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