A Contender for Queen of Welfare

Walmart

The photo above comes from the Walmart on Atlantic Boulevard in Canton, Ohio.

The bins aren’t to collect cans for a food pantry somewhere else in the city. They are meant to collect food for Walmart associates themselves.

Here’s some context. The average Walmart sale associate makes $8.81 per hour, according to the independent market research group IBISWorld. That translates into $15,576 a year if the associate works a full-time schedule of 34 hours a week. But that’s actually pegging it quite high, as many associates have highly erratic or meager work schedules that don’t allow them anywhere close to full-time status.

For a three-person household (two parents and a child, for instance), the 2013 federal poverty level is $19,530.

When their paychecks don’t cut it, many associates turn to public assistance to make up the difference. Walmart’s low wages and insufficient scheduling are behind the enormous costs to the taxpayer incurred by each store. One Walmart Supercenter costs taxpayers $900,000 in Medicaid, SNAP, housing assistance, and other forms of public assistance.

But beyond the numbers are the associates themselves, juggling unpredictable schedules and light paychecks, who see the food bins as a sign that the company sees their struggle as the rule, not the exception.

Did I just read that the Walmart heirs are amongst the ten richest people in America?

For the story see The Daily Kos.

2 responses

  1. Are there any statistics on how many many associates might voluntarily “turn to” Walmart “to make up the difference” when their public assistance “paychecks don’t cut it?”

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    • But that would trim a few dollars off the millions and billions the Waltons earn (and they do deserve their riches). The Waltons might have to do without (a little) and that would be sad. Imagine one of the super-rich in America being asked to reduce their greed by even a few dollars. Tell the Pope that if the Waltons provide a living wage to their workers there will be less wealth to trickle down and that would be worse than having good workers going without food or comfort on the Holidays.

      I’m sure the plutocrats have found the relevant part of the Bible where Jesus condones and even makes a sacrament of Trickle-Down Voodoo Economics. Of course that begs the question that the Bible is an authority on anything and also that everyone follows the Christian Bible.

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