Anyone who thinks that Walmart has a profitable business model would probably be right. But those profits come at the expense of thousands of workers who have to rely on government money for help, even though they work full time. As the US Walmart strike gears up for Black Friday (November 23rd), the California Progress Report did some investigation into how much subsidization workers really get.
According to that article, at least one store has 80 percent of its workers on food stamps. Other sources have found that Walmart employees are among the top Medicaid receivers in many states across the country. These figures indicate that there is a real issue here, and it has nothing to do with Walmart’s policies per se.
Minimum wage is supposed to be a guarantee that anyone with a job should be able to support themselves without assistance. If so many workers are needing government support, then minimum wage must be too low for the current cost of living.
In an ideal world, the government would not have to be concerned with how much employers pay their workers, but since competition and unemployment drives wages down, somebody needs to step in to make sure that the citizens of their country are able to live a decent life. If they are doing as much work as the next person, there is no reason why they should have to worry about being able to afford basic human rights like food and health care.
Time will tell if the Walmart strike will change any of these working conditions, although wages may not be on the discussion table.