Wal-Mart says it will pull out of D.C. plans should city mandate ‘living wage
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 Wal-Marts will not open in the city should a super-minimum-wage proposal become law.
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 company’s hardball tactics come out of a well-worn playbook that involves successfully using Wal-Mart’s leverage in the form of jobs and low-priced goods to fend off legislation and regulation that could cut into its profits and set precedent in other potential markets. In the Wilson Building, elected officials have found their reliable liberal, pro-union political sentiments in conflict with their desire to bring amenities to underserved neighborhoods.
Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) called Wal-Mart’s move “immensely discouraging,” indicating that he may consider vetoing the bill while pondering whether to seek reelection.
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 District’s minimum wage is $8.25.
While the law would apply to some retailers in the city — such as Home Depot, Costco and Macy’s — a grandfather period and an exception for retailers with unionized workforces made it clear that the bill is aimed at Wal-Mart, which has said it would open six stores in the near future.
Alex Barron, a regional general manager for Wal-Mart U.S., wrote in a Washington Post op-ed piece that the proposed wage requirement “would clearly inject unforeseen costs into the equation that will create an uneven playing field and challenge the fiscal health of our planned D.C. stores.”
As a result, Barron said, the company “will not pursue” stores at three locations where construction has yet to begin — two in Ward 7 and one in Ward 5. He added that the legislation, if passed, will also jeopardize the three stores underway, pending a review of the “financial and legal implications.” While precise terms of its agreements with developers are not known, the company’s leases could be difficult to break without significant financial penalties.
Wal-Mart’s decision echoes the retailer’s first incursion into an American urban center seven years ago, when the Chicago City Council passed a similar “living-wage” measure. The company indicated then that the law would cause it to scale back or entirely scrap its plans to open several stores, Mayor Richard M. Daley vetoed the bill, and the council by a narrow margin failed to override it. In March, New York increased its minimum wage only after a compromise offered tax subsidies to companies such as Wal-Mart that hire seasonal workers.
Ken Jacobs, chairman of the University of California at Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education, who has investigated Wal-Mart’s wage policies, said the company has opposed living-wage laws and other measures that target the company’s business practices, particularly in urban markets.
(more at link)
God forbid your employees make a livable wage!
Fucking assholes. Who the hell needs a Walmart in our nations capital, anyway?
The politicians do enough to cheapen and trash the environs.
This is so angering, although it's business as usual. Corporations get to make U.S. laws, not voting Americans.
I would pass the law, had I the choice. It's the right thing to do. If Walmart can't rake in as large a profit because we say no to slavery, I'm okay with that.
Nature abhors a vacuum. Others will fill the void.
Wal-Mart cares about one thing only: profit. If that comes at the expense of a living wage, American jobs, and safe and secure products, well, too bad. They don't give a rat's ass about any of that.
Jesus, how much money does Wel-Mart already have? Unfuckingbelievable. Well, let them go. People need food. Other stores will cover that.
Washington, D.C. doesn't need Walmart. (No one does.)
I fucking HATE Walmart. HATE it. Mutherfucking greedy mutherfuckers, I hope they all die in a grease fire. I NEVER shop at Walmart, DC will survive.
Basically Wal-Mart would rather pull out than pay their employees a respectable wage.
GOOD FOR DC. STAY THE COURSE. FUCK WALMART.
Americans need to refuse to shop there. I do.
Yes indeed, fuck Walmart...every other worker in our country should stand WITH Walmart workers...if they did, it would teach Walmart and Target a lesson.
At some point workers all over the world need to stand against the greedy corporations.
I have bought exactly one thing at Walmart. Ever.
Since they already do it figuratively, Walmart should just go ahead and demand that its employees have all customers ride on their backs when they shop.
It would be great if they did them them no (the only way to make an impact with them) but they'll probably cave.
To me it seems like a fair point -- over a billion a year in corp sales/large spaces -- they could swing it.
There is just no sharing the wealth. No profit is ever enough.
If Walmart reneges on the deal with the vote, the city needs to deal with the state of the property. Stores that Walmart has closed have ended up as giant block buildings that create blight because nothing else can be developed. They should be forced to either complete a structure according to plans and maintain it at the level it would be maintained as a store or they need to sell the property.
[quote]if they did them them
if they did [bold]tell[/bold] them no
GOod riddance, they have Costco after all.
There's no need for Wal-Mart. Ever.
I hope DC tells them to fuck off.
R15, I have wondered about that. My partner is from Indiana. It seems that when Walmart closes as store, they just abandon it. The town has two active Walmarts and about four abandoned ones. Do they hold on to the property to keep another store from moving in?
In case anyone is wondering why there are four closed Walmarts, it seems they would rather build a new store than renovate an old one.
The one great sin of capitalism is profit above all else.
Walmart is the gleaming turd of the Capitalistic ideal.
Think of all the great small businesses we'd have if mega chains like this didn't exist. Think of all the livable wages people would have because you didn't have "too big to fail" conglomerates.
Prime example of losing dollars despite cents.
R20, the 'too big to fail' corporations and banks pay livable wages. Above livable wages actually.
R22, the entire point of this thread is that Wal-Mart (a 'too big to fail' corporation) does not pay a livable wage and would rather leave town than be required to pay a livable wage.
R20 was not referring to Walmart, R22.
He was talking about ALL big corporations and banks which are 'too big to fail' and most, if not all, pay livable wages unlike Walmart.
I don't and won't shop at Walmart. Been Wally free for years. They can close every damn one of them
This should be considered good news for DC. Hopefully this kind of legislation will spell the end of Walmart.
Support the small, independent business folk. And not just when you see THAT commercial on TV. I LOATHE Wal-Mart, and what it's done to the work climate in the U.S. Are they unstoppable? Yes, they are, sad to say. I can't blame people for shopping at Wal-MKart, I mean, you can't beat the prices. If I had several mouths to clothe and feed, I might think differently. Gone are the days.....
Actually rising gas prices are what might spell Walmart's downfall, since the ship everything from all over the country.
Nothing helps with unemployment numbers and increasing wages like shuttering a major employer
Actually, those employment "numbers" are just that- only numbers. They don't reflect the fact that the employees make unliveable wages, rarely work full time and can't afford health insurance so rely on state and local governments to provide food stamps and health care. WalMart doesn't help communities, only itself.
Eat dog shit, R29.
The six Wal-Mart heirs own more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of Americans.
Between 2007 and 2010, while median family wealth fell by 38.8 percent, the wealth of the Walton family members rose from $73.3 billion to $89.5 billion.
Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats recently released a study that said a single Wal-Mart store in Wisconsin costs taxpayers more than $900,000 a year in public assistance to low-paid Wal-Mart employees.
So Wal-Mart doesn't just screw its employees, it screws all of us. And the Walton family just keeps getting richer and richer doing it.
Just how rich are the Waltons? According to the latest edition of the Forbes 400, released yesterday, the six wealthiest heirs to the Walmart empire are together worth a staggering $115 billion. This marks the first time in American history that one family has controlled a 12-figure fortune.
While the nation's richest person is still Bill Gates, the sixth-, seventh-, eighth-, and ninth-richest Americans are all Waltons.
How much could that money buy? It could finance the food stamp budget for the U.S. for one year.
They have enough money to fund high speed rail service,
That's enough money to cover the California state budget for one year.
Their fortune would make up budget shortfalls for all 50 states in 2012.
Jesus, R19, how can a city (except maybe a very large ones) have two Wal-Mart stores and four abandoned ones? This doesn't make any sense. Can you explain a little bit more?
r34, what probably happened was the two now closed Wal-Marts were anchors of stripmalls built in the early 90's. The Wal-Marts of yesterday are a fraction of the size they are now. Maybe zoning codes or taxes wouldn't permit them to expand to mega Wal-Marts with grocery stores, maybe they were falling apart and figure it would be cheaper to build new ones rather than renovate and expand old ones. The newer and shinier the better!
In my hometown of Buffalo, all over the suburbs are massive, empty big box stores just sitting there vacant in strip malls not doing anything. Big empty boxes, casualties of capitalism creating urban blight.
The Walton family should shovel shit in hell for eternity.
R 34, as I wrote, it seems that they would rather build a new store than renovate an old one. None of the empty stores are in a mall. They are all stand alone stores. My partner reminded me that there is a fifth store that was never completed. Apparently, in the middle of building, Walmart found that the landfill was slipping so they just pulled up and moved on. It just sits there as this uncompleted eyesore.
I worked there once for about 4 months in 2002 and the entire time we were treated like shit and paid only $6.50 an hour to put up with stressful bullshit.
It should be noted that people who are paid walmart wages are still able to get ssi. So employment is no big draw
Walmart: Always Low Class. Always.
R15, the WMs in DC actually have good urban design and form
Lots of low-class people shop at Wal-Mart. Low-class people.
Are you people for real?
What the hell do you think pays for anyone's wages?
Although I guess if you live in D.C., money will always appear, as if by magic, or shaking down everyone else in the country.
Walmart is scum, good ridance, nobody needs anything they sell anyway, there are alternatives.
Profits don't pay wages, dumb fuck. Profits are what's left after wages and expenses are paid. The issue ultimately is about whether Walmart shareholders should have their profits subsidized by taxpayers because they reduce their expenses by cutting corners and use electoral extortion to enforce that.
What is the news here?
Cities can pass laws.
Corporations can then respond accordingly.
A couple of retail developments don't get built
Life goes on.
I would never shop at Walmart, but grandfathering in Target and Home Depot makes this proposal stink.
If you believe in a living wage then it should apply to ALL businesses not just one business with a few stores. This is the kind of crap that gives progressives a bad name.
[quote] What the hell do you think pays for anyone's wages?
Obscene profits made by Walmart yet they do not even begin to compensate their employees properly or fairly.
The city's case would be more compelling if they raised the minimum wage to the same level for all employers?
Earning Wal-Mart wages by working at a local coffee shop makes it no more of a livable income than if the person worked at Wal-Mart
This proposal does nothing. You raise the wages for only a few people working at probably 3 stores. All this proposal does is punish a business viewed as evil.
I wonder if the other store owners paid kick backs to get this passed.
Too many people shop there.
What do you think for every person who claims they have stopped shopping at WalMart - how many hundreds of thousands haven't?
I'd love to see stats on registered Democrats, pro-labor and union members who shop at WalMart.
You don't get to 44 billion dollars in sales with just rich white people shopping there.
On the plus side there are so many WalMarts in the DC metro area - that fans of the store may not put pressure on the DC council.
On the downside African-American unemployment is at 20.3% in DC.
I'd like to see every WalMart closed for two reasons. Local governments stop giving them sweet-heart deals and people stop shopping there.
Three Wal Mart stores are already under construction in DC and will open. And trust me, people who live in DC already go to VA and MD to shop at Wal Mart. These stores will be very popular among the masses. People love Wal Mart.
not anyone I know, thanks. Haven't stepped into one in years, I'm economical with what I buy, and I'm never planning to go there. no one I know shops there either.
Wal-Mart built up their empire by moving into small towns, buying up local small town ads for their new to be store (s) and then everyone left the local businesses for Wal-Mart and then they stopped advertising I have read and then the local newspaper followed the local businesses out of business.
There are 3 Walmarts in my town. Each one about a 5-6 mile distance from me in different directions.
I just saw the 3rd one almost ready to open with a coming soon sign.
I'm not going to say that I don't go there, there are a few items that I need cheaply that I get there every now and then.
The staff is all teens or slightly older. Nothing is stocked on the shelves. The self checkout machines are always broken. There isn't enough staff there and the people that work there don't give a shit about making the experience better.
I don't blame them, it's a shit hole but I still get those items.
They built their business on "Made in America." Now, nearly everything they sell is from Asia.
WalMart gets billions of dollars in tax subsidies, because they schedule work hours so that very few employees get benefits, most of their workers need welfare and food stamps to have enough to eat and pay rent.
Our tax dollars support those workers. The heirs of WalMart and their Wall Street advisers skim off that money, our tax dollars, and call it profit.
Those of you who suggest cities and states pass decent wage laws, who do you think funds and therefore control state and local legal bodies? -- Kochs, Waltons, Krochs et al.
That's why corporate interests back states' rights -- corporate control is absolute the lower you go in the legislative food chain.
Those of you who blame people for not boycotting Walmart. Many more people would but they can only buy the cheapest goods available. People at the bottom of the chain shop where and when they can.
WalMart has a longstanding profit problem because they don't pay enough for their customers to shop at WalMart, not regularly. WalMart is the largest employer in the U.S.
Think about that -- the largest employer in the U.S. doesn't pay its workers enough for its workers to participate in the economy even at the cheapest stores. How can we have a recovery when this is the situation?
WalMart has run out of business the mom and pop clothing stores, grocery stores, shoe stores, and diner -- the neighborhood places.
If you are at the bottom, you work two or three jobs, you shop where you can. That's one reason the fast food crap is so popular. It gives you a place to eat as you rush to your second or third job or rush home to see the kids before they go to bed.
Boycott if you want. It is not possible to defeat economy of scale by personal action. WalMart needs unions, all workers at the bottom need unions and a living wage with benefits.
Wait thirty seconds for some right-winger or libertarian to chime in with, "Prices will just rise and we will all lose raises to inflation.: Prices don't move in lock step. More purchasing power boosts the economy.
The problem is that higher wages boost the economy at the bottom and does little for those at the top -- the very rich who control politics. Their attitude is. "Screw them -- let them work for less and less each year. We will get even richer off their labor."
Two-thirds of Americans shop at Wal-Mart each month. In DC, many residents flock to the suburbs on a regular basis just to go to Wal-Mart. The city loses those tax dollars to MD and VA.
This story gives an idea of how Walmart treats their employees.
[quote]I'm not going to say that I don't go there, there are a few items that I need cheaply that I get there every now and then.
you live in a shit community.
r60, I am surprised at the number that went up. This is a city in LA county. Near the beach and not a cheap place to live.
[quote] The town has two active Walmarts and about four abandoned ones. Do they hold on to the property to keep another store from moving in?
The low income town that has a Walmart near where I live (about 20 miles away -- our town won't allow Walmart or plastic bags) is building a super Walmart. I've heard a Kohls is supposed to go into the old Walmart site. I have a feeling Walmart doesn't own the building, though, because its part of a shopping center.
Walmart is gross in every way. The rise of Walmart coincides with the decline of the US.
Walmart is by far the creepiest corporation in the US(aside from oil companies). They can more than afford to pay their workers $15 an hour(hell, more than that).
Their obsession with screwing over everyone is more of a religion than anything.
When I was 20, I worked at that hellhole briefly for a few months when I was desperate and was paid a pathetic $7.50 an hour (only because I worked nights, otherwise it would have been $6.50 an hour) and was worked hard only to be treated like shit. They would also switch my hours around strategically so that they could get out of paying me overtime. They are fucking evil and I hate them.
Are you their accountant, R64? How do you know what they can afford to pay?
If you have no connection with them, how is it your business?
Don't have to be an accountant. Look at the hundreds of billions the Walton heirs control.
That money comes from profits they and their father took out of their workers' wages. The lower their labor costs the more the Waltons can steal. The more they steal from their workers the more they can buy off politicians to keep the racket going.
How is it our business you ask? Their business model holds down wages for all people who work at jobs that pay the least. WalMart and Kroc and their ilk have paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in the fight raising the minimum wage so they can continue to pay shit with no benefits.
That is our business, our family members, our friends and neighbors work at shit jobs because this economy has destroyed our places of employment so the rich can keep their billions and let bankers play games with it
The corporate wage structure depresses the wages and benefits not only of minimum wage people but all people at the bottom. People just above minimum wage have nothing to support their wages if the minimum wage never increases.
We cannot go to our representatives to get a minimum wage increase because the Waltons and the Krocs own them. When we try self-help (something conservatives love except when working people actually do it) then the rich rig the laws to make union organizing impossible.
With people at the bottom unable to make a living in the richest country in the history of the world, with millions willing to take minimum wage jobs but no jobs to be had, the unemployed and hungry look to public tax payers, friends and family for resources to live, for food and shelter.
We pay taxes, which the rich avoid, and those taxes help the poor, even the pittance the government allows. We then share what we have left after taxes with friends in need, while the rich thumb their noses at us.
That means that all of us contribute our tax dollars and our family charity to support the Walton family. It is exactly our business. It is way past time for us to take care of our business and to run the business ourselves.
Well, R66 was just raped.
What shall we do with the transanal probe?
Wall-Mart is like the plague. Please do avoid
Wow..... if this is all it takes to get Walmart to leave cities, it will spread quickly.
Mayor Gray is gonna veto this bill.
Okay. I have hated Walmart for a long time. I can't remember ever shopping there though it may h pave happened ages ago on a vacation.
I also live in DC. I am wondering how we can insist a store pay at the least a starting salary of $26,000 per year. For stock boys? For all cashiers? It seems high to me.
Yes it may be hard to live on less but in the old days people worked 2 jobs if they didn't stay in school and get training or education for better jobs.
I am beginning to think the bill is a bad idea. There are a lot of unskilled jobs that would become available for young people starting out or others. So I think the Council needs to rethink this. How about we demand that Walmart employ people full time if the employee wants full time work rather than limiting hours to just below the hours needed to be full time and eligible for company and other benefits.
I'm still not shopping there.
r67 A lot of their profit is in undercutting suppliers(which kills local businesses), not so much wage suppression. Like I said, labor cost only account for 10% of operating cost. This is what makes Walmarts opposition to higher pay scary. They are penny pinchers just for the fun of it.
r72 DC should pay more because:
1. Walmart has more than enough money to pay
2. Adjusted for inflation cashier, stock boys, and other menial/low skilled jobs paid more decades ago. If we had inflation adjusted the minimum wage yearly we would have had a $10-12 minimum wage by now
3. the only losers with a higher minimum wage are the big box retailers.
4. Slave/low wages do not lead to higher underemployment.
R74 Nails it.
In the old days, before 1980, you are right. People starting out with a high school education, or less, worked minimum wage and perhaps two jobs.
But a lot of things were different. Many of those workers could move on into better jobs, secure jobs with benefits.
Couple reasons for that. The economy functioned better and there were many more jobs. Now there are three people looking for one job available. Over supply, under demand, wages drop.
Another thing. Workers at the bottom had wage and benefit support through their own organizations. Unions gave high school graduates an entry into secure, skilled, high wage jobs.
If it worked that way today, at WalMart for example, a new hire right out of school would start at slightly above minimum wage as a cashier, but could get in line for, say, a job driving a fork-lift at $15-20a n hour, or an electrician or machinist at $25.
He or she would have a contract so the worker would have some security to buy a car or a house. He couldn't have his hours reduced or get fired for no reasons. There would be benefits so if he got sick, he wouldn't lose his house, his health insurance would be there.
The way it is now, none of that upward mobility is remotely possible for workers starting at the bottom. That hurts all of us and the economy too. If people at the bottom aren't getting better, there is nothing to make the bosses raise the pay of those who make a little more than minimum wage. The bosses say, "Don't like WalMart at $10 and hour? Go work at Lowens for $11 an hour."
Why should the bosses raise wages? There is no place for workers to go -- there are not enough jobs to let people go shopping for something better to do
But if people had more money and spent more, the economy would improve for us and everybody else, including the rich -- they make money when we buy their products.
Once again, when wages go up prices do not move in lockstep.
Control of the corporations has to cross state lines -- otherwise they will just move to the next cheap labor market -- play off one group of workers against the other in a race to the bottom for us and a race to the top for the rich -- see Michigan, Wisconsin, the entire rust belt.
Eventually fightback has to work internationally. The corporations do it -- NAFTA gave them a chance to crush wage scales in Mexico and the U.S. both at the same time. We can do that too, once we realize we have more in common with workers in other countries than we do with corporate investors.
I grew up in Arkansas, home of Walmart. The company today is very different from when Mr. Sam, as he was called, ran it. As soon as Mr. Sam died the board of directors hired a Jewish guy who immediately started with all the Chinese contacts simply in order to make money. His attitude was not Mr. Sam's, but as long as he produced profits the board bought into the "let's be China's biggest partner."
DC would be better off without Walmart, in fact, the world would be better off without Walmart. Small business would flourish, and community would be rebuilt.
But then where would the low class people shop, R77? They can't buy Twinkies out in the woods.
Walmart can easily pay $30 an hour, for a new hire, and with health, dental, and vision from, say, Blue Cross. Add to that a pension and 401 (k) and some other good stuff.
The system is rigged. And has been for years. This is all the proof anyone needs, before citing more examples, why the United States is not the greatest country on earth. It used to be, perhaps, but it is certainly not right now.
By keeping your employees dirt poor, it makes them NEED your job--not just want it. That is power to an employer. An employee who needs his/her job will put up with a lot more bullshit than one who can afford to up and leave.
This increases the hourly minimum wage to $12.50 an hour?? WTF? That's way too much. I know people who work at In-N-Out are happy that they get paid $10 an hour. Give the Wal-Mart people $10 an hour too and they'll be happy. Jumping from $8.25 to $12.50 is too much. It's almost a 50% increase.
The best cities won't even allow Walmarts to begin with. DC should tell them to go to hell. "Pull-out" is an apt term for what the DC walmart is threatening because they're fucking people over as it is.
Also, the way Walmart switches shifts on its employees makes it more difficult for the employees to hold a second job (or even go for a job interview).
Unionized workplaces are exempt from the law. WalMart, of course, would rather pay workers more than give them the opportunity to organize.
R76 - you're re-writing history.
Sam Walton spearheaded global sourcing. You might say he wrote the book on "buying Asian".
Estimates are by 1984 40% of WalMart's inventory came from overseas.
His famous Buy American program was very simple and one WalMart employs still today. If an American manufacturer could compete with price,quality and quantity of an Asian manufacturer he would buy from them. So if you're going to pat Sam Walton on the back for his business model you must do the same for the people who took over after he died. This of course would include the "Jewish guy" the board brought in.
WalMart today is the WalMart Sam Walton envisioned and built.
[quote]Give the Wal-Mart people $10 an hour too and they'll be happy. Jumping from $8.25 to $12.50 is too much. It's almost a 50% increase.
Yet you didn't see Walmart trying to negotiate a figure somewhere in the middle. They immediately threw a tantrum instead, like a spoiled little rich kid.
Good riddance. This should happen in every place where Wal-Mart is located or plans to open. The sooner they no longer exist the better.
Don't let the door hit you in the ass, Walmart.
R85 American factories can make any product you want in any quantity you need at any quality the importer wants, although you'll have to unbolt the manufacturing equipment and bring them back to the USA. As for price, that's another matter entirely. Americans cant work for $40 per month. That's what garment factory workers are making in Pakistan. I spent $60.00 on a boom box/AM/FM/ Cassette player recorder at Walmart. Wholesale it was probably $5.00. Ya know what,it's of pretty good quality, I've had it a couple years and expect to have it for a long time. If I had paid $20. more an Walmart made $10 less in profit I bet it could have been made here in the USA and Walmart employee's could get ther $12.50 per hour or more, I'd still have a pretty good deal and our economy would be booming. If Pres. Obama were a REAL leader, he would call Walmart on the carpet, take to the airwaves and call for a Walmart Boycott. Walmart claims they are going to spend 5 billion dollars over a 10 year period on american made goods. That breaks down to 500 million a year, that's chicken feed. That's probably what they are already spending on items that don't travel well or are too expensive to travel, like food. They won't creat a single job with this. It's time we ALL walked out of Walmart for good. IF we did yu'd see how fast salaries would rise and how fast they'd see USA factory's...not open....but REopen. If it's sold in the USA it must be made in the USA.
R89, the problem with American made goods is that the manufacturers would have to adjust their profit expectations down. One can make a good quality product in the USA for a fair profit; however, you can make the same item in Asia for an enormous profit. Now that the profit expectations have been set at Asia levels, it is virtually impossible to go back.
I the convoluted world of business, the difference between what one makes in the USA and what one could make in Asia is considered a loss, even if the company is making a healthy profit manufacturing in the USA.
We need fair minded people to own businesses, not greedy pigs. If it means getting rid of every Walmart and Target in the country, we should.
Excellent point. It applies to every person in this country who can't miss a couple paychecks without suffering. No pushback for higher wages and better conditions is allowed.
The discussion of labor power/weakness is not allowed. When have you heard the Belt pundits discuss how working people can win better wages and working conditions? Even as we all have had our standard of living savaged, improvement is not even considered for us, only for the rich. The idea that we and not the rich could control what happens to us is out of the picture. Never mentioned in polite company.
R89: Capitalism has developed a completely international business model. They no longer care about our purchasing power in the United States. Years ago they had to share with us or they couldn't sell products.
Now the markets are China, Europe, Africa, any place they can make a penny more. If Americans don't have money to but goods, they don't care. The corporations are internationally owed, operated, and in power everywhere.
That's why we have to organize internationally in opposition. Capital moves quicker to organize itself across borders, labor is slower, but labor can do it. What choice do we have, after all? We may lose but we have to try.
R90: That's right. There is no such thing as enough profit for capitalists.
Percentage change in the number of WalMart stores nationwide since 2008: +13.
In the size of Walmart's retail workforce: 0
Percentage of all petitions to hear a case the Supreme Court has granted in the in the past three years: 1
Percentage of petitions it has granted that were supported by an amicus brief from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: 32
Source -- Harper's Index
-- The primary function of the Chamber of Commerce is to bust unions and to prevent organizing efforts.
WalMart is viciously anti-union in this country. They have hundreds of stores in other countries that are organized because local laws protect the unions. WalMart make enormous profits from those stores. Their workers have better lives also.
Here in the U.S. they can steal more profits, obscene profits, from workers' pockets so they do it. If unions want to fight back, WalMart controls the process, including the courts. Those excess profits go to the WalMart heirs, their Wall Street investors, their law firms, and their ad. agencies.
They don't own all politicians and judges, just enough. Both parties are complicit.
Sounds like DC needs to get their own house in order first
This sounds like the key to get Walmart out of the USA entirely, not just D.C.
A Congressional study group reported that one WalMart outlet in Wisconsin requires at least $900,000 a year and perhaps as high as $1,700,000 to get heath care, food and housing to WalMart workers who don't make enough to live.
The same process works throughout the country in all the industries that demand and get profits by underpaying labor. The same investors who manage those companies pay their Congressmen to slash public services and welfare funds. And to make damn sure their taxes don't go up.
That money going to subsidize WalMart is our money. It could be used to build new schools, It could bring art, music, and guidance counselors back to the school system where budget cuts have eliminated them. We could rebuild the infrastructure. We could have daycare for working families.
The people who work for a living have not gotten a raise in 30 years, we become more impoverished every year, but we have to take our tax dollars and hand it over to the Waltons. Those heirs have done no work at all, ever, but we had over our tax money so they don't have pay our neighbors a living wage.