Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Biggest welfare queen of them all -- Wal-Mart

The Mountain Empire is getting another Wal-Mart. Congratulations!

But can you afford it?

Wal-Mart is more expensive than you may think. On average, a 200-person Wal-Mart store results in a cost to the federal taxpayers of $420,750 per year. That's $2,103 per employee. These public costs include free and reduced lunches for the kids of Wally World employees; Section 8 housing assistance; federal tax credits and deductions for low-income families, and federal contributions to health insurance programs of low-income children.

The federal government subsidizes Wal-Mart's unfair labor practices. This doesn't include all the local tax breaks the company gets. Or the development your property taxes pay for in the form of roads and utilities.

Wal-Mart is also in a heap of trouble for hiring illegal aliens to clean the stores at night and LOCKING THEM IN THE STORES until sunrise. Add to this the well known class-action sex-discrimination lawsuit, and the fact that Wal-Mart lobbies heavily against raising the minimum wage. Is it any wonder their employee turnover rate is 44 percent! This from the world's largest retailer. They have to hire 600,000 people every year just to maintain their current size. They really ought to be ashamed -- and if you shop there, you ought to be ashamed as well.

But, enjoy that new Wal-Mart. The next time you pass the greeter on your way in, you might hand them a dollar so they can afford to get some lunch.

Is it any surprise then, that Wal-Mart is heavily in the business of fundraising for Republicans. Last year Wal-Mart contributed $1.34 million to their friends on the right who are eager to take the cash in exchange for votes on keeping their labor practices firmly rooted in pre-industrial standards.

Contrast this with Costco.

Starting pay at Costco is $10 an hour and employees enjoy generous health benefits. The highest average wage of a Wal-Mart employee is still lower than the LOWEST wage at Costco. At Costco, one in 6 employees is represented by a union. And SURPRISE! Turnover is among the lowest retail. Costco contributes exclusively to Democrats. When you shop at Costco you are putting money in the hands of nice people who are doing everything to help their employees have a decent life.

And guess what! Costco is slaying Wal-Mart in terms of profits. Same-store sales at Costco rose 10 percent last year compared to Wal-Mart's measley 2.4 percent.

Just goes to show, doing the right thing really pays off!


Blogger tony not Tony said...

this is a really sticky issue.

last year, costco pres keeps his salary low and gives his employees good pay and benefits: wallstreet punishes costco (lowers stock on whim)

walmart, sponsors pbs and npr programming that is african-american-centric. advertises stars and stripes and American-made symbols but buys most of their shit from china. fucks everybody else. Cheney claims during campaign they are GREAT! their stock rises...

hmm. time to reread Chomsky for Beginners!

like satan says: hook'em horns!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005 6:07:00 PM  
Blogger Brook said...

we started shopping at costco as a what-the-hell kinda thing and my office was close to the store. i used to hate going there b/c of the rabid, SUV-driving, over-consuming vibe there. everything just seemed too big.

then, when i found out what a good company it is, my perception of shopping there changed and i started paying more attention to what i could buy in bulk and reduce my trips to the store. i've got it down going to costco once a month and not ever have to walk into a kroger. it's made a great improvement in my life. shopping sucks.

Sunday, January 30, 2005 2:14:00 PM  

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