Perhaps WalMart should hire me directly?

I thought this was amusing:

Walmart is the beneficiary of billions of dollars per year in federal subsidies, according to a new report [PDF] from the non-partisan, progressive group Americans for Tax Fairness.

The report estimates that Walmart and the Walton family—which co-founded the company and still owns a majority share—collectively profit from nearly $7.8 billion per year in federal subsidies and tax breaks.

This report shows that our current system is anything but fair – rather it provides special treatment to America’s biggest corporations and richest families leaving individual taxpayers and small businesses to pick up the tab,” the report concluded.

The $7.8 billion includes an estimated $6.2 billion in public assistance for low-wage Walmart employees, including programs like food stamps, subsidized housing, and Medicaid. It also includes an estimated $70 million per year in “economic development subsidies” from state and legal governments eager to host Walmart in their cities.

Walmart spokesperson Randy Hargrove described the report as “not accurate,” citing a detailed response to its main points on Forbes.com. The author of the response, columnist Tim Worstall, described the report as “fantastical nonsense” and took issue with the claim that welfare acts as an effective subsidy for Walmart.

The existence of these welfare payments means that the reservation wage rises. That is, an employer needs to pay people more to come into work because they get an income (however low that is) whether they work or not,” Worstall wrote.

I don’t think I’ve seen a company refer to something of mine in that manner before.

18 comments on “Perhaps WalMart should hire me directly?

  1. “The $7.8 billion includes an estimated $6.2 billion in public assistance for low-wage Walmart employees, including programs like food stamps, subsidized housing, and Medicaid. ”

    That;s easy then, just cancel all those programs and the state is no longer subsidising Walmart.

    Problem solved.

  2. “Perhaps Walmart should hire me directly?”

    No! Perhaps Walmart should set up a Walmart Foundation to provide grants for educational work by worthy researchers, from whom “no goods or services are provided” and so no tax need be paid. Those recipients may or may not all then, totally coincidentally, write blogs. I’m sure you would qualify Tim.

    P.S. It’s a pleasure to offer this advice to Uncivil Society; now send me your money.

  3. Rob – “Non-partisan AND ‘Progressive’?”

    Probably means their members come from across the political spectrum, from Democrat to Green Party to Communist.

    Like Oxfam.

  4. You’d better get polishing the c.v. Tim. Supermarkets get about 60 applications per vacancy.

    The job is popular because management allows formal and informal groups to set up the timetables, allowing (for example) mothers to pick their kids up from school.

    Naturally, here in France this is regarded as a bleeding liberty and several unions and pressure groups are campaigning against such flexibility. It’s the job of management to manage, regardless of the wishes of the staff.

  5. The level of rage Walmart inspires in US lefties is hilarious.

    When I visited one for the first time a few years ago, I was half expecting to see the staff shuffling around in manacles as cruel overseers whipped them towards the fruit n veg.

    I thought I’d come across buy-one-get-one-free offers on handguns and booze being eagerly snapped up by redneck biker gangs rampaging through the sporting goods aisle.

    I was hoping to see the manager perform a Black Mass to summon Dick Cheney into materialising inside a pentangle drawn in the blood of baby seals.

    The awful truth is that it’s just a large supermarket. The staff seem content to work there. The customers are ordinary looking Americans and Mexicans. The pentangle turned out to be made of grape juice.

    America is a very backward country in this respect, and Walmart is no exception: you can’t buy hard liquor in a supermarket, only wine or their aggressively fizzy beers.

    I had to drag my alcoholic arse over to a government-run liquor store, which was built like a mini-fortress, where an elderly clerk scanned by grizzled, bearded face and demanded to see ID before he’d sell me a ridiculously overpriced bottle of scotch.

  6. “It also includes an estimated $70 million per year in “economic development subsidies” from state and legal governments eager to host Walmart in their cities.”

    Walmart is so heinous, localities are eager to get them. Duh.

  7. Q- when do people such as Americans for Tax Fairness oppose low-income people having public insurance?

    A-when the low income people work for Wal-Mart.

  8. Tim,

    Would it be fair to say that tax credits implicitly address the effects of out-of-work benefits on the reservation wage, or is that being too simplistic?

    Tim adds: I think it would be fair to say that there’s some offset. But how much I’ve absolutely no idea, some, all, more than all?

  9. America is a very backward country in this respect, and Walmart is no exception: you can’t buy hard liquor in a supermarket, only wine or their aggressively fizzy beers.

    It’s a state by state thing. And, in some states, varies at the local municipality level.

  10. SE – it’s weird, isn’t it? You can buy a shotgun in many big-box supermarkets in the US, but not a bottle of Bruichladdich.

    Mind you, it’s not weirder than our supermarkets being forced by law to hide the fags behind a privacy screen, as if the nicotine-crazed shoppers would go mental at the mere sight of a packet of Benson & Hedges.

  11. Of course, poor people would be going hungry if their food stamps had to be spent at Whole Foods…

    If they can’t eat normal bread, let them eat hand-milled artisanal stone-baked bread.

  12. Abaca you may be on to something.

    Obamacare seems well on its way toward prohibiting Americans from ever again purchasing “crap insurance.”

    In a similar way, the Obama administration has an unprecedented opportunity to prohibit forever the self-abuse of low-income Americans purchasing “crap food.”

    This can be done by mandating that food stamps be accepted only at Whole Foods or an equivalent-quality grocer. No more Wal-Mart or BJ-s.

    Whether this would be truly “affordable” seems almost irrelevant compared to the nutritional benefit. Michelle Obama will be ecstatic and why not?

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.