Yeah, you gotta love a company whose corporate strategy includes allowing the Federal Government via Medicaid (yes, that would be our tax dollars) to cover the uninsured...so they can post a larger profit. It's a fact- a Wal-Mart exec was bragging in an email that they can easily shift the cost of employee insurance to taxpayers. They keep the number of part-time workers deliberately high in order to do this. Talk about being on the government teat; although that has long been a neo-conservative contradiction.
"In Florida, where the company has received more than $51 million in incentives since 1981, Wal-Mart, has more employees and family members enrolled in Medicaid than any company in the state. That means state taxpayers - many of whom live paycheck to paycheck - foot the bill for more than 12,000 workers and dependents. In West Virginia, 452 people the most for any employer in the state listed Wal-Mart on their applications with the states Childrens Health Insurance Program. And in California, a study showed taxpayers spend $32-million a year providing health care to Wal-Mart workers and $54-million a year in other assistance such as free school lunches and food stamps." It's not like they can't afford it - almost $300 billion in sales last year - they only care about eking that last fraction of a percent out of their profit margin. Right for the shareholders? Arguably, yes- although their might come a time when their socially irresponsible practices begins to hurt their business. Right for American taxpayers? Not unless you like giving a subsidy to a $300B /yr company, and you believe in a fair economic playing field.
What about the Wal-Mart workers that do get insurance? Even with health insurance, the deductibles, which range from $350 to $1,000 for a single person, make a doctor's visit a financial nightmare for those "underprivileged" workers. There is a six-month waiting period for full-time employees to become eligible for coverage, and a two-year waiting period for part-time employees, whose dependents are never eligible for coverage under Wal-Mart's health insurance plan. (Anyone who works less than 34 hours per week is considered part-time.) I don't know about your company, but most provide coverage in less than 3 months, some immediately.
Oh, and immigrants? Wal-Mart uses them to take jobs from "underprivileged" Americans. Take this with a grain of salt, because it IS from that liberal rag "Forbes Magazine": http://www.forbes.com/business/servi...m_0318wmt.html
Let's not forget that they're being sued for gender bias in their hiring practices too: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...04Jun22_2.html
I have no problem with the defense of the free market system- but it's ignorant to believe that it's ever been totally "free"; just like there's no pure democracy. If shareholder wealth were held above all over values, RushConBoater's 8 year old children would be filling painkiller tablet orders at the Wal-Mart pharmacy well into a 60 hour workweek. And if they didn't like it, their job would be given to the immigrant child happy to take it. The fact remains that if industries are left totally unfettered and unregulated, society pays the price- from worker safety in Mining to avoiding insurance for Wal-Mart employees.
States are beginning to take action against Wal-Mart practices -Georgia (a Red state even!) passed a law to require companies to report on the number of employees enrolled in state healthcare systems.
You would like to think that Wal-Mart is giving all those Americans a chance to start that American dream; but that's not in their financial interest to promote that. They don't need or want educated ambitious people to work for them. And to say that Wal-Mart "produces jobs" is not always the case- "A recent projection by the University of Illinois at Chicago's Center for Urban Economic Development concluded that the proposed West-Side Chicago store likely would yield a net decrease of about 65 jobs after that Wal-Mart opens, as other retailers in the same shopping area lose business. A study cited in Business Week as showing modest retail gains after Wal-Mart's open actually reported net job losses counting effects on warehousing and surrounding counties."
And it's not that a corporation can't be stewards of their own community and still post profits. Look at Costco: http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Business/story?id=1362779
The bottom line for Wal-Mart is this: We don't necessarily wish for its destruction. I applaud their effort in Aurora to make the switch to sustainable building materials. A democratic society has an obligation to keep the powerful (corporate or political) in check, and by putting concerns in front of the public eye, that in turn can influence shareholders to influence Wal-Marts management. If you want to support a company who chooses to continue to avoid the "right thing", go right ahead. But at least get your facts right, and if you don't care about worker's rights & corporate handouts; by all means, shop to hearts content. But when you make grand suppositions and anecdotal stretches to justify excessively greedy behavior, you can expect us to jump your shit with some facts.
You don't have to step on someone else's neck to be a successful company (or for that matter a successful society, or a successful individual. Or EVEN a true conservative). I'm not claiming that 'democrat' or 'liberal' is right- but the NeoConservative movement supports an unsustainable philosophy of greed-is-good to such a degree that a few will prevail (such as the Waltons, the Bushes, and the Kenneth Lays of the world) while the rest of the country will falter. The economy isn't made up of individual bootstrappers that make it through no help from anyone else- it's very much like a living ecosystem that functions best when all its parts are healthy.
If democratic leadership is so bad for America, why are the periods of sustained and healthy growth so largely favor periods of democratic majorities and/or presidencies? The facts are here: http://www.eriposte.com/economy/other/demovsrep.htm
If you're so financially motivated, maybe that'll speak to you. Next time, bring some freakin' facts to an argument- if we want Talking Points we can tune to Fox News.
PS- and by the way, I think I'll pass at a chance to actually go boating with you, RushConBoater- you might decide not to throw me a rope because of some financial cost to yourself.