In a report prepared by the Democratic staff of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce (in 2013) entitled “The Low‐Wage Drag on Our Economy: Walmart’s low wages and their effect on taxpayers and economic growth” the committee concluded that:
After analyzing data released by Wisconsin’s Medicaid program, the Democratic staff of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce estimates that a single 300-person Wal-Mart Supercenter store in Wisconsin likely costs taxpayers at least $904,542 per year and could cost taxpayers up to $1,744,590 per year – about $5,815 per employee.
To read the full report please Click Here.
Since the beginning of his campaign Senator Bernie Sanders has continuously used the Walton family as an example of income inequality and unfair wealth distribution in the country. When we closely examine all the points Bernie Sanders has made we quickly realize that everything he has been saying is correct and is right on point with his message. Let’s summarize and quickly look at who the members of the Walton family are, the amount of wealth they have accumulated, Bernie Sanders’ stance on wealth and income inequality and how the Walton family affects the American people.
According to Forbes, Walton Family members are collectively worth around $150 Billion (2016) up from $93 Billion (2011) just five years ago. In 2011 the Walton family had more wealth than the bottom 30% of US population. Since 2011 the Walton family wealth has grown so much that in 2016 it is equal to the wealth of the bottom 45% of the US population. This means that few members of just one family (6 individuals) are worth more than roughly 145 million people.
It all started with Bud and Sam Walton, the founders of what has become the world’s largest retailer Walmart. The three most prominent members of the family are Jim, Rob and Alice Walton who have been in the Top Ten of the Forbes 400 list since 2001. John (d. 2005) and Helen Walton (d.2007) were also on the Forbes 400 list until their deaths few years ago. After John Walton’s death, his widow Christy Walton and family inherited his fortune which is now worth $35.9 billion. The last two members of the family to inherit Walmart fortune are Ann Walton Kroenke and Nancy Walton Laurie. Both Ann and Nancy are daughters of the late Bud Walton.
Since the beginning of his campaign Bernie Sanders has made income and wealth inequality one of his key talking points. On his official website berniesanders.com he goes into a lot of detail about his stance on this issue and how it effects the U.S. tax payers.
The reality is that since the mid-1980s there has been an enormous transfer of wealth from the middle class and the poor to the wealthiest people in this country. That is the Robin Hood principle in reverse. That is unacceptable and that has got to change.
If at this point you are asking yourself “Why is this important? Why should I care about one family’s extreme wealth?” the answer is simple, it impacts you as a tax payer. While Walmart and the Walton family are collecting very generous profits the U.S. tax payers are paying for Walmart employees’ basic needs because minimum wage has become as Sanders refers to it a “Starvation Wage”.
As Bernie Sanders has mentioned in some of his speeches it is time for Walmart to get off of Welfare and start paying their fair share.