Walmart Update: The Monster Comes to 9th Street

Walmart is coming to Corvallis, albeit in a “neighborhood market” manifestation. A call to the City confirmed that the store is currently under construction on 9th and Spruce—thus decrying recent rumors that Walmart was instead moving into the previous Albertson’s location on Kings.

There are reasons from both the Left and the Right to dislike Walmart, so perhaps we can come together like Kid Rock and Sean Penn against a particularly pernicious threat to freedom and apple pie.

We know that the Left Wing focuses on conditions of poverty and workers’ rights to organize in protest for fair pay. Someone on the Right might focus on how Walmart places a burden upon taxpayers while acting on a government tab.

According to Florida Representative Alan Grayson, Walmart is “the largest recipient of public aid in the country.” Walmart’s low wages force workers onto food stamps, housing assistance, and Medicaid, resulting in Walmart employees representing the largest group of public assistance recipients. According to a 2004 UC Berkley study, the average Walmart worker annually requires “$730 in taxpayer-funded healthcare and $1,200 in other forms of assistance, such as food stamps and subsidized housing” in order to make ends meet.

Although Walmart executives have stated that their employees’ average wages are between $11.75 and $12.40 per hour, market research firm Ibis World asserts that Walmart employees are paid merely $8.81 per hour on average—barely over minimum wage in many states. One might compare this to the CEO Mike Duke’s annual salary of $35 million, according to Business Insider, and note that Duke ranks second on Huffington Post’s list of 50 CEOs who earn significantly more than their employees.

I think this guy can afford to pay his workers a little more. Perhaps we can let him know with our pocketbooks.

by Joel Southall

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5 thoughts on “Walmart Update: The Monster Comes to 9th Street

  1. Anti Wal-Mart groups should get a Court order and stop Wal-Mart , Burbank Califorina did it.The Monster Wal -Mart with over 4000 stores and now expanding into stand alone Grocery stores is like a plague sweeping from Coast to Coast and will cause competitors small and large to close . They call it the Neighborhood Market what a Joke more like the Neighborhood Monopoly and Wal-Mart is doing it a a furious pace all over Oregon.

  2. I cannot tell you HOW disappointed I am in the Corvallis City Government for allowing this beast to come to Corvallis. I thought we would never go this way. I read *Big Box Swindle* and decided not to shop in Wal-Mart (I had only been there once for ice and once for an emergency stop for something to fix my glasses because there were no other options before that anyway).

    I do take issue with the comment:

    “We know that the Left Wing focuses on conditions of poverty and workers’ rights to organize in protest for fair pay. Someone on the Right might focus on how Walmart places a burden upon taxpayers while acting on a government tab.”

    There are many right-wingers that care deeply about poverty by serving in local food banks, giving to charities that affect the poor, and support a living wage. That puts them in a box I am not comfortable with. Read *Crunchy Conservatives* for a balance of perspective on this issue.


  3. Hi,

    I’m a worker at the Corvallis Walmart, “I think this guy can afford to pay his workers a little more,” I’m making $9.35 an hour plus over time right now, plus they’ll give me a boost in a few months . Granted it’s not a whole hell of a lot more than mini wage however, it’s a hell of a lot more of a starting wage than most “reputable” companies in this town.

    Instead of focusing on Walmart being a monster, how about focusing on the jobs it brought to this town, to people who needed it badly. Agree with me or don’t I don’t really care. I can pay my rent and feed my kid, and until someone/something comes along and saves this failing economy I’ll do what it takes to survive, bring on the monster.

  4. To “No one.”

    The fact that you can feed yourself and take care of your family is obviously paramount, and I agree with you that up to a certain point, it doesn’t matter where that ability is coming from. It is truly great news to hear that at least one person is getting paid a bit more fairly than tens of thousands of others across the country have been. And I really hope that’ll continue to be a trend with our Wal Mart as long as it is here.

    But: you’re not the center of the Universe. Other citizens have serious concerns as well, many of them jobless or with a job like yours — which pays enough to just get by. You can’t reasonably rally your argument here while verbally dancing around the issues that this article actually presented.

    The circumstances surrounding Wal Mart and its role in our national and local economies is complex, and is about more than just what you are personally concerned with. You have a relevant perspective to share, but it seems as if you could have communicated everything useful in your post without throwing a tantrum that was only loosely associated with the article in question.

    1. Where’s the tantrum? Where in that response did I say I was the universe? And unless I’ve been living under a rock for the last decade without knowing it, I know damn well what the issues are surrounding Walmart. I mean really, do you think I’m stupid? Just because I didn’t bring up the issues surround Walmart “it was a dance?” I and my co-workers are doing what needs to be done to survive, as are the people working in horrible conditions. If people are so concerned about these big corporations coming to this town why did only five protesters show up at the dig site when Walmart broke ground? You’re right, this community is reeeaaaaly concerned when they drive by and ask when the Walmart opens or tell us how excited they are about Walmart finally coming to Corvallis so they don’t have to drive all the way to Albany to buy cheaper stuff. Where is the concern for the issues there? Why didn’t more people vote no to Walmart coming in the first place if they are so concerned? This could have been stopped way before ground breaking, but it wasn’t so here it is. You’re probably one of the hypocritical people who drink lattes at Starbucks (a big corporation) that has never struggled a day in their life and have nothing better to do than to fake concern over things you yourself don’t understand. You wanted a tantrum there it is.

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