Saturday, November 30, 2013

The High Cost of Low Prices

  • The low wages from just one Walmart store can cost local taxpayers as much as $1.7 million annually. Each under-paid worker could use nearly $6,000 in public benefits to supplement their income.
  • Walmart competitor Costco pays its employees approximately 2.5 times the wages that Walmart pays and still manages to see rising profits. Companies that pay their workers well also see lower employee turnover: Trader Joe's experiences less than 10% turnover among its full-time employees.
  • The minimum wage is currently set at $7.25 per hour. It has been at that rate since July 24, 2009.
  • In real terms, the minimum wage has actually declined over the past 45 years. People earning the minimum wage in 1968 were essentially earning $10.77 in today’s dollars.
  • The American workforce has become increasingly productive since the 1960s. Had the minimum wage kept pace with those productivity gains, the minimum wage would be approximately $22 per hour.
  • Congress failed to raise the minimum wage for nearly a decade -- from 1997 to 2007. In the past sixteen years, Congress only approved three increases to the minimum wage.
  • The vast majority of Americans – 76% - support an increase in the federal minimum wage.
  • Corporate profits are at an all-time high as a share of the economy, even as the share of those profits that go to workers is at an all-time low.
  • If the big box retailers brought up their wage floor for their lowest-paid workers to just $25,000 per year, putting money in these families' pockets would generate more than 100,000 new jobs and add up to $15 billion of new income to the economy.
  • Walmart spent $7.6 billion in 2012 buying back shares of stock. Had the company directed those funds to workers, they would have each seen a raise of $5.83/hour.
  • The net worth of six heirs to the Walmart empire is estimated at nearly $150 billion. Those six people own more than 42% of American families combined.
From our friends at Message Matters

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