Show this one at Thanksgiving!!
See What’s Walmart’s Business Secret? at the AFL-CIO blog.
The six Walton heirs own about 50% of the company and have a combined wealth of $142 billion. This means they have more wealth than 42% of all Americans combined.
Connect the dots: This stock is worth so much partly because taxpayers subsidize Walmart’s business practices. Walmart’s wages are so low that their employees qualify for various government assistance programs, like Medicaid and Food Stamps. So we are subsidizing the pay of Walmart’s employees, which increases this $144 billion fortune.
Walmart also takes advantage of trade policies that force American wages down. We let in goods made in non-democracies where people don’t have a say, so their wages are low, and the environment is not protected. The company also takes advantage of the low minimum wage. (40% of Americans now make less than the 1968 minimum wage, had it kept pace with productivity.)
The Walmart heirs were one of 18 families that funded a successful 10-year campaign to get rid of inheritance taxes. Public Citizen documented how these families used front groups to push the “death tax” astroturf campaign to convince Americans they average people were affected by this tax when only one-fourth of one percent of Americans were affected in 2006.
This $144 billion fortune influences our politicians to make sure this rigged system stays the way it is. The result is that Americans are paid less and less, and a very few people pocket the difference.