If you're like me, you keep telling yourself that you'll never shop at WalMart again...
...and then comes the night when you need art supplies at 10:30 p.m. and it just can't wait until morning and only one place in town sells drawing pads and kneaded erasers....
So don't kick yourself when you break your resolutions. It happens. We're all susceptible.
But if you do transfer some or most
of your business elsewhere -- in protest of Wally-World's abysmal wages and practices -- you'll have an impact.
Remember: WalMart's low wages are subsidized by you, the taxpayer
Walmart wages are so low that many of its workers rely on food stamps and other government aid programs to fulfill their basic needs, a reality that could cost taxpayers as much as $900,000 at just one Walmart Supercenter in Wisconsin, according to a study released by Congressional Democrats on Thursday.
Moreover, if WalMart raised wages by 50%, its bottom line would remain unaffected (according to CNN
Wal-Mart has a book value of $76.7 billion. Take 15.4% of that, and that means investors are looking to get paid $11.8 billion a year. That leaves $101 billion to pay employees.
Wal-Mart paid its top executives and board members $66.7 million last year. The rest of the money has to be split among Wal-Mart's remaining roughly 2.2 million employees. Of those, about 1.4 million work in the U.S. Assume that Wal-Mart spends about 2/3 of that on the salaries of its U.S. employees, because salaries are generally higher here. That leaves $66.6 billion for the U.S. workers, or $47,593. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 30% of the average U.S. workers' total compensation is spent on benefits.
That means the average Wal-Mart employee's take home pay should be $33,315. Wal-Mart doesn't say what its actual average salary is. But Payscale estimated it to be just over $22,000 at the end of last year.
I think that that $22,000 estimate is very high (and perhaps skewed by the inclusion of executive compensation...?). Since WalMart usually contrives to keep employees just under the full-time mark, I tend to believe the writers who have pegged yearly income at $15-18K. (See, for example, here
A reader here
has an interesting take, worthy of quotation:
Corporations taking advantage of socialist government programs may be a form of saving money and more profits, but it is not the foundation of Capitalism. Creating a socialist society within a Capitalist market is what we have now, and the two mixed in this way only creates laziness and greed.
By the way: This Black Friday, there were fights in a WalMart
in California, a stabbing
in a Walmart in Virginia, and a dangerous outbreak of mob violence
in a Walmart in North Carolina. Here's the video:
If you go to that store on this day, you are low
. Support the workers.
Next year, boycott Black Friday.