Wal-Mart owners have more wealth than 30% of Americans while their low-paid employees require $86mill in government assistance annually

Posted on December 14, 2011


Six Waltons (Wal-Mart owners) have more wealth than the bottom 30% of Americans. Give or take, as the article explains: http://news.yahoo.com/six-waltons-more-wealth-bottom-30-americans-182819449.html


Now, this wouldn’t be a problem – people can get as rich as they want or are able to – EXCEPT for these facts:

  • Reliance by Wal-Mart workers on public assistance programs in California comes at a cost to the taxpayers of an estimated $86 million annually; this is comprised of $32 million in health related expenses and $54 million in other assistance.
  • The families of Wal-Mart employees in California utilize an estimated 40 percent more in taxpayer-funded health care than the average for families of all large retail employees.
  • The families of Wal-Mart employees use an estimated 38 percent more in other (non-health care) public assistance programs (such as food stamps, Earned Income Tax Credit, subsidized school lunches, and subsidized housing) than the average for families of all large retail employees.
  • If other large California retailers adopted Wal-Mart’s wage and benefits standards, it would cost taxpayers an additional $410 million a year in public assistance to employees.


The problem isn’t that the rich are rich; it’s that the rich are getting rich at the expense of the people.