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(Huffington Post)   Walmart CEO says that Walmart does pay a living wage. And by 'living wage' he means 'enough money for a cardboard box and a can of Alpo'   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 269
    More: Unlikely, CEO, Mario Draghi, U.S. Federal Reserve, Melinda Gates, bulk box, Politics of Italy, average wage, Communist Party of China  
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2543 clicks; posted to Business » on 14 Dec 2012 at 9:39 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-13 11:40:03 PM
Might be true if you work in management or on the corporate side.

/unfortunately that's not the vast majority of their employees
 
2012-12-13 11:54:36 PM
I say, I give all of my loyal courtiers a hogshead of mead, six boar shanks, and a bushel each of gruit and barley every fortnight to distribute to the peasantry that they might share in a taste of the crown's good fortune.
 
2012-12-13 11:58:14 PM
Alpo? They can afford brand name dog food? Luxury!
 
2012-12-14 12:08:02 AM
As a former WalMart worker, may I say: You are 1000% full of shiat, Mr. Duke, and you know it. Piss off.
 
2012-12-14 12:17:41 AM
Maybe 10 bucks an hour is a living wage in Benton, Arkansas, but in the rest of the US, that's a wage for part-time high school students.
 
2012-12-14 12:36:08 AM
He said "competitive" wage, as in "it's about what everyone else in the industry pays". I don't think even $18.7 million would be enough for him to keep a straight face while calling it a "living wage".

When you ARE the industry, you are setting the standard, and everyone else competes against you. If they were to raise their wages, other retail stores would follow suit. But that extra $0.03 /share each quarter nets him another $2 million bonus*, so why bother? The people will work for crap.

This is the biggest problem with Capitalism - there is absolutely no incentive to make others' lives better, and every incentive to take advantage of your position to make others' lives worse, even when it is for a comparatively tiny benefit to yourself. (I'm sure I would notice the difference between $16 million / year and $18 million, but not NEARLY as much as I would notice the difference between $18K and $25K.)

*these numbers have been pulled out of my ass. Please feel free to substitute real numbers I don't feel like looking up right now and I guarantee that my point will still stand
 
2012-12-14 02:09:42 AM

ox45tallboy: Please feel free to substitute real numbers I don't feel like looking up right now


Okay, fine, I'll look up the real numbers.

Michael Duke's compensation package details:

Compensation for 2011
Salary $1,232,670
Restricted stock awards $12,652,363
All other compensation $476,567
Non-equity incentive plan compensation $3,852,059
Change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation earnings $499,062
Total Compensation $18,712,721

Wal-Mart (WMT) Earnings per share:

FY 2011: $4.47
FY 2010: $3.71

Why is that important?

Mike Duke, 61, received a base salary of about $1.2 million and a performance-based bonus of nearly $3.9 million for the [2010] fiscal year that ended Jan. 31.

In other words, $0.76 / share didn't increase his bonus. He could have paid people more, increasing earnings per share by a lesser amount, and still (theoretically) received the same bonus as the previous year.
 
2012-12-14 04:12:50 AM
No, Walmart does not pay a living wage. My wife worked there for 13 years, and when she quit she was making a little over $13/hour. I asked her to quit because the job was horrible, and we didn't need her to work, since my employer actually pays a living wage. I make not quite $29/hour plus benefits, and can pay all of our bills on my income alone. That is a living wage in my area. $13/hour is a crap wage, but significantly better than most Walmart workers get, which is around $9/hour at best.
 
2012-12-14 08:49:21 AM

bingethinker: Alpo? They can afford brand name dog food? Luxury!


And they probably keep it in their refrigerator!
 
2012-12-14 09:22:34 AM

ox45tallboy: He said "competitive" wage, as in "it's about what everyone else in the industry pays". I don't think even $18.7 million would be enough for him to keep a straight face while calling it a "living wage".

When you ARE the industry, you are setting the standard, and everyone else competes against you. If they were to raise their wages, other retail stores would follow suit. But that extra $0.03 /share each quarter nets him another $2 million bonus*, so why bother? The people will work for crap.

This is the biggest problem with Capitalism - there is absolutely no incentive to make others' lives better, and every incentive to take advantage of your position to make others' lives worse, even when it is for a comparatively tiny benefit to yourself. (I'm sure I would notice the difference between $16 million / year and $18 million, but not NEARLY as much as I would notice the difference between $18K and $25K.)

*these numbers have been pulled out of my ass. Please feel free to substitute real numbers I don't feel like looking up right now and I guarantee that my point will still stand


Paying your workers well enough to afford your own products is a huge incentive.

Henry Ford figured that out a hundred years ago with the Model T.
 
2012-12-14 09:44:17 AM

Sgt Otter: Paying your workers well enough to afford your own products is a huge incentive.


He's paying them $7+/hour. That's enough to afford a Chipotle burrito EVERY WORKING HOUR!! The Ghanian who mined the rare-earth metals in your cell phone could live for a YEAR on a single Chipotle burrito! Without guac!
 
2012-12-14 09:48:21 AM
Stop shopping there.
 
2012-12-14 09:51:24 AM
If it's good enough for Lorne Greene, it's good enough for me. That man was healthy as a horse.

bjdwsm.files.wordpress.com
 
2012-12-14 09:51:46 AM
So there are no Walmart employees on government assistance?
 
2012-12-14 09:51:56 AM

ox45tallboy: This is the biggest problem with Capitalism - there is absolutely no incentive to make others' lives better, and every incentive to take advantage of your position to make others' lives worse, even when it is for a comparatively tiny benefit to yourself. (I'm sure I would notice the difference between $16 million / year and $18 million, but not NEARLY as much as I would notice the difference between $18K and $25K.)


It used to work when employers had some shred of social obligations to the society that made their businesses possible. But that seems to have faded in the last 20-30 years when they installed the idea that SOCIALIZMZ BAD among the red-state peasantry. Something's gotta give.
 
2012-12-14 09:53:20 AM
Working at Walmart is a career choice?

Really?
 
2012-12-14 09:53:41 AM

Three Crooked Squirrels: Stop shopping there.


This.
 
2012-12-14 09:55:15 AM

Three Crooked Squirrels: Stop shopping there.


Done. What's the next step?
 
2012-12-14 09:55:17 AM
I give it about 10 more years before they start paying in WalMart Buxx so their employees will have the privilege of shopping exclusively at the company store.
 
2012-12-14 09:56:01 AM
That's because in America the common man who used to root for this guy...
i.imgur.com

..now does everything he can to vote for and support this guy...
i.imgur.com 

You reap what you sow.
 
2012-12-14 09:57:33 AM

Free Radical: Working at Walmart is a career choice?

Really?


You do realize that the huge segment of society well suited to solo assembly line jobs with little social interaction (and, previously, isolated farm work) has been thrust into the service sector and is, expectedly, failing at it, right?
 
2012-12-14 09:58:55 AM

Free Radical: career choice


You can't have a life if 40 hours a week doesn't pay you enough for food and shelter with some left over because you will die.

At $7 an hour, you're losing money each minute you spend at Walmart because pan handling pays better and it's not taxed.
 
2012-12-14 09:59:21 AM
Wal-Mart's job as a business is to pay its employees a fair market rate for their labor, not to be a conduit to fulfill the lifestyle expectations of its employees.
 
2012-12-14 10:00:17 AM

HotWingConspiracy: I give it about 10 more years before they start paying in WalMart Buxx so their employees will have the privilege of shopping exclusively at the company store.


You know, if they were given some kind of discount at the company store (do they do this already? I used to get 20% off at Nordstrom when I worked there) on top of their salary, of if they were paid in company scrip (basically, "store credit", assuming it was a 1:1 $:Walbux trade) ON TOP OF regular wages, I could live with that (if they got $2-5/hour extra in Walbux, I can live with them making $1 less per hour).

The people get more purchasing power (even if it is somewhat limited) and they're not getting fleeced on pay for it. They're also still able to purchase as they choose with the bulk of their salary.

There are probably legal reasons why this can't be done.
 
2012-12-14 10:02:22 AM
As someone who makes 13.50, I am amused.
 
2012-12-14 10:02:38 AM

o5iiawah: Wal-Mart's job as a business is to pay its employees a fair market rate for their labor, not to be a conduit to fulfill the lifestyle expectations of its employees.


"Lifestyle expectations" like being able to eat, sleep indoors and see a doctor.
 
2012-12-14 10:04:39 AM

Dr Dreidel: There are probably legal reasons why this can't be done.


Legal, moral, ethical, and principle reasons, yes.

There's a whole lot of good reasons why that's a shiat idea. But with pure capitalism there's no incentive for ethics.
 
2012-12-14 10:19:01 AM
If it weren't true, he wouldn't have to get on TV and deny it.
 
2012-12-14 10:20:54 AM
Instead of using some arbitrary term like living wage why doesn;t anyone calculate what living expenses should be......


Should Walmart be paying a low skilled laborer enough money to buy a 300k$ house on a 30 year mortgage?

In all honesty shouldn't someone be looking for a job that pays them enough to buy that 300k house instead of expecting their walmart job to bump them up to that level?
 
2012-12-14 10:23:34 AM

Giltric: Instead of using some arbitrary term like living wage why doesn;t anyone calculate what living expenses should be......


Should Walmart be paying a low skilled laborer enough money to buy a 300k$ house on a 30 year mortgage?

In all honesty shouldn't someone be looking for a job that pays them enough to buy that 300k house instead of expecting their walmart job to bump them up to that level?


How many chigger bites did you get building that strawman?
 
2012-12-14 10:24:09 AM
Take away the taxpayer paid subsides for WalMart workers and see how much of a living wage that is. They are nothing but socialists, sucking off the government teat by having their workers rely on government handouts to stay alive.
 
2012-12-14 10:24:21 AM
If it is a good wage, let him live off of it for a year
 
2012-12-14 10:25:13 AM

theurge14: It used to work when employers had some shred of social obligations to the society that made their businesses possible. But that seems to have faded in the last 20-30 years when they installed the idea that SOCIALIZMZ BAD among the red-state peasantry. Something's gotta give.


I don't see the people that make up "society" rushing to pay extra for goods from retailers that pay their employees more or for goods made in the U.S..
 
2012-12-14 10:25:16 AM

Giltric: Instead of using some arbitrary term like living wage why doesn;t anyone calculate what living expenses should be......


Should Walmart be paying a low skilled laborer enough money to buy a 300k$ house on a 30 year mortgage?

In all honesty shouldn't someone be looking for a job that pays them enough to buy that 300k house instead of expecting their walmart job to bump them up to that level?


It'd be nice if they paid them enough that they didn't qualify for gov't assistance.
 
2012-12-14 10:25:52 AM

Philip Francis Queeg: o5iiawah: Wal-Mart's job as a business is to pay its employees a fair market rate for their labor, not to be a conduit to fulfill the lifestyle expectations of its employees.

"Lifestyle expectations" like being able to eat, sleep indoors and see a doctor.


An individual can eat, sleep, pay utilities and participate in the employee benefits plan.
If said individual chooses to take on more life responsibilities, they incur a personal burden to acquire market skills to pay for them.

Democrats will call this being heartless, cold and 'fending for yourself'
or as everyone else calls it, being an adult.
 
2012-12-14 10:26:27 AM

o5iiawah: Wal-Mart's job as a business is to pay its employees a fair market rate for their labor, not to be a conduit to fulfill the lifestyle expectations of its employees.


And by fair market you mean a revolving door of minimum wage automatons who have no other choice in their town because Walmart ran off all the other stores and they need (not want) to buy from the same store because their lifestyle expectations of paying rent and eating ramen noodles require it. In short, elimination of a middle class.
 
2012-12-14 10:28:08 AM

DrewCurtisJr: theurge14: It used to work when employers had some shred of social obligations to the society that made their businesses possible. But that seems to have faded in the last 20-30 years when they installed the idea that SOCIALIZMZ BAD among the red-state peasantry. Something's gotta give.

I don't see the people that make up "society" rushing to pay extra for goods from retailers that pay their employees more or for goods made in the U.S..


So you've never heard of Whole Foods?
 
2012-12-14 10:28:29 AM

o5iiawah: An individual can eat, sleep, pay utilities and participate in the employee benefits plan.


By "employee benefits plan" you mean "Food stamps" right?
 
2012-12-14 10:29:27 AM

o5iiawah: An individual can eat, sleep, pay utilities and participate in the employee benefits plan.go on welfare on the taxpayer's dime.


FTFY

o5iiawah: If said individual chooses to take on more life responsibilities, they incur a personal burden to acquire market skills to pay for them.


It's a Catch 22. Wal-Mart doesn't pay you enough to live comfortably by itself, let alone having extra to acquire new skills and education.
 
2012-12-14 10:31:11 AM

theurge14: o5iiawah: Wal-Mart's job as a business is to pay its employees a fair market rate for their labor, not to be a conduit to fulfill the lifestyle expectations of its employees.

And by fair market you mean a revolving door of minimum wage automatons who have no other choice in their town because Walmart ran off all the other stores and they need (not want) to buy from the same store because their lifestyle expectations of paying rent and eating ramen noodles require it. In short, elimination of a middle class.


Wal-Mart didn't run the jobs out. People willingly shopped there versus smaller stores. Dont like it? Take it up with your county executive who approved the permit.

As far as the minimum wage job goes, thank the minimum wage. Wal-Mart might be willing to pay employees on a skill scale but those who do have skills are making the same wage as those who dont thanks to the price floor of labor. The guy who unloads trucks or prepares returns for processing has more market skills than the guy who stands at the front door and says, "Welcome to Wal-Mart, I love you" yet both are paid the same because heaven forbid one be paid $5/hr and the other $10. You'll both be paid $7.50 and like it.
 
2012-12-14 10:33:04 AM

Sergeant Grumbles: o5iiawah: An individual can eat, sleep, pay utilities and participate in the employee benefits plan.go on welfare on the taxpayer's dime.

FTFY

o5iiawah: If said individual chooses to take on more life responsibilities, they incur a personal burden to acquire market skills to pay for them.

It's a Catch 22. Wal-Mart doesn't pay you enough to live comfortably by itself, let alone having extra to acquire new skills and education.


I agree that Wal-mart is beneficiary of welfare and it should stop but I think people have unreasonable expectations that wal-mart should pay according to need versus wage value. If Social programs were amended to the temporarily unfortunate and infirmed then I'd support workers demanding better wages from wal-mart - and they might actually have to comply if they dont want an empty store and nobody to man the registers.
 
2012-12-14 10:33:50 AM

theurge14: So you've never heard of Whole Foods?


Your example proves my point. How many U.S. employees does Whole Foods have compared to Walmart? And the 2 don't exactly compete for the same market.
 
2012-12-14 10:35:12 AM
Why can't he just be honest and say it isn't Wal-Mart's job to pay a "living wage."
 
2012-12-14 10:35:26 AM

o5iiawah: As far as the minimum wage job goes, thank the minimum wage. Wal-Mart might be willing to pay employees on a skill scale but those who do have skills are making the same wage as those who dont thanks to the price floor of labor. The guy who unloads trucks or prepares returns for processing has more market skills than the guy who stands at the front door and says, "Welcome to Wal-Mart, I love you" yet both are paid the same because heaven forbid one be paid $5/hr and the other $10. You'll both be paid $7.50 and like it.


This in no way resembles reality in theory or practice. You have made the world a worse place by thinking it and typing it.
Removing minimum wage will not introduce a skill scale that wasn't already there. It will just let the scale start at 0.
 
2012-12-14 10:35:27 AM

Sergeant Grumbles: It's a Catch 22. Wal-Mart doesn't pay you enough to live comfortably by itself, let alone having extra to acquire new skills and education.


How comfortable is some shelf stocking drone supposed to be?

People either go out and get a 2nd job to pay for classes that might increase their skillset or they sit around waiting for someone else to make that happen for them.

It all depends on how motivated or hungry someone is.....
 
2012-12-14 10:37:07 AM

theurge14: And by fair market you mean a revolving door of minimum wage automatons who have no other choice in their town because Walmart ran off all the other stores and they need (not want) to buy from the same store because their lifestyle expectations of paying rent and eating ramen noodles require it. In short, elimination of a middle class.


"Ran off" all the other stores? How exactly did that happen?
 
2012-12-14 10:37:12 AM
I detest WalMart in almost every single way but how much should a zero skill position pay? If you ignore health care I could probably "live" on about $8/hr. That means keeping myself alive, getting to work and going home. And that's about it.

Somewhere between that and "Walmart needs to pay their cashiers enough to support a family of 4 in a middle class lifestyle" is the problem.
 
2012-12-14 10:38:33 AM

Sergeant Grumbles: o5iiawah: As far as the minimum wage job goes, thank the minimum wage. Wal-Mart might be willing to pay employees on a skill scale but those who do have skills are making the same wage as those who dont thanks to the price floor of labor. The guy who unloads trucks or prepares returns for processing has more market skills than the guy who stands at the front door and says, "Welcome to Wal-Mart, I love you" yet both are paid the same because heaven forbid one be paid $5/hr and the other $10. You'll both be paid $7.50 and like it.

This in no way resembles reality in theory or practice. You have made the world a worse place by thinking it and typing it.
Removing minimum wage will not introduce a skill scale that wasn't already there. It will just let the scale start at 0.


You've disagreed but you havent broken my argument.

Minimum wage sets a floor for labor such that a company who has a $6/hr position either has to deduct pay from others to fill the need for the position or not hire the person altogether.

If wal-Mart started everyone at $1/hr, nobody would work there.
If wal-mart paid cart wranglers $6/hr instead of $7.25, they might be able to hire a few more of them and some high school kids and low income individuals would gain market skills otherwise.
 
2012-12-14 10:39:13 AM

o5iiawah: theurge14: o5iiawah: Wal-Mart's job as a business is to pay its employees a fair market rate for their labor, not to be a conduit to fulfill the lifestyle expectations of its employees.

And by fair market you mean a revolving door of minimum wage automatons who have no other choice in their town because Walmart ran off all the other stores and they need (not want) to buy from the same store because their lifestyle expectations of paying rent and eating ramen noodles require it. In short, elimination of a middle class.

Wal-Mart didn't run the jobs out. People willingly shopped there versus smaller stores. Dont like it? Take it up with your county executive who approved the permit.


Yes Walmart did run the jobs and businesses out, they've been doing it in towns across the country for years. They achieve this by dumping cheaply manufactured goods imported from a workforce-abusing China. Local businesses do not have legions of Chinese peasants at their disposal and therefore raise prices to make up the difference or close up shop. Chinese peasants are willingly abused because they have no other choice but to compete for a terrible job. American peasants are willingly abused because they have no other choice but to buy their Faded Glory blue jeans and Great Value milk there. There are actually towns and counties who refuse to let Walmart in to exploit their communities.

As far as the minimum wage job goes, thank the minimum wage. Wal-Mart might be willing to pay employees on a skill scale but those who do have skills are making the same wage as those who dont thanks to the price floor of labor.

Wow. That's a laugh. Walmart may also be willing to employ schoolchildren if it weren't for those pesky child labor laws.
 
2012-12-14 10:39:44 AM

o5iiawah: An individual can eat, sleep, pay utilities and participate in the employee benefits plan.


Sleep is free everywhere. The Man might hassle you about sleeping in the park, but that's because he's a fascist pig.

I've also known people to be trash-pickers when it comes to eating. You'd be surprised what people have to do to stay alive. That can be "free" if you lower your standards enough.

If you wear lots of coats (you can get 'em from Goodwill if you don't keep hitting the same one week after week), there's no need to pay heating bills; board games and decks of cards (also from goodwill) don't require electricity and provide endless hours of entertainment. Utilities are clearly a luxury.

In order to participate in Walmart's employee benefits plan, don't you have to work a full 40-hour week? Haven't they made a habit out of scheduling 35-hour weeks so that employees aren't eligible?

There's a stripe of belief that stamps its feet at the "lazy, shiftless" welfare leeches, then derides their choice of job as "menial", or "known to be low-end" and supports the low wages, works to cut public assistance and further derides the choices they make in trying to make a better life (like, by having a cell phone, or not living in crime-infested areas). Those are the worst kind of people - the kind that are one short burst of logical thinking away from realizing how horrible a world they wish on everyone who wasn't handed the invisible opportunities inherent in NOT living hand-to-mouth through adulthood.

So to sum up - you can probably live a frugal lifestyle on $2/day, but is that what we want to subject people who WANT TO WORK FOR A LIVING to?
 
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