Walmart employees at a Canton, Ohio, store were greeted in a work area with a sign that said, "Please donate food items here so Associates in Need can enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner.” According to Glassdoor.com the average Walmart sales associate makes $8.87 per hour ($18,429 per year).
Low-wage Walmart employees helping poor Walmart employees is admirable. It is sort of touchy feely especially around the holidays. It displays the best in basic humanity. In a Fox News right-wing type context, it is exactly how America is supposed to work. It is sharing the crumbs that the Plutocrats throw the way of those that really make society work. It is redistribution of crumbs between the lower classes as the huge profits from their labor trickles, no, streams up to their capitalist masters.
Walmart is very profitable. It made about $17 billion in 2012 (3.65 percent net profit). It announced a $15 billion stock buyback in June. Its stock has risen from $76.67 to $79.25 per share since then. Walmart decided to redistribute that profit to its shareholders as capital gains. This means unless their shareholders sell their stock, they pay no taxes on the appreciation of the stock. Even if they sell their stock, they will owe no social security tax on those gains. Worse, their effective tax rate is lower than the rate of the average tax payer.
It is the fiduciary responsibility of corporations to maximize the profits of their shareholders. Walmart distributes its earnings in a form to pay as little taxes as possible. Yet, many Walmart employees are dependent on the support of other Walmart employees or government services like food stamps, Medicaid, etc.
Krystal Ball gets it right in her monologue. She sums it up in one succinct paragraph.
I think it has become pretty clear in this country that corporations like Walmart, despite their desire to be treated as people aren’t about to act with humanity. While actual persons try to live by the maxim ‘to whom much is given, much is expected’, corporate persons apparently feel no such compunction. So if we care about workers at Walmart being able to afford a Thanksgiving Dinner, or even just regular healthy meals for their families, we have got to do two things. Give workers a voice and demand an increase in the minimum wage. After all, they may not have the hundreds of millions of dollars it takes to buy an election at today’s prices, but like corporations, Walmart employees are people too.Capitalism knows nothing about humanity. It knows nothing about the environment. It knows nothing about quality of life for those without capital. The capitalist machine is intent on the "efficient" allocation of resources at all costs. Those that have capital and move capital will ensure that their class is protected.
Who protects everyone else? That is supposed to be government for and by the people. That is what has been lost. That is the need of Walmart employees. That is what everyone in the 99 percent need. Many still think they are immune. The radiologist thought he was immune till his X-rays were read in India via the Internet. The engineer thought she was immune till the research centers were built in Shanghai. Wake up, folks. Who do you think is next?