Recent research has shown a few ways that Walmart can alleviate the amount of taxpayer dollars that go into assisted living programs. The super store bragged about their 475,000 employees that make greater than 25,000 dollars a year to Goldman Sachs at a recent convention. However, the company employs over 1.9 million workers in the United States. This leaves 1.4 million workers, or 75 percent of their staff, making under that amount. Many of these people probably make much less. On top of all of this, the company’s CEO, Mike Duke, was paid 23.2 million dollars in the year of 2012. This amount is 1,034 times the amount of the average Walmart worker at around 12 dollars an hour. However, this number includes the many supervisors and managers that get paid much more than a cashier (who get paid 8.81 an hour on average).
A study in Ohio found that 15 percent of Walmart employees use food stamps every month. This number is actually surprisingly low as the amount a person needs to make to qualify for the program in anywhere below 21,000 dollars a year. Though there are many other factors involved such as the job of a spouse, number of children, and the laws in the state the employee lives. This number turns out to be about 40 employees per store using a food assistance program. These programs often offer employees 130 dollars a month that they can spend on grocery items. Many of these employees come back to Walmart, where they can use these coupons. In the end, the company gets a lot of the money anyway through sales. This tells us that the company could possibly pay these employees more, and still make the same amount of money in the long run.
Americans spend 8 cents out of every dollar made at Walmart, and 36,000,000 dollars a day. This company has the room to pay employees at least slightly more without breaking the bank, or even making a dent in profit. However, for all of their full-time employees to make a living wage of 12 dollars per hour some changes may need to be made. If the average employee gets paid around 16,000 dollars a year, then Walmart will have to find 6,000 dollars per year in its budget. When you look at the difference in the big picture, the difference only amounts to .8 percent of their wage costs now.
So it seems the power is in the people’s hands, and may be even easier than once thought to make this super store finally start treating their employees with fairness and decency. There are also a few ways that Walmart can benefit by paying their employees more. First, employees will feel less like their job is dead-end because they will have an easier time supporting their families. Many could see in increase in pay of as much as $500 a month before taxes. Walmart employees will also have more expendable income to spend at the store themselves. This will draw even more revenue for the company because their employees will be happier spending more money.
The store’s low payments have caused $3,000,000 million a year to be paid from taxpayers pockets to these employees who should not be in need. Companies, like Walmart, should think about how they can use their power to alleviate taxpayer dollars from being used on their employees.
By Joshua Shane