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(Salon)   Walmart: A whopping 475,000 of our employees make $25,000 a year. Isn't that great? Rep. Jan Schakowsky: Yeah, fantastic. It means only 825,000 of them are on welfare   (salon.com) divider line 195
    More: Misc, Walmart, Penny Pritzker, Jan Schakowsky, positive economics, average wage, UFCW, labor secretary, Commerce Secretary  
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3649 clicks; posted to Politics » on 23 Oct 2013 at 6:52 PM (25 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-10-23 05:35:55 PM
On one hand, it would be nice for everyone to be paid a living wage...

On the other,

2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-10-23 05:44:36 PM
The weak wage growth since 1979 for all but those with the highest wages is the result of intentional policy decisions-including globalization, deregulation, weaker unions, and lower labor standards such as a weaker minimum wage-that have undercut job quality for low- and middle-wage workers. These policies have all been portrayed to the public as giving American consumers goods and services at lower prices. Whatever the impact on prices, these policies have lowered the earnings power of low- and middle-wage workers such that their real wages severely lag productivity growth.

www.highdefdigest.com
 
2013-10-23 05:45:55 PM
Citing "about 160,000" promotions each year, he said, "clearly the opportunity is there for associates to go as far as their hard work will take them."

That's just over 12% of your entire workforce. Yeah, there's a real opportunity ladder there!!
 
2013-10-23 05:56:15 PM
Wal-Mart employees somewhere in the area of 1.4 million people in the US. That's roughly 1% of the US workforce. If 475,000 of them make over $25k per year, that means roughly 1 million of them make less. 

Every single one of those people is likely eligible for SNAP, Medicaid, and other government benefits. Or, put another way, the US government subsidizes TWO THIRDS of Wal-Mart's workforce.

According to their own numbers, Wal-Mart made $16 billion in profits last year.

$16,000,000,000/ 1,475,000 = $10847.45 

They could give every single worker a $10,000 raise and still make a profit. Which is unsurprising, since the average worker only makes $8.80 - 10/hour (full time; they won't say what part-time employees make, or what percentage are full-time) on average, which isn't enough to live on. In fact, since welfare provides enough to live on and not just a set number, it  actually pays more than Wal-Mart.

I have a novel idea: how about we force Wal-Mart to pay their employees, instead of the tax payer? Why are we all subsidizing their profits? Force them to disclose those numbers, and pass a law saying if more than 20% of a company's employees are on welfare, that company pays a mandatory non-evadable 50% tax on all profits. They'll shape up.
 
2013-10-23 06:00:25 PM
This thread thus far is delivering.
 
2013-10-23 06:09:44 PM

whistleridge: Wal-Mart employees somewhere in the area of 1.4 million people in the US. That's roughly 1% of the US workforce. If 475,000 of them make over $25k per year, that means roughly 1 million of them make less. 

Every single one of those people is likely eligible for SNAP, Medicaid, and other government benefits. Or, put another way, the US government subsidizes TWO THIRDS of Wal-Mart's workforce.

According to their own numbers, Wal-Mart made $16 billion in profits last year.

$16,000,000,000/ 1,475,000 = $10847.45 

They could give every single worker a $10,000 raise and still make a profit. Which is unsurprising, since the average worker only makes $8.80 - 10/hour (full time; they won't say what part-time employees make, or what percentage are full-time) on average, which isn't enough to live on. In fact, since welfare provides enough to live on and not just a set number, it  actually pays more than Wal-Mart.

I have a novel idea: how about we force Wal-Mart to pay their employees, instead of the tax payer? Why are we all subsidizing their profits? Force them to disclose those numbers, and pass a law saying if more than 20% of a company's employees are on welfare, that company pays a mandatory non-evadable 50% tax on all profits. They'll shape up.


They will factor it into their cost of business. it needs to be 50% tax on all income.
 
2013-10-23 06:10:27 PM
"Nobody who works hard should be poor in America," writes Pulitzer Prize winner David Shipler. Clear-headed, rigorous, and compassionate, he journeys deeply into the lives of individual store clerks and factory workers, farm laborers and sweat-shop seamstresses, illegal immigrants in menial jobs and Americans saddled with immense student loans and paltry wages.

Recommended reading
 
2013-10-23 06:19:28 PM

Soup4Bonnie: The weak wage growth since 1979 for all but those with the highest wages is the result of intentional policy decisions-including globalization, deregulation, weaker unions, and lower labor standards such as a weaker minimum wage-that have undercut job quality for low- and middle-wage workers. These policies have all been portrayed to the public as giving American consumers goods and services at lower prices. Whatever the impact on prices, these policies have lowered the earnings power of low- and middle-wage workers such that their real wages severely lag productivity growth.

[www.highdefdigest.com image 175x175]


I agree with 90% of what you say. But how would a strong union help? As you stated globalization is one of the major factors in payroll stagnation. Wouldn't a strong union just lead to more jobs being moved off shore?
 
2013-10-23 06:23:08 PM
My uncle is a Wally World part-time worker and recently declared a medical bankruptcy. He wants to work full-time, but he doesn't have any education and all the manufacturing jobs have either left the country or the wages have been depressed by union busting. He's also a single parent due to some fairly spectacularly tragic circumstances. Part-time Wall-Mart is apparently the best gig he can get.

Naturally, he's a borderline Tea Partier.
 
2013-10-23 06:24:23 PM
Wal-Mart has pegged its average wage at $12.78 per hour (that's over $25,000 if multiplied by forty hours and fifty weeks), but that figure excludes part-time employees and includes managers.

so pretty much lying with statistics

time to report

how many part time - average wage
how many full time - average wage
how many store managers - average wage
how many office emps - average salary
 
2013-10-23 06:40:06 PM

namatad: so pretty much lying with statistics

time to report

how many part time - average wage
how many full time - average wage
how many store managers - average wage
how many office emps - average salary



Exactly. I have an buddy that manages a Wal-Mart super center here in Tulsa. The man makes a damn fine living.
 
2013-10-23 06:51:45 PM

namatad: Wal-Mart has pegged its average wage at $12.78 per hour (that's over $25,000 if multiplied by forty hours and fifty weeks), but that figure excludes part-time employees and includes managers.

so pretty much lying with statistics

time to report

how many part time - average wage
how many full time - average wage
how many store managers - average wage
how many office emps - average salary


Not to mention how average wage gives a much different image than a median wage.
 
2013-10-23 06:56:14 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Wouldn't a strong union just lead to more jobs being moved off shore?


Is every Walmart and McDonald's going to move to Hyderabad?
 
2013-10-23 06:57:38 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Soup4Bonnie: The weak wage growth since 1979 for all but those with the highest wages is the result of intentional policy decisions-including globalization, deregulation, weaker unions, and lower labor standards such as a weaker minimum wage-that have undercut job quality for low- and middle-wage workers. These policies have all been portrayed to the public as giving American consumers goods and services at lower prices. Whatever the impact on prices, these policies have lowered the earnings power of low- and middle-wage workers such that their real wages severely lag productivity growth.

[www.highdefdigest.com image 175x175]

I agree with 90% of what you say. But how would a strong union help? As you stated globalization is one of the major factors in payroll stagnation. Wouldn't a strong union just lead to more jobs being moved off shore?


Not if those countries had strong unions, too.
 
2013-10-23 07:00:58 PM
Wait till we enter the period where Walmart is the equivalent to a roman latifundia. Lobbying efforts probably underway!
 
2013-10-23 07:02:30 PM
so giving money to corporations is ok, but giving money to poor people is not?
 
2013-10-23 07:02:35 PM

fusillade762: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Soup4Bonnie: The weak wage growth since 1979 for all but those with the highest wages is the result of intentional policy decisions-including globalization, deregulation, weaker unions, and lower labor standards such as a weaker minimum wage-that have undercut job quality for low- and middle-wage workers. These policies have all been portrayed to the public as giving American consumers goods and services at lower prices. Whatever the impact on prices, these policies have lowered the earnings power of low- and middle-wage workers such that their real wages severely lag productivity growth.

[www.highdefdigest.com image 175x175]

I agree with 90% of what you say. But how would a strong union help? As you stated globalization is one of the major factors in payroll stagnation. Wouldn't a strong union just lead to more jobs being moved off shore?

Not if those countries had strong unions, too.


Also it's really, really difficult to move jobs in a retail store anywhere other than the retail store.
 
2013-10-23 07:02:35 PM
First thought: "Man, $25k a year is a shiatty salary."
Second thought, part 1: "Crap, that's what I make."
Second thought, part 2: "As a teaching assistant/instructor in a Ph.D. program."

/poor life choices
 
2013-10-23 07:02:55 PM
What shocks me is him saying they make only $25k he felt was a good thing.
 
2013-10-23 07:06:24 PM
I'd like to see fewer people on public assistance.

Therefore, I believe anyone who's willing to work 40 hours a week should be paid, oh, 125% of the Federal poverty level. "The working poor" should be, at an absolute minimum, "the working lower middle class".
 
2013-10-23 07:06:39 PM
Mmmm, subsidized labor costs...
 
2013-10-23 07:06:50 PM
The three most hazards things for your health are white sugar, heroin, and a regular paycheck.
 
2013-10-23 07:07:51 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: namatad: so pretty much lying with statistics

time to report

how many part time - average wage
how many full time - average wage
how many store managers - average wage
how many office emps - average salary


Exactly. I have an buddy that manages a Wal-Mart super center here in Tulsa. The man makes a damn fine living.


I think I may have found why your buddy makes a good living.

As to the numbers requested, Walmart mostly refuses to disclose them.
 
2013-10-23 07:08:15 PM

zarberg: so giving money to corporations is ok, but giving money to poor people is not?


Of course.  States fall over themselves giving these companies tax breaks so they can claim credit for 25K a year jobs!  It's brilliant!
 
2013-10-23 07:09:45 PM
Relevant. Link
 
2013-10-23 07:12:25 PM

Corvus: What shocks me is him saying they make only $25k he felt was a good thing.


25,000 a year is a little less than I make. But I'm a mid-twenty something accountant on my first full-time big boy job in a part of the country that has a MASSIVELY lower cost of living.

From my perspective, it IS good money. And everyone knows that prices are universally constant in all parts of the country with no lag or population clustering.
 
2013-10-23 07:12:56 PM
In other news, Walmart recently came in at #8 in a list of the 25 tech companies with the best salaries for software engineers.
 
2013-10-23 07:16:01 PM

what_now: Citing "about 160,000" promotions each year, he said, "clearly the opportunity is there for associates to go as far as their hard work will take them."

That's just over 12% of your entire workforce. Yeah, there's a real opportunity ladder there!!


Why indeed. an associate could with a few years grind become a senior associate for an extra 2 dollars an hour in exchange for unlimited work and extra responsibility. Sign me right up.
 
2013-10-23 07:18:12 PM
it amounts to an admission that annual pay for the majority of Walmart's 1.3 million-member US workforce falls below $25,000.

I'm no fan of Walmart, but even if you worked 40 hours a week for 52 weeks, 25K/yr would be $12.00/hr.... way above minimum wage.  I just don't think stat is something to criticize Walmart about... how many people that work there are students or retirees only working 20-25 hours a week? I'd bet a LOT. Until you tell me how many of the 1.3 million are working 35+ hour a week, it's hard for me to make much out of this statistic.
 
2013-10-23 07:18:53 PM
Wal-Mart's employees aren't the only poor people in those stores.
 
2013-10-23 07:21:05 PM
If it weren't for that "Damn 'mancipation proclamation", Wal-Mart would not pay them at all.
 
2013-10-23 07:22:33 PM

Fart_Machine: zarberg: so giving money to corporations is ok, but giving money to poor people is not?

Of course.  States fall over themselves giving these companies tax breaks so they can claim credit for 25K a year jobs!  It's brilliant!


And who takes up the slack for those tax breaks?
 
2013-10-23 07:23:29 PM

theknuckler_33: it amounts to an admission that annual pay for the majority of Walmart's 1.3 million-member US workforce falls below $25,000.

I'm no fan of Walmart, but even if you worked 40 hours a week for 52 weeks, 25K/yr would be $12.00/hr.... way above minimum wage.  I just don't think stat is something to criticize Walmart about... how many people that work there are students or retirees only working 20-25 hours a week? I'd bet a LOT. Until you tell me how many of the 1.3 million are working 35+ hour a week, it's hard for me to make much out of this statistic.


I read TFA pretty fast but I'm almost sure the $25k is only for their full time employees.  The average hourly rate for all their employees was $8.80 something....  in short they basically pay minimum wage to all but a small percent of their employees and I'd be willing to bet getting that $12/hr and full time hours is a damn bit harder than simply asking for a full time schedule.
 
2013-10-23 07:24:39 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Soup4Bonnie: The weak wage growth since 1979 for all but those with the highest wages is the result of intentional policy decisions-including globalization, deregulation, weaker unions, and lower labor standards such as a weaker minimum wage-that have undercut job quality for low- and middle-wage workers. These policies have all been portrayed to the public as giving American consumers goods and services at lower prices. Whatever the impact on prices, these policies have lowered the earnings power of low- and middle-wage workers such that their real wages severely lag productivity growth.

[www.highdefdigest.com image 175x175]

I agree with 90% of what you say. But how would a strong union help? As you stated globalization is one of the major factors in payroll stagnation. Wouldn't a strong union just lead to more jobs being moved off shore?


Not if the workers of the world unite.
 
2013-10-23 07:25:14 PM

gaspode: Why indeed. an associate could with a few years grind become a senior associate for an extra 2 dollars an hour in exchange for unlimited work and extra responsibility. Sign me right up.


Also, to get up to store management level (even many assistant store managers), you have to be willing to move every two years. Military life. WMT policy is to avoid having store managers with any connection to their community (they might have loyalties to something other than Bentonville).  The model WMT store manager is a divorced white guy, crashing in a Residence Inn, at the store 80+ hours a week.
 
2013-10-23 07:25:27 PM

Ivo Shandor: In other news, Walmart recently came in at #8 in a list of the 25 tech companies with the best salaries for software engineers.


No surprise.  Walmart also "owns" one of the biggest trucking companies in the country and pays their drivers extremely well.

Some people will always be angry and surprised to learn that "entry level stockboy" isn't the career destination they hoped it would be.

/welcome to Fark
 
2013-10-23 07:29:01 PM

cchris_39: Ivo Shandor: In other news, Walmart recently came in at #8 in a list of the 25 tech companies with the best salaries for software engineers.

No surprise.  Walmart also "owns" one of the biggest trucking companies in the country and pays their drivers extremely well.

Some people will always be angry and surprised to learn that "entry level stockboy" isn't the career destination they hoped it would be.

/welcome to Fark


Really?  Costco seems to be able to pay their employees- even the entry level ones a decent wage.
 
2013-10-23 07:29:22 PM

Fizpez: theknuckler_33: it amounts to an admission that annual pay for the majority of Walmart's 1.3 million-member US workforce falls below $25,000.

I'm no fan of Walmart, but even if you worked 40 hours a week for 52 weeks, 25K/yr would be $12.00/hr.... way above minimum wage.  I just don't think stat is something to criticize Walmart about... how many people that work there are students or retirees only working 20-25 hours a week? I'd bet a LOT. Until you tell me how many of the 1.3 million are working 35+ hour a week, it's hard for me to make much out of this statistic.

I read TFA pretty fast but I'm almost sure the $25k is only for their full time employees.  The average hourly rate for all their employees was $8.80 something....  in short they basically pay minimum wage to all but a small percent of their employees and I'd be willing to bet getting that $12/hr and full time hours is a damn bit harder than simply asking for a full time schedule.


My point was just that criticizing Walmart for the 800k people who don't make 25K/yr isn't a simple matter of Walmart being a sucky employer. They certainly seem to be, but those 800K people don't all make less than 25K for that reason. That's all. Many people work part time at Walmart because they want to work there part time.
 
2013-10-23 07:31:47 PM
The part timers make minimum wage. Sorry wal mart your secret's out. And you kept it so well hidden too, nobody would ever have suspected.
 
2013-10-23 07:33:39 PM
I'm always a little amazed at how little money minimum wage is. Even in Montana, where it's $7.80 and chained to CPI, it's only about $16k/yr if you work 40 hours a week year round. That's pitiful.
 
2013-10-23 07:36:04 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Soup4Bonnie: The weak wage growth since 1979 for all but those with the highest wages is the result of intentional policy decisions-including globalization, deregulation, weaker unions, and lower labor standards such as a weaker minimum wage-that have undercut job quality for low- and middle-wage workers. These policies have all been portrayed to the public as giving American consumers goods and services at lower prices. Whatever the impact on prices, these policies have lowered the earnings power of low- and middle-wage workers such that their real wages severely lag productivity growth.

[www.highdefdigest.com image 175x175]

I agree with 90% of what you say. But how would a strong union help? As you stated globalization is one of the major factors in payroll stagnation. Wouldn't a strong union just lead to more jobs being moved off shore?


Unionization matters most when EVERYbody is doing it--so the seamstresses in Bangladesh making your Faded Glory t-shirts need to organize for best results in a global society.

Having recently bought a number of sub-$10 shirts at WalMart, I can say that the build and fabric quality is better with the ones from Central America than the Southeast Asian ones.  It makes me wonder if the quality is better with the Honduran ones due to slightly more appreciation for workplace conditions.
 
2013-10-23 07:38:22 PM

zarberg: so giving money to corporations is ok, but giving money to poor people is not?


Even though corporations are now people they appear to be much better people than mere citizens.
 
2013-10-23 07:41:04 PM
"Wal-Mart spokesperson ... Lundberg..."

Typo?

img.fark.net
 
2013-10-23 07:47:03 PM

peacheslatour: Fart_Machine: zarberg: so giving money to corporations is ok, but giving money to poor people is not?

Of course.  States fall over themselves giving these companies tax breaks so they can claim credit for 25K a year jobs!  It's brilliant!

And who takes up the slack for those tax breaks?


If you're not a business big enough to lobby state and local government then you're farked.
 
2013-10-23 07:49:30 PM

theknuckler_33: Fizpez: theknuckler_33: it amounts to an admission that annual pay for the majority of Walmart's 1.3 million-member US workforce falls below $25,000.

I'm no fan of Walmart, but even if you worked 40 hours a week for 52 weeks, 25K/yr would be $12.00/hr.... way above minimum wage.  I just don't think stat is something to criticize Walmart about... how many people that work there are students or retirees only working 20-25 hours a week? I'd bet a LOT. Until you tell me how many of the 1.3 million are working 35+ hour a week, it's hard for me to make much out of this statistic.

I read TFA pretty fast but I'm almost sure the $25k is only for their full time employees.  The average hourly rate for all their employees was $8.80 something....  in short they basically pay minimum wage to all but a small percent of their employees and I'd be willing to bet getting that $12/hr and full time hours is a damn bit harder than simply asking for a full time schedule.

My point was just that criticizing Walmart for the 800k people who don't make 25K/yr isn't a simple matter of Walmart being a sucky employer. They certainly seem to be, but those 800K people don't all make less than 25K for that reason. That's all. Many people work part time at Walmart because they want to work there part time.


Or, it's because the only other employment options are: Bar, Tavern, burger joint, Fertilizer company, or a rent farm.

Wal-Mart moves into a rural town, and all the other businesses, except for the types listed above, go out of business. Wal-Mart is the biggest business killer there is. They go into a town, and promptly undercut all the other businesses in the area by about 20% on prices, because they can afford to handle the loss for a couple years. Then after all the other employers in the area have gone under, WallyWorld promptly jacks prices. Meanwhile, nobody can afford rents in the area, and the town empties out.

Second thing, they pay 88% of their workers at the minimum wage, and it is extremely rare for those people to get more than 20 hours a week. That means you may have to work 35, but they won't pay more than 20.

WallyWorld has been convicted in two dozen States of Labor Theft.
 
2013-10-23 07:51:42 PM
Hmm.  Let's see.  $12.78/hr, multiplied by my "Make Work Fair" multiplier of 50, comes up to $639/hr.  This should be the absolute top salary paid to any person employed by the WalMart corporation, inclusive of  stock options, etc.  This will give the CEO an annual salary of $1,278,000, which I think seems like a perfectly acceptable C-suite salary.

Or, they could raise the average worker's wage to $25/hr.  In that case, Mike Duke could take home a cool 2.5 million per year.  Which I think, again, is a salary that's perfectly acceptable.  Now, if he wants to keep his 20 million/year salary, under my plan, he's going to be needing to up his workers' wages to $200/hr, which is probably not going to work out over with the accountants.  They'll at least need to up the price on ramen noodles by a few cents a pack.  But I think you could easily take WalMart, get the workers and the management-level together, inform them that the highest salary can't be more than 50 times the median salary, and let them work it out.   I bet that they could come to an agreement, just using that one rule.
 
2013-10-23 07:57:25 PM
They just need to change the labor laws to allow these Walmart workers to bring their kids in to earn some additional pay. Maybe pay the kids half the normal rate, and then bam, that family is making $25k + $12k X however many kids they have. That family would be riding high on the hog in no time, and they already get to shop at Walmart, so that's even more savings.
 
2013-10-23 08:00:31 PM
Sometimes to survive, you gotta suck dicks in the parking lot in exchange for tins of Vienna Sausages.

And sometimes you gotta work at WalMart.
 
2013-10-23 08:03:50 PM
A Walmart bigshot at Goldman Sachs. That's like the Red Skull giving a speech at Cobra headquarters.
 
2013-10-23 08:03:53 PM
How much are those mom and pop places WalMart supposedly puts out of business paying their peeps?
 
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