walmart

Update: The D.C. Council approved the ‘living wage’ bill despite of Walmart’s threats! But seriously, this post is still worth reading, the fight is not over. “Walmart Free August!”

WalMart Free August LogoWhat exactly would need to happen before people actually started boycotting Walmart? Do we need a few Walmart executives to kick down your door, barge in, slap around your wife and kids and take a shit on your floor? Would that be enough? Because, you know, in the grand scheme of things what this company is doing to America/Americans is far worse than even that fucked up scenario.

The bill that has Walmart execs up in arms is this, “The D.C. Council bill would require retailers with corporate sales of $1 billion or more and operating in spaces 75,000 square feet or larger to pay their employees no less than $12.50 an hour. The city’s minimum wage is $8.25.”

Sounds fair right? If you’re selling $1 billion worth of anything you can be sure that there are quite a few employees busting their asses to make it happen. It’s only equitable to share the wealth right? Apparently not.

A team of Wal-Mart officials and lobbyists, including a high-level executive from the mega-retailer’s Arkansas headquarters, walked the halls of the John A. Wilson Building on Tuesday afternoon, delivering the news to D.C. Council members.

The world’s largest retailer delivered an ultimatum to District lawmakers Tuesday, telling them less than 24 hours before a decisive vote that at least three planned Walmarts will not open in the city if a super-minimum-wage proposal becomes law.

Lawmakers’ immediate response, since they are in fact representatives of the people of the District of Columbia and not Walmart itself (man, that was hard to type with a straight face) should have been, “good riddance, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.”

Let’s show Walmart’s bullying execs and lobbyists just how powerful the American people can be and how sick and tired we are of subsidizing billionaire executives.

First let’s just try and wrap our heads around exactly how much money Walmart rakes in every year.

Walmart, one of the richest corporations in the world, refuses to pay its employees a livable wage or provide any form of decent healthcare, increasing reliance on government assistance, and the need for a social safety net.

At over $446 billion per year, Walmart is the third highest revenue grossing corporation in the world. Walmart earns over $15 billion per year in pure profit and pays its executives handsomely. In 2011, Walmart CEO Mike Duke – already a millionaire a dozen times over – received an $18.1 million compensation package. The Walton family controlling over 48 percent of the corporation through stock ownership does even better. Together, members of the Walton family are worth in excess of $102 billion –which makes them one of the richest families in the world.

What does Walmart do with all of those profits? They certainly don’t concern themselves with spreading the wealth and paying their workers a living wage…or giving them basic healthcare coverage.

  • Starting in 2012 Walmart changed its policy so that new employees that worked less than 30 hours a week would not be eligible for company health insurance. Then actively hired people and scheduled them for 30 hours a week or less. This shifted the burden for health insurance needs straight onto Medicaid (a.k.a. you, the taxpayers).
  • Luckily people that were already working there were grandfathered in and safe from that sort of nonsense. Right? Wrong, Walmart reserved the right to eliminate health care coverage for certain workers if their average workweek dips below 30 hours — in other words the managers now had their marching orders. Cut as many employees hours to under 30 as possible.
  • Walmart fails to provide a livable wage and decent healthcare benefits, costing U.S. taxpayers an annual average of $1.02 billion in healthcare costs. That’s JUST healthcare costs mind you.
  • Factor in the amount of food stamps and other government subsidies Walmart employees need to simply survive the that number almost triples. Wal-Mart’s poverty wages force employees to rely on $2.66 billion in government help every year, or about $420,000 per store. As many as 80 percent of workers in Wal-Mart stores use food stamps.
  • Taxpayer dollars have helped individual stores and distribution centers with everything from free or cut-price land to general grants. One example: in Sharon Springs, N.Y., a distribution center made a deal with an industrial development agency for the agency to hold the legal title to the facility so the corporation could evade property taxes. Good Jobs First estimates that Wal-Mart will save about $46 million over the life of this one agreement.

That’s just a quick list that took about five minutes of Googling to compile. While Walmart is “saving” you a few cents on a giant box of Raisin Bran they’re stealing literally billions of our taxpayer dollars to subsidize basically their entire business.

It could just take one spark, one blog post to make something like this happen. Spread the word, blog about this, steal this entire article and repost it if you’d like. There is absolutely no reason that we cannot join forces and within a month bring Walmart to its knees. Band together, shame your neighbors who are still shopping there if you have to. This is something that is so doable. No huge demonstration, no chance of getting pepper sprayed, just a stop at a different store than Walmart.

Let’s make August “Walmart Free August”. Can we make this a thing? Could you imagine if tens of millions of people protested by simply not setting foot in a Walmart for the entire month of August? We can literally do this. Let’s spread the word.

There are only about three people that read this crappy blog so now it’s up to you, go post this on your blog or write something even better on your own. Tweet this, Facebook it. Do whatever you can to let people know how easy it would be to demonstrate the power of the American people when we put our minds to something. I know it sounds like a crazy pipe dream or that I’ve cracked my head and am having delusions of grandeur but this, if we could get it enough traction, could actually happen. And that my friends is what is so amazing about the power of the internet. The power to spread the word and coordinate something as simple and as powerful as this is a beautiful thing.

Posted by James Poling

A socialist, tinkerer, thinker, question asker and all around curiosity seeker. If you'd like to reach me you can use the contact link above or email me at jamespoling [at] gmail [dot] com.

140 Comments

    1. Awesome, let’s make this happen!

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  1. The more I think about it the angrier I get. D.C. is trying to do something to help out its citizens, its hard working lower middle-class citizens and the executives of a billion dollar a year company have the nerve to show up with lobbyists and threaten to not open stores! This is legitimately appalling and exactly what is wrong with America right now.

    I have to think of a way to get the ball rolling on this. We need to make this happen.

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    1. Luckily, every month is boycott Walmart month in my eyes

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      1. I haven’t been in a evil empire store in 12 years and it has been a joy not to give them one penny of my money. Buy local and buy mom and pop when you can.

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  2. I hope this makes it to Los Angeles. Not that I can name a ton of Walmarts around here off the top of my head but anything to push them out of California and/or actually make wages livable especially in major cities where $8.25 isn’t cutting it even at 40 hours this needs to stop.

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    1. It can make it there! You’ve already set the ball in motion. Tweet about it, put it on your Facebook. Hit the reblog button up top and put this on your site.

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      1. Um.. it shouldn’t be forwarding to anything like that. Hmm. But perhaps a re-blog on my main WP http://iamanenigma.wordpress.com/ would be a good thing to put out there. I do intend to post this on social networks for sure to get the word out there. I can’t stand Walmart with a passion. Story to come about some of that in a later blog. Thanks for the information and heads up and good luck to DC. It’s great to see them standing their ground. I hope this is a start of a new trend to come!

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        1. Sorry, that was some weird wifi network I was on that was forwarding me to that. I can get to your site fine now. But yeah, we should get as many people as we can to reblog this. This is something that can really happen.

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  3. If anyone knows is or knows someone who is good at graphics it would be cool to get a simple logo or something that people can post on their site to help spread the word.

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    1. Let me know what you’re looking for in a logo, and I’ll help.

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      1. If you’d like to come up with something I’ll post here and on a new post so people can put it in there sidebar or something to spread the word. That would be great.

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        1. Does this movement have a name? Boycotting Walmart in August or something? 🙂 Any ideas will help me make a good logo.

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        2. I’ve just been calling it “Walmart Free August”. Not the most creative name but it’s pretty straight forward.

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        3. My email is jamespoling@gmail.com if you want to send it over for feedback or anything else you might need.

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  4. I live almost directly across the street from a WalMart. I only go there if there’s an emergency in the middle of the night and literally no option to wait. That company should be fined for every single employee with a family of four or fewer who needs any form of welfare to get by (I put a limit o that because Octomom could earn $100k per year and still qualify because she chose to have 14 kids, and a company shouldn’t be penalized for stupidity like that).

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  5. It’s called a free market and if Walmart choices to leave due to stupid laws being passed to specifically target them, then good for them. DC will not hurt Walmart with this, this is going to only hurt the citizens that work and shop (yes, they shop there because of low prices, which would be higher if salary increases are forced). I hope Walmart stands their ground and pulls out of DC!

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    1. Delaware would only let them bring in a huge warehouse for distribution if they paid the employees a fair wage and they did it. This was many years ago and it was 10.00 an hour, way above the minimum wage. Germany ran them out. I love that Sunday is family day and the Germans refused to work on family day. The German villages thrive with mom and pop shops. It is so nice to shop local.

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    2. It isn’t a free market when YOU are subsidizing the WalMart employees through your taxes in the form of food stamps, health care, welfare.

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      1. You should be arguing against food stamps, health care and welfare instead of Walmart. If Walmart pays $8 and the living wage is $12 then that’s $8 less that tax payers have to subsidize.

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      2. People know the wages before becoming employees. If they don’t want to work for minimum wage, they can find other work or a second job.
        Also, I see that a lot of you guys have already said that you won’t shop Walmart. That’s fair enough, but I can tell you that it’s hardly backbreaking work.

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  6. This is a stupid idea, and Walmart is right in threatening to leave D.C. Those who believe “D.C. is trying to do something to help out its citizens” apparently don’t understand the economics of the system. D.C. – an the nation as a whole – would do FAR better dropping forever the entire concept of a “minimum wage” they really wanted to help out our bottom wage-earners.

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  7. If you reach the age of 35 and have a limited education and no job skills, then don’t be surprised if you end up in a part time minimum wage job. Walmart raises the standard of living in its neighborhoods by making affordable consumer goods available. Walmart also trains its employees how to get along with other employees, answer to a supervisor and get to work on time. Once those skills are mastered their employees can move on to better employment. (Target, K-mart, Penney’s, Macy’s; they all limit employee hours so as to avoid providing medical insurance, but no one is boycotting them.)

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    1. Has K-Mart, Penney’s or Macy’s threatened to leave if the law forces improvements in the lives of their employees?

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    2. So, are you saying it’s OK for Wal~Mart to do it because others do it, too?

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  8. I never used to shop at Walmart. I then found that I could buy items that I need, and certain food products for much less. I now shop there often, and give them a ‘BIG’ thumbs up for not letting these DC phonies and liars push them around. They have done more good than bad for this nation, especially in these unpredictable times.

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  9. For all you free market enterprise haters, you take some risk and invest in your ideas and yourself and start your own business. It’s not Wal-Mart’s job to take care of anyone. If you want to make more money, make yourself more valuable then you have some negotiating power. With all this negative talk about Wal-Mart, I started patronizing them as of last week and will continue spending my money there.

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    1. Pretty much. Wal-Mart was started by one of the little people and hit it big. How many of these whiners, should they happen to start a business that ends up succeeding, would just freely and graciously and magnanimously raise wages, lower their own profits for the good of society, etc.?

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      1. I think making it law to register all companies as B companies, which means they would become socially and environmentally sound. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B_corporation

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    2. The workers have power – it’s their vote and other people’s vote, that’s the democratic way. Isn’t it?

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  10. Dave Old-Wolf July 28, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    walmart is the scourge that no one warned you about mostly because no one saw it coming. Here in SOOOOOOO red state Indiana people go to walmart instead of church. It’s disgusting. As the only Liberal in a shop full of homage payers to the gods of greed and ignorance and someone who has not shopped at a walmart since 1987 I feel that the movement needs to be broadcast daily until the stupid is removed from society. I’ll bring snacks.

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  11. anglewingsishere July 28, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Do not think they should raise wages, for the company would cut back hours, and cut back on hiring. Wages get too high, no matter who the company is, workers always loose out.

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  12. My family and I lived on food stamps when I was employed by our own government. Why should Walmart workers make more than members of our Military?

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    1. Wal~Mart employees feel they are dealt a raw deal, they reacted. If the veterans system is busted, why won’t you fight for your rights?

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    2. So are you saying Wal~Mart’s system of compensation for their workers is broken, or are you saying that the military’s subsidy system is broken, or maybe both?

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  13. Walmart brags about the good it does in their company propaganda magazines in their break rooms, but each story they show is an example of a manager deciding to take part in a charity either by employee suggestion or their own ideas. The managers can be good people, but I think all good will toward mankind ends at the store manager or possibly regional manager level. I need to find a new place of employment, this place is making me sick in my soul.

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  14. If people in general would worry about how to improve their own lives and financial situations, and worry less about big companies making profits, they would find themselves living a better life, self reliant, and having things in their life that they once could only hope to have if someone gave it to them. I read these comments and all I see are whining babies that seem to no concept of being responsible for themselves. Let’s just get rid of all the big companies in America and see where that leaves most people. Who in there right mind applies at Walmart and expects to have a “living wage”? How ridiculous is that? If you’re not satisfied with what you make as an employee at Walmart, then ‘better’ yourself so you are worth more. And they go out and make more money. And if you don’t work at Walmart, they why are you even concerned about what they pay and what their benefits are.

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    1. Dave Old-Wolf July 29, 2013 at 7:38 am

      Before walmart and those big companies that killed pretty much EVERY MOM AND POP store that existed before they came and make a mockery of the area, became the only place for a job at the wage they were willing to pay not a fair one and then in many cases just left because the economy in those area went to shit BECAUSE of the big box store and no one having any money because they couldn’t find a job or died because of no health care. A rising tide raises all boats, walmart is the leader when it comes to taking the entire country down the drain and because they came on so strong and so hard everyone (fat cat executives from all over) wanted to join in and so there went the good jobs and we the people are left with nothing.

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      1. And a lowering tide lowers all boats. In the ebb and flow of the free market, a company that comes in strong and hard will eventually level out. It’s quite simple: Don’t shop there. Don’t whine and plead for the government to step in — just don’t freakin’ shop there! And when enough people care about their city to not shop there, the big box store will go away.

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        1. Theory and practice are two different things. Wal~Mart’s misgivings have been known for a long time, and the market has not adjusted, it has shifted even more into Wal~Mart’s favor. So we can’t rely on the market realigning itself. So, what now?

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        2. @mario – Darn those evil consumers who like to pay low prices for their goods and services. If the poor and lower middle class (the demographic that mainly shops at Walmart) would just pay double for all their products then we could get rid of all the Walmarts.

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        3. I think you need to read up on Wal~Mart’s core demographic. Middle to upper-middle class are those who shop at Wal~Mart.
          http://adage.com/article/adagestat/demographics-retail/233399/

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        4. Oh forgive me. Darn those middle to upper-middle class consumers who prefer quality goods and services at every day low prices. If they knew what was good for them they would pay extra for everything bought. Better yet, why don’t they turn all their money over to you and you can decide how much they should pay for things and where they’re allowed to shop.

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        5. You just keep making mistakes, slipping up and trying to pass it as if it’s my problem. You said the poor shopped at Wal~Mart and now this legislation would deprive them of ‘quality goods and services’, and you said that there were 1200 jobs that are gone. You were shot down on both accounts. Any new gems you want me to debunk? I have 20 minutes.

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        6. BTW, did you actually read your statistics. Middle & upper-middle are not the only ones who shop at Walmart. A very healthy number of poor and lower middle-class shop at Walmart. Regardless, the problem with statistics is that most people don’t understand how to read them. Those who don’t understand statistics (such as yourself) look at the 12.1% vs 22.3% and immediately jump to the false conclusion that Walmart caters more to the middle class than the poor which can not be extrapolated from the statistics you provided. The statistics provided only show the breakdown of Walmart shoppers not the percentage of each class that shops at Walmart. It’s entirely possible that as a percentage more poor people shop at Walmart than middle class people. Let me try to explain this to you in a very simple example.

          Let’s assume that there are 200K people making less than 15K per year. Let’s further assume there are 800K people making between 50 & 75K per year. So according to the statistics you provided there are twice as many people shopping at Walmart who make between 50 & 75K than people who make less than 15K per year. In other words, for every million people in Walmart at any given time there are roughly 120K poor consumers and 220K middle class consumers (1:2 ratio). As a percentage of the population that would mean that roughly 60% of the poor population shops a Walmart (120K/200K) while roughly 27.5% (800K/220K) of middle class consumer shop at Walmart. So you see the statistic you provided is inconclusive. In order to determine which group shops the most at Walmart you need to know the size of each group.

          Let’s put it another way to make it even easier. Let’s say 2 parents and 6 kids go to Walmart. One of the parents stays in the car with 4 of the kids, while the other goes into the store with the remaining 2 kids. The statistic you provided would show that kids make up 66% of Walmart shoppers and parents make up 33%. However, if you look at the size of each group then 2 out of 6 kids would be 30% of the kids population while 1 out of 2 parents would be 50% of the parent population. Hope that makes sense.

          I’ll leave it to you to research the size of each group, it may help you with understanding statistics.

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        7. HI Max: I don’t know about the stats. but logic says to me… we should all boycott Wal-mart and then the people that it does employ will be out of jobs and can live on the unemployment dole. By the way, I’m Canadian. The unemployment rate in the Atlantic provinces is high and our wonderful socialist government is generous with transfer payments (the dole), which of course come out of the taxpayers pockets. And the mentality of some is “Why, relocate to the resource rich Western provinces when one can stay “home” and live off the pretty much free dole. I speak here from the personal experience of having lived in a segement of the Maritimes where this attitude was pretty much generalized across the community, an oppressive and depressing situation, in part thanks to the socialism of our somewhat nanny state of government and persons like mariohydrant socialists who advocate for equality of poverty. .

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        8. I believe in giving poor people a chance. The Maritime provinces are slowly dying – the last time I was in New Brunswick was in 2007. Bathurst, Campbellton and Dalhousie have been dying economically ever since the Free Market went and decided to close down the paper mills and the mines.

          In the free market model, there will ALWAYS be a majority of poor people, no matter their education, trade or location.

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    2. What you’re talking about doesn’t make sense, because in your scenario, there will ALWAYS be someone working at Wal~Mart making a pittance. In your scenario, people WANT to live in squalor and be indigent. That’s not the case. If it were just as easy as you described to get out of dire financial situations, don’t you think 90% of Americans would be millionaires?

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  15. Wal-Mart will just open a store that is 74,999 square feet, law averted.

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  16. If you liberal whiners think that businesses “owe” employees a “living wage” (whatever that means), you’re sadly mistaken about how the World works. Someone’s wage reflects their capabilities compared to others willing to do the same work, and where you have a huge group to choose from (Walmart greeters), wages will be low. Where there are few candidates (neurosurgeon, automotive CEO, etc.) those salaries will be high because few can do the job effectively. You want to make more, do what it takes to become more valuable to those who hire others. No one owes you anything just because you exist, breathe and occupy space!

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    1. But we can’t all be neurosurgeons, can we? Why do you think there are so many university and college educated people working at McDonalds and other low-paying jobs? They tried to ‘better’ themselves and all they got was a huge debt, which they will never be able to pay off because they’re working at a place that, according to you, don’t owe them anything. This is old news. Where have you been for the past 10 years?

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    2. Shhh Ted. You’re talking about the basic economic concept of Supply & Demand. You’re going to scare the progressives off this site if you keep posting economic common sense.

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      1. The issue we see here is the fallout of supply and demand – corporations are greedy, and will suck every penny out of every expense, including worker’s wage. Upper management of the fortune 500 companies are still raking in staggering revenue, and hold most of the US’s wealth.

        So, the basic economic concept of Supply and Demand, as you see it, should not have free reign over the economy, since it is obvious the model has failed the majority of the citizens in the country.

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        1. Oh geez, the concept of Supply & Demand has failed, corporations are greedy. What’s failed the citizens is economic neophytes such as yourself who have no comprehension of basic economics and the Law of Unintended Consequences.

          You don’t understand greed. Corporations sell products for the price that consumers are willing to pay. Greed entails that corporations can charge whatever they want. If Walmart was truly greedy then why wouldn’t they raise their prices 100%? That would be greedy. How many consumers would shop at Walmart if they raised their prices by 100%. If Walmart didn’t offer a good or service for a price that consumers were willing to pay then they’d go out of business. Last I checked they were doing pretty well, so either consumers are freely willing to exchange their money for Walmart’s goods and services or Walmart is holding a gun on every consumer and extricating money by force. I’ve only shopped at Walmart about 2 times in my life but when I was there, I didn’t see any employees holding guns to people heads demanding they buy products at every day low prices.

          As I mentioned earlier, your counter productive policies have won. The poor people of DC will not have to be burden themselves with 1200 new jobs nor will the consumers have to worry about paying every day low prices for their goods and services. Sounds like a win/win for the Progressive agenda of destroying jobs and keeping people in poverty.

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        2. I have sold product to Wal~Mart as a third party procurer. I know what Wal~Mart’s markup was on my product. It was more than 100%. It was more than 200%. It was more than 500%. Now tell me I don’t understand about Greed.

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        3. Then why didn’t you sell your product to someone else who would’ve charged less for your product to the end user? Or better yet why didn’t you open up your own company and sell your product directly. Heck, if Walmart was selling your product for more than 500% markup and consumes were willing to buy it for that price, I bet you’d have a line out the door if you sold it for 500% less. Why don’t you have an Ebay or Amazon store selling your product for 500% less than what Walmart charges. I call b*llsh*t.

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        4. And just by what you wrote here, how I would have Wal~Mart sell at less than 500% or find another retailer to add less markup leads me to believe you know nothing about finance and ‘free market’.

          You can look it up, I worked out of Campbellton, New Brunswick, Canada. We made vinyl ‘skins’ for phones and gaming consoles, and I coded a website precisely to sell directly to the consumer. We made enough through the website alone within the second year to pay employee wages. I created an eBay store, and we were working on getting into Amazon. The company name was GameFace, it no longer exists, but you’ll find traces of us online.

          We were informed beforehand of what the markup would be. We agreed to it, and we sold a good amount of product. However, Wal~Mart decided to buy a cheaper, inferior product made in China an d stopped ordering from us. We were dirt cheap labour, I was payed minimum wage doing a professional’s job, because that is what Free Market demands of us.

          Anything else?

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        5. So you started a business and you failed because there was not enough value in your product to charge more for it than a competing product. Consumers chose a competing product because it was less expensive, more convenient for them to find and purchase and satisfied their needs. Your value to your company was no more than minimum wage because consumers weren’t willing to pay you more for your product or buy more of it. Since your product was not wanted by the consumer at the price you were charging, you went bankrupt. Sounds like the Free Market worked perfectly in your scenario.

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        6. This is the reason I think you have a brain defect: I’m not saying the free market didn’t work, it’s that the free market doesn’t care who its victims are. In my case, jobs were given to people in China. Is that the way the Free Market should work, according to you? There is NO product the could US manufacture that cannot be replaced in a heartbeat by a Chinese knockoff that is produced, delivered and replaced cheaper. Is that the kind of free market you want? That’s what’s happening already.

          A serious question to which I want an answer: Do you know how much debt the US owes China?

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        7. Here’s a news flash for you Mario, the Free Market allows for failure. An overwhelming number of startups fail in their first year, even more fail in their second year. Fortune 100 companies that dominated the market go bankrupt and are replaced by new companies. The cycle repeats and it’s this continuous churn that makes products better and cheaper and increases standard of living.

          What it sounds like you’re advocating is protectionism. In all of economic history protectionism has never worked. Protectionism has resulted in shortages, higher prices and lower quality. I’m sorry to be the one to tell this to you but your product wasn’t good enough. It was a commodity that consumers had no interest in paying for. Don’t blame China or Walmart because they could deliver a competitive product at a cheaper price. If you want to blame anyone, blame the consumer for preferring to purchase items at every day low prices. The difference between Free Markets and Protectionism can be seen all around the world and throughout history North Korea is an example of Protectionism while South Korea is an example of Free Markets, East vs West Germany before the fall of the Berlin wall, communist Russia vs. capitals America during the Cold War. Pick any one of those examples and let me know which side you want to be on? Let me know who’s population has a higher standard of living?

          When you say the US owes China, I’m assuming you’re referring to the Federal gov’t which is irrelevant? Last I checked when Walmart buys stuff from China they pay for the stuff and then sell it to consumers in the US who pay for the stuff. Walmart doesn’t owe China anything. In fact, Walmart employs over 50,000 people in China and exports around 9 Billion out of China every year. That’s $9 Billion in products they bring back to eager consumers in the US who like paying everyday low prices for their products.

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        8. But here’s the thing, mac – we were open for 5 years.

          This is where I know you know nothing about economics: The US owes lots of money to China, ergo China has a lot of money. Where is China making all that money, Einstein? Making things for Wal~Mart. Do you get it now?

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        9. Congratulation, you were open for 5 years then your product was no longer relevant. Blockbuster was open for 15 years and employed over 60,000 people before Netflix and other streaming videos services made their business model obsolete. Should the gov’t have protected Blockbuster and mandated that Netflix charge more for their service so Blockbuster could’ve stayed in Business? Sorry to tell you this but your product was no longer relevant. Competitors provided a similar product at a cheaper price and the consumers no longer demanded your product.

          The US gov’t spends far beyond it’s means and China buys it’s paper. That has nothing to do with Free Markets or how much Walmart pays its employees. It’s another non-sequiter that is irrelevant to this discussion. Consumers like products at cheap prices. If Walmart raises its prices tomorrow then consumers will go to Target, Sears, KMart, Amazon, and so on. It’s not Walmart that dictates its prices, its the consumer. It sounds like you have sour grapes because you chose to sell your product of your own free will to Walmart and when Walmart was able to find an alternative product at a lower price to offer their consumers they dropped you.

          Nothing you have said proves or even strengthens your argument that its better to have NO job than a low paying job. So I ask again, is it better for an unskilled, poor & unemployed individual to have NO job than a low paying job.

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        10. I will finally address the “is it better for an unskilled, poor & unemployed individual to have NO job than a low paying job” quesjtion because you don’t seem to understand your own version of the Free Market. If Wal~Mart closes its doors, another smaller business will take its place. Isn’t that one of the main tenets of the Free Market?

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  17. I haven’t shopped in a Walmart in over 6 years, even when there’s a store less than a mile from my house. I shop mostly at local farmer’s markets, Kroger, Target Superstores, Costco, JCPenney, and Kohl’s. Other things like books, music, & DVDs I buy on eBay or at Half-Priced Books. It wouldn’t bother me a bit to see Walmart go.

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    1. You do know that Target, J.C. Penney’s, and Kohls get their stuff from China, too, right? Either way, you’re funding big corporations and overseas child labor.

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      1. Who’s talking about overseas child labor? Stay on topic please.

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  18. So never mind that it’s unconstitutional for the government to set any minimum wage at all, or that the line between “living wage” and “not enough” is nothing but personal subjective opinion that makes you feel good to vent about it, or that businesses have the right to set their wages as much as employees have the right to go find another job if they don’t like it…

    Yep, D.C.’s gone nuts, along with most of the commenters on this article.

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    1. Living wage is actually a quantitative amount, calculated city-by-city.

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  19. Here’s a thought. The union should take the dues that get each month from their followers and buy some businesses instead on spending on the money on lining the pockets of union executives and political friends. The beauty is they could pay their employees big salaries and benefits. They could share the profits and the executives (in this case union leaders) would take nominal salaries in support of their people. Leave the other businesses alone (make them all non-union) to run their business as their investors seem fit. We could also have all the people on hear in support of the workers throw their money in and leverage their homes and invest their savings in the cause. Problem solved. Put your real money where your mouth is.

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    1. As far as I know, only Chinese Wal~Mart stores have unions.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Walmart#Labor_union_opposition

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  20. All you people who think we have no right to tell a business what to pay… consider this: 80% of walmart employees are on food stamps. Without that benefit they would not be able to take a job at that pay. Those of us who make enough to pay taxes are putting money directly into the pockets of the Walton family. Food stamps are corporate welfare so companies that make billions in profit can pay slave wages.

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  21. Reblogged this on The Mind of Brosephus and commented:
    This is an interesting thought. I don’t know if it’s practical or not though. Personally, I will purposefully pay more to a mom and pop shop locally before I shop at Wal-Mart.

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  22. […] is the first day of August and that kicks off our Walmart Free August month. Since writing this article about Walmart’s attempt to bully the government into not […]

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  23. Yeah, right on. The low skilled workers of DC are much better off collecting a welfare check and living in generational poverty than taking a job. Considering that most minimum wage jobs are not careers but entries into the labor force why would we want to give low skilled, low value workers an opportunity to enter the labor force? Besides, who needs $8/hr when the gubment gonna subsidize my house, transportation, phone, food, utilities, birth control, condoms, healthcare and every other made up “right” I think I’m entitled to.

    BTW, can someone tell me what the living wage of an unemployed person is?

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  24. 200 jobs @ $1000.00 a month = $200,000 month these workers spend in DC.

    $200,000 x 12 months = $2,400,000 a year

    $2,400,000 x 6 stores = $14,400,000 in wages per year.

    More than just “a little help” to the DC area.

    PLUS the average family of 4 saves $2000 per year shopping at Wal-Mart.

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    1. It’s good, but it’s not good enough. People can’t live on $1000/ month, and those who have been working for these low wages are asking for more. That’s the whole point of this article.

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      1. Who said someone can live on $1000/mth? You’re argument is based on a false assumption which is if you force a company to pay labor rates higher than market value they will continue to have the same amount of employees and pay those rates, which is demonstrably false. If you think $1000/mth isn’t enough then what do you think about $0/mth?

        I’ll leave you with the same example from Don Boudreaux that I left the author on another one of his posts, though slightly abridged.

        Let’s grant without qualification that this claim is true. Its truth does not strengthen, much less prove, the case for raising the minimum wage. Your argument (as I’ll call it here) assumes the very conclusion that is in dispute – namely, that raising the minimum wage will in fact increase the incomes of all or most low-wage workers.

        Everyone this side of sociopathy wishes that all honest and hard-working people would earn fortunes. But wishes such as this one cannot be made into reality simply by legislating that these wishes be granted. The desirability of the wish is not at issue. What’s at issue here is the proposed means – a legislated minimum wage – of achieving higher incomes for low-skilled workers. Repeating the wish and detailing the hardships that people suffer because the wish is not a reality does absolutely nothing to address the pertinent question: does minimum-wage legislation improve the well-being of the workers whose well-being is being discussed?

        Consider this hypothetical. Washington, DC, like most cities, has many beggars. I’m sure it’s difficult to support a family on the earnings from begging. So let’s pass a statute that mandates that the minimum hand-out to a beggar be, say, $10.00. If you can’t or won’t give to a beggar, on any particular encounter with that beggar, at least $10.00, you are not allowed to give anything to that beggar.

        Similarly, many U.S. cities have very poor people trying to earn money by selling the likes of pencils or cheap flowers. I’m sure it’s difficult to support a family on the earnings from such sales. So let’s pass a statute that mandates the minimum price of pencils be, say, $5.00. Ditto for each stem of cheap flowers. If you can’t or won’t pay at least 5.00 for each pencil or stem of semi-wilted rose that you buy, you are not allowed to pay anything for such items.

        Question: will beggars and poor people be helped or harmed by such legislation?

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        1. Apples and oranges. This new law makes it so certain chains which fall into a certain job creator category need to be accountable for a living wage for their workers; Wal~Mart falls into that category. The new law does not raise minimum wage across the board. The new law does not address the indigent. Poor people will be affected positively by this legislation, as some of the employees of large chain superstores are poor. Beggars are not affected by this new legislation. I hope you’ll stay on topic and stop muddying the issue.

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        2. @mario – sorry if you can’t comprehend a simple example. The new law has destroyed roughly 1200 jobs, regardless of how little they pay. You may not care but that’s 1200 low skilled mostly poor people that will NOT be working. Congratulations, your completely ignorance of economics has won out. I’m sure you can take solice in that while 1200 poor people remain fully dependent on welfare and unable to enter the job market because you decided what’s best for them.

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        3. If indeed I didn’t answer your question clearly, it’s only because of your bad grammar and spelling mistakes.

          Where do you get the numbers for 1200 jobs lost? Source with link please.

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        4. Oh wow, pointing out spelling mistakes, that’s a sign that someone is winning an argument on an internet blog. My numbers were 200 jobs per location times 6 planned locations. The number is irrelevant. What if it was only 600 jobs or 200 jobs or even 1 job. Isn’t any number of jobs greater than 0 better than 0 jobs?

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        5. These jobs have not been lost yet. You’re arguing using speculative data. You suck at arguing.

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        6. haha, I suck at arguing, which is why you’re getting your a** handed to you. Are you saying that opening even 1 store would not have created one job?

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        7. HAHAHA! YOU ARE SO OBTUSE! You can’t see that I am the one actually handing your back side on a platter? You said the poor shopped in Wal~Mart, I showed you surveys that say otherwise. You said Wal~Mart makes less than 100% markup on products, I told you that by personal experience that is false. You said that the law “has destroyed 1200 jobs” when in fact there have been no jobs lost related directly to this new piece of legislation up to date. Please, enlighten me how you are winning the argument here? Show me where I’ve been wrong. Please use numbers actually founded on facts.

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        8. Look, I’ll do you a solid and remind you that opening a new store doesn’t mean SQUAT if all of the non-management employees get minimum wage at part-time status. What this means, Max, and correct me if I’m wrong, what this means is that none of these part-time employees, the majority of this new workforce, qualify for overtime or health benefits.

          Correct me if I’m wrong: because these people do not make enough money for the necessities of life (meaning, they make less than living wage) they need to apply for government programs like food stamps. Are these the kinds of jobs you want created?

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        9. You have been wrong this whole time and all I’ve been doing is correcting you but I’ll try one more time and since you’re too economically challenged to realize how wrong you are, I’ll just leave it up to the rest of the readers to decide.

          Are these the kinds of jobs you want created?
          Absolutely not. I want and wish for low skilled workers and the poor to make lots of money so they can raise themselves out of poverty and become financially independent. However, as I pointed out in my first comment to you, just because I wish for something doesn’t make it reality. If I could snap my fingers and give every poor person a living wage of $50,000 per year, I would rub my fingers raw by snapping all day long and yet regardless of how many times I snap my fingers it won’t make it so. That said, any job is better than no job. If a so-called “living wage” in DC is $12.50 per hour and Walmart is paying $8 then that’s $8 less that the tax payer has to subsidize the poor person. That’s $8 that the poor person is earning instead of getting a hand-out. That’s $8 closer to self-sufficiency. So when the option is NO jobs, which is what you’re advocating vs minimum wage jobs, I will take minimum wage jobs any day of the week.

          Let me do you a solid Mario. Go to your local library and pick up a copy of Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell. It’s about 500 pages and doesn’t have any pictures so it may be a little different than your usual reading material but I highly encourage you to read it. That way your arguments won’t sound so economically ignorant on your next post.

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        10. You still haven’t used facts or figures, pal. I consider this a victory since you cannot substantiate your claims. Even though you must be a troll, because no-one can be this dense on purpose. All the best to you sir.

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        11. Actual numbers. Not that they’re relevant. The issue is NO jobs vs. Low paying jobs, so while you’re fixated on the minutia , I’m discussing economic policy and the impact it will have on the poor and low skilled.

          But since you asked, here they are.

          Walmart is already building 3 stores in DC with plans to build 3 more. After the wage vote they have said they would stop the 3 additional stores and are considering scrapping the 3 stores currently under construction.

          “In November 2010, Wal-Mart announced a plan to bring more jobs, shopping options and fresh food choices to Washington’s residents. Just 12 months ago, we increased our investment — from four stores to six and from 1, 200 jobs to 1,800 — in an effort to expand access and opportunity to more under-served communities in the city.” Alex Barron, Walmart’s regional general manager.

          Walmart pays an average wage of $9 per hour, already higher than the minimum wage.

          Economist Mark Perry noted that the consumer rules, or should:

          French economist Frederic Bastiat wrote almost two hundred years ago in the early 1800s that “It is necessary to view economics from the viewpoint of the consumer. All economic phenomena must be judged by the advantages and disadvantages they bring to the consumer.”

          If we apply that profound, timeless economic insight to the DC situation today and consider the significant economic benefits that six Wal-Mart stores will bring to inner-city DC residents (everyday low prices for groceries, clothing, household and other consumer goods, $4 drug prescriptions, etc.), in addition to creating 1,800 new retail jobs and 600 construction jobs for workers, it would really be a politically-motivated “economic death wish” for the DC city council and mayor to drive Wal-Mart away from the District.

          For Walmart such a decision would merely be an annoyance. For those consumers, however, that decision would mean higher prices, fewer jobs, and a generally poorer economy. These are economic principles that even city councils should not ignore.

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        12. So you’re saying that Wal~Mart is just annoyed at not being able to open 6 stores, which may still open anyway? Don’t you mean they are crestfallen that they are not creating jobs?

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        13. Walmart doesn’t care about creating jobs (no business does). Walmart cares about selling products to consumers at every day low prices. Jobs are merely a by-product necessary to achieve their goal of selling products to consumers at every day low prices.

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        14. BTW Mario, you didn’t answer my question. What’s the living wage for an unemployed person making $0 an hour?

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        15. Are you mentally challenged? This is a serious question.

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        16. Are you mentally challenged? Only when I have to dumb myself down in an attempt to communicate with economic neophytes such as yourself.

          This is a serious question?
          As serious as cancer. What’s the living wage for DC?

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        17. If you would just look for yourself, Oh Mensa Master, you would have seen that, according to the new law, living wage in DC is $12.50.

          My turn to ask you a question: Do you know what the practice of Dead Peasant is, in business?

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        18. ‘Dead peasants’ insurance pays your employer a secret, tax-free windfall when you die.

          Right now, your company could have a life insurance policy on you that you know nothing about. When you die — perhaps years after you leave your employer — the tax-free proceeds from this policy wouldn’t go to your family. The money would go to the company.

          Whats more, the company might use this policy to pay for retirement benefits and other perks not for you or your fellow workers, but for your companys top executives. This policy is being paid for by a tax break given to employers! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cLrXYmUurE

          Sound outrageous? Such corporate-owned life insurance is also big business:
          Companies pay a whopping $8 billion in premiums each year for such coverage, according to the American Council of Life Insurers, a trade group.
          The policies make up more than 20% of the all the life insurance sold each year.
          Companies expect to reap more than $9 billion in tax breaks from these policies over the next five years. The policies are treated as whole life policies. So, companies can borrow against the policies (though the IRS won’t let them write off the interest). And the death benefits are tax-free.
          Hundreds of companies — including Dow Chemical, Procter & Gamble, Wal-Mart, Walt Disney and Winn-Dixie — have purchased this insurance on more than 6 million rank-and-file workers.

          and…? Sounds like a problem with gov’t regulations that incent large corporations to take out life insurance policies on their employees.

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        19. So, you’re saying it’s OK for a company to take an insurance on your life, without your knowledge, but it’s not OK for the same company to make sure you’re able to pay rent and other necessities of life?

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        20. So the living wage in DC is $12.50. So the option is $12.50 or nothing. I’ll take you back to my first comment since you seemed to not get it originally. I’m hoping with a little more thought you will be able to grasp it this time.

          Washington, DC, like most cities, has many beggars. I’m sure it’s difficult to support a family on the earnings from begging. So let’s pass a statute that mandates that the minimum hand-out to a beggar be, say, $12.50. If you can’t or won’t give to a beggar, on any particular encounter with that beggar, at least $12.50, you are not allowed to give anything to that beggar.

          Question: will beggars be helped or harmed by such legislation?

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        21. You don’t know how to argue. The whole “beggar” scenario / discussion is over.

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        22. But, just for fun, do you know how much the Naked Cowboy, a beggar or performer in Central Park, NY makes per year?

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        23. This argument is over because you won’t answer the question and you’re out of illogical arguments.

          As far as the naked cowboy he makes between 100K & 250K per year according to his financial disclosure forms when he ran for mayor. Not sure how that’s relevant to this discussion, he provides a service that others are willing to pay for. At the same time, my understanding is that he makes his money when consumers pay him. So if you don’t understand the beggar scenario then let’s use the Naked Cowboy. I assume that when he performs people throw $1s, $5s and maybe $10s into his guitar case (heaven forbid some greedy consumers may only throw change). Assuming the living wage in NY is $20, how could Mr. Cowboy possibly support his family when people are only throwing $1s, so I say that we pass legislation that mandates consumers of his entertain can throw no less than $20s. They can choose to give nothing but if they do give they must give at least $20 otherwise they will be fined and possibly go to jail for breaking labor laws. What do you think Mario, would Mr. Cowboy make more or less than he does today?

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        24. If someone made a law for the Naked Cowboy stating contributions would have to be $20 or more per contribution, he would still make enough money to get by, because he would find a way to make it work. If the case he can’t make it work, he’d have to put on pants and work like everybody else.

          This is still apples and oranges, and no arguing will make you see anything different, because you’re a stubborn donkey hole. Naked Cowboy is one guy. ONE GUY. Wal~Mart is a trillion dollar international enterprise. You do the math, you claim you’re so good at it.

          Good night.

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        25. Who said anything about that being ok? Your putting together two completely irrelevant comments to try and come to a non-sequitar conclusion Non-sequitars are another logical fallacy.

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        26. Look, put training wheels on your brain cause this might be challenging.

          Do you see why I won’t talk about beggars? They don’t offer a service. Employees of big box stores DO offer a service. In the same way you brush away the naked cowboy’s relevance to this discussion, I decided since the beginning to not answer the question of equating giving a flat fee for contribution for beggars to giving a living wage to employees of a big box store.

          To recap: you decided to brush aside my mention of the Naked Cowboy because he offers a service, not as tangible as the associates at Wal~Mart, but a service still, stating that he does not compare to your definition of a beggar. Even though you mention only this once, I caught it. It reminds me of how Wal~Mart workers are dissimilar to beggars.

          Thank you for your attention, you can take your protective helmet off now. Or maybe keep it on, I don’t know what your mom’s rules are.

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        27. HAHA, I noticed you failed to answer the question about the Cowboy as well. So here’s a really easy one just so we can’t get on the record. Is NO job better than a minimum wage job? That seems to be the basis of your entire argument (if I can call it that). Is NO job better than a minimum wage job, even if the minimum wage is lower than some so-called living wage?

          I look forward to your YES or NO response.

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        28. Finance is not a yes or no question. I did answer your cowboy question, only later. Good going, catching one mistake I’ve made after I caught how many of yours?

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        29. Apparently Costco, who pays its employees well, is doing great. Costco’s average pay is $17 (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/17/business/yourmoney/17costco.html?pagewanted=all)

          According to this article “Sales at Costco have grown an average of 13% annually since 2009, while profits have risen 15%. Its stock price has more than doubled since 2009.”

          http://finance.yahoo.com/news/worker-wages–wendy-s-vs–wal-mart-vs–costco-155815763.html

          By the way, how many stores has Wal~Mart closed in DC since this law has been made?

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        30. I did answer the Naked Cowboy question, if you’d have looked.

          If someone made a law for the Naked Cowboy stating contributions would have to be $20 or more per contribution, he would still make enough money to get by, because he would find a way to make it work. If the case he can’t make it work, he’d have to put on pants and work like everybody else.

          This is still apples and oranges, and no arguing will make you see anything different, because you’re a stubborn donkey hole. Naked Cowboy is one guy. ONE GUY. Wal~Mart is a trillion dollar international enterprise. You do the math, you claim you’re so good at it.

          Good night.

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  25. GoneWithTheWind August 2, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Some serious Walmart derangement syndrome going on here. Can you all be so biased and still proud to show it in public? Grow up!

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  26. Go and be free of Walmart for a month. It’s not like that will slow them down in the slightest. But, it’ll give you time to think about why government intrusion has consequences.

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  27. […] a bunch of asshole kids creating a big mess for innocent Walmart employees, who already have it bad enough, to clean up giant bouncy […]

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  28. I’m going to Wal-Mart every damn day in August. Well, I would if I didn’t live so far away and I didn’t have an Amazon (also evil capitalists) Prime membership. Otherwise, I’d be there every day. This is just so stupid. You’re giving them free publicity and it’s D.C. that’s got it wrong. That wage will mean many young and poorly educated people won’t get jobs. Young with no job experience ain’t worth twelve bucks an hour. Besides, Wal-Mart does what everybody does. If you ran a business and the government would pay your employees healthcare, wouldn’t you let them? Wal-Mart didn’t invent Medicaid. The government can’t fix everything. This won’t make people in D.C. better off and Wal-Mart has every right to react how they see fit. I mean who’s holding who hostage here? Who really needs who more?

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    1. Amazon is a bad example to use here, bud, cause they keep posting high revenue, but low profit since their inception. They keep re-investing in the company instead of seeking profit at all cost.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/27/technology/amazon-delivers-on-revenue-but-not-on-profit.html

      A graph illustrating what I mean, revenue VS profit for the past 15 years:

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  29. Costco’s average pay is $17 an hour. Sam’s Club’s average pay is $7.14. Costco’s health plan is better than average by a long shot. Costco has 457 stores, and Sam’s Club (owned by Wal~Mart) had 642 stores as of Jan 31. Costco’s profit rose 22 percent last year, to $882 million, on sales of $47.1 billion. In the United States, its stores average $121 million in sales annually, far more than the $70 million for Sam’s Clubs. And the average household income of Costco customers is $74,000 – with 31 percent earning over $100,000.

    I think that if Wal~Mart cannot adapt and survive this new law, it deserves to go down. Let a Costco take the place of every Wal~Mart. The employees, the customers and the community will be better off for it.

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    1. Sorry I messed up my math – Sam’s Club’s average wage was apparently $9.86/hour in 2005.

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    2. Costco is great but lets not pretend they serve the same market.An average trip to Costco runs several hundred dollars. You can’t buy 4 tomatoes, 2 batteries or 12 eggs. When I was single or newly married it didn’t make sense for me to shop at Costco. In addition, poor people typically dont have the cash flow to buy in bulk like costco requires. This is why Costco rarely puts stores in lower class neighborhoods.

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      1. Which market do you think Wal~Mart serves?

        And about the 4 tomatoes, 2 batteries or 12 eggs, have you forgotten about grocery stores? They offer these items, you know.

        And about the location Costco serves, they are located in the middle class area of my city.

        Costco’s average pay was $17/h in 2005. The law is asking Wal~Mart to raise base pay at $12.50, with most employees with no health plan. This is not a huge reach for Wal~Mart, man. You have to admit.

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        1. Sorry to jump in on a conversation but…

          I think what he meant by the 4 tomatoes, etc. was not that Costco doesn’t sell those items but that they don’t sell those items in small quantities, which people with low incomes would be able to afford. Costco sells giant packs of eggs, batteries, etc. And, Costco has an annual membership fee, which I know from personal experience, deters people with limited incomes and/or poor financial management skills from shopping there.

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  30. Think of the people who currently work at Walmart… They’re generally people no other companies hire. If Walmart was forced to up the salary, there would probably be more people applying to work there, and Walmart, like any business, would probably choose the most competent, qualified applicants. So, what happens to the other people? In the end, I really don’t think the bill’s going to be benefiting the people it’s intending to benefit.

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    1. I agree that with a bill like this, workers will not be able to ‘coast’ through work days; they will need to be more useful to the employer. What is wrong with that?

      It has been shown that a large portion of people who have jobs with Wal~Mart ask for government help (SNAP, food stamps) because the wages Wal~Mart pays them is insufficient to survive. These workers do not receive get health benefits either.

      What is your solution?

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      1. And you think that those people will be asking for less government help when they lose their jobs at Walmart to more competent people?

        I agree that workers shouldn’t “coast” through their days. But think about who Walmart employs here. They are people who would be solely dependent on government were it not for Walmart. Other companies that offer higher wages (like Costco) aren’t going to hire these people because they have better applicants to choose from. Walmart offers training and experience at the risk of bad customer service, which most other companies are not willing to do. I mean, just think about the greeters/receipt-checkers they have at the doors. Those aren’t necessary positions. They have those positions solely to provide those people with jobs.

        You want a solution? Instead of giving low-income people money (ie. welfare), give them free job training and let poverty be a motivator to improve their marketability (people, technical, general skills) as workers. Let Walmart continue to hire the bottom of the barrel and provide them with training and experience. As for the health benefits- why do they even matter with Obamacare now?

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        1. What you call Free Job Training costs taxpayers. As I type this, there are many Wal~Mart employees that have in their wallet or purse a food stamp voucher. So no, it’s not free.

          What kind of training does Wal~Mart currently offer employees?

          And how many Wal~Marts have closed because of the new law?

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        2. When I said “free job training” I was referring to free to the people receiving the training (ie. they are not the ones paying for it). Clearly nothing is truly free; it always costs someone or something. However, I was not suggesting incurring additional societal debt by providing job training; I was suggesting using the money currently collected for welfare and providing job training instead of simply giving people money or stamps. In doing so, it would help people to move on from being low-income instead of presenting “low-income” as a permanent lifestyle.

          I believe Walmart offers employees the same sort of training any other retail store would offer: “This is how you greet customers.” “This is how to use the cash register.” They aren’t huge skills, but they are part of a basic skill set that some people lack. The difference between Walmart and other stores is that Walmart hires people more lacking in those skills than other stores do.

          I doubt any Walmarts have closed in response to the new law. Regardless, it’s irrelevant, as I never suggested that any Walmarts would close, only that Walmarts would end up hiring a different group of people which would actually contribute to the amount of government assistance being given out.

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        3. ” I was suggesting using the money currently collected for welfare and providing job training instead of simply giving people money or stamps.”
          From what I read, you are suggesting the employees lacking in basic needs whom are getting money from welfare should use that money towards an education. How much money do you think they’re getting? Not enough to get a valuable education. If they use that small amount towards education, how would they make ends meet? We’re back at the same issue – Wal~Mart isn’t paying its employees enough.

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        4. No no, that is not at all what I was suggesting. I did not say that low-income people should receive money that they should then use for education. I’m saying they shouldn’t receive money at all, just training (and maybe a small amount of food stamps)- which, by the way, is different from what I believe you’re calling a “valuable education.” I’m suggesting providing training in social skills (how to appropriately communicate with customers, co-workers, and superiors), computer skills (Excel, Word, Outlook, etc.), language skills (proper and professional oral and written communication), and training in other simple areas (appropriate professional dress, filing, basic math, etc.). This sort of education does not need to be costly. (In fact, if someone had initiative, they could easily find all the training they needed free online- if they recognized the areas in which they were lacking.)

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        5. I worked for a company who builds software for placement agencies. The information online is spotty, and does not give training worth beans. You’d need to use the software and practice, something that is prohibitive for most if not all of these candidates because of cost.

          So who will be paying for these courses?

          Wal~Mart isn’t going to, they want to leave the area.

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        6. There are plenty of websites that provide fantastic free training. Here are just a couple:

          https://www.khanacademy.org/
          http://www.ocwconsortium.org/
          http://www.codecademy.com/learn

          Regardless, training could be provided to low-income people for minimal expense (certainly much less than continually paying for all of their living expenses).

          “So who will be paying for these courses?”

          Please see this paragraph from previous post:

          “When I said “free job training” I was referring to free to the people receiving the training (ie. they are not the ones paying for it). Clearly nothing is truly free; it always costs someone or something. However, I was not suggesting incurring additional societal debt by providing job training; I was suggesting using the money currently collected for welfare and providing job training instead of simply giving people money or stamps. In doing so, it would help people to move on from being low-income instead of presenting “low-income” as a permanent lifestyle.”

          Of course Wal-Mart isn’t going to pay for public, non-employees’ education. What an absurd idea. They are a business. Whether or not they wanted to leave the area is completely irrelevant to the idea of the government providing low-income people training instead of giving them money.

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        7. Oh, and as for needing the software:

          http://openoffice.org/
          https://drive.google.com/

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        8. I just wanted to say I’ve been reading your comments and you rock. I’m loving this discussion.

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        9. So to sum up your contribution to this conversation: “Let Walmart continue to hire the bottom of the barrel and provide them with training and experience. As for the health benefits- why do they even matter with Obamacare now?”

          Then you go on to say “I was suggesting using the money currently collected for welfare and providing job training instead of simply giving people money or stamps.”

          Then you contradict yourself Re: food stamps by saying “I’m saying they shouldn’t receive money at all, just training (and maybe a small amount of food stamps)”

          Then contradict yourself Re: who’s offering the training by saying “Of course Wal-Mart isn’t going to pay for public, non-employees’ education. What an absurd idea.”

          So now, you want employed people who subsidize their income by government aid to stop taking that money they need to survive, and go to government funded classes while still working.

          I don’t have any more questions for you, because you obviously need to straighten your ideas first.

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        10. I bet you just did a quick search for the results of Khan Academy, Open CourseWare Consortium, and Code Academy and didn’t even go to their websites. I know Code Academy very well, being a web programmer – they teach programming languages and scripts.

          Two of the sources you name, Code Academy and Khan Academy do not teach most of the skills you mentioned earlier, namely “training in social skills (how to appropriately communicate with customers, co-workers, and superiors), computer skills (Excel, Word, Outlook, etc.), language skills (proper and professional oral and written communication), and training in other simple areas (appropriate professional dress, filing, basic math, etc.)”. Khan Academy teaches math, and that’s it.

          Open CourseWare Consortium offers digital documents on learning certain skills you mention, such as Excel 2007, Word 2007, Outlook 2007 (notice, older software) but they do not offer the ability to practice what you learn using mockups or interactive models which are very useful, almost essential, when dealing with software.

          Open Office is great for free software, I use it at home. The thing is, Open Office is not used by many businesses at all. Although Google Drive, a free online office suite, is getting greater acceptance in the private and public sector, it is still a long shot from being as popular and widespread and as powerful as the Microsoft Office suite.

          Neither Google Drive nor Open Office can prepare you for use of Microsoft Office suites because they are completely different products.

          So again, learning new skills is not as easy as you say, and not as inexpensive as you had hoped.

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        11. You are clearly wrapped up in all sorts of confusion.
          Allow me to elaborate and connect the dots for you:
          First, let me fix the premises that are leading to your illogical conclusions.
          1. People on welfare only receive food stamps. – No, they also receive a check.

          2. The combo of stamps and the check is just enough for people to get by. – I’ve been able to see up close and in person the waste of excess food (when people feel the need to use all of the food stamps they’ve been given for the month, regardless of whether they could eat that much food) and squandering of excess money. I do believe that there are some people out there that probably do use wisely everything they receive. However, the problem with welfare is that it is run by a mass government beauracracy that does not have the resources or ability to analyze each individual situation and provide help specifically appropriate to that situation.

          3. Our conversation contained two ideas of “training” not one. One “training” referred to was the basic retail training given by Walmart (ie. greeting customers, stocking shelves, being on time, using a cash register, etc.). The other “training” was the practical education I suggested the government provide in place of welfare money. It is in no way a contradiction to state that Walmart would not be paying for the government training program. (At least directly. Technically, they would be partially contributing to it, as we all would, through taxes, just as we are the welfare program currently in place.)

          Now, as for my contradicting myself with the food stamp comment: My apologies. My comment “I’m saying they shouldn’t receive money at all, just training (and maybe a small amount of food stamps)” was assuming you’d present the complaint that people would starve to death while receiving training. So, I provided the allowance for *some* food stamps, not the excess that is currently generally given, while still transferring the monetary allowance to training programs.

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        12. Your assumptions are wrong. I have used all of the websites and quite effectively. Apparently I was taking too large of mental steps for you.

          Math / Science
          – Khan Academy
          – Open CourseWare (which several ivy league universities participate in)
          – Billions of little websites.

          English / Basic Elementary Education
          http://allinonehomeschool.com/
          http://www.oldfashionededucation.com/spellingandgrammar.htm
          http://openlibrary.org/
          – All sorts of game websites:
          http://www.funbrain.com/cgi-bin/gg.cgi?A1=m&A2=0&A3=0&AFUNCT=1&ALEVEL=1
          http://www.funenglishgames.com/grammargames.html
          http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/grammar/verbs.htm
          http://www.eduplace.com/kids/hme/k_5/grammar/

          Computer Programs, etc.
          – Code Academy (Yes, the courses are for code, not Excel. However, someone could easily learn code and be able to support themselves (especially in conjunction with oDesk.com), so I considered it relevant.)
          http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/support/training-FX101782702.aspx
          http://spreadsheets.about.com/od/excel101/a/Excel_beg_guide.htm

          Professional Advice
          http://career-advice.monster.ca/in-the-workplace/starting-a-new-job/10-ways-to-be-professional-at-work-canada/article.aspx
          http://www.resumark.com/blog/katia/how-to-act-professionally-at-work-avoid-mistakes-that-could-cost-you-your-career/
          http://www.ehow.com/how_2208948_conduct-yourself-workplace-professionalism.html
          http://www.collegefashion.net/fashion-tips/how-to-dress-professionally-business-dress-code-basics/
          http://www.salisbury.edu/careerservices/Students/JobFair/Dress/Dress.html
          http://www.sbu.edu/uploadedFiles/Academics/Academic_Resources/Career_Services/Students/How%20to%20dress%20for%20success.pdf
          http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/worklife/07/30/cb.dress.for.success/
          http://libraryasp.tamu.edu/tds/int/Newsletters/Online_Newsletters/v18n2/Communications.htm
          http://www.helpguide.org/mental/effective_communication_skills.htm
          http://www.esf.edu/fnrm/documents/FNRM_Communications_Handbook2008.pdf
          http://www.ehow.com/how_6606657_communicate-professionally-effectively.html

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        13. “I don’t have any more questions for you, because you obviously need to straighten your ideas first.”

          You had very few questions to begin with, mostly just poorly thought-out comments. Last night I told my husband I was enjoying some discussion about political ideas with someone via comments on an article. He replied, “Are you sure it’s actually a discussion and he’s not just trying to get you worked up?” I think he may be right.

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        14. Oh, and as for open office & Google drive being different than MS Office- yes, they are. However, just as with different versions of MS Office- despite there being a slight learning curve to learn new organization of menus, to recognize new names, and to realize new little features (like additional 3-D capabilities on fonts and graphs), the skills learned in one version are pretty transferable to another. If you understand concepts like “margin” and “font size” in open office, you’ll understand them in Word. If you understand how “IF” formulas work in Google drive, you’ll understand them in Excel.

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        15. Mrs J Thank you for clarifying your messages.

          In Quebec Canada, the province provides government funded training on the basics of business, budgeting and other life fundamentals. It’s a very successful program. It would be interesting to see such a program offered in DC, and hopefully catch on to other states.

          I think the list you built can be useful to many people, thank you for the research.

          My intention wasn’t to make you feel bad – I’m sorry. I’ve obviously made you feel bad.

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        16. Hey, I just wanted to say thanks for your great contributions here. That and your username/profile pic crack me up every time I see it.

          Like

        17. Thanks!

          This hydrant is pretty popular, apparently – http://bit.ly/13S6hwZ

          Like

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