According to a study released by Congressional Democrats on Thursday, Walmart’s poverty wages are so measly that many of its workers are forced to rely on food stamps, Medicaid and other government aid programs to survive, which costs the American taxpayer over $900,000 for just one store.
This new report is more proof that the minimum wage should be increased for all Americans, not only because it calculated just how much government aid Walmart workers are forced to rely on, but it also determined the staggering amount American’s are paying in taxes to subsidize Walmart’s profits.
It also comes at a time when many Walmart and fast food chain workers are organizing strikes to protest their employer’s poverty wages.
This study, which examined one Walmart Supercenter in Wisconsin, looked at how much the workers are receiving in food stamps, publicly subsidized healthcare like Medicaid and other social safety net programs.
According to the report, over 3,216 Walmart employees were enrolled in the state’s public health care program, and when the dependents of those workers were factored in, the total number of those enrolled came to a staggering 9,207.
“When low wages leave Walmart workers unable to afford the necessities of life, taxpayers pick up the tab,” the report says.
The report’s authors estimated that the cost of this government provided health care comes to over $250,000 per year for the 300 employees at the Walmart Supercenter in Wisconsin.
Of course, Walmarts spokesman Brooke Buchanan completely brushed off the study’s findings and even displayed pride in Walmart’s slave wages.
“Unfortunately there are some people who base their opinions on misconceptions rather than the facts,” Buchanan said, noting that 75 percent of Walmart managers started as hourly employees. “Every month more than 60 percent of Americans shop at Walmart and we are proud to help them save money on what they want and need to build better lives for themselves and their families. We provide a range of jobs — from people starting out stocking shelves to Ph.D.’s in engineering and finance. We provide education assistance and skill training and, most of all, a chance to move up in the ranks.”
Aubretia Edick, a Massachusetts woman who earns $11.70 an hour and receives public assistance, food stamps, Section 8 housing, and state-funded health care, said her reliance on the safety net is one reason she plans to join the strikes. “Walmart doesn’t pay my salary,” she said. “You pay my salary.”
When she started working for Walmart, she said, she had expectations that have since proved unattainable. “I thought I could make it on my own,” she said. “That didn’t happen.”
Walmart is one of America’s most profitable companies, so why is it that they don’t take responsibility for their own employees?
The reason is obvious: They are just another hypocritical multinational corporation that hates all government action and regulations–unless, of course, the government is subsidizing their profits.
Watch an excellent report from Thom Hartmann about America’s REAL welfare queen here: