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Should the Government Subsidize Wal-Mart Employees?

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When it comes to paying its floor workers, Wal-Mart is one stingy company. It is so stingy that that the government often is forced to subsidize its employee’s health and housing costs. Here is how one author summarizes a recent congressional report examining this issue:

“For a 200-employee Wal-Mart store, the government is spending $108,000 a year for children’s health care; $125,000 a year in tax credits and deductions for low-income families; and $42,000 a year in housing assistance. The report estimates that a 200-employee Wal-Mart store costs federal taxpayers $420,000 a year, or about $2,103 per Wal-Mart employee. That translates into a total annual welfare bill of $2.5 billion for Wal-Mart’s 1.2 million US employees.”

These facts are often taken as a damning indictment of Wal-Mart’s labor practices, but are they? I will argue that they are not, and that, even if accurate, these facts give liberals no reason to dislike Wal-Mart. There may be other reasons to dislike Wal-Mart, but I don’t address them in this article.

To see why these facts are not damning, travel back with me to the mid-1990s when welfare reform was all the rage. Back then, an often noted problem with welfare was that it discouraged work. If a welfare recipient found work, their benefits would be cut by about 70 cents for every dollar they earned, so getting a minimum wage job didn’t “pay.” In response, many liberals argued that welfare benefits should not be cut if the recipient found work – or at least not cut as sharply. In short, many liberals found nothing wrong with the idea that the government should subsidize low-wage labor. Indeed, in 1993, Bill Clinton embraced this idea by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, which can raise the annual income of a low-wage worker with children by as much as 40 percent. Liberals favor this program, believing that the state should subsidize low-wage workers.

Return now to the statistics about how much the government spends on a typical Wal-Mart employee. All they show is that taxpayers are subsidizing Wal-Mart’s low-wage workers. But this is not something that liberals generally oppose.
Liberals think that the government has good reason to subsidize low-wage labor. They think that the government should pay the health-care costs of the poor, and other costs like housing and job training. So why vilify Wal-Mart on these grounds?

The answer must lie in the idea that the burden of providing health care should fall on employers and not on the government. But why should it? Notice that this is an especially odd argument for a liberal to make since liberals tend to think that the government has an obligation to provide universal health care. Perhaps the thought is that Wal-Mart in particular ought to increase its wages because its wages are low relative to other companies in the industry (say, Costco). But Wal-Mart’s low wages are reflected in its extremely low prices, which benefit the working poor. An increase in wages would lead to an increase in prices, which would hurt the millions of people who save a lot of money by shopping at Wal-Mart.

What really bothers people about Wal-Mart, I think, is not that the government subsidizes some of its workers, but that if Wal-Mart increased its prices ever so slightly (even five cents an item), the price increase would be virtually imperceptible to customers, but Wal-Mart could then afford to pay its employees decent wages. But even a small increase in its prices would make Wal-Mart susceptible to more ruthless competitors. After all, Wal-Mart operates in an extremely competitive market environment. It would be unfair to force Wal-Mart, and only Wal-Mart, to raise its prices. A fairer solution would be to force everyone to raise prices ever so slightly and use the proceeds to help make work pay. That, however, is a government subsidy. It is a tax. It is precisely what liberals have always defended. They have always supported government efforts to subsidize low-wage labor. A tax, say, on corporate profits to be used to help the working poor would be fair and honest. Why they want to single out Wal-Mart, however, is beyond me.

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About Mike Valdman

  • RedTard

    “Why they want to single out Wal-Mart, however, is beyond me.”

    Because it’s a big corporation, it’s successful, and it’s American, three things liberals cannot stand.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Oh that is so not fair. WalMart is an American corporation which is successful. But at what price has the corporation achieved its success? The labor employed by the big corporation is cheap. The employees are so underpaid that all they can afford to purchase is WalMart products. Those in store level management make a little more money but they’re subjected to Amway tactics and corporate revival meetings that keep the employees mesmerized like Jim Jones’ followers at a Kool Aid convention. Upper level management make damned good money but they work long hours and don’t have the perks that many other corporate moguls enjoy. All in all it sounds like a pretty nice American success story, doesn’t it?

    The WalMartization of America has virtually killed Mom, Pop and Main Street. Once upon a time small business was the heart and soul of America. Locally owned pharmacies had soda fountains and were places folk could gather. Now they all gather at the snack bar at WalMart eating their 50 cent chemical filled hot dogs before they go and buy that cute little Kathie Lee outfit that was probably sewn by little 7-year old Emmelita in some back room factory. Yeah, Wally World has got great prices. The quality of the clothes suck and truth be told the poor would be better off spending a little more for items that would last a hell of a lot longer. For that matter aside from food items, the quality of most Wally World merchandise is substandard. But that doesn’t make any difference, the stuff is C-H-E-A-P!

    Again, what is the ultimate price America will pay for buying into the Wally World hype? People have to keep shopping there because they have to replace the merchandise they bought when it wears out in half the time. Does anyone honestly think that Wally World management and stockholders are all about America and Apple Pie? It’s about the Almighty Dollar, nothing more, nothing less. I was always taught that to those which much has been given, much is expected in return. The only thing that returns at Wal Mart are customers who know no better. I’m all for corporate profits and success. But with that level of achievment must come some kind of payback. If that’s liberal, brand a big “L” on my arse and parade me down Main Street by all the boarded up stores and empty parking spaces. Nobody shops on Main Street anymore, they’re all shopping at WalMart.

  • Mike

    Silas,

    I take it you were responding to RedTard. But, in any case, I should say that I’m not a fan of Wal-Mart, and that some of their labor practices (discouraging unions, forcing overtime work) are abhorrent. But I wouldn’t go as far as you do in glamorizing the old mom and pop shops. They were expensive, inefficient, and inconvenient. In any case, my point is merely that people’s objections to Wal-Mart are often really objections to globalization. Moreover, any fair assessment of globalization has to consider the costs and the benefits, and the benefits are significant. Not only has it greatly reduced the price of many goods domestically, it has also provided many jobs to poor people overseas. You might not think much of these jobs, but the people who have these jobs do. They are much better than the jobs they had before or could get if these companies left. I have a hard time understanding why those opposed to globalization seem willing to sacrifice sweatshop laborers for their cause.

  • Bennett

    “A tax, say, on corporate profits to be used to help the working poor would be fair and honest.”

    After all of your raving and sweeping generalizations about liberals and their socialist leanings, you drop that comment in at the end of your post.

    Face it, you are a self-hating LIBERAL!

  • Mike

    What ravings and sweeping generalizations about Liberals? I’m just arguing that Liberals think that the government should help the working poor, so they shouldn’t object to the government doing this for Wal-Mart employees. As for myself being a Liberal, indeed I am. As for being self-hating, I am that as well. But I don’t think there’s any connection there. You can be self-hating and liberal without being a self-hating liberal.

  • Bennett

    I’m bored by the suggestion that all Liberals think the same. Ditto for conservatives thinking the same way on every issue.

    Conservative? You must hate gays!

    I think it’s lazy journalism to use that premise in a post. Was that all you had to start with here? Some folks hate Wall Mart, some love it. It really has nothing to do with political leanings, ya know.

    This would have been a better article if you had made your points without depending on painting “liberals” as some sort of homogeneous tribe.

  • Mike

    Bennett,

    I target Liberals in this article because it’s primarily Liberals who have a problem with Wal-Mart. I thought that was obvious. I make no reference to liberals as a homogeneous tribe. I am merely noting that liberals subscribe to a view about the role of government that doesn’t support their criticism of Wal-Mart (at least in this one case).

  • Bennett

    Okay, and I should say that I didn’t mean to sound as harsh as my words look upon rereading. Sorry bout that.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    …Moreover, any fair assessment of globalization has to consider the costs and the benefits, and the benefits are significant. Not only has it greatly reduced the price of many goods domestically, it has also provided many jobs to poor people overseas.

    I’m sorry, Mike, I shouldn’t have gone off on a rant. Let me rework my thoughts. I agree that domestically, WalMart’s employment practices are completely abhorent. While many Mom & Pop operations were high in price, etc., you can’t argue the fact that small business was the backbone of America. Cheap labor is not available in the U.S.A. And, I agree that the cheap labor pool in underdeveloped countries appreciate the work they’re getting. It’s not a matter of being against globalization. I’d love to shop at Wally World and take advantage of their prices on a lot of items, but I don’t. It’s not because they use cheap labor, it’s because they perpetuate poverty and downright stupidity in America. Sure, these folks need jobs to survive; but, by being a Wally World employee their chances for advancement and digging themselves out of the canyon they live in is far from probable.

  • knowit

    Wal-mart gets picked on because it is the best example of the parasite corporations that feed off workers and refuse to share profits with them. At the same time they are screaming that they can’t afford to pay for health care and pensions, they spend hundreds of millions of dollars in political contributions and lobbyists to pass laws to screw their own workers and customers. Oh, and the more they cut health care, the more they give themselves nice big bonuses.

    To put it simply, the CEO class is getting very rich while screwing workers. They have declared war on us and we are fed up with it.

    These corporations are not interested in a strong, healthy, safe America. They are interested in creating great corporate fiefdoms with frightened serf workers who have no rights and whose lives are so horrible, they are grateful for the slave labor jobs doled out by the corporate lords.

    Where I live you couldn’t find a liberal within a hundred mile radius. My neighbors and I are fed up with corporate suits who are destroying the small businesses, small farmers, and the culture of this country. So no, it’s not just liberals who hate Wal-Mart and the whole corporate takeover of this country. We’re ALL getting damn sick and tired of it.

  • Mike

    Silas, you say that Wal-Mart perpetuates poverty, but I’m not sure what this means. Are you claiming that the poor would be better off without Wal-Mart than with Wal-Mart? If so, then I find this hard to believe for two reasons. First, because many of Wal-Mart’s shoppers are poor and they can stretch their budget considerably by shopping there, and second because if they didn’t have their crummy Wal-Mart job they’d probably have a near equally crummy job at some other retailer. I certainly agree, however, that Wal-Mart is no solution to poverty, which is why I support wealth redistribution, or a tax on corporate profits to help low wage earners.

  • Mike

    Knowit,

    I don’t have stats for this, but what Wal-Mart pays its managers is probably comparable to what other large corporations pay their managers. The bonuses are their way of keeping talented people in charge of the company. Incidentally, it’s worth noting that Wal-Mart’s profit margins are razor thin — they are in a highly competitive industry. I agree that they’re not interested in a strong and healthy America, but who is? Or, better yet, who is actually promoting such an America? And, in any case, that’s not their job. Wal-Mart is great for the millions of people who shop there. Of course, they don’t do this for altruistic reasons, but so what? Maybe your neighbors are fed up with them, but until they actually stop shopping there they’re just full of hot air.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Mike, what is cheaper? Buying a blouse at Wal-Mart for $6.77 that wears out after 6 months or buying a blouse at K-Mart for $11.99 that lasts 18 – 24 months? Sure, the prices are incredible and they are friendly to the poor. But in the end do the poor really benefit from the short term gratification?

    Take a look at convenience stores. Their prices are high because of the ‘convenience’. Did you ever wonder about the socio-economic demographics of a convenience store shopper? Did you ever wonder how much in food stamps and W.I.C. vouchers are processed by them? We’re penny wise and dollar foolish in America. Those who are receiving assistance have a responsibility to allocate those funds in the most efficient way possible. There must be restrictions and guidelines. Heaven forbid we should apply these common sense approaches because Shell Oil and Mobil might lose money in their convenience stores.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Very interesting piece as always Mike. I like your look at both sides of this issue.

    I’d argue that this little case study shows that there’s a huge gap in modern America between what corporations are willing to pay, and what government is willing to do for the poor. My Big Picture takeaway is that the working poor (aka most who work for Wal Mart full-time as an example) get paid crap and must rely on meager and in some cases haphazard government “subsidies” for health care.

    I agree that some kind of tax increase is needed to move toward universal health care. If that makes me “Liberal,” so be it!

  • Bennett

    Thank you Knowit! Great comment on America as it stands in 2005.

    The resentment of corporate greed is growing. As Silas points out, it is no boon to be able to buy shoddy goods for pennies, from manufacturers that are counting on Americans getting more ignorant every year.

    I think that companies like Wal-Mart are selling out our country by having factories in China. Things that were one produced in the US, employing Americans with middle class wages, are now cheap and of poor quality. Is this an improvement?

    Mike – Reading your replies, I almost think you do online damage control for Wal-mart.

  • MCH

    For more interesting statistics on Walmart from Robert Greenwald’s documentary, “Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price,” go to this

  • Nancy

    Thanks, knowit, you speak for me, too. While wildly liberal – even radical – on selected issues, in general I consider myself a conservative. But conservatism does NOT mean supporting corporate greed, graft, & plundering of government, consumers, or employees, regardless; if anything, true conservatism supports the opposite. I agree 100% with knowit: this is a classic & outstanding case of corporate suits intent on creating a slave labor society at public expense for their own personal profit & plunder. Even their investors aren’t included in this plot. Just look at the mechanations of Lee Scott to see cold corporate greed & power at its worst.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Next thing you know Wally World will be opening discount medical clinics in every store. I wonder if they’ll offer discount abortions?

  • Nancy

    Silas, DON’T use the A-word; it attracts AG rants, remember?

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    He hasn’t been around lately. Perhaps his parents came to their senses and had him deprogrammed. Either that or they grounded him and took away his laptop. Dear God, there are so many directions I could go with this but I’ll just step away from the keyboard and leave it to one of the other resident humorists.

  • Maurice

    Great points Mike.

    Especially the point about Walmart helping the poor by providing cheap goods.

    The EITC bothers me.

  • Nancy

    Maurice, please explain EITC to me. I’m not conversant with all the shortcuts online. Thanks.

  • Mike Valdman

    Silas,

    I can’t speak directly to the quality of Wal-Mart’s goods, but I’d be surprised if K-Mart’s goods were of much higher quality than Wal-Mart’s (or higher enough to justify the extra cost). In any case, if Wal-Mart sells such shoddy merchendise, then why do so many people continue to shop there? The most natural explanation is that, even if Wal-Mart’s goods are not well-built, the low price is compensation enough for many consumers.

    You might argue that people shop at Wal-Mart out of ignorance and stupidity, not realizing that they’re buying shoddy merchandise. But why would these people continue shopping at Wal-Mart even after they’ve been burned? You must think these people are REALLY stupid and ignorant. If you really believe this, then why are you so concerned about these people? If people are as dumb as you assume, I’m not sure they can be helped effectively. In fact, I’m not sure they are worth helping.

  • Mike Valdman

    Nancy,

    The EITC is the Earned Income Tax Credit. It a federal tax program that subsidizes those working poor who have children. I have no idea why it bothers Maurice.

  • Mike Valdman

    By the way, Silas, why do you keep referring to Wal-Mart as Wally World?

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    I can’t speak directly to the quality of Wal-Mart’s goods, but I’d be surprised if K-Mart’s goods were of much higher… then why do so many people continue to shop there? … the low price is compensation enough for many consumers.

    You answered your own question, Mike. That’s the bottom line. We want to get the most we can for our buck and it’s not the quality, it’s the quantity. Again, I submit there is the possibility that serial purchasing at Wal-Mart is more expensive to the consumer in the long run.

    You might argue that people shop at Wal-Mart out of ignorance and stupidity… then why are you so concerned about these people? If people are as dumb as you assume, I’m not sure they can be helped effectively. In fact, I’m not sure they are worth helping.

    Very Clintonian of you, Mike, to parse my words in that way. Look, we judge people by the things they accumulate. That’s the kind of society we’ve evolved to. When I was a kid you had one pair each of sneakers and dress shoes at a time. You had a Sunday outfit and then your other clothes. When was the last time you heard anyone talk like that? We’re a consuming people. We are little Pac Men munching on all the merchandise pellets until the evil banker or credit card bites us in the butt. The little Pac Man that consumes the most pellets wins. Gee, isn’t that sad? It’s not that people are stupid or ignorant — it’s that they’ve been conditioned to believe he who has the most shit wins.

  • Mike Valdman

    Silas,

    Surely you’re not arguing that people always buy the cheapest goods — the cheapest clothes, cars, food, homes, etc. Clearly, people are concerned with both quality and price. Again, the most natural non-paranoid explanation for why so many people shop at Wal-Mart is because, all things considered, Wal-Mart gives them the best deals.

    I should say that I too dislike our consumerist society. I hate the fact that people struggle to accumulate things — that they evaluate their lives by how much they own relative to their neighbors. I don’t shop at Wal-Mart, I don’t max out my credit cards, I prefer local stores to chains and franchises, and I never eat fast food. But, at the end of the day, these are just aesthetic preferences. Other people genuinely like fast food, they like chains and franchises, they crave the familiar and fear the unknown, they like stuff, they like accumulating objects, and they like shopping for everything under one roof. These are their aesthetic preferences. And while I think there’s something disgusting about living this way, this is just a reflection of my aesthetic preferences. There is no REASON why living this way is wrong — it just seems wrong because it’s not to our tastes. Let them enjoy their Starbucks and their Wal-Mart.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Surely you’re not arguing that people always buy the cheapest goods… all things considered, Wal-Mart gives them the best deals.

    Damn, are you certain that you’re not on the payroll over there? You’re missing my point, Michael. I’m saying that I’m not convinced that people are really getting the best deals. Sure the prices are low, but what’s the half life of the merchandise? People don’t always buy the cheapest goods but the poor and low income families psychologically think they’re getting the best deals at Wal-Mart. There’s the instant gratification factor to consider here. We don’t live in a world where good things come to those who wait. We want, spend, consume and start all over again. We’re wasteful, fat, lazy… anyway, you get the picture.

    …There is no REASON why living this way is wrong — it just seems wrong because it’s not to our tastes. Let them enjoy their Starbucks and their Wal-Mart.

    You’re right. It’s about individual choice. That being said, those who are supported by benefits and cash paid by the taxpayers have a moral obligation to get the most they can for the little money they receive. I’ve brought this point up before. I’d dare a consumer group or chain of retail stores to do an honest analysis of the Wally World phenomenon. Nothing is free in this world. And even with “low” prices, there is a price to be paid.

  • Mike Valdman

    Silas,

    I understand your point. It just seems that the fact that many people choose to shop at Wal-Mart, and shop their repeatedly, is strong evidence that they are getting their money’s worth. To think otherwise is to assume that these people are stupid, ignorant, or incapable of controlling their impulses. Here’s a challenge for you: explain how the poor are not stupid, ignorant, or irrational but still continue shopping at Wal-Mart without getting their money’s worth.

    By the way, when you talk about those who are supported by taxpayers, are you referring to Wal-Mart or to their employees who get health benefits from the state? It sounds like you’re arguing that welfare recipients have a moral obligatin to shop at Wal-Mart (they are supported by the taxpayer, so they have an obligation to get the most they can for the little money they receive). I take it you don’t mean this. But then what do you mean?

  • RedTard

    Some people hate consumers who shop at WalMart, others hate elitists who don’t shop there to show how much ‘smarter’ they are than everyone else.

    I’m in the latter group.

  • Silas Kain

    … It just seems that the fact that many people choose to shop at Wal-Mart, and shop their repeatedly, is strong evidence that they are getting their money’s worth… ignorant, or incapable of controlling their impulses.

    Oh come on. You’re trying to discredit what I’m saying so people won’t actually question the Wally World paradigm.

    Here’s a challenge for you: explain how the poor are not stupid, ignorant, or irrational but still continue shopping at Wal-Mart without getting their money’s worth.

    You’re ignoring the point I’ve been trying to make. Prove to us how shopping at Wally World maximizes the consumer dollar. I totally agree that there are short term benefits and gratifications to being a Wally World worshipper. It certainly seems like the buyer is getting the most out of the buck. What are the LONG term benefits? Does making Wal-Mart your one-stop shop make it a real bargain in the long run? What are the buying habits of a Wal-Mart shopper over the course of a year? I can’t debate the prices, Wal-Mart wins every time. What I can debate is whether this low prices fantasy they proclaim is a reality in the long run.

    By the way, when you talk about those who are supported by taxpayers, are you referring to Wal-Mart or to their employees…

    Perhaps a little bit of both. I don’t believe that the state should subsidize Wal-Mart employees. As a matter of fact I think that uber large corporations who don’t provide health care insurance at a maximum percentage of an honest wage should be taxed. Those taxes should be earmarked for a health care fund. Wal-Mart employees can only afford to shoip at Wal-Mart so the money pretty much comes in as soon as it goes out. Not a bad deal for the stock holders, is it?

    It sounds like you’re arguing that welfare recipients have a moral obligatin to shop at Wal-Mart (they are supported by the taxpayer, so they have an obligation to get the most they can for the little money they receive). I take it you don’t mean this. But then what do you mean?

    Oh boy, you ARE good. Welfare recipients have a moral obligation to themselves to get the most they can out of the benefits they receive. If that means shopping at Wal-Mart saves them a bundle of money on food, so be it. As far as hard goods go, it’s another story. You continue to ignore my original point — can shopping elsewhere actually SAVE money in the loing run?

  • Mike

    Silas,

    I don’t mean to ignore your point. I understand your contention that, in the long run, shopping at Wal-Mart is a losing proposition. I just haven’t heard any evidence for this claim, and I take the fact that many REPEATEDLY shop at Wal-Mart as evidence against your claim. Look, a rational person may buy a cheap and shoddy product once, but when it breaks they’ll buy a sturdier product provided that its quality is worth the extra cost. You claim that Wal-Mart shoppers keep shopping at Wal-Mart despite the fact that they would be better served by spending more money on higher quality products elsewhere. Thus, it sounds like, on your view, Wal-Mart shoppers are irrational (or ignorant or stupid). But why think this? Why not think instead that Wal-Mart shoppers are simply willing to sacrifice some quality for a better price, and that, in the long term, this is to their advantage? I get the impression that you’re desperately trying validate your animosity towards Wal-Mart and their customers when, in reality, you just don’t like their taste in merchandise.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Quite the contrary. I’m not desperately trying to validate anything. Opinions are like rectums, we all have them. My distaste for things Wally World doesn’t negate the benefts it provides others. And, for the record, there are a hell of a lot of poor and disadvantaged folks out there who are brilliant. It’s their situations that are the problem. But, then again, I like your contention that Wally World shoppers are willing to sacrifice quality for a better price. We’ve been sacrificing quality of politicians and have been paying through the nose for them. No wonder no one can afford to shop anywhere else.

  • Maurice

    I am against the EITC because it is the inverse of double taxation. The EITC allows a person to get back MORE than they paid into the IRS. The requirements are easy to meet and many people that I don’t consider poor qualify. My sister qualifies every year. Her house is paid off and she has 2 cars that are paid off. She has no real wants in life but she gets more money back from the IRS than she pays in.

    Oh yeah, she shops at Walmart to save even more money.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Wal-mart gets picked on because it is the best example of the parasite corporations that feed off workers and refuse to share profits with them.

    Really? Did you know that WalMart has a profit-sharing plan for employees which accounts for 4% of their total corporate profits in the form of free company stock essentially just given to employees?

    As for the basic point of this article about WalMart employees costing the taxpayer money, only a tiny fraction of employees are on any kind of public assistance, and in almost all cases these are part time employees who for family reasons cannot work full time. Basically we’re talking welfare moms here who would be on 100% public assistance and costing us far more, except that WalMart welcomes them as part-time employees, giving them at least some income and actually reducing the amount they cost taxpayers.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    Dave, again you live in a dream world, not reality. In MD, at least, Walmart is costing the taxpayers a bundle by the skimping they do on their employee benefits, to the point that MD is trying to enact an employment benefits law aimed specifically at Walmart. In addition (if any other reasons were needed) they have been caught & convicted of violating illegal immigration employment laws, child labor laws, equal opportunity laws, and I’m willing to bet there’s a slew of other laws they’ve violated that they just haven’t been fingered for, yet. If they can’t violate the laws directly, they try to set up elaborate ways to get around them – witness the situation with them claiming that the subcontractors were the employers of the illegal cleaning crews, not Walmart. Bullshit. Walmart, it turned out, qualified on every point as the actual employer of these illegals, NOT the so-called paper “subcontractor” front men, who themselves took orders from Walmart. Walmart lies to the government & the public, cheats & steals – the government by paying such substandard wages with minimal benefits that its employees are thrown onto public assistance, the consumers by carrying shoddy, cheap, trashy goods. I will be the first to admit Walmart didn’t start out that way. While Sam Walton lived, Walmart was run with a sense of honesty & ethics. Now he’s gone, & honesty & ethics & just plain decency have gone with him. It’s a good thing he is dead, because the way Walmart functions now would probably kill him.

  • RL

    Wal(ly) world…….remember National Lampoon’s Vacation? Wally World…the amusement park? I think this is alluding to the size of a Walmart supercenter…..