The Walmart 1 Percent in Georgia


  • Joaquin Gonzalez Varela, President, Walmart East division: 400 Interstate North Pkwy. SE, Atlanta, GA 30339



The Walmart 1 Percent’s Influence in Georgia Politics

The Walton family in politics

The Waltons have given $36,556 to Republicans at the state and federal levels and nothing to Democrats between the 1990 cycle and 2010. Walmart’s PAC, meanwhile, spent $285,000 on candidates for Congress from Georgia over the same time period. More than half went to Republicans.[1]

Walmart in politics

In state-level races, Walmart spent $250,000 from 2003 to 2010, and 76% went to Republican candidates and party committees.[2]



Walmart’s Impact on Georgia’s Employment Picture

Impact of Walmart stores on retail and other jobs

Based on data available through Walmart’s website, there were 52,569 Walmart associates in Georgia as of January 31, 2012.

According to a 2006 study, for every retail job created at Walmart, communities lose 1.4 retail jobs.[3] Based on the findings of this study, we estimate that, if Walmart had no stores in Georgia, there would be an additional 21,028 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 Georgia lost an estimated 7,263 jobs as a result of Walmart’s practice of sourcing heavily from China.[4]



Walmart’s Cost to Georgia Taxpayers

Taxpayer subsidies for Walmart

Walmart is the world’s biggest company.[5] But despite its colossal financial resources—the company brought in $444 billion in revenue last year[6]—it’s habitually dipped into public coffers to finance its expansion into almost every corner of the United States.[7] 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 Georgia.

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.[8]

In Georgia: A September 2002 internal memo from the Department of Community Health listed the Georgia employers with the most employees’ children enrolled in the state’s healthcare program for low-income families. Walmart led the list, with more than 10,000 associates’ children receiving taxpayer-funded healthcare; the employer with the second-most workers’ children enrolled in the program, Publix, had just 734 children, or 7 percent of Walmart’s figure.[9]



More Walmart stores coming to Georgia

Here’s a list of Walmart stores planned or rumored to be opening in Georgia:[10]

  • Athens: Supercenter, Oconee St., just east of downtown
  • Atlanta: 825 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. NW
  • Augusta: Neighborhood Market, Augusta Public Transit bus depot
  • Augusta: Supercenter, Wrightsboro Rd. near North Leg
  • Cobb: Neighborhood Market, Canton Rd.
  • Decatur: Supercenter, North Decatur Rd. between Church St. and Medlock Rd.
  • Marietta: Neighborhood Market, 1167 Powder Springs Rd.
  • Snellville: Neighborhood Market, 2912 Main St.
  • Stone Mountain: Supercenter



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

[4] 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.

[5] As measured by revenue; “Fortune Global 500 2011: The World’s Biggest Companies – Wal-Mart Stores,”

[6] “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,

[7] “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.

[8] “Disclosures of Employers Whose Workers and Their Dependents are Using State Health Insurance Programs,” Good Jobs First report, version dated January 18, 2012.

[9] “Disclosures of Employers Whose Workers and Their Dependents are Using State Health Insurance Programs,” Good Jobs First report, version dated January 18, 2012.

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