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Guess Who Is Not Asking For A Bailout?

Last week the banks were in Washington discussing their use of TARP bailout funds. Today the automakers are back asking for more bailout money as they threaten bankruptcy (a good idea, BTW).

Last night and early this morning could be heard the sounds of wailing and the gnashing of teeth from California lawmakers contemplating the reality of.....state worker layoffs. Said one Golden State pol:

We are dealing with a catastrophe of unbelievable proportions," said state Sen. Alan Lowenthal, a Democrat from Long Beach and chairman of the Senate transportation committee.

While Mr. Lowenthal's hyperbole will ring hollow with the 650,000 people who have already lost their jobs, it is another reminder that politicians haven't come to grips with the harsh reality that is already old news in the private sector. Behind much of the Republican opposition to the stimulus bill that will be signed by President Obama today lies a fundamental disconnect between the public sector and private sector: Who creates the wealth and who consumes the wealth. This disconnect is manifested in myriad policy debates, and readers of this blog are well versed in many of them.

In the interest of expanding this discussion it bears noting that there is one significant American institution that is not asking for a bailout and continues to expand globally. This institution increased revenues in the last year, is a great place to work and consistently offers value to its customers. Unfortunately, this institution has a long history of conflict with the constituency Democrats have in mind for their stimulus: the community activist, union, anti business, no growth, NIMBY zealots that sytematically consume more wealth than they create.

Fortunately, Walmart doesn't need the government's money. What a shame the Big Three automakers and the major US banks didn't run their businesses so well.


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Comments (10)

Once Obama and Big Labor im... (Below threshold)

Once Obama and Big Labor impose 'Card Check', Walmart will be forced into the same boat as GM and Citigroup.

Taking bailout money is jus... (Below threshold)

Taking bailout money is just as good as tying your own noose.

Obama and company could car... (Below threshold)

Obama and company could care less about the success of WalMart. They are concerned about their ability to impose THEIR WILL on people.

It's a shame that Wal-Mart ... (Below threshold)

It's a shame that Wal-Mart doesn't manufacture much of anything. Of course, if it did, it probably wouldn't be as profitable.

BTW, their income is up, but their profit went down a bit.

Fortunately, Wal-Mart do... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Fortunately, Wal-Mart doesn't need the government's money

Oh really?

From the the real facts of Wal-Mart,

Your tax dollars subsidize Wal-Mart's growth.

* The first ever national report on Wal-Mart subsidies documented at least $1 billion in subsidies from state and local governments.

* A Wal-Mart official stated that "it is common" for the company to request subsidies "in about one-third of all [retail] projects." This would suggest that over a thousand Wal-Mart stores have been subsidized. ["Shopping For Subsidies: How Wal-Mart Uses Taxpayer Money to Finance Its Never-Ending Growth," Good Job First, May 2004]

This plus they off load a lot of their employees health care and... * a 200-employee Wal-Mart store may cost federal taxpayers $420,750 per year. This cost comes from the following, on average:

o $36,000 a year for free and reduced lunches for just 50 qualifying Wal-Mart families.

o $42,000 a year for low-income housing assistance.

o $125,000 a year for federal tax credits and deductions for low-income families.

o $100,000 a year for the additional expenses for programs for students.

o $108,000 a year for the additional federal health care costs of moving into state children's health insurance programs (S-CHIP)

o $9,750 a year for the additional costs for low income energy assistance.

from the [The Hidden Price We All Pay For Wal-Mart, A Report By The Democratic Staff Of The Committee On Education And The Workforce, 2/16/04]

Steve, that's a bunch of bu... (Below threshold)

Steve, that's a bunch of bunk.

Are you trying to tell us that Walmart employees would not be on any of those programs if they weren't working for Walmart?

Many of them, if they were not working at Walmart would be much worse off. In many areas there just aren't the jobs available that pay more-especially if one is uneducated, elderly or mentally or physically disabled.

It's funny that it's always liberals who are so irrationally against Walmart. It's not those who work there. Knowing liberals though..

I've known a couple of guys... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I've known a couple of guys who managed departments within Wal Mart stores before finally getting fed up and quitting. They told me stories of unremitting pressure to reduce labor cost, work "off the clock" hours, and to persuade their subordinates to do so also. They said they were constantly expected to produce the same or better results with fewer and fewer labor hours expended.

I've also had a couple of conversations with a "second-in-command" Wal-Mart manager who claimed he was pretty much forced to work 70-75 hours per week, and transferred from town to town with little notice and no relocation help.

I don't know if these stories are true, but why would they lie to me?

Steve, At least they have j... (Below threshold)

Steve, At least they have jobs. They'd be sucking more off of the government teat collecting unemployment. Do you realize that EVERY retail store I've ever seen open in this town got a subsidy, if for nothing else than on the land they were buying to put up a building. If a city or state knows you are bringing jobs to their area, more often than not THEY approach the company with offers to help out, be that with tax break "incentives", or by offering to subsidize the land that the company is buying. I don't have a problem with that. Notice that in your article it is also stating that these subsidies come from local and state governments, not the federal government. My state used to ALWAYS (until we got a RINO governor) run in the black, and that was while we were getting 6 Wal-Marts across the state. That brought in several thousand jobs that weren't here before, and employed many people that weren't getting jobs due to education levels, age, disability, or other issues. As to health care and low-income qualifying guidelines, what kind of income would they have if they didn't work at Wal-Mart? We'd be paying even more for that.

Bruce, I've worked a lot of different places and several retail stores. I'm not going to tell you which ones, but let me just tell you this, not one other retail place treats people any differently. If you are a manager at a K-mart, Target, or Sears, you can expect pretty much the same thing. I've seen it with my own two eyes. Same goes for Toys R Us, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowes, and any other chain. Wal-Mart is no better or worse than any other.

I know you didn't write the... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I know you didn't write the article, Chad, but if Wal Mart is "no better or worse than any other," why lionize them?
I, too, have worked in retail, and also in the restaurant business (20 years), and I know it's brutal. The stories I heard from these Wal Mart vets seemed of a different degree than the usual, that's all I'm saying.

The reason to "lionize" the... (Below threshold)

The reason to "lionize" them, is that they are the only company I know of that is not asking for, looking for, or expecting to receive bail-out funding. I wouldn't say that I defended them, I just don't understand the animosity that some people (Obviously Steve has his undies in a bunch) have about Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is the very essence of capitolism. If you work hard, you get rewarded and work your way up the chain. Wal-Mart in particular is noted for hiring/advancement from within. I'm not saying Wal-Mart is perfect. Nothing this side of heaven is. I'm just saying that obviously, their stockholders aren't complaining, and I know a lot of people that are happy to just have a job. Why piss and moan about it. Target in town here pays the same as Wal-Mart. Where's the indignation, the righteous outrage?






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