retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Americans for Tax Fairness, a national advocacy group, released a report yesterday saying that "Walmart’s low-wage workers cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $6.2 billion in public assistance including food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing."

The Forbes story on the report says that it was completed by "using data from a 2013 study by Democratic Staff of the U.S. Committee on Education and the Workforce," and used numbers from Wisconsin - which estimated that a single Walmart Supercenter's employees cost taxpayers between $904,542 and $1.75 million per year - and extrapolated those figures to the national scene.

Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said the report was "inaccurate and misleading," though he also said that he had no internal numbers on how many Walmart employees receive public assistance.
KC's View:
Here's what I don't believe - that Walmart has no idea how many of its employees are on public assistance and what that assistance is worth in real dollars.

They've got to know that. If only to know how to argue their case when studies like this come up.

Y'know what else? If Walmart employees only receive half of what the study says they get in public assistance - $3 billion a year - that's still a pretty big number.

The company likes to talk about the value of work, but how are employees supposed to feel it is valuable if they cannot use their wages to house and feed their families, pay their bills, and help propel their kids into better lives?