with Walmart over labor rights and standards and their efforts to have Walmart publicly commit to adhere to labor rights and standards. UFCW and OUR Walmart have no intent to have Walmart recognize or bargain with UFCW or OUR Walmart as the representative of its employees. Courts have enjoined non-Associate UFCW and OUR Walmart agents from entering any Walmart property, except to shop, in Arkansas (read order), Florida (read order), Texas (read order), Colorado (read order), Ohio (read order), and Maryland (read order); and in California from entering inside stores (read order).