Friday headline roundup

At Walmart, higher wages lift all carts (Boston Globe, 3/1/14)

But Walmart is also the nation’s biggest employer, and here is where the economic trade-offs get interesting. The company employs 1.3 million Americans, most in low-pay “associate” jobs, many at wages low enough to qualify for, you guessed it, food stamps. That’s the great circular genius of Walmart’s low wages and low prices: The superstores offer shoppers values they can afford, but by exerting its huge influence to keep wages low, the company also helps create a class of consumers who can’t afford to shop anywhere else.

 

Everyday low prices no lure for China’s shoppers (VIDEO) (Reuters TV, 3/7/14)

As more Chinese consumers shop online and prioritize quality and safety over price, Wal-Mart’s fortunes in China have waned.

 

America’s Billionaires: Let Them Eat Food Stamps (The Daily Beast, 3/4/14)

Consider, for example, the Waltons—who occupy four of the top 20 slots on the 2014 Forbes billionaire list.  Their wealth came from a global retail model that pays its average sales associates —or, at 34 hours per week (Walmart’s full-time status) amounts to just $15,576 per year, far below the 2010 federal poverty level of $22,050 for a family of four.  Workers in the Walmart global supply chain are paid even worse. Meanwhile, the Walton family business has systematically destroyed mom and pop stores and solid, middle-class jobs all across the United States.  One study found that for every new retail job created by Walmart in a community, 1.4 jobs are lost as other businesses shrink or shut down and every time a new Walmart opens, a county’s total retail payroll is reduced by an average of $1.2 million.  The Waltons made their fortune by destroying middle-class America and, increasingly, the globe.

 

Walmart MoneyCards: still being hacked (Consumer Affairs, 3/3/14)

If you’re a Walmart MoneyCard holder, watch out: it appears the hacking problem we uncovered last September is still going on.

What do you think?