The Walmart 1 Percent in Kansas

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The Walmart 1 Percent’s Influence in Kansas Politics

The Walton family in politics

The Waltons contributed $3,400 to candidates for Congress from Kansas between the 1990 election cycle and 2010.[1]

Walmart in politics

The Walmart PAC spent $135,500 on Congressional candidates from Kansas over the same time period. Over three-quarters of it went to Republican candidates. Walmart spent another $117,286 on candidates and party committees in Kansas from 2003 to 2010, and about two-thirds of it went to Republicans.[2]

 

 

Walmart’s Impact on Kansas’s Employment Picture

Impact of Walmart stores on retail and other jobs

Based on data available through Walmart’s website, there were 19,277 Walmart associates in Kansas 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 Kansas, there would be an additional 7,711 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 Kansas lost an estimated 1,618 jobs as a result of Walmart’s practice of sourcing heavily from China.[4]

 

 

Walmart’s Cost to Kansas 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 Kansas.

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] Kansas has not disclosed data.

 

 

More Walmart stores coming to Kansas

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

  • Wichita: Neighborhood Market, Central and West St.
  • Wichita: Neighborhood Market, Central and Maize Rd.

 

 


[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,” http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2011/snapshots/2255.html

[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, http://investors.walmartstores.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=112761&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1663026&highlight=

[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.  http://www.goodjobsfirst.org/sites/default/files/docs/pdf/wmtstudy.pdf

[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.