Walmart can boost the economy. It can raise its employee’s wages and as a result these workers can pay their bills and not have to struggle to survive on minimum wages. Then, as a positive consequence, other box companies whose employees might be tempted to leave for greener pastures, such as Walmart, will feel the need to compensate their workers more fairly.
The trickle down effect of Walmart taking the responsible step of improving employee wages, as well as their lifestyle, will be a nice step up for the US economy.
Robert Reich, a professor at UC Berkeley, said, “Walmart could learn a thing or two from Henry Ford, who almost exactly a century ago decided to pay his workers three times the typical factory wage at the time. The Wall Street Journal called Ford a traitor to his class, but he proved to be a cunning businessman.
Despite the community outcry every time a Walmart decides to build in, “their neighborhood,” they have no problem building one more Super Walmart after another. Those who thought the lower class patrons would ruin their surroundings and property values, were shocked to find themselves shopping and saving like every other Walmart fan.
The Democratic Socialists of Arkansas also brought out the fact that Walmart is not some young company needing to pay low wages while it gets its feet off the ground. In fact, Walmart has posted profits of more than $75 billion for the past five years.
The organization Payscale reported that Walmart paid its employees three percent lower than the national average of wages. The top CEO of the company received $18 million in bonuses in 2012 alone, while the average worker made just $22,000. Ironically their reports also showed that four out of five employees were satisfied with their jobs at Walmart.
When Walmart supervisors do not pay their workers enough wages to have money to eat, cover rent and provide for their children’s health care, government programs like Medicaid, public housing and food stamps will likely make up the difference. In turn, the owners and heirs of Walmart’s are allowed to keep billions of dollars in their pockets and force the average American worker and taxpayer to support their extravagant lifestyle.
Since Walmart can do better than that, in what world is this fair? And, how are Walmart prices really helping the have-nots? If lower prices are giving the poor better shopping opportunities, are they benefitting from the employee’s lack of good wages?
What most people thought they disagreed with, as far as Walmart policies, was the fact that they end up taking over family owned businesses. Now, it would seem there are more social reasons for not supporting the heirs to the Walmart/Walton fortune.
Walmart is notorious for anti-union activity. An Arkansas company should treat its workers more equitably, say the Democratic Socialists of Arkansas. They also said residents should demand change in the way they allow companies to operate in their state. Their own legislature should also make sure that all workers, Walmart and otherwise, are treated fairly and with respect.
Walmart can boost the economy. It has the money, and it has the responsibility to the residents who work for them and who shop from Walmart stores instead of a small family owned business.
Editorial by Lisa M Pickering