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This is about WMT specifically. I know the topic of paltry wages has been hashed every which way from Sunday, but I heard a statistic on CNBC Sirius radio near the close of trading yesterday that stayed with me. I'll get to that in a moment. First, take a gander at this simple chart of 15 WMT job descriptions and their hourly wages. These #'s are a fresh update of just 3 days ago. Out of the 15, a mere 5 are > $10/hr. Dept. manager at a paltry $11.22? Customer service manager at a disgraceful $10.28? Here are the anemic stat's:

http://www.glassdoor.com/Hourly-Pay/Walmart-Hourly-Pay-E715....

Several Dems. issued a supportive statement backing the WMT wage slaves who protested on Black Friday:

"Across the country, there are countless Walmart workers who are paid poverty wages, cannot get enough hours, and have erratic work schedules that make it difficult to survive," said Dem. US Senators Sherrod Brown (OH,) Ed Markey (MA), and Dem. Reps Jan Schakowsky (IL), Judy Chu (CA), William Lacy Clay (MO), Gwen Moore (WI), and Jim McDermott (WA), in a statement released to coincide with the Black Friday protests. "We stand with the courageous Walmart workers who are demanding better wages and an end to illegal retaliation," they said. "Walmart, the largest private employer in the U.S. has a responsibility to their employees and our country to respect workers and their rights. No one should have to fear losing their jobs just for speaking up." "The company can do better," said Rep. Schakowsky.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-grossman/doing-the-m...

Ms. Schakowsky, you're indeed the mistress of understatement! Your comment leads me into what I heard on CNBC Sirius yesterday.....

I barely missed the name of the guest, but the host described him as the conservative Republican CEO of a Silicon Valley company. After a sound debunking of a favorite GOP talking point that raising the minimum wage would result in more unemployment and damage the economy, he plowed into WMT specifically. What if WMT went to $12/hour? he mused. What would they have to do? His contention was that they would have to raise prices 1% once to fund the $12 wage floor.

And this written statement came from Wally on Black Friday, touting its advancement and promotion records: "Of course, we have entry-level jobs and we always will. The real issue isn't where you start. It's where you can go once you've started." My brother has been full-time there for 8 years and recently crept over $10/hr. He's still setting up end-of-aisle grocery displays and hasn't "gone anywhere."

Meanwhile, the 3 surviving Walton kids and the DIL who was married to the son who died in a plane crash in -05 have been getting between $300-330M in dividends for several years. Oops, I left out each.
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"Meanwhile, the 3 surviving Walton kids and the DIL who was married to the son who died in a plane crash in -05 have been getting between $300-330M in dividends for several years. Oops, I left out each. "

You will need to explain why you feel current Walmart workers are entitled to the 330M each Walton gets.
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No. of Recommendations: 11
My brother has been full-time there for 8 years and recently crept over $10/hr. He's still setting up end-of-aisle grocery displays and hasn't "gone anywhere."

______________

Maybe it's time to rethink your life choices if you're still setting up grocvery displays after a year, let alone 8. That's a job an eight year old can do. That's more an inditement of the worker than the employer.
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"Maybe it's time to rethink your life choices if you're still setting up grocvery displays after a year, let alone 8. That's a job an eight year old can do. That's more an inditement of the worker than the employer.
"

Exactly. The employer is NOT responsible for your professional growth, YOU are. His brother needs to grow up and take responsibility for his career.
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Meanwhile, the 3 surviving Walton kids and the DIL who was married to the son who died in a plane crash in -05 have been getting between $300-330M in dividends for several years. Oops, I left out each.

To be fair, they do have to live in Toad Suck or Conway or wherever the hell it is in Arkansas. They have to mail order in some civilization now and then, but that's not cheap.
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"To be fair, they do have to live in Toad Suck or Conway or wherever the hell it is in Arkansas. They have to mail order in some civilization now and then, but that's not cheap. "

The wealth envy of the left has no end... I mean, really.... who friggin cares about how much money the Walton family makes or anyone for that matter, it's their business, worry about yourself.
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If you are interested in a more illustrative business example check out the demoulas family in Massachusetts. One brother is CEO of the century old successful supermarket chain. and has been a perfect example of a worker friendly executive. From the stockboys to the warehouse managers every loves him because they are treated and paid so well.

The cousin demoulas is not involved in the business, but is in the board. He is trying to push his cousin out in order to divide the cash up between shareholders. He wants the millions (tens of millions?) to go to shareholders and take on debt to expand and cut back on bonuses.
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My brother has been full-time there for 8 years and recently crept over $10/hr. He's still setting up end-of-aisle grocery displays and hasn't "gone anywhere."

When I worked p/t at Pottery Barn back in 1994, our displays were decided by the Corporate Headquarters, with pictures being sent and explanations of exactly how many items and which ones belong in the display. This is one of the ways retailers with many branches keep a consistent "look" between branches. Our Assistant Manager would put the displays together - mostly because he liked doing it, but in reality any associate could have done it.

I have a feeling it's probably the same for Walmart, where your brother is putting them together but directions are sent by corporate any anyone could do them. And if you have a job that doesn't require a lot of experience, it's not going to pay very well and if you want to make more money, you have to take some initiative to find a way to gain skills someone else is willing to pay more for.
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Maybe it's time to rethink your life choices if you're still setting up grocvery displays after a year, let alone 8. That's a job an eight year old can do. That's more an inditement of the worker than the employer.

...Indictment.

I get so tired of this same stuff. I don't know anything about the OP's brother, but I do know that not everyone lives in a metro area where there tends to be more jobs. Not everyone has the same skills and abilities. Some people have had life choices made for them that are beyond their control. They might have lost a job late in life and can't find anything else. They might, I dunno, lost half their retirement because of a down turn in the economy. They might have health problems (and no, every freakin' health issue CANNOT, in fact, be solved by eating better and exercise).

My 45 year old brother recently got a raise and promotion. He now makes $10 an hour, and we're thrilled for him. He came home not long ago and was excited to tell us that if he doesn't miss any work and isn't late between now and Christmas, he'll get a $500 bonus, which is a fortune for him. He works for Pottery Barn here in Memphis, sewing monograms on stuff. He also had a head injury when he was 5, and while is IQ is quite high. a lot of things are very, very hard for him. It's also hard for him in a job market where unemployment is higher than the national average. Where the jobs he's qualified and able to do can let him go at the drop of a hat if he's not fast enough. (He has a palsy in his hand and he drags his foot a bit from the injury).

Just once I wish that people would think about the real people behind some of the anecdotes on this board, or the actual people who make the posts. Think, sometime, that exactly HALF of the population is below average, or below median, on pretty much anything you measure. Sure, if the average person can do it, that's great---but that might mean that half the people might not be able to do whatever job you think an 8 year old can do.
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Just once I wish that people would think about the real people behind some of the anecdotes on this board, or the actual people who make the posts. Think, sometime, that exactly HALF of the population is below average, or below median, on pretty much anything you measure. Sure, if the average person can do it, that's great---but that might mean that half the people might not be able to do whatever job you think an 8 year old can do.

_____________

Yet half the population does not have entry level jobs with skills to match. The majority do much "better". However, nearly half are on food stamps with only 7% unemployment.

Some circumstances are unfortunate and perhaps unavoidable, but by no means does anyone think they can support a family with an entry level job. That is what a developed job skill set and an education/training is for....ADVANCEMENT beyond entry level income.

At least that is what I was taught decades ago.

W
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Maybe it's time to rethink your life choices if you're still setting up grocvery displays after a year, let alone 8. That's a job an eight year old can do. That's more an inditement of the worker than the employer.


Yeah. Maybe all those low-level retail employees should have considered that before they decided to get born with an IQ of around 80.

(disclaimer: no idea if that applies to the brother in question).
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Yeah. Maybe all those low-level retail employees should have considered that before they decided to get born with an IQ of around 80.

Riiiight. Because everyone who works in that job is either stupid and/or incapable of trying something else.
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Yeah. Maybe all those low-level retail employees should have considered that before they decided to get born with an IQ of around 80.

_____________

Having a low IQ isn't a life sentence of low wage jobs. It might be an extra obstacle, but it's not a determination. You might not become a brain surgeon but you can do plenty.

And your IQ isn't exactly a determination of your intelligence anyway. Unless you're actually handicapped, you can do very well. Sometimes it just takes extra effort and some sacarfice. If the job market sucks where you are, move. Most obstacles are self inflicted.

Heck you can always run for public office, you don't need brains or hard work (after winning your election).
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Riiiight. Because everyone who works in that job is either stupid and/or incapable of trying something else.

No. But a lot of them are. People get stuck in that tier of job for a reason, and it tends to be that they're not able to do a higher tier of job very well.
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Yet half the population does not have entry level jobs with skills to match. The majority do much "better". However, nearly half are on food stamps with only 7% unemployment.

Some circumstances are unfortunate and perhaps unavoidable, but by no means does anyone think they can support a family with an entry level job. That is what a developed job skill set and an education/training is for....ADVANCEMENT beyond entry level income.

At least that is what I was taught decades ago.


You know, I don't entirely disagree with you. I think that a person would be an idiot to have a child if their CURRENT job was $10 an hour. Not fair to the parent or the kids. YET: a lot of people, particularly during the recent economic downturn, lost their well-paying jobs and have had to settle for something else, something paying less. You can't just turn in the kids you had when you were making $50K a year when you have a reversal of fortune.

I'm willing to guess that most of us live in relatively metropolitan areas where jobs are pretty available. I won't go into the fact that MOST of us posting here are blessed with higher than average intelligence, a good education, an upbringing with minimal trauma, few debilitating psychological problems, etc. We're also a self-selecting sample because we have an interest in money, etc. which brought us to the Fool, and usually to have an interest in something, you have a little bit of knowledge about something and want more.

But it's really easy for US to say "develop a skill set, get an education and get a better job." It's probably easier to do that in Washington DC, or Seattle or Boston or NYC. It's quite another issue when you live in, say, Holly Springs, Mississippi or Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

I'll never forget one day when I happened to be in Holly Springs very early in the morning, probably 7 AM or earlier. Holly Springs is maybe 50 miles from Memphis, which has high unemployment and problems (as a city) of its own. I don't know what the population of Holly Springs is, but it's not a lot, and while it's a very picturesque little town with gorgeous antebellum homes, there's not much else there. I was on the "main drag" and there were at least 100 people lined up around a building that was being constructed--maybe even more. I thought something really exciting was going on, and when I went into the store across the street, I asked someone. "That's a new Popeye's Chicken going in. They're going to be interviewing today and people are lined up to interview." 100 or more people lined up to work at Popeye's for minimum wage. Popeye's had maybe 15 jobs in that store, total? And this took place BEFORE the economy took a nose dive.

But... you can't pull yourself out of Holly Springs poverty without a job. You can't go anywhere else to get a job unless you have a car or a ride. You can't move to a better city without money... and you can't can't get money without a job. In Chicago or NYC, you can get on public transportation to look for a job nearby. In Holly Springs, and lots of similar places, you're pretty much screwed.
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Yeah. Maybe all those low-level retail employees should have considered that before they decided to get born with an IQ of around 80.

____________

What about Forrest Gump?

He may have been fictional, but the possibilities of those so unfairly typecasted early on sometimes do unbelievably well.

I know I did. And type casted I was. When I realized I help to contribute to that, I just upped my game, then upped it some more...now sitting on top of the world!

W
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You will need to explain why you feel current Walmart workers are entitled to the 330M each Walton gets.
________________________

You will need to explain to me why shareholders of that magnitude (who aren't involved in running the business, btw) are entitled to that amount of money.

Do they go to work?

I am not arguing one way or the other, but this back and forth on who deserves what based on IQs or effort is ridiculous.

Do Walmart shareholders deserve to profit from the government subsidies their corporation takes full advantage of?

More importantly, when there are fewer and fewer jobs available because of technocratic "advances" (meaning fewer and fewer people are needed "to work") what are people suppose to do? Blow their brains out? Stay home and watch their cheap big screen TV from China?

Every tech boom has its bust and many a high IQ person have often had to "settle"

I don't know about you, but I have known plenty of people who did whatever they had to do to stay off welfare and then be degraded as being stupid. Less ruthless maybe. And what is this ego trip of white collar middle managers thinking construction workers aren't as valuable as themselves. You don't find them on message boards all day hustling to do you out of your earnings.

It's all kind of sickening.
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No. But a lot of them are. People get stuck in that tier of job for a reason, and it tends to be that they're not able to do a higher tier of job very well.
_______________

Bullsh!t
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cjb replied to me yesterday:

My brother has been full-time there for 8 years and recently crept over $10/hr. He's still setting up end-of-aisle grocery displays and hasn't "gone anywhere." --------> Maybe it's time to rethink your life choices if you're still setting up grocery displays after a year, let alone 8. That's a job an eight year old can do. That's more an indictment of the worker than the employer.

Since you decided to insult my brother's choice of a job that "an 8 y.o. can do," calling it an "indictment" of him, I'll add a few details in his defense.

He worked for 24 years at Culligan water conditioning before going to WMT. The years of installing heavy softeners and manually handling 80 lb. bags of salt forced him out after his doctor said he was becoming arthritic and that the quantity of Ibuprofen he was swallowing wasn't a good idea. He got hired in Oct. of -05 with 41 others as temp holiday employees. Everyone had the same eager question: what are our chances at full-time? Today, he and 2 others out of that group (all 3 over 60) are still there as survivors of the WMT culture.

He knew all along that Culligan was taking a toll on him, but he had 2 boys he was raising himself after his divorce and a job was a job. He considered himself lucky to be hired at WMT a month after leaving Culligan. His "severance package" was 2 weeks' pay, immediate cancellation of health insurance, and a handshake from the franchise's owner. After our mother died, my sister and I gave him the family home since we were much better financially-situated. On his salary, living there and maintaining it lasted only 2 years before he went to a rent-subsidized apartment complex.

Later, he was offered a job at the nearby WMT distribution center at an hourly wage nearly double what he made at the retail store. He toured the place and saw the near-frenetic pace of the work, which involved a lot of fairly heavy manual labor, and decided that preserving his decaying joints as much as possible was more important.

He once got an insurance license years ago, but cracking the entry barrier for income didn't work out in our town where there's an agent on every corner. He was in denial about his ability to handle college, but made it through a year before dropping out--classic case of college not being for everybody.

So why write about these personal details at all? One main reason: the tone of your reply seems to reflect a disdain for/denial of the fact that there really is a group of people familiarly called the Working Poor, whose station in life is all their fault without extenuating circumstances that circumscribed their eventual orb in America. That's why.
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http://boards.fool.com/cjb-replied-to-me-yesterday-my-brothe...
__________________

I link back to the post for anyone needing to reread the hard luck story
I will start with the mea culpa, I am sorry for the tale of woe, of course one exception is a really lousy reason to establish policy.

In fact, this is a perfect example of why liberals should never be allowed to make or participate in policy IMO

The problem? Someone disabled on the job, has to take a much lower level job

The solution because of that everyone who has that lower level job should be paid a much higher wage.

That is a really lousy analysis of the problem and a terrible solution supported by emotional tripe.

Sorry, but that is how it is.

He could not work harder, though opportunity presented itself to make twice the money, as you would expect to happen to anyone actually working hard and even marginally trustworthy and competent.

The problem apparently is he is disabled to a degree. That is what needs to be addressed.

By misdiagnosing the problem and solving the problem of a mouse by blowing up the entire neighborhood, and couching the problem with emotional propaganda to distort the issue, we come to a perfect liberal solution.
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One main reason: the tone of your reply seems to reflect a disdain for/denial of the fact that there really is a group of people familiarly called the Working Poor, whose station in life is all their fault without extenuating circumstances that circumscribed their eventual orb in America. That's why.

___________

There will always be working poor. You can't eliminate it by raising their wages because inflation will follow. So the solution of increasing wages artificially at the bottom doesn't solve it.

And if someone has been in the work force for 30+ years in a dangerous job, you're right they should have done something different. And if they get a license as you state for insurance maybe it was bad idea if the market was already over-saturated. When looking for a career change, look where there's growth not something that already has too many people. Either you need to move locations where you can maximize your skill set or train for something different.

I feel the same way about kids who graduate college with useless degrees. It's great to be well rounded, but a major in Mideveal Arts doesn't have a lot of job prospects. Better to major in Accounting or Business Management and minor in the Arts.

It's all about choices.

You don't see too many training today as blacksmiths or typewriter repairmen.
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"In fact, this is a perfect example of why liberals should never be allowed to make or participate in policy IMO"

You seem to expect to be taken seriously, but yet you make ridiculous statements like this all the time. Self-defeating, that.
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I found the study for anyone that would care to read it:

http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/retail/bigbox_livingwage_pol...

(The huffpo link does not seem to take one to the correct destination.)



I have to admit, the findings are compelling....

IMPACT ON WORKERS
Our analysis reveals that establishing a higher minimum wage for large retailers like Walmart would
have a significant impact on workers living in poverty or near-poverty. We find that 41.4 percent of
the pay increase would go to workers in families with total incomes below 200 percent of the federal
poverty level (200 percent FPL). These poor and low-income workers could expect to earn an
additional $1,670 to $6,500 a year in income for each Walmart employee in the family, before taxes.
IMPACT ON CONSUMERS
Even if Walmart were to pass 100 percent of the wage increase on to consumers, the average impact
on a Walmart shopper would be quite small: 1.1 percent of prices, well below Walmart's estimated
savings to consumers. This works out to $0.46 per shopping trip, or $12.49 per year, for the average
consumer who spends approximately $1,187 per year at Walmart. This is the most extreme estimate,
as portions of the raise could be absorbed through other mechanisms, including increased productivity
or lower profit margins.
While Walmart shoppers are disproportionately middle- and lower-income, the customers who
spend the most at the store are somewhat less likely to come from poor and low-income families. We
find that 28.1 percent of the total price increase would be borne by consumers in families below 200
percent FPL. In comparison, 41.4 percent of the benefits would go to Walmart workers in families
below 200 percent FPL.
In summary, we find that a Big Box Ordinance or similar legislation that raises wages would provide
significant, concentrated benefits to workers, almost half of them in poor or near-poor families, while
the costs would be dispersed in small amounts among many consumers across the income
spectrum. In net, a wage increase for Walmart workers represents a transfer of income to poor and
low-income families. Low-income Walmart workers would see a raise of $1,670 to $6,500 per year,
while the average Walmart shopper would spend an additional $12.49 per year. Both the benefits to
workers and the costs to consumers would be smaller in higher wage states and metropolitan areas.

-----------

The only thing I question about their study is the fact that if you increase everyone's wages to $12 a hour, all future pay raises would be on top of that, so while prices would only go up (per their data) by 1.1% now, they would have to continue to go up in the future as employees are obviously retained longer and paid more during their employment. I think prices would eventually experience a 3-5% increase in cost.

Still, a compelling study assuming their data is accurate.

Hawkwin
Who remains open to new ideas and solutions
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The only thing I question about their study is the fact that if you increase everyone's wages to $12 a hour, all future pay raises would be on top of that, so while prices would only go up (per their data) by 1.1% now, they would have to continue to go up in the future as employees are obviously retained longer and paid more during their employment. I think prices would eventually experience a 3-5% increase in cost.
__________________----

well, the price increase would be across the board, and of course impact far more than Walmart.

Additionally, everyone at a higher wage would rightly expect a raise also

Why work harder for 12 and hour, when the new person about to be fired gets 12 an hour?

So the former 12 goes to 15 and so o up the ladder.

Additionally, the increased cost is not just at Walmart is not just at WalMart, but everywhere, so the little boost, is a lot bigger than portrayed.

The price increase would also be larger, as companies will like;y maintain a profit margin, prices go up disproportionately with cost increases, they will return to mean in short order

Bad policy typically has bad results, no matter how ope minded one is about bad policy.
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Meanwhile, the 3 surviving Walton kids and the DIL who was married to the son who died in a plane crash in -05 have been getting between $300-330M in dividends for several years. Oops, I left out each.



The Walmart Family is easily worth $100 Billion; The Waltons exemplify the meaning of the 1%.

The Waltons have more wealth than 42% of American working families combined.
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"The Waltons have more wealth than 42% of American working families combined."

Again,

1. Why does this matter?
2. Who cares!
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Hawkwin
Who remains open to new ideas and solutions


Thank you for the fair and balanced reporting.

It’s interesting to note that there is no noticeable price variation between Costco and Walmart, here in California. I know this is merely anecdotal. My wife’s cousin works for Costco; originally in San Diego but he transferred to Phx Arizona some years back. His wife works too. They own a house, they raise three kids, they don’t live off a government subsidized healthcare program, they don’t receive earned tax credits or food stamps, but all these things are probably true of Walmart Employees. I would say that companies like Walmart only exist because we the tax payers subsidize the minimum wage with subsistence programs like food stamps and now Obamacare.
Further, the 1960’s $1.25 minimum wage in real 1996 dollars would be worth $4.87 today. If we persist on the course we are on, you and I will subsidize more and more for families like the Waltons.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0774473.html
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" I would say that companies like Walmart only exist because we the tax payers subsidize the minimum wage with subsistence programs like food stamps and now Obamacare.
"

If that were true then taxes are also higher for Walmart to subsidize those employees.

The market place should determine minimum wage and NOT government.
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If that were true then taxes are also higher for Walmart to subsidize those employees.



It is true; and along with all of us we pay for Walmart employees on welfare.
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