On October 15, the value of Walmart stock plummeted to a 30-year low. In a single day, the Walton heirs lost more than $11 billion. The huge loss came on the heels of the company’s annual shareholder report, which revealed that instead of the one to two percent profit increase Walmart promised its shareholders, the company is projecting losses as high as 12 percent.
While the greedy Walmart heirs will never be broke (you can bet they will transfer their personal losses to the public long before that happens) before this year is over they will have lost more than $41 billion.
The lying republicans keep telling us that corporations have to exploit their workers in order to succeed. But Walmart, which has earned its reputation as one of the most exploitative corporations in the world, is losing huge sums of money on a global scale.
This, in spite of the fact that the company has driven thousands of American manufacturers overseas, forcing them to produce goods supplied to the retail giant in undeveloped countries, where workers are paid just pennies an hour. The company is losing huge sums of money in spite of the fact that they are known for cheating workers out of their hard-earned pay, denying benefits to employees, and forcing taxpayers to subsidize their disgustingly low wages.
At last count, American taxpayers were subsidizing Walmart wages to the tune of $6.2 billion per year. Every single Walmart store in the country costs taxpayers somewhere between $904,542 and $1.75 million per year. On average, Walmart employees need between $3,015 and $5,815 of taxpayer assistance each, per year, just to survive.
Republicans call Walmart’s greedy, exploitative business model “good business sense.” According to their bullshit economic theories, Walmart should be rolling in the cash. Instead Walmart is gushing money faster than a sieve gushes sand.
On the other hand, according to republican economics, a company like Costco should be losing money hand over fist. But that’s not happening either.
Costco pays employees an average of $21 an hour plus benefits. That’s a far cry above Walmart’s average wage of $8.81 an hour and zero benefits. Yet Costco’s profits are up 29 percent this year, and the company continues to experience substantial growth. The company’s 2015 growth has blown analysts’ predictions out of the water.
Aside from the fact that Costco isn’t exploiting its workforce in order to make a few people rich, there are several key differences between Costco and Walmart. For example, the CEO of Costco makes a reasonable salary, with a total compensation package worth just over $5 million. In comparison, Walmart’s CEO took home $25.6 million in 2014. In January of the same year, the company’s former CEO, Mike Duke, walked away with $140 million in deferred pay as part of a severance package.
That was nothing compared to the $3.1 billion that the three Walton heirs took home in 2014; all while crying about how the company cannot afford to pay their workforce a fair wage.
The facts speak for themselves. The only thing that has ever prevented Walmart from raising wages for the average employee is the insatiable greed of the company’s owners and executives.
The Walmart business model which is all about maintaining “low prices” using any and all means necessary; exploiting workers, stealing wages, extorting American manufacturers, pilfering off taxpayers and engaging in a host of other unethical business practices, all with the sole intent of making huge sums of money for a few people at the top of the corporate ladder, is a bust.
Aside from low-wages and unethical business practices, Walmart has a reputation for destroying the communities it inhabits. The company’s low-prices drive local competitors out of business, forcing small businesses to close, and putting hundreds of people out of work. Those who go to work for the company find themselves struggling to live on poverty wages and a majority of the workforce is forced to rely on public assistance.
Not to worry. Walmart takes food stamps. In fact, the company is the nation’s #1 recipient of food stamp benefits, reaping about $13 billion a year in food stamps sales.
In direct contrast to Walmart, though, Costco builds communities, rather than tearing them down. By paying their employees a fair wage, they not only ensure that the people who work for them have money to shop at their own stores, but they can afford to pay rent, put gas in their cars, even eat out, go to the theater, or enjoy a concert once a while.
There are some other surprising benefits to communities, including increased property values in areas that have a Costco. Where the presence of a Walmart can have negative economic impacts on a local community, Costco tends to fuel the creation of other businesses, rather than driving them under.
Walmart’s business model, based on exploitation and motivated by nothing other than insatiable greed, forgot to account for one major factor. It’s called the law of Karma. The company’s reputation as one of the most unethical businesses on earth is driving consumers away in droves.
Republicans have been promoting bogus economic theories from one end of the country to the other. Out of one side of their mouths they tell us that “trickle-down” is a real thing. Out of the other side though, they fight every last policy that might make it actually happen.
Top down economics is the biggest lie ever invented. The free market is literally laughing in the face of republican liars, as the Walton heirs lose billions, while Costco stocks continue to rise.
The invisible hand smacks down republican bullshit, yet again.
*Featured image credit: wikimedia commons