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(Slate)   Republicans may have forced Walmart to drop support for minimum wage increase. Wait... what?   (slate.com ) divider line
    More: Strange, Walmart, Republicans, David Tovar, minimum wages  
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1947 clicks; posted to Politics » on 26 Feb 2014 at 9:14 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



44 Comments   (+0 »)
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2014-02-26 03:39:16 AM  
first off i can't see why Walmart would have supported it and the GOP could not risk punishing walmart and throwing its support to the Democrats.
 
2014-02-26 03:44:24 AM  
If Walmart really thought it ought to pay its employees more, it would.
 
2014-02-26 05:57:58 AM  
I'd assume Walmart is quite reluctant to risk punishment by the party that controls the House and half the governorships.

But pissing off the party that controls the Senate, White House and the other half of governorships? AOK!
 
2014-02-26 08:14:15 AM  
Wal-Mart is actually well-positioned to deal with an increase in the minimum wage, where some other retailers are not. Sure, Wally World would take a hit in their earnings, but they are probably betting other, smaller retailers will be hurt more, allowing Wal-Mart to squeeze their competition out even easier than they do now.

As to why they don't just pay their employees more now, why should they? Sure, paying employees more works well for CostCo, but Wal-Mart is all about either squeezing out every dollar of profit they can, or working to undermine their competition. Paying their employees more, while their primary competition does not have to do the same, would be sheer folly on their part.
 
2014-02-26 08:55:54 AM  
What the hell power do Republicans have to punish Walmart, and why would they have any incentive to do so?
 
2014-02-26 09:18:06 AM  

enry: I'd assume Walmart is quite reluctant to risk punishment by the party that controls the House and half the governorships.

But pissing off the party that controls the Senate, White House and the other half of governorships? AOK!


Depends on how they retaliates.
 
2014-02-26 09:19:02 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: If Walmart really thought it ought to pay its employees more, it would.


Like the way Warren Buffet voluntarily pays more in taxes than the law requires?
 
2014-02-26 09:19:10 AM  
Walmart is spinning.
 
2014-02-26 09:20:13 AM  
Had little to do with minimum wage, one way or the other, and more to do with manipulating the situation.
 
2014-02-26 09:22:29 AM  

grimlock1972: first off i can't see why Walmart would have supported it and the GOP could not risk punishing walmart and throwing its support to the Democrats.


Walmart's retail business has suffered from it's image of worker abuse, they have an ad campaign trying to fight this perception and I am sure this is not the fight they want right now.
 
2014-02-26 09:24:30 AM  

mutterfark: AverageAmericanGuy: If Walmart really thought it ought to pay its employees more, it would.

Like the way Warren Buffet voluntarily pays more in taxes than the law requires?


3/10 - decent effort
 
2014-02-26 09:25:29 AM  

RminusQ: What the hell power do Republicans have to punish Walmart, and why would they have any incentive to do so?


None, the guy from TFA comes off like he should be wearing a tin-foil hat. The GOP is all but powerless these days due to their inability to pass or modify legislation on a national level.

Wal-Mart can say whatever it wants to publicly, but the facts are it stands to profit from a minimum wage hike. Such a hike would not only squeeze the labor costs of it's competitors, but also provide extra disposable income for it's main demographic.

If they're backing away from outright supporting it, it's likely the rational is because they don't bloody want to get in the middle of a political pissing contest and alienate shoppers on either side of the partisan divide. Certainly not because of anything the GOP could threaten them with.
 
2014-02-26 09:25:45 AM  

mutterfark: AverageAmericanGuy: If Walmart really thought it ought to pay its employees more, it would.

Like the way Warren Buffet voluntarily pays more in taxes than the law requires?


How do you know he doesn't?
 
2014-02-26 09:27:47 AM  

Princess Ryans Knickers: mutterfark: AverageAmericanGuy: If Walmart really thought it ought to pay its employees more, it would.

Like the way Warren Buffet voluntarily pays more in taxes than the law requires?

3/10 - decent effort


What are you talking about? Warren Buffet on his tax burden. Link
 
2014-02-26 09:29:22 AM  

TwistedFark: RminusQ: What the hell power do Republicans have to punish Walmart, and why would they have any incentive to do so?

None, the guy from TFA comes off like he should be wearing a tin-foil hat. The GOP is all but powerless these days due to their inability to pass or modify legislation on a national level.

Wal-Mart can say whatever it wants to publicly, but the facts are it stands to profit from a minimum wage hike. Such a hike would not only squeeze the labor costs of it's competitors, but also provide extra disposable income for it's main demographic.

If they're backing away from outright supporting it, it's likely the rational is because they don't bloody want to get in the middle of a political pissing contest and alienate shoppers on either side of the partisan divide. Certainly not because of anything the GOP could threaten them with.


Pissing off the redneck demo would put a real crimp on their revenue. Then again, given many towns only have a Wal-Mart, where else are they going to shop?
 
2014-02-26 09:31:34 AM  
The power in that relationship flows in the exact opposite direction.
 
2014-02-26 09:32:38 AM  

enry: mutterfark: AverageAmericanGuy: If Walmart really thought it ought to pay its employees more, it would.

Like the way Warren Buffet voluntarily pays more in taxes than the law requires?

How do you know he doesn't?


Well, you got me. I have no direct knowledge on whether of not Mr. Buffet gives the federal government more money than he is legally obligated to. But he does make a lot of money and admits that his tax burden is proportionally less than his secretary's. So even though I have a higher opinion of Mr. Buffet than I do of Wal Mart, I still think the poster I was responding to made a somewhat silly statement. Which I countered with my own.
 
2014-02-26 09:35:52 AM  

mutterfark: enry: mutterfark: AverageAmericanGuy: If Walmart really thought it ought to pay its employees more, it would.

Like the way Warren Buffet voluntarily pays more in taxes than the law requires?

How do you know he doesn't?

Well, you got me. I have no direct knowledge on whether of not Mr. Buffet gives the federal government more money than he is legally obligated to. But he does make a lot of money and admits that his tax burden is proportionally less than his secretary's. So even though I have a higher opinion of Mr. Buffet than I do of Wal Mart, I still think the poster I was responding to made a somewhat silly statement. Which I countered with my own.


Maybe the better question is: how many of the employees of Berkshire Hathaway make minimum wage?

My guess is there aren't many. Certainly less as a percentage than Wal-Mart.
 
2014-02-26 09:36:55 AM  

mutterfark: Princess Ryans Knickers: mutterfark: AverageAmericanGuy: If Walmart really thought it ought to pay its employees more, it would.

Like the way Warren Buffet voluntarily pays more in taxes than the law requires?

3/10 - decent effort

What are you talking about? Warren Buffet on his tax burden. Link


I pretty sure that troll was trying to project Mitt Romney who said he doesn't pay a dime more in taxes than he has to. Classic misinformation and misdirection troll. I would give it a solid 4/10 from solid use of shear stupidity compacted into such a tight single sentence troll.
 
2014-02-26 09:42:00 AM  

MmmmBacon: Wal-Mart is actually well-positioned to deal with an increase in the minimum wage, where some other retailers are not. Sure, Wally World would take a hit in their earnings, but they are probably betting other, smaller retailers will be hurt more, allowing Wal-Mart to squeeze their competition out even easier than they do now.

As to why they don't just pay their employees more now, why should they? Sure, paying employees more works well for CostCo, but Wal-Mart is all about either squeezing out every dollar of profit they can, or working to undermine their competition. Paying their employees more, while their primary competition does not have to do the same, would be sheer folly on their part.


Is there any small competition left? Sears and K-Mart are gasping for air while Target has niche-marketed the wealthier suburban crowd. Costco pays its workers a decent wage while raking in big bucks in bulk retail - another niche market. Also Amazon is kicking Walmart's ass in many areas, and Walmart hasn't developed any cogent counterstrategy.

If anything Walmart's just keeping the status quo at this point, because it knows nothing else.
 
2014-02-26 09:51:22 AM  

FunkyBlue: mutterfark: Princess Ryans Knickers: mutterfark: AverageAmericanGuy: If Walmart really thought it ought to pay its employees more, it would.

Like the way Warren Buffet voluntarily pays more in taxes than the law requires?

3/10 - decent effort

What are you talking about? Warren Buffet on his tax burden. Link

I pretty sure that troll was trying to project Mitt Romney who said he doesn't pay a dime more in taxes than he has to. Classic misinformation and misdirection troll. I would give it a solid 4/10 from solid use of shear stupidity compacted into such a tight single sentence troll.



I don't know who's talking about what at this point. I felt the original comment was a light troll or tongue in cheek comment which I responded to with the link showing that a generally well respected member of the 1% has acknowledged that the tax code is currently unfairly biased in favor of the very wealthy. Not sure how I was trolling, but I often fail at clear posting.

/I really gotta stick with attempted humor as I seem to lack clarity in my attempts at more serious posts
//hope that cleared things up a bit, sorry for any confusion
 
2014-02-26 09:54:58 AM  
Ha! No bullying politicians with PACs and oodles of cash here! How do you like it on the other end, corporatist overlords?
 
2014-02-26 09:56:34 AM  

mutterfark: FunkyBlue: mutterfark: Princess Ryans Knickers: mutterfark: AverageAmericanGuy: If Walmart really thought it ought to pay its employees more, it would.

Like the way Warren Buffet voluntarily pays more in taxes than the law requires?

3/10 - decent effort

What are you talking about? Warren Buffet on his tax burden. Link

I pretty sure that troll was trying to project Mitt Romney who said he doesn't pay a dime more in taxes than he has to. Classic misinformation and misdirection troll. I would give it a solid 4/10 from solid use of shear stupidity compacted into such a tight single sentence troll.


I don't know who's talking about what at this point. I felt the original comment was a light troll or tongue in cheek comment which I responded to with the link showing that a generally well respected member of the 1% has acknowledged that the tax code is currently unfairly biased in favor of the very wealthy. Not sure how I was trolling, but I often fail at clear posting.

/I really gotta stick with attempted humor as I seem to lack clarity in my attempts at more serious posts
//hope that cleared things up a bit, sorry for any confusion


[welcometofark.jpg]
 
2014-02-26 10:05:52 AM  
I honestly don't understand WalMart's objection here. The vast majority of dollars paid due to an increase will be spent at WalMart. Their revenues will be higher, their tax burden will be lower, and the whole "WalMart abuses its workers" narrative would be completely undercut.
 
2014-02-26 10:07:05 AM  
Walmart, Yum!, and McDonald's should be leading the effort to raise minimum wage. They can afford it better than their smaller competitors, and it will allow minimum wage workers to buy more of their products. It's just good business sense. The only three reasons I can possibly think of that they wouldn't be fighting for this are:

A) They're stupid
B) They're unmitigated assholes
C) They value next quarter's numbers more than next year's

I'm going to go with C.

/Off to RTFA and TFT
 
2014-02-26 10:08:24 AM  

TwistedFark: RminusQ: What the hell power do Republicans have to punish Walmart, and why would they have any incentive to do so?

None, the guy from TFA comes off like he should be wearing a tin-foil hat. The GOP is all but powerless these days due to their inability to pass or modify legislation on a national level.

Wal-Mart can say whatever it wants to publicly, but the facts are it stands to profit from a minimum wage hike. Such a hike would not only squeeze the labor costs of it's competitors, but also provide extra disposable income for it's main demographic.

If they're backing away from outright supporting it, it's likely the rational is because they don't bloody want to get in the middle of a political pissing contest and alienate shoppers on either side of the partisan divide. Certainly not because of anything the GOP could threaten them with.


I had already heard that Wal-Mart was lobbying for a higher minimum wage. They will fight raising wages on their own because they don't really have brand loyalty - people only shop there because of Wal-Mart's low prices, and will abandon Wal-Mart if and when Wal-Mart is no longer the cheapest. However, if everyone has to raise wages, their workers get paid better and Wal-Mart isn't really placed at a disadvantage. More importantly though, they're banking that the extra income in the hands of their customers will result in more profit than the extra expense of paying their workers (and Wal-Mart workers are likely Wal-Mart shoppers).
 
2014-02-26 10:08:55 AM  

qorkfiend: I honestly don't understand WalMart's objection here. The vast majority of dollars paid due to an increase will be spent at WalMart. Their revenues will be higher, their tax burden will be lower, and the whole "WalMart abuses its workers" narrative would be completely undercut.


My own stab at it is Walmart's organization is epistemologically closed. There are no new ideas allowed there. They have their own notions of what "Sam would've done," a myopic focus on quarterly reports, and glazed view of the past.

This will be their eventual undoing but it takes a long time to kill a behemoth like Walmart.
 
2014-02-26 10:23:34 AM  

verbaltoxin: Amazon is kicking Walmart's ass in many areas, and Walmart hasn't developed any cogent counterstrategy.


When my wife was working at Amazon, Wal-Mart was making some major progress in improving its online presence. Amazon's response? Hire away the Wal-Mart execs most involved in the effort and make them VP's.
 
2014-02-26 10:31:12 AM  
I'm not sure that admitting they're examining the issue, and finding evidence that they've read the bill, really counts as "support" in the first place.
 
2014-02-26 10:31:41 AM  

MmmmBacon: Wal-Mart is actually well-positioned to deal with an increase in the minimum wage, where some other retailers are not. Sure, Wally World would take a hit in their earnings, but they are probably betting other, smaller retailers will be hurt more, allowing Wal-Mart to squeeze their competition out even easier than they do now.


Also, when a minimum wage increase hits their bottom line, they'll be comparable to other companies in the same sector, which means minimizing the hit on their stock price.
 
2014-02-26 10:33:05 AM  
Technically true, as I'm sure the Walton offspring are all Republicans.
 
2014-02-26 10:36:48 AM  

grimlock1972: first off i can't see why Walmart would have supported it and the GOP could not risk punishing walmart and throwing its support to the Democrats.


Because Wal-Mart hires temps and won't be on the hook for any wage violations.

Pretty straightforward, really.
 
2014-02-26 10:44:45 AM  

BMulligan: verbaltoxin: Amazon is kicking Walmart's ass in many areas, and Walmart hasn't developed any cogent counterstrategy.

When my wife was working at Amazon, Wal-Mart was making some major progress in improving its online presence. Amazon's response? Hire away the Wal-Mart execs most involved in the effort and make them VP's.


I don't know if I totally believe this, but it DOES sound like something Bezos would do.
 
2014-02-26 10:48:03 AM  
I am certain everyone involved would rather have us believe that politicians have power over a corporation and not the other way around.

But that isn't how it is.
 
2014-02-26 10:56:52 AM  

RminusQ: What the hell power do Republicans have to punish Walmart, and why would they have any incentive to do so?


I think this right here is a symbol of what is wrong with corporate America. Walmart execs probably realize in the long run a wage increase would be a good thing since the work quality would improve and workers would just spend the money at Walmart. However, they are scared of the hit to earnings making investors angry. So they want the government to force them to do the wage increase.
 
2014-02-26 11:02:22 AM  

grimlock1972: first off i can't see why Walmart would have supported it and the GOP could not risk punishing walmart and throwing its support to the Democrats.


The same reason big companies always support laws that raise the cost of doing business.

They can afford it a lot easier than their smaller competitors.
 
2014-02-26 11:30:10 AM  

enry: Pissing off the redneck demo would put a real crimp on their revenue. Then again, given many towns only have a Wal-Mart, where else are they going to shop?


Cutting food stamps already HAS impacted Wal-Mart's bottom line.

Which party wants more deeper cuts to the program?
 
2014-02-26 11:49:29 AM  

BMFPitt: grimlock1972: first off i can't see why Walmart would have supported it and the GOP could not risk punishing walmart and throwing its support to the Democrats.

The same reason big companies always support laws that raise the cost of doing business.

They can afford it a lot easier than their smaller competitors.


I would suggest this assertion is inherently flawed.  WA has always had the highest minimum wage in the country, Texas has always been at federal minimum.  Look how well small business is doing in Texas:

http://www.ilsr.org/lightly-regulated-states-friendly-small-business es /
 
2014-02-26 11:50:03 AM  

Misch: enry: Pissing off the redneck demo would put a real crimp on their revenue. Then again, given many towns only have a Wal-Mart, where else are they going to shop?

Cutting food stamps already HAS impacted Wal-Mart's bottom line.

Which party wants more deeper cuts to the program?


Wow. Good find.
 
2014-02-26 12:34:11 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: If Walmart really thought it ought to pay its employees more, it would.


I suspect that their calculation has more to do with other employers paying higher wages so that Walmart gets more customers.  Sure, they'd have to pay their people more too, but there might be a net gain in it for Walmart.
 
2014-02-26 12:43:18 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: If Walmart really thought it ought to pay its employees more, it would.


Not necessarily true. It'd probably be good for them. If the federal minimum wage were increased all their competitors would have to pay their employee's more as well, which would prices would go up uniformly, so Walmart would still probably be the cheapest retailer and they'd get some good press.
 
2014-02-26 01:08:10 PM  

hobberwickey: AverageAmericanGuy: If Walmart really thought it ought to pay its employees more, it would.

Not necessarily true. It'd probably be good for them. If the federal minimum wage were increased all their competitors would have to pay their employee's more as well, which would prices would go up uniformly, so Walmart would still probably be the cheapest retailer and they'd get some good press.


Can you cite any correlation between higher minimum wage and cost of living?  Honestly, I haven't been able to find it.  Spokane WA has the highest minimum wage in the country, Boise ID is at the federal minimum.  Similar sized cities with similar challenges.  The cost of living is the same.
 
2014-02-26 01:14:48 PM  

rohar: hobberwickey: AverageAmericanGuy: If Walmart really thought it ought to pay its employees more, it would.

Not necessarily true. It'd probably be good for them. If the federal minimum wage were increased all their competitors would have to pay their employee's more as well, which would prices would go up uniformly, so Walmart would still probably be the cheapest retailer and they'd get some good press.

Can you cite any correlation between higher minimum wage and cost of living?  Honestly, I haven't been able to find it.  Spokane WA has the highest minimum wage in the country, Boise ID is at the federal minimum.  Similar sized cities with similar challenges.  The cost of living is the same.


I meant prices at Walmart and their competitors. The cost of living as a whole has so many different factors, most of which are barely if at all related to minimum wage. Food, housing, transportation I'm sure would be affected somewhat by a minimum wage hike, but just barely I'd guess.
 
2014-02-26 04:01:02 PM  
Maybe Wal-Mart thinks we're still in an era when the minimum wage is 25 cents per hour.
 
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