It was found, just three years ago, that Walmart’s low-wage workers actually cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $6.2 billion in public assistance including food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing.
Using data from a 2013 study by Democratic staff from the U.S. Committee on Education and the Workforce, the “Americans for Tax Fairness” (a coalition of 400 national and state-level progressive groups) found, “The study estimated the cost to Wisconsin’s taxpayers of Walmart’s low wages and benefits, which often force workers to rely on various public assistance programs. It found that a single Walmart Supercenter cost taxpayers between $904,542 and $1.75 million per year, or between $3,015 and $5,815 on average for each of 300 workers.”
The coalition then took the mid-point of that range, $4,415, and multiplied it by Walmart’s approximately 1.4 million workers to come up with an estimate of the overall taxpayers’ bill.
So, is Wal-Mart really cheaper? In the long run, it seems- no.
The report also provides a state-by-state breakdown of the numbers and Walmart’s huge share of the nationwide SNAP, or food stamp, market: in 2013 Walmart had 18 percent of the SNAP market.
Back in 2014, Walmart spokesperson Randy Hargrove said that while the company had no internal figures to share about the number of employees who received public assistance:
“More than 99 percent of our associates earn above minimum wage. In fact, the average hourly wage for our associates, both full and part-time, is an average of $11.83 per hour. The bottom line is Walmart provides associates with more opportunities for career growth and greater economic security for their families than other companies in America. Our full and part-time workers get bonuses for store performance, access to a 401K-retirement plan, education and health benefits.”
But it’s not just that, the big box that is Walmart is killing small business. I don’t shop at Walmart. I shop local, small business so that I know my money goes to my community, stays in my community, and benefits those who are invested in my community.
Many thanks to Health Nut News for the heads-up!
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