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Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:11 AM

A Letter to the Walton Family


To be blunt, Rob, Walmart, in no small measure, contributes to poverty in America. These poor souls only want to support their families with dignity and have a chance to step up the economic ladder and acheive that elusive American Dream, making a better life for themselves and their children. But how can they, when one third of your 1.3 million American employees work less than 28 hours per week and on average earn $8.81 per hour? Such low wages make them eligible for food stamps and Medicaid, forcing government to subsidize your despicable labor practices, Rob, because you won't step up and do the right thing. Surely you know that such a low level of pay places your associates below the poverty level, with many having to hold two or three other jobs just to survive, let alone provide for their families.

The Black Friday walkout was well-coordinated by Our Walmart, a workers organization, and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, as part of its campaign to make change at Walmart. Perhaps striking on a day other than Black Friday would have been more effective, since your customer base is also made up of low-wage earners, like their counterparts who sell to them at Walmart. These families must scrimp and save all year to buy at the lowest possible prices to stretch their precious dollars, so gifts can be purchased for those on their shopping lists. How could they afford to boycott Walmart, or walk a picket line with the strikers? They need to save every penny they can -- a captive buying public, even though many sympathize with the strikers.

You must remember, Rob, it was your associates that helped the Walton family build your business, and when your father died in 1992, he left you, your mother and your three siblings $100 billion, making him at that time one the richest men in the world. If he were alive today, he would be twice as rich as Bill Gates. This year Walmart will have raked in $444 billion in what, even by your standards, must be considered a good year. And there appears to be no downturn in sight, with Walmart's worldwide revenues estimated at $467 billion for 2013 and $493 billion in 2014, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

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Reply A Letter to the Walton Family (Original post)
antigop Nov 2012 OP
geckosfeet Nov 2012 #1

Response to antigop (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:18 AM

1. "They need to save every penny they can -- a captive buying public," aka debt bondage.

There is a contingent of modern business people (see Walton family) who have resurrected the 21rst century version of debt bondage (call it debt bondage 2.1).

To be sure the more traditional forms of debt bondage still exists, but Walmart has customized the practice to steer around the inconvenience of US labor laws. This is a curious symbiosis of employer, government sponsored support programs and financial institutions.

It works something like this:

1. You have mortgage, or a car payment, or a school loan, or debt from medical service, or incur some other major debt
2. You have to find a job and through an unfortunate set of circumstance end up at Walmart
3. After paying your bills you find that you do not have any money for food. Your employer does not provide medical insurance.
4. You apply for food stamps and government funded health care services (medicaid/medicare)
5. Walmart gets rich, you barely survive and are demonized as a freeloader by your employer, financial executives and elected government representatives and republican presidential candiates
6. Go back to step 1 and try harder

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