fresh voices from the front lines of change







Walmart has announced an initiative to buy more American-made goods and hire more than 100,000 veterans during the next five years. This is great. Will they pay the veterans a living wage? Or will they hand them instructions on how to apply for food stamps?

Walmart made a major announcement today, committing to “increase domestic sourcing of the products it sells and help veterans find jobs when they come off active duty.” This is great. It is, as Scott Paul of the Alliance for American Manufacturing called it, “a game changer.”

The company is upping its purchases of American-made goods by $5 billion a year. This is a start, but really is minuscule for Walmart’s massive size. AAM puts this into perspective,

Walmart’s pledge would mean sourcing an additional $5 billion per year in American-made goods. To help put that into perspective, here are some interesting stats:

  • Total amount of money spent at Walmart every hour of every day: $36,000,000
  • Total amount of profit Walmart makes every minute: $34,880
  • Total number of employees: 2,000,000
  • Total number of stores: 4,253
  • Percentage of Americans that live within 15 minutes of Walmart: 90%
  • Total sales annually: $405 Billion
  • Total number of Walmart Brands: 27
  • Total number of customers per week: 100,000,000
  • World Rank by economy if Walmart were a country: 19th
  • Percent of Walmart suppliers located in China: 80%

Hiring Vets At What Wage?

SO Walmart will hire 100,000 vets in the next five years. That’s great. But Walmart is a notoriously low-wage employer. According to Winning Words Project, Walmart pays so little that many of its employees receive government assistance. In other words, WE are subsidizing Walmart’s incredible profitability by paying for part of what their employees need just to be able to get by at a bare minimum existence.

Major corporations like Walmart underpay their workers and use taxpayers to pay their employees, extracting enormous sums from our economy for their personal enrichment. This practice is in direct moral contrast with our country’s stated objectives, damaging all of us, not just those who work for Walmart and other companies like them.

I want to be clear that I’m not blaming Walmart – like any business they pay what WE let them get away with. WE need to change the “playing field” and establish a much higher minimum wage and improve working standards.

Where the Walmart problem comes in is when they are able to use their money to influence government to keep the minimums so low!

Please go visit the Winning Words Project to see the wonderful graphic they have, explaining how taxpayers subsidize Walmart’s low wages, keeping their profits so high. Walmart Pads Their Payroll With Your Tax Dollars: Call On Congress To Stop Them.

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