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Thread: Walmart's Low Wages Could Cost Taxpayers $900,000 Per Year

  1. #1

    Walmart's Low Wages Could Cost Taxpayers $900,000 Per Year

    The cost and impacts of these multi national corporations to our society:

    One Walmart's Low Wages Could Cost Taxpayers $900,000 Per Year, House Dems Find

    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.
    Though the study assumes that most workers who qualify for the public assistance programs do take advantage of them, it injects a potent data point into a national debate about the minimum wage at a time when many Walmart and fast food workers are mounting strikes in pursuit of higher wages.
    The study uses Medicaid data released in Wisconsin to piece together the annual cost to taxpayers for providing a host of social safety net programs, including food stamps and publicly subsidized health care, to workers at one Supercenter in the state.
    According to the report, Walmart had more workers enrolled in the state’s public health care program in the last quarter of last year than any other employer, with 3,216 people enrolled. When the dependents of those workers were factored in, the number of enrollees came to 9,207.
    "When low wages leave Walmart workers unable to afford the necessities of life, taxpayers pick up the tab," the report says.
    HuffPost asked Walmart for comment but didn't immediately hear back.
    After accounting for the total number of Walmart stores and employees across the state and the per-person costs of BadgerCare, as the state’s health care program is known, the report's authors estimated that the cost of publicly funded health care comes to $251,706 per year for a 300-employee Supercenter.
    Read the entire article here: One Walmart's Low Wages Could Cost Taxpayers $900,000 Per Year, House Dems Find

  2. #2
    If you take away the lower wage advantage, Walmart will undoubtedly be forced to raise their prices. That means that consumers/taxpayers will still end up paying for it. You cannot increase one without affecting the other.

    The issue with Walmart and Democrats is not wages. It is unionization. They have been trying to force Walmart to unionize for many years as a payback to unions for the financial support to Democrats.

    I live in a state where Walmart is the #1 employer.

    The 2013 Arizona Republic 100 - Arizona's largest 100 companies - azcentral.com

    They are a difficult company to work for, but they do keep consumer costs down. That is especially important in a retirement area where a lot of people have fixed incomes.

    Consider this:

    If you ask consumers, "Should the wages for Walmart employees be raised by 20%?" Most people would answer, "Yes."

    If you ask consumers, "Are you willing to pay 10% to 20% more for all products you purchase at Walmart if we raise Walmart wages?" The overwhelming response would be, "No."

    I would like to see an independent auditor dissect the Democrats' numbers for the Wisconsin Walmart. The numbers are likely padded, because they never seem to be capable of reporting anything honestly. There is a hidden agenda, which is unionization.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


  3. Quote Originally Posted by TopDogger View Post
    If you take away the lower wage advantage, Walmart will undoubtedly be forced to raise their prices. That means that consumers/taxpayers will still end up paying for it.

    The issue with Walmart and Democrats is not wages. It is unionization. They have been trying to force Walmart to unionize for many years as a payback to unions for the financial support to Democrats.

    I live in a state where Walmart is the #1 employer.

    The 2013 Arizona Republic 100 - Arizona's largest 100 companies - azcentral.com

    They are a difficult company to work for, but they do keep consumer costs down. That is especially important in a retirement area where a lot of people have fixed incomes.
    Poverty spreading companies like Walmart quite literally make the modern day case for why we need Unions. I wish them both the same fate.

    Their marketing practices literally destroy small businesses in every community they set up a store. Most of their employees live on government assistance. Corporate conglomerates in every small town, putting local business out of business and driving down wages for those who remain doesn't exactly strike me as a winning concept, and it certainly wasn't the America I was raised in.

    I won't set foot in the place. The town I grew up in actually refused to issue them a building and business permit, and I think that is awesome.

  4. #4
    I am not real fond of Walmart, but I am far less find of unions and how their impact raises everyone's costs. Yeah, Walmart has destroyed a lot of small town businesses, but only because they lowered the costs for consumers in the area. Walmart didn't directly cause the small businesses to fail. Consumers simply moved their purchasing to a lower cost provider.

    This actually is the America you and I were raised in. There have always been industries that exploit cheap labor. Eventually unions moved in, destroyed the competitiveness of the industry, and the industry and its labor moves elsewhere.

    At one time were were the #1 producer of steel in the world. Where is that industry today? We still have plenty of raw materials, but the labor costs are too high. Ask yourself why there are no light bulb manufacturers left in the USA. There are lots of other examples of industries where manufacturing moved elsewhere due to the destructive nature of unions and artificially high wages.

    The trick is to create a balance between labor costs and consumer prices. Unions never do that.

    There is a very good reason why the only stronghold that unions have left in the USA is in government employment. There is no competition with government jobs and no compelling reason to keep wages in check.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by TopDogger View Post
    The only reason that for setting up manufacturing in China is the lower cost. Businesses also do not have to deal with unions that have destroyed our manufacturing cost advantages. The China cost advantage will disappear over time, but the advantage will just pop up somewhere else.
    I am not sure I entirely agree with that. I think unions will always ask for high wages, and benefit employees, in the other hand companies will do whatever and mostly use wages as a way to minimize cost. A well balanced government is there to put policies in place to balance that.

    I am afraid that if you unbalance both, it could have important economic and social consequences.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by TopDogger View Post
    I am not real fond of Walmart, but I am far less find of unions and how their impact raises everyone's costs. Yeah, Walmart has destroyed a lot of small town businesses, but only because they lowered the costs for consumers in the area. Walmart didn't directly cause the small businesses to fail. Consumers simply moved their purchasing to a lower cost provider.

    This actually is the America you and I were raised in. There have always been industries that exploit cheap labor. Eventually unions moved in, destroyed the competitiveness of the industry, and the industry and its labor moves elsewhere.

    At one time were were the #1 producer of steel in the world. Where is that industry today? We still have plenty of raw materials, but the labor costs are too high. Ask yourself why there are no light bulb manufacturers left in the USA. There are lots of other examples of industries where manufacturing moved elsewhere due to the destructive nature of unions and artificially high wages.

    The trick is to create a balance between labor costs and consumer prices. Unions never do that.

    There is a very good reason why the only stronghold that unions have left in the USA is in government employment. There is no competition with government jobs and no compelling reason to keep wages in check.
    I think you didn't mention that a lot of multi national corporations operating overseas receive indirectly subsidies and this is outrageous.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Natural Elements View Post
    I think you didn't mention that a lot of multi national corporations operating overseas receive indirectly subsidies and this is outrageous.
    I did mention it in post #16. We should be be subsidizing any overseas oerations. It is not in our country's best interest to do that, but that is the effect politics has on rational thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by TopDogger View Post
    If you notice the current pressure is on Apple for avoiding US taxes by using overseas operations. Apple is not doing anything illegal, yet politicians are trying to demonize them for simply taking advantage of rules that the politicians put in place. Apple did pay taxes, both here and in other countries, but they lowered their tax burden here. Why? Because we currently have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. That is offset by tax incentive loopholes that corporations legally take advantage of. To avoid this behavior, lower the corporate rate and close the tax incentives to do things overseas. We should not be subsidizing anything done outside of the USA. It is a simple concept, but incomprehensible to most politicians.
    There is very little correlation between politics and common sense.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


  8. Quote Originally Posted by TopDogger View Post
    I am not real fond of Walmart, but I am far less find of unions and how their impact raises everyone's costs.
    Minimum wage also raises everyone's costs. A thriving economy raises everyone's costs, because employees have better options and wont work for peanuts. I don't think it should be our goal to be India, where everyone makes a few dollars a day, but with such cheap labor, they can get by. I'd rather be Switzerland with a minimum wage of 17$/hr and have our citizens be able travel the world in wealth.

    Quote Originally Posted by TopDogger View Post
    Yeah, Walmart has destroyed a lot of small town businesses, but only because they lowered the costs for consumers in the area. Walmart didn't directly cause the small businesses to fail. Consumers simply moved their purchasing to a lower cost provider.
    Unions were created as an answer to abuse of concentrated wealth, and that is exactly what WalMart is. Their business plan is fairly simple. Move into a neighborhood and operate at a loss pricing everything so far under the competition that all your competition goes out of business. Then raise your prices to a level where you can make a profit. Presto, instant monopoly. Obviously its bad for small business, bad for the people who used to work for those small businesses, and over time, its bad for the consumer as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by TopDogger View Post
    This actually is the America you and I were raised in. There have always been industries that exploit cheap labor. Eventually unions moved in, destroyed the competitiveness of the industry, and the industry and its labor moves elsewhere.
    Steel? Automobiles? These are verticals. Consolidation has gone horizontal in America. It seems like most emerging industry in America has about an 18-24 month period of incubation, followed by an 18 month period of consolidation, where all the competitors are bought up or driven out of business, leaving the concerns held by centralized ownership. Unions used to be an answer, but now they simply send the labor overseas to locations without unions. I'd rather see the FTC simply prevent a larger portion of the consolidation, thereby preventing the unions, increasing competitiveness, keeping costs down and wages up. This, by the way, is EXACTLY how we arrived at "too big to fail".

    Quote Originally Posted by TopDogger View Post
    There is a very good reason why the only stronghold that unions have left in the USA is in government employment. There is no competition with government jobs and no compelling reason to keep wages in check.
    ...
    There is very little correlation between politics and common sense.
    Actually, government employee unions and the politics they produce make perfect sense. People work on a basis of self motivation. The politicians, the union members, the business concerns that support them, and the people in the halls of power who pass through the revolving doors between K-Street, Wall Street, and government. The policies being created make perfect sense to these people. Its the rest of us that can't make sense of them.

  9. #9
    I agree that there was a time when unions were needed, but that time is long gone. Today workers are protected by a large number of regulations and no one is forcing anyone to work for Walmart. Walmart workers are mostly people who lack education and skills. I know several people who worked for Walmart and only one has as much as a completed high school education. Most were drop-outs that have worked menial jobs their entire lives. That was their choice in life, mostly because they were too lazy to do anything other than that when they were younger.

    There is also the lack of a valid reason for unions to represent Federal workers when they are making on average 50% more than similar workers in the private sector. A large percentage of union dues are funneled back to the Democrats who supported the unionizations. That is exactly what will happen if Walmart is forced to unionize. I don't really have an issue with raising the minimum wage, but that will not take people off of the social support systems. It wil just raise consumer costs. We have roughly the same percentage of people "below the poverty level" for wages as we did in the mid 1960s before all of these programs were started.

    Forcing a rise in wages has never solved any problems. It creates more by driving jobs to lower wage areas of the planet.

    I think we agree that the "too big to fail" concept is deeply flawed, as is "as goes GM, so goes the country." There is no basis in fact. It just a saying. We will never recover a large portion of the $38 billion we invested in GM to save the unions. The government is currently quietly selling off the $38 billion we paid for GM stock at around $53 per share, but they are selling it at the current price of around $33. This should have been a loan to be payed back with interest. That is the way it was done when they forced the banks to take bailout money, whether they needed it or not.


    We are straying pretty far from the topic of this thread.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by TopDogger View Post
    I agree that there was a time when unions were needed, but that time is long gone. Today workers are protected by a large number of regulations and no one is forcing anyone to work for Walmart. Walmart workers are mostly people who lack education and skills. I know several people who worked for Walmart and only one has as much as a completed high school education.
    Ok, here we go again with class war. Education is one thing and skill is another. Unions are always needed, because do you really think that big corp are going to stop the fight on regulations, wages and work condition?

    I have seen many many people doing bad at school and doing super great in business and in their labor qualification skills.

    There is another thing that employers are always whining about is the skills on new technologies. If they are dumb enough to believe that with the low wages they are offering, workers can afford to pay their own training they are completly hypocrites. This is where I like the German system much better, the employers participate financially for training education, not only for their workers, but also the young and the workers lacking skills. Everyone has a chance to keep a high skill level.

    The employer way of thinking is outdated in US, and you can see that even if things are builded overseas the quality is still crap. Consummers are forced to buy cheap and crap, because nobody want to build products that last a while.

    So what is the German success? They simply are doing what Americans did in the 50"s, building liable tools and products, that's why everybody want to buy German tools and products in the world.

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