This year, thousands of activists stood up to the Walmart 1% across the country. It was a busy year for the one percent—and for the rest of us. There was the news of alleged bribery and corruption in Mexico, Walmart leaving ALEC under pressure from the public (here’s hoping the Walton Family Foundation follows their lead next year), forced labor at Walmart suppliers, warehouse worker strikes, and a Black Friday to remember when Walmart associates went on strike over the company’s retaliation and attempts to silence those who spoke out for improvements on the job.
Walmart 1%-er Stan Kroenke just made his enormous property portfolio even bigger: Last week, he finalized the purchase of Broken O Ranch, a 124,000-acre ranch in northwestern Montana that Forbes called “one of the largest agricultural operations in the Rocky Mountain West.” The purchase price hasn’t been disclosed, but Kroenke is believed to have paid around $90 million for the land, the ranch business, and the 10,000-square-foot ranch house (with an indoor pool!). The ranch is rich in natural resources, too; a couple years ago, the ranch and energy companies entered into oil and gas lease agreements.
This week, Walmart associates in a dozen cities across the country risked several days’ pay to go on strike following the company’s retaliation and attempts to silence their voices.
Following the release of this year’s Forbes 400, Josh Harkinson at Mother Jones has a great piece up today putting the Waltons’ wealth in perspective.
Forbes came out with their list of wealthiest Americans today, and it’s been another good year for the Waltons. Four Waltons—Christy, Jim, Alice, and Rob—find themselves in the top ten, and two more Waltons round out the top 100. The Waltons are now worth $115 billion, making them far and away the richest family in America.
Walmart’s stock has been trading near record highs over the past few weeks, which got us thinking about the Waltons’ wealth. Sam Walton’s three living children—Alice, Jim, and Rob—own or control over half of the company’s shares. They, along with their sister-in-law Christy Walton and cousins Ann Walton Kroenke and Nancy Walton Laurie, regularly make appearances on the Forbes 400. Walmart is the source of much of their wealth—when Walmart’s stock price soars, so does the family’s wealth.