Wal-mart Chairman Races $16 Million Car Collection While Paying Poverty Wages

As citizens living in a capitalist country, it is our responsibility to direct our purchases to businesses that are conducting themselves in such a way as to benefit the community, and, by extension, the nation. When a corporation has a business model that includes making sure employees are getting secondary assistance from the government — and thus, by extension, the taxpayers — they’re draining money from the public to cover business costs at a massive profit. When it comes to Wal-Mart, each store has a huge cost on the local economy due to employees needing government assistance just to get by, while the chairman of the corporation races a $16 million car collection just for fun. Is it ethical that a company should conduct business in such a manner, making sure to give employees the bare minimum while raking in billions for the already-rich? No. And the best way to express your disapproval is to refuse them your business, and push for legislation to protect workers.

On Saturday, a small protest was staged outside the racetrack and a nearby Wal-Mart in Laguna Seca, California. Why? Because Samuel Robson Walton, the oldest child of the founders of Wal-Mart, the current Chairman of the multinational company, and worth an estimated $26.1 billion in March 2013, was racing a four-car collection on the track that is worth approximately $16 million (a Ferrari, a Maserati, a Corvette and a Scarab); meanwhile, each Wal-Mart store costs taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in government aid for underpaid and underemployed workers.

Here’s more:

One group unfurled a banner that said simply, “Your hobby = our taxes.” Some handed out leaflets that said, “The American people are tired of paying for your expensive hobbies. Time to pay your workers a living wage.”

The protests are a reference to the fact that thousands of employees of Walmart rely on public assistance to make ends meet. Our Walmart, the union group organizing protests, contends that “the average Walmart store” costs taxpayers $1 million a year in government subsidies, notes The Herald News. Spokespeople for Walmart, however, have countered that Walmart’s hourly wages — about $8.53 an hour for a cashier, according to Glassdoor.com — are competitive for the industry and that some 75 percent of managers started as associates and were promoted from within. A spokeswoman told The Herald News that “we see [these protests] as another attempt by union organizers to try to gain attention, but, unfortunately for them, they don’t represent those people who work in our stores everyday.” (Source)

This is the way it works. I’ll lay it out very simply. There is a certain cost to live, here in America. You need money for housing, for clothing, for medical care, for transportation, for food — for life. That is a fact. It is also a fact that even a full-time minimum wage job will leave you in poverty and unable to feed your children without assistance. Because of that, people with jobs like Wal-Mart associates typically need government assistance in order to live. Republicans talk so much about getting people off welfare, and decreasing government dependency, but then they oppose a common sense wage raise, forcing taxpayers to subsidize those low wages. Unemployment isn’t the only reason so many people need assistance — a great many of the jobs added post-recession aren’t very good, with low hours, low pay, or both.

And while Wal-Mart doesn’t feel that the protesters represent typical Wal-Mart workers, they’ve shown before that they’re incredibly ignorant when it comes to the experiences of their employees. On-the-job horror stories have garnered national attention, and when Wal-Mart attempted a cheery PR stunt to garner favor, it didn’t quite turn out how they had planned. The nation is waking up to the cancer that Wal-Mart is in our communities.

SpiceZ SpiceZ
56-60, F
Aug 24, 2013