The Walmart 1 Percent in Arkansas

MEMBERS OF THE WALMART 1% IN ARKANSAS:

  • Walmart heir and Board of Directors member Jim Waltonlives in Bentonville. Contact Jim Walton:
  • Walmart CEO and Board of Directors member Mike Dukelives in Rogers. Contact Mike Duke:
    • Walmart Home Office: 702 SW 8th St., Bentonville, AR 72716; (479) 273-4000
    • Walmart email address: michaeltduke@wal-mart.com

AFFILIATIONS OF THE WALMART 1%:

  • The Walton family’s holding company, Walton Enterprises, is headquartered at 125 W. Central Ave. #218, Bentonville, AR 72712.
  • The phone number for the Walton Family Foundation’s Arkansas office is (479) 464-1570; its fax number is (479) 464-1580.
  • Walmart heir and Board of Directors member Jim Walton is chairman and CEO of the Walton family’s Arvest Bank Group, Inc.: 75 North East St., Fayetteville, AR 72701
  • Walmart heir and Board of Directors member Jim Walton is presiding co-chair of the Northwest Arkansas Council: (479) 582-2100
  • Walmart heir and Board of Directors member Jim Walton is the chair of Community Publishers, Inc.: 900 SE 5th St., Ste. 22, Bentonville, AR 72712; (479) 271-3782
  • Walmart heiress Alice Walton is the founder and Board of Directors Chair of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art: 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, AR 72712; (479) 418-5700

 

 

The Walmart 1 Percent’s Influence in Arkansas Politics

The Walton family in politics

The Waltons have spent nearly $700,000 on politicians from their home state of Arkansas in state and federal races from 1990 through 2010. The top three recipients of Walton money in federal races across all states over this time period were from Arkansas: John Boozman (R), $79,800; Blanche Lincoln (D), $52,800; Jay Dickey (R), $49,234.

The Waltons’ political contributions in Arkansas overwhelmingly favored Republicans from 1990-2010:

 

Democrats Republicans
House $13,050 $170,534
Senate $61,800 $46,900
State-level $120,100 $281,184
Arkansas TOTAL $194,950 $498,618

Source: Analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money in State Politics

Jim Walton has also given $82,000 to ballot initiatives in Arkansas. The largest contribution was $75,000 to the Family Council Action Committee in 2008, for an initiative that would have limited adoption in the state to married couples, thereby preventing gay couples from adopting. Walmart CEO Mike Duke also signed the original petition in support of this initiative.

Walmart in politics

Walmart’s PAC has also given generously to politicians from Arkansas running for Congress. From 1990 to 2010, the company’s PAC gave $324,000 to such candidates. The PAC gave $159,500 to Republicans from the state, and the majority of the money that went to Democrats went to Blue Dogs including Blanche Lincoln and Mike Ross. Walmart has given another $582,104 in Arkansas state races from 2003-2010.[1]

 

 

Walmart’s Impact on Arkansas’s Employment Picture

Impact of Walmart stores on retail and other jobs

Based on data available through Walmart’s website, there were 46,531 Walmart associates in Arkansas as of January 31, 2012.

According to a 2006 study, for every retail job created at Walmart, communities lose 1.4 retail jobs.[2] Based on the findings of this study, we estimate that, if Walmart had no stores in Arkansas, there would be an additional 18,612 retail jobs in the state.

Impact of Walmart’s China sourcing on jobs

Based on an estimate of Walmart’s share of the U.S.-China trade deficit, we can estimate that Arkansas lost an estimated 1,841 jobs as a result of Walmart’s practice of sourcing heavily from China.[3]

 

 

Walmart’s Cost to Arkansas Taxpayers

Taxpayer subsidies for Walmart

Walmart is the world’s biggest company.[4] But despite its colossal financial resources—the company brought in $444 billion in revenue last year[5]—it’s habitually dipped into public coffers to finance its expansion into almost every corner of the United States.[6] In the absence of centralized information or databases on economic subsidies, Good Jobs First, an economic policy and research non-profit, has done extensive research to document the subsidies Walmart has received, and has published the data on Walmart Subsidy Watch. Here’s what GJF uncovered in the company’s home state of Arkansas:

Taxpayer healthcare costs

Tens of thousands of Walmart associates and their families qualify for Medicaid and other publicly subsidized care. Indeed, according to data compiled by Good Jobs First, in 22 of 24 states which have disclosed information, Walmart has the largest number of employees or dependents on the public rolls of any employer.[7]

In Arkansas: Arkansas’s Department of Human Services released data in March 2005 showing that Walmart was the Arkansas employer with the highest number of employees receiving some type of public assistance for themselves or their families—most often children’s Medicaid services. Of the approximately 9,700 workers at the state’s top nine employers who received public assistance, more than 40 percent were Walmart associates.[8]

 

 

More Walmart stores coming to Arkansas

Here’s a list of Walmart stores planned or rumored to be opening in Arkansas:[9]

  • Bella Vista: Neighborhood Market, Highway 71 and Oldham Rd.
  • Conway: Supercenter, Prince Street and Farris Rd.
  • Gentry: Walmart Express
  • Gravette: Walmart Express
  • Little Rock: Neighborhood Market, Riverdale Shopping Center
  • Prairie Grove: Walmart Express

[2] The Effects of Wal-Mart on Local Labor Markets. December, 2006. David Neumark, Junfu Zhang, Stephen Ciccarella.

[3] These numbers are estimates. To arrive at these estimates, we used the report by the Economic Policy Institute that estimated U.S. jobs lost to China by state from 2001-2008. We then multiplied that number by 9.3%, which is the proportion of the overall U.S.-China trade deficit that EPI estimated to be tied to Walmart. We arrived at that number from this study.

[4] As measured by revenue; “Fortune Global 500 2011: The World’s Biggest Companies – Wal-Mart Stores,” http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2011/snapshots/2255.html

[5] “Walmart reports Q4 EPS from continuing operations of $1.51; Walmart U.S. delivers positive traffic and positive comp sales in Q4,” press release dated February 21, 2012, http://investors.walmartstores.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=112761&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1663026&highlight=

[6] “Shopping for Subsidies: How Wal-Mart Uses Taxpayer Money to Finance Its Never-Ending Growth,” by Philip Mattera and Anna Purinton, Good Jobs First, May 2004.  http://www.goodjobsfirst.org/sites/default/files/docs/pdf/wmtstudy.pdf

[7] “Disclosures of Employers Whose Workers and Their Dependents are Using State Health Insurance Programs,” Good Jobs First report, version dated January 18, 2012.  http://www.goodjobsfirst.org/corporate-subsidy-watch/hidden-taxpayer-costs.

[8] “Disclosures of Employers Whose Workers and Their Dependents are Using State Health Insurance Programs,” Good Jobs First report, version dated January 18, 2012.  http://www.goodjobsfirst.org/corporate-subsidy-watch/hidden-taxpayer-costs.

[9] Information on planned or rumored stores collected by Making Change at Walmart.