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Author: spl241 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 1955503  
Subject: Parsing Extreme Wealth Inequality Date: 3/19/2013 9:38 AM
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What I'll try to do is describe wealth inequality in some terms you can easily grasp. OK, I grant you that I'll use the extreme example of the Walton family, and one of the sons in particular, to do this. I do this because I just can't fathom things such as:

* the Waltons' combined net worth = the total net worth of about the lowest-earning 40% of wage earners in the country.

* one self-serving family owning 48$ of all WMT stock of its about 9000 stores.

* 6 family members being worth about $115B as of Sept. 2012.

* the $115B above would enable the Walton clan to do any of these things (among others) and have gobs left over....1) pay for proposed fed spending on hi-speed rail networks; 2) pay for total cost spent on food stamps in 2011; and 3) eliminate budget shortfalls for all 50 states.

Let's do some comparisons in the "They Got vs. We Got" category. I got about $2600 last year from a 10-stock portfolio. In FY 2013, the Waltons will get about $2.7B in dividends (barely edging me out). With one year of dividends, the Waltons could give each WMT associate a raise of $1.28/hr. as well as an extra roughly $2K. If they don't feel quite so charitable (rather likely), they could hold a family pow-wow to discuss diversifying their holdings and using those dividends to buy all outstanding shares of punks such as WebMD, Boston Beer, Buffalo Wild Wings, Wendy’s, or Domino’s.

The average WMT worker earns just $8.81 an hour. Using that figure, the union-backed Making Change at Walmart calculates that a WMT worker would need 1 year to make what the Waltons earn in dividends every 3 minutes. Now, as I said at the start, let's get to one specific Walton--Sam's youngest, Jim, to take wealth inequality to a preposterous level.

Jim slogged through 2012 with more than $440 million in dividends after taxes. On a quarterly basis, that's $110M, it's $27.5M monthly, and about $917K/day and thus $38,200 per hour. So in 2 hours, Jim Walton made about 50% more than the annual median U.S. wage for 2012. If that's not disgusting enough, he "dinged himself" $100,000 for Mitt's Super Pac....a lttle more than 2 1/2 hours of dividends into the flawed effort to get his guy into 1600.

So while Mr. Walton may have slept 8 hours most nights in 2012 while dreaming of more worker-screwing and supplier-paralyzing, he awoke $305K richer.
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synthesized/paraphrased from:

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/09/sam-waltons-fortune-...

http://walmart1percent.org/2012/04/04/dividends/

http://www.forbes.com/profile/jim-walton/
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