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What You Should Know About Walmart’s Raise


What You Should Know About Walmart’s Raise

Michelle Chen

Remember when Walmart got panned for running a Thanksgiving food drive for its own employees—overlooking the irony of demonstrating noblesse oblige by asking customers to subsidize the workers the company itself impoverished? The retail giant took a more strategic approach last week when rolling out its latest do-gooder scheme: raising its base wage incrementally to $10 an hour.


We could also create living wages for all workers right now (well, actually, after the 2016 elections) by substantially expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, paid for by substantially increased taxes on the top one percent.


Let them eat cake

From the bakery discount shelves


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What I know about Walmart’s raise is it is completely inadequate, like all the company’s personnel policies. The fact that they (and all the others) have been paying just over seven dollar an hour for years shows how low the company has driven the country. This would not have been the case several decades ago, but now people are willing to work for basically nothing-because often Walmart is the only game in town. I don’t have sympathy for much of the working class in the U.S.-they voted for these kind of labor policies starting with Reagan, and are still doing it every time they vote Republican. This is common knowledge. Walmart and companies like it have ruined American retail. Right now they should be paying ten dollars at a minimum.


Fun game to play. Obviously ten dollars an hour next year is better than $8.81 and hurrah for that. It is good that Walmart leadership has seen enough protests and work stoppages and negative commentary to accept more responsibility for the connections between its pay scales and its employees living conditions. It is even better that it has taken what appears to be a positive step.
If, their employees shop at Walmart for convenience and to save the financial expense of shopping trips to other stores many of their employees, especially part time, might just give it back buying that seventh meal each week and paying down the debt on their Walmart credit cards.
It is still less poor and I guess that is a less bad thing.
I have a question about minimum wage effects though. If the Federal minimum gets raised wouldn’t that allow smart investors to realize they can bid up the price of commodities because there is more money in the end users hands, who is also effectively always the last bidder in? Once that happens, doesn’t that leave everyone employed at a living wage or below effectively just as poor as they were? They have more dollars bt the apple costs more, the gasoline costs more, the heating oil costs more and at the end of the day the people ho got these minimum wage raises can still only buy one apple or one gallon of gas just like before the raise?