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Old 12-04-2012, 10:55 AM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blaise View Post
I don't know. Maybe they get some sort of tax credit.

If you have a point go ahead and make it yourself. It's generally quicker that way.
Yes, they certainly do. It allows Walmart to use public tax subsidies to help pay their employees. Which they do to an alarming degree. On top of that, Walmart forces a large majority of their workers into part time roles, which they call "Peak time" jobs. This allows them to significantly limit the amount of benefits they must provide, and ensures that their workers can't afford healthcare and must depend on the government.

A good study was done by UC Berkeley Labor Center, looking at the affect of Walmart on California's county and state employment statistics. Here's a few of their findings:

Quote:
Main Findings:
• Reliance by Wal-Mart workers on public assistance programs in California comes at a cost to the taxpayers of an estimated $86 million annually; this is comprised of $32 million in health related expenses and $54 million in other assistance.

• The families of Wal-Mart employees in California utilize an estimated 40 percent more in taxpayer-funded health care than the average for families of all large retail employees.

• The families of Wal-Mart employees use an estimated 38 percent more in other (non-health care) public assistance programs (such as food stamps, Earned Income Tax Credit, subsidized school lunches, and subsidized housing) than the average for families of all large retail employees.

• If other large California retailers adopted Wal-Mart’s wage and benefits standards, it would cost taxpayers an additional $410 million a year in public assistance to employees.

Full document is here: http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/retail/walmart.pdf
Another study found this:

Quote:
Empirical evidence suggests that employees at Wal-Mart earn lower average wages and receive less generous benefits than workers employed by many other large retailers. But controversy has persisted on the question of Wal-Mart’s effect on local pay scales. Our research finds that Wal-Mart store openings lead to the replacement of better paying jobs with jobs that pay less. Wal-Mart’s entry also drives wages down for workers in competing industry segments such as grocery stores.

Looking at the period between 1992 and 2000, we find that the opening of a single Wal-Mart store in a county lowered average retail wages in that county by between 0.5 and 0.9 percent. In the general merchandise sector, wages fell by 1 percent for each new Wal-Mart. And for grocery store employees, the effect of a single new Wal-Mart was a 1.5 percent reduction in earnings.

When Wal-Mart entered a county, the total wage bill declined along with the average wage. Factoring in both the impact on wages and jobs, the total amount of retail earnings in a county fell by 1.5 percent for every new Wal-Mart store. Similar effects appeared at the state level.

[...]

The new research strongly suggests that Wal-Mart entry lowers wages for employees in competing businesses, and the effect can be seen at both the county and state levels. Controlling for demographic or skill mix of the workforce cannot explain the results. Wal-Mart openings depress average and aggregate wages and reduce the proportion of the workforce that is covered by employer-sponsored health insurance.

Of course, Wal-Mart’s presence is also likely to bring lower prices. Existing research shows big-box stores like Wal-Mart can use their distribution systems and leverage with suppliers to produce substantial savings to consumers.

However, to the extent that competing on cost produces negative effects on low-wage workers, this is an important consideration when deciding the “rules of the game” that big-box retailers need to abide by. And since wage and benefit savings are not the main part of the cost advantage for a company like Wal-Mart, it could continue to pass on most of these savings while paying higher wages and benefits. These factors should be taken into account by policy makers in their decision-making on economic development.

Source: http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/reta...ard_push07.pdf
Hell, you need to look no further than Walmart's very own Associates Benefits Book, to see how quickly they try to convince their workers to get on government assistance.

Take a look at the 3rd page of the Benefits Book: http://makingchangeatwalmart.org/fil...esBenefits.pdf
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