17 Tweets That Expose Walmart Protests
Peter Suderman of Reason.TV tells us how Walmart protestor demands of higher wages increases prices for the poor.
- Walmart’s customer base is heavily concentrated in the bottom income quintile, which spends heavily on food.
- The bottom income quintile spends about 25 percent of income on food compared to just 3.5 percent for the top quintile.
- So the benefits of Walmart’s substantially lower prices to the lowest earning cohort are huge, especially on food.
- Obama adviser Jason Furman has estimated the welfare boost of Walmart’s low food prices alone is about $50b a year.
- Walmart’s wages are about average for retail. Not amazing. But not the worst either.
- Paying Walmart’s workers more would mean the money has to come from somewhere. But where?
- Erase the Walmart CEO’s entire salary, and you can raise average hourly wages by just a penny or so.
- Erase the entire Walton family fortune and you get an average $1/hour boost to Walmart workers.
- Raise prices to pay for increased wages and you cut into the store’s huge low-price benefits for the poor. It’s regressive.
- But what about Costco? They pay more, right? Yes, but it’s a different, smaller market.
- Walmart’s average customer earns roughly $35k. Costco’s average customer earns about $75k.
- Costco only has about half as many employees as Walmart. What would happen if Walmart adopted a Costco model and shrank to Costco size?
- Not at all clear that the remaining half of Walmart workers would be better off. Many would almost certainly be worse off. Unemployed.
- Obama econ adviser Jason Furman did a lot of the work on Walmart’s progressive benefits. His case: slate.me/R3bkc2
- Finally, as someone who’s actually been a regular, small-town Walmart shopper, I’d like to argue for its community benefits.
- Yes, some small stores close when Walmart opens. But in small towns, Walmart can become real community hubs – more so, because of size.
- As for Walmart workers getting health benefits thru Medicaid, that’s due in part to a policy liberals argued for: wapo.st/axXXNE