Sep 14 2006
09:03 pm

" The median household income of Wal-Mart shoppers is under $40,000. Wal-Mart, the most prodigious job-creator in the history of the private sector in this galaxy, has almost as many employees (1.3 million) as the U.S. military has uniformed personnel. A McKinsey company study concluded that Wal-Mart accounted for 13 percent of the nation's productivity gains in the second half of the 1990s, which probably made Wal-Mart about as important as the Federal Reserve in holding down inflation. By lowering consumer prices, Wal-Mart costs about 50 retail jobs among competitors for every 100 jobs Wal-Mart creates. Wal-Mart and its effects save shoppers more than $200 billion a year, dwarfing such government programs as food stamps ($28.6 billion) and the earned-income tax credit ($34.6 billion). People who buy their groceries from Wal-Mart -- it has one-fifth of the nation's grocery business -- save at least 17 percent." -- George Will

I like Wal-Mart; my significant other can't stand it due to all the fat ugly people in the south Knox store - it may be true but I still call her a snob

(sorry - I can't find the first source of this quote, but the analysis seems resaonable) 

Socialist With A Gold Card's picture

Yes, but

The average full-time Wal-Mart employee makes less than the federal poverty level, and fewer than half of its full-time employees can afford even the cheapest health insurance plan offered by the company.


One of the most telling of all the criticisms of Wal-Mart is to be found in a February 2004 report by the Democratic Staff of the House Education and Workforce Committee. In analyzing Wal-Mart's success in holding employee compensation at low levels, the report assesses the costs to US taxpayers of employees who are so badly paid that they qualify for government assistance even under the less than generous rules of the federal welfare system. For a two-hundred-employee Wal-Mart store, the government is spending $108,000 a year for children's health care; $125,000 a year in tax credits and deductions for low-income families; and $42,000 a year in housing assistance. The report estimates that a two-hundred-employee Wal-Mart store costs federal taxpayers $420,000 a year, or about $2,103 per Wal-Mart employee. That translates into a total annual welfare bill of $2.5 billion for Wal-Mart's 1.2 million US employees.

Wal-Mart is also a burden on state governments. According to a study by the Institute for Labor and Employment at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2003 California taxpayers subsidized $20.5 million worth of medical care for Wal-Mart employees. In Georgia ten thousand children of Wal-Mart employees were enrolled in the state's program for needy children in 2003, with one in four Wal-Mart employees having a child in the program.

That's hardly a ringing endorsement of unfettered capitalism or a justification for the fawning adulation spewed on the company by the free-market types. But, I guess as long as we're all able to continue buying Chinese-sweatshop-made landfill crap at extra low prices, it doesn't really matter all that much, does it?

--Socialist With A Gold Card

"I'm a socialist with a gold card. I firmly believe we need a revolution; I'm just concerned that I won't be able to get good moisturizer afterwards." --Brett Butler



RedDog's picture

yes but, but

Yes but, but……………………

Accepting your figures and the ones I quoted - Wal-Mart cost the tax rolls $2.5 billion yet saves the people $200 billion. And most of that $200 billion is saved by those at the lower end of the economic ladder.

Should we get rid of the discount stores (i.e., by paying higher wages) and lose jobs for those on the lower economic ladder - meaning those working in discount stores and those who benefit from shopping in discount stores most?

Hummmm... have you happened to notice that those pushing for higher minimum wages are from those STATES that already have a STATE mandated minimum wage? Could it be that those states are losing jobs to those states that have prevailing wages closer to what the economy/market desires? Economics 101.

 Socialism - a failed economic theory embraced by the short-sighted



Andy Axel's picture

Wal-Mart cost the tax rolls

Wal-Mart cost the tax rolls $2.5 billion yet saves the people $200 billion.

There's so much wrong with that figure it's hardly even worth arguing.

One example: Balance of trade. How much would Wal-Mart help US businesses if Wal-Mart would only market "Made in the USA" like they used to? How much trade imbalance is Wal-Mart responsible for, since it imports much of its stock from China?

There's a lot of shadow costs which that "savings" doesn't account.


On tops of mountains, as everywhere to hopeful souls, it is always morning. --H. Thoreau

Justin's picture

I wouldnt exactly call Media

I wouldnt exactly call Media the epitome of "fair and balanced".

Factchecker's picture

Did you get paid to write

Did you get paid to write this, RedDog, the way Wal-Mart is buying off think tanks that publish similar praise.  Moreover, why do you feel you need to defend such a successful corporation anyway?  Can't they make it in the "free marketplace" on their own, without political apologists doing free marketing campaigns for them?

Justin's picture

I havent seen anyone being

I havent seen anyone being forced at gunpoint to apply/work at Wal-Mart. If someone wants to earn more money/benefits look for another job.

One of Hootie's Blowfish's picture

Restaurant Review

Would this be a good time to let folks know of what I thought about Flemings Steakhouse? ;-)

Anonymous's picture


If you research Wal-mart you will stop trying to defend a company that is driving the US & Canadian economy into the toilet. It's goal seems to be to turn Canada and the US into third world coutries. By squeezing suppliers to cut wholesale costs, the company has hastened the flight of U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas. By scouring the globe for the cheapest goods, it has driven factory jobs from one poor nation to another.
Driving down wages, sending manufacturing to China, Bangladesh, and Honduras. Monthly wages: China= $63.75, Bangladesh= $18.53, and Honduras= $139.00, USA= $893.00. Do you want Salmon that is caught in China and shipped to the US, handled hundreds of times just to save $2.00. I am more than willing to pay more for things to keep our economy growing and healthy. Lets keep our products made in North America, before it is too late.

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