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Christmas is drawing near. It’s time to watch out for Santa Claus, and also for Scrooge.

     This is a summary of information from the 24/7 Wall Street blog. It is based on a survey done by

     Ten of the largest U.S. employers pay their workers an average of about $19,000 a year, or about $9 an hour.  They pay their CEOs an average of $15.3 million a year, or about $7,356 per hour.

     Those are rough averages, based on 40 hours a week and 52 weeks a year. CEO compensation varies from the two highest of $28.9 million at Starbucks and $20.7 million at Walmart, to the two lowest of $1.3 million at Sears and $11.1 million at Krogers.

     Walmart is the largest U.S. employer, with 1.4 million workers. The smallest in this group of 10 low-wage companies is Starbucks with 120,000 employees.

     The other eight employers in this list are McDonald’s, Target, Krogers, Yum! Brands, Sears, Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, Red Lobster), Macy’s, and TJX Cos. (Marshall’s, TJMax).

     Another report currently in the news estimates that the employees at a Walmart Supermarket in Wisconsin receive $900,000 a year in taxpayer support because their low wages qualify them for Medicaid, food stamps, and other benefits.  Estimates made in other states a few years ago placed the taxpayer cost at $400,000 to $800,000 for each Walmart store.

    So, in a sense, what we don’t pay at the cash register, we pay in taxes to supplement with food stamps the low wages of the person who operates the cash register. And our purchase price boosts the wealth of the Waltons, four of the richest families in America.

     Walmart management disputes the salary figures for its employees, citing $25,000 a year average.

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