Walmart Employees Organize Food Drive … for Other Walmart Employees
No, Walmart is not evil.
When the people running the upper level management make more money then they could possibly spend in one lifetime, either they are charging too much for their products, or not paying their help enough. Walmart squeezes their vendors to the point of putting them out of business, Walmart is not the only big business doing this. Support local small businesses, especially local farmers.
You’re right. It is supremely evil!
Ah, Walmart…the favorite whipping boy of the distributists. Of course, the reason they really hate Walmart is because Walmart has provided such tremendous benefits to the poor (providing low-priced goods to the lower class on a massive scale) all by operating within the realm of markets rather than the realm of distributism. Walmart’s story flies in the face the whole ‘capitalism = evil’ mantra that distributists try to push, and that’s why they hate it.
Don’t get me wrong…I’m not a distributism hater. I just hate how the whole capitalism vs. distributism debate has become so wrapped up ideology. This shouldn’t be a political issue…we’re talking about how best to serve the well-being of mankind. Where either system succeeds, it should be commended as such. Let a thousand flowers bloom.
“Walmart has provided such tremendous benefits to the poor (providing low-priced goods to the lower class on a massive scale)” At least, that’s how Walmart justifies itself. I’ve priced the items I buy regularly at Walmart, Target, Kmart, Costco, etc. The best prices have been at Costco, which pays a living wage to all its employees. And the so called lower prices at Walmart tend to be in most instances only a penny or two, if that.
The reason I really hate Walmart is because this supposed paragon of capitalist efficiency is actually one of the biggest welfare queens in our nation’s history.
The company is able to pay sub-poverty wages in many cases because it counts on taxpayer money to fill in the gap that would otherwise lead to actual starvation. Walmart employees are the largest recipients of Medicaid and food stamps. This is not happenstance. It’s part of the company’s business plan. “The public underwrites our labor costs, we keep the profits. Thanks, chumps!”
But we can’t have health care, because that would be, you know, Socialist!
So where are these “tremendous benefits to the poor”? So far, we have a rigged sort of capitalism that uses taxpayer money to prop up and enforce a system of virtual serfhood which minimizes, of not eliminates, the possibility of upward mobility through hard work. The cheap goods they sell have virtually eliminated manufacturing in this country, which was THE bedrock of living wages. The product’s cheapness is enabled by unfair labor practices and trade policies and currency manipulation (and environmental disasters) on the other end.
So our new “free market” economy works to make, and keep, as much of the population as poor as possible, but hey!, they can furnish their place on the cheap between forclosures and evictions…if the welfare comes through.
I’m not sure that’s what the Greatest Generation had in mind for America when they fought through the Depression and a world war.
What’s your beef? You have made it clear that discrimination is a citizen ineligible for benefits. Obviously Walmart is dedicated to its employees as it permits both the state and the nation to value its citizens as first-class citizens. Why would you want Walmart to demote its employees to second-class citizens? Are you simply inconsistent or do you display rank hypocrisy?
It is interesting to note that Walmart was a huge fan of the Affordable Care Act. Why? Because it is cheaper for Walmart to pay the fine and dump even more of its employees onto the government exchanges. So now it will not only be the part time clerks but the store managers, etc. on government welfare.
“If you want these low prices, then you go buy your products from Wal-Mart. But what does that actually do for this country? It’s putting people out of work, that’s what it’s doing. And it’s lowering our standard of living. That’s the bottom line.” http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/etc/script.html
Wal Mart may not pay a living wage to all employees–but no company does that because (1) that wage is so ill defined and (2) there is a need in the economy for jobs that do not pay whatever that wage is. And, by the way, do not forget that the great recent increase in part time over fill time jobs is in some measure a result of the Affordable Care Act. Like it or not, business do what they need to do to stay in business and provide a return on investment to the investors who–here’s a thought–may rely on THAT for their living….Does Wal Mart, like every corporation, make decisions that benefit investors over employees? Yes. Could they do better for employees? Yes. Does the fact that their employees organize a food drive for those among them they know are in need make them evil? No. The world is not that black and white. And if it is evil we all own a piece of that evil.
Walmart’s wages and general labor practices are no different from any other retailer or fast food establishment. As BHG pointed out, Obamacare has forced employers to reduce hours for employees, thus reducing their income. I hear McD managers talk about wanting to improve employees’ situations with promotions, but employees decline b/c they would lose welfare benefits. Great…
FYI–the protestors outside WMs today are NOT WM employees. They are hired protestors paid by union activists. This is not a fair labor practice, but Obama’s leftist NLRB let it go through. So, don’t be taken in if you go to a WM today.
These issues have been going on a hell of a lot longer than Obamacare.
Yes, and it is not WM being particularly evil. Most retail positions pay above minimum wage. (They HAVE to pay AT min wage.) I saw a job posting in a Sears elevator a few years ago. All the positions were $9-11These are not intended to be family-supporting jobs. These are entry-level unskilled positions. One could move up the chain and improve one’s situation and then start a family. (But people don’t think that way any more, do they?)
Many retail/fast food workers, however, are happy to earn just enough cash to go with public aid. The biggest factor in poverty is the creation of children outside of marriage, making a mother and her child dependent upon the state. Lack of marriage is the problem in poverty, not WM. (Elderly folks at WM are living on SS/Medicare as any other old folks, with their wages as supplement. WM is not at fault there.)
Obamacare has exacerbated the income problem for retail/fast food employees. It has pushed more people into poverty and govt dependency.
Most conservatives are happy to blame the “creation of children outside of marriage” as a culprit, and quick to forget the great number of healthy and full sized babies born in wedlock, six months after marriage. Most conservatives are quick to make statements about those who work at retail are happy to make enough to stay on welfare. These are the same people who lionize the cult of management – a management that makes exorbitant salaries while exploiting chep (slave labor) in China and elsewhere and claiming every regulation in the US is areas on to cut pay, lay off workers and give themselves a raise. Must be nice to never have to be responsible except to the personal god of mammon.
“cult of management” “personal god of mammon”
Gosh. You see right into my soul, don’t you? Thanks.
— 40% 0f babies are born out of wedlock each year. That’s quite a burden on public aid funds, even if not all are dependent on public aid.
I don’t know what percent of retail employees are on public aid, much less what percent WANT to retain bennies. I have heard many retail mgrs discuss the terrible incentives from public aid. I know public school teachers in some communities in which the girls are being prepared for the dependency way of life rather than a future with a job and marriage later. Married couples rarely qualify for public aid. The “pie” of wealth and income is not fixed. It is not a zero sum game. Income and wealth grow. I do not condone exorbitant executive salaries, particularly as rewards for job/cost cutting. I don’t support govt regulation on income either. BoDs are morally weak these days.
We are not a 2 income high-flying household for the record. We are responsible, prudent people.
Good for you for being a family of responsible, prudent people… However many poor people have had the misfortune of just being born to irresponsible people, therefore did not have the chance of learning the skills that your family certainly has. Would you prefer that those poor kids had been aborted – in order to prevent them from learning bad habits from their parents?
However your reply above gives a good summary of the reasons too many people are still blaming the poor… Thanks, it will be very useful!
We will always have the poor, for whatever reasons. some personal unfortunate situations, some economic cycle/bad policies, some personal decisions, etc. LBJ’s War on Poverty was useless and only exacerbated the problem, creating an intergenerational pattern of reliance on public aid in some quarters, sadly. Unwed pregnancies were not curtailed by WoP or birth control or abortion. They’ve increased as well. (I didn’t blame the schools, but the families. My sentence there was not good I saw later. Families tell the girls who to get on public aid. Teachers that want to help fight a losing battle.)
I don’t know what is hard to understand about the fact that we have high illegitimacy rates in the US and that it has a part to play in the poverty rates and public aid dependence in the US? Married people are not on public aid.
The culture is the problem. I seek to protect my kids from it as much as possible.
Gotta get to dinner.
One more note. I see this in my own family. I work with people at the margins regularly. I have been “rescued” from such depths myself by God. We seem to becoming a society of unchurched unguided people, trying to fill the holes in our hearts and souls with stuff (Black Fri), sex, booze and drugs. Babies are a victim of all this. I work with folks at the margins of life regularly. I try to help them rise above the muck and get on with living a life guided by God to put it simply…Gotta go really, however. We have a part to play in what happens in our lives. We are not bystanders.
Since this post is not at the bottom of Mark’s blog and soon to be archived, I won’t put a lenghty response, although I would love to. Suffice it to say, that I have seen the quote “The poor will always be with us” so often on “Conservative” blogs that it has come to sound like an excuse for putting the matter of poverty on a back burner, leaving the poor people on a shelf until we can find the time to even look at them. And as far as the argument that “unwed pregnancies” and the “illegitimacy” rate are an important cause of poverty, maybe it is a matter of “the chicken and the egg”… There is only evidence that these two factors are present among poor populations; whether one is the cause of the other (or the other is the cause of the one) is a matter of opinion. Unfortunately, in today’s Western society, remaining celibate until marriage, and even marriage itself, have been mostly lost. It is deplorable, but when we try to really help people, it is necessary to take and accept them like and where they are. Once their plight is improved and they are fed, they may be open to listen to the morality arguments and even begin to recognize the Lord.
I was not referring to you in particular, I was referring to conservatives in general – however if I have seen into your soul, I am not sorry. The cult of management is what leads the CEO of Walmart to make an salary that no person deserves. It is the personal god of mammon that is what drive most people to claim that what they make is theirs alone. Your response is so similar to what I read from other conservatives – the poor are poor because of their own fault – fill in the blank as to what the fault is – depends on who says it – you blame out of wedlock sex, and schools. Others blame laziness, or low intelligence. Thank you for clarifying why the poor are poor.
Words carry a lot of meaning besides the obvious… In this respect, your use of the word “beanies” has raised a raised flag in my mind. It’s not that I am trying to read your mind, but… I assume that “beanies” means “benefits”, is that correct? And I also find that capitalized “WANT” symptomatic. For example, if you had chosen to say something like: “what percent are too insecure to take the chance of giving up social assistance and food stamps, which may be low but are quite dependable, in order to accept a low-paying job that they may be afraid will not work out and/or might disappear in the next wave of layoffs”, you might have sounded a little more sympathetic to the plight of the poor. To my eyes, your choice of words looks deprecatory and judgmental. And let me give you an example, from people I actually know: A married couple have 2 special-needs children; and by special need, in one of the case, I mean brain damage at the time of delivery, e.g. cerebral palsy. The husband has a steady job, but a job that does not pay enough to afford a rent at market rate in our town. Since the family’s income is low, they have qualified for a subsidized rent. When the children were little, the wife would have liked to take a job, even if it was a low-paying donut store job. But to do this she would need to pay for day care. However, the Housing Authority that provides the subsidized apartment does not take into account the cost of day care, and when they added the incomes of both spouses without deducting the cost of day care, that total income was too high for them to continue keeping their subsidized apartment, with the consequence that at the end of it all they would have less, instead of more, money, and they would still not afford a market rate rent. Understandably, the wife was afraid of finding herself and her family homeless on the street, so she turned down the job. Is that what you are calling “people who WANT to retain beanies”? Maybe such people have a point, and your apparent self-righteous attitude would prevent you to take the time to look into their circumstances…
When you are saying: “Most retail positions.(…) are not intended to be family-supporting jobs. These are entry-level unskilled positions”, do you mean that an entire sector of the US economy is only meant, or allowed, to provide entry-level positions? It seems to me that offering entry-level positions at low wages is only acceptable if the positions actually provide opportunities higher up the chain, which is not obvious if we are talking of “most retail positions”… If someone was willing to wait to start a family until they have moved up an extremely limited chain, it seems that they would have to wait a very long time… The problem in poverty is not “lack of marriage”, but rather lack of money…
Did any of you read that the article said this was for employees who faced additional hardships? One woman was owed child support–obviously from the child’s father to whom she is not married. She benefited from the collection last year she said. Other employees faced a spouse’s job loss or severe illness. So, with 2 incomes, ie MARRIAGE, a WM wage may not necessarily be inadequate. Any office might have a collection for employees in a time of hardship.
I don’t think WM is saintly, but it is not evil. It is not a bad employer. It is not different from other retailers. No one should expect to support a family with an hourly retail job. That is just utterly foolish.
too bad all those foolish poor people who work multiple jobs to make ends meet can learn from the great peggy who doesn’t do foolish things.
It used to be pretty basic not to have sex til you get married, not to get married til you could provide for a family…but society is way out of whack on those ideas sadly for the children. In fact, Heritage did a study showing that poverty is less likely when one does such things and prioritizes one’s life so….children aren’t taught these things, however, and the examples in the culture do not help.
So glad my greatness has been acknowledged. My life is now complete.
Sorry, but I do not see what having sex out of marriage has to do with businesses not paying living wages (except of course the fact that poverty might prevent a person from planning to have a family, but with our societies’ emphasis on what Mark calls the “pelvic issues” it may seem very difficult to remain chaste until one’s circumstances improve). But there actually are people who have difficulties finding well-paying jobs, and without being “fools” have to take what they manage to find.
Actually, in my own opinion at least, blaming poverty on the sexual misbehaviour of some sounds a lot to me like claiming that the poor are poor because of their bad choices. Seems to me that Pope Francis is bringing another kind of light on the reasons for poverty…
Fornication is sinful. Defrauding the worker of his just wage is a sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance.
Peggy, the New York Times has an article on how older workers are increasingly relying on fast food/minimum wage jobs to support themselves and their families, because they cannot get other, higher paying jobs. The article focuses in particular on a 53-year-old husband and father who is struggling to make ends meet on two minimum wage jobs, 70 hours a week, not because he is “foolish” but because he lost his well-paid, long-term job with benefits.
(As for Walmart in particular, they are actually guilty of much worse than just paying a minimum or low-wage job, and there are tons of lawsuits and news articles.)
Is it WM’s fault that the professional jobs are drying up? That other firms want to hire cheaper immigrant labor–legal and illegal, esp for tech work? The pols tell us Americans don’t want to do those jobs. Ocare as well as many other O nit picky regs have exacerbated the unemployment situation in the US. Middle class jobs are being deliberately destroyed. The man in the NYT story has to work 2 jobs since O-care limits hours employers can offer w/o expensive high-end insurance plans dictated by Ocare. (pre Ocare, firms could offer some minimal coverage to part timers.).
I think singling Walmart out is too easy. There are many factors involved in our nation’s current plight, and Walmart is simply doing what many are doing, and many more supporting directly or indirectly. Besides, I don’t know that this story illustrates any of the worst elements of any of it
And why are we throwing stones at Walmart while using our convenient electronic devices assembled but low wage workers,typically, in China.
Walmart CEO Michael Duke earned 20.7 million dollars in compensation in 2012.
Target CEO Greg Steinhafel earned 20.65 million dollars in compensation in 2012.
Current Costco CEO W. Craig Jelinek earned just under 5 million dollars in 2012.
Average hourly wages at Walmart are just below $13/hr., and average hourly wages at Target are reportedly about the same. Average hourly wage at Costco: just under $20/hr.
There is a better way. Big businesses don’t have to choose between paying employees well and staying in business; that’s a myth, and a pernicious one.
Has Mark Shea ever explained why he hates Walmart but apparently has no problem with Target? I have never seen a good explanation for why Walmart is evil but Target somehow gets a pass. The only difference that I can see between the two is that Target is perceived to have a more affluent clientele than Walmart has. So what? The fact that the person you’re cashing out is richer at Target than the person you’re cashing out at Walmart makes no difference to the person running the cash register. It is inconsistent to criticize Walmart and leave Target and just about every other retailer out of the criticism.
Probably has something to do with the fact that I don’t know anything about Target’s business practices. If they shaft their employees and live like corporate welfare queens to accomplish I’m happy to say they are evil too.
The reason we know less about Target is because the media choose to focus less on them. Why the media do that, I’m not sure, but it is not out of concern for the poor, and it’s not because Target is a great place to make minimum wage. Perhaps it is because Walmart carries firearms, and that makes them evil in the sight of the MSM.