One Jordan Weissmann thinks that Wal-Mart a/k/a Wallyworld, does not pay her employees, associates, enough to suit Weissmann’s particular sensibilities, from Atlantic:
It Would Be Cheap to Pay Retail Workers a Livable Wage
Ultimately, this all comes back to consumers. We are the ones who choose where to take our business. And for the most part, Americans have chosen cheap.
It’s hard to blame middle class families for making that decision — not a lot of people have the extra cash to make a political statement out of where they buy paper towels and diapers. But it’s led to cycle of impoverishment, where big box stores have brought down wages at smaller competitors desperate to compete, taking money out of the hands of workers, and sending back up the corporate food chain to shareholders. That’s put a burden back on tax payers: research has suggested that Wal-Mart workers are disproportionately reliant on safety net programs like food stamps and Medicaid. I wouldn’t be surprised if the same goes for Target and Best Buy employees.
The sad part of this is it wouldn’t cost us much to pay big box retail workers something closer to a livable wage. A study from UC-Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education suggested it would cost the average shopper an extra $12.49 a year if Wal-Mart paid its workers a full $12 an hour and passed most of the cost to consumers.
That works out to about $0.46 per trip to the store.
What Weissmann is demanding is corporate welfare. Weissmann wants Wallyworld and her customers, largely poor, to provide private welfare to satisfy Weissmann’s social conscience. If Weissmann wants to raise the income of Wallyworld’s some one million plus employees, let him cut a check, or urge yet higher taxes. Don’t saddle the working poor, to wit Wallyworld’s, customers with the burden of lifting Weissmann;s social conscience.
Hat tip and reax, Bruce McQuain, Questions and Observations:
if you don’t like the pay at Wal-Mart, seek a job at another employer. I doubt that most “big box” companies look at their employees as permanent. Wal-Mart and others are, for many, a stop on the way (for experience) to higher paying jobs. If it’s not, if it is all someone is qualified to do, then that’s their problem, not Wal-Mart’s and not the shopping public’s. My suggestion is to seek out further training or schooling elsewhere. But it isn’t the job of the public to subsidize your wages just because you think you’re worth more than you really are.
Wal-Mart doesn’t exist to pay a “living wage”, whatever that is. It exists to serve it’s customers and turn a profit. It is that profit that allows them to provide what is demanded by their customers and to pay their employees. If wages are too low, workers will likely look to an alternative for employment. Yet, somehow, Wal-Mart remains fairly consistently fully staffed.
Which brings me to economic truth that liberals are too stupid to understand. Labor is a commodity. Employers buy it Employees sell it. No business can long survive buying a commodity and sell it at a loss.
Addendum Eric) As I said over at Q&O: The one major issue I have with all of this…. does the flop of the Union protests,… being essentially overwhelmed by a lack of support, mesh with the re-election of Obama?
I mean, in a loose way, it seems to me to fly in the face of that re-election. If Obama’s ideas and policies are so popular as to create a re-election, where, then was the same degree of support for the Unions? Are they not in each other’s pocket?