As in the past three years, Walmart workers and sympathizers are once again picketing stores across the country for better wages and working conditions. The crushing of unions across the country and especially at Walmart has led to the deplorable conditions Walmart workers find themselves in. For many, it is hard to believe that folks who have proven they will work hard are treated in such a manner in America of 2014. But to be honest for most people all they care about is the price at the cash register, no matter who has to suffer or who pays the other bills, like the taxes for Walmart.
Here is an excerpt from Mother Jones from Friday that gives some insight into the life of a Walmart worker:
“I have to depend on the government mostly,” says Fatmata Jabbie, a 21-year-old single mother of two who earns $8.40 an hour working at a Walmart in Alexandria, Virginia. She makes ends meet with food stamps, subsidized housing, and Medicaid. “Walmart should pay us $15 an hour and let us work full-time hours,” she says. “That would change our lives. That would change our whole path. I wouldn’t be dependent on government too much. I could buy clothes for my kids to wear.”
Meanwhile, those who own Walmart have life a little differently:
The nation’s largest employer, Walmart employs 1.4 million people, or 10 percent of all retail workers, and pulls in $16 billion in annual profits. Its largest stockholders—Christy, Jim, Alice, and S. Robson Walton—are the nation’s wealthiest family, collectively worth $145 billion. Yet the company is notorious for paying poverty wages and using part-time schedules to avoid offering workers benefits. Last year, a report commissioned by Congressional Democrats found that each Walmart store costs taxpayers between 900,000 and $1.75 million per year because so many employees are forced to turn to government aid.
Understand therefore that you and I, when we walk in that Walmart door have already handed bundles over to the Waltons in the form of taxes that pay for their employees upkeep. That is in addition to tax breaks, utility abatements and the building of streets for them. Add in lost tax revenue from the local businesses that close down because they can’t compete with Walmart and the cost that every taxpayer must bear for that lost revenue also. Thus the cost of Walmart’s “low prices” is in reality damned high.