Every Day, Low Wages. Blog 4, Crystal Alvarado

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http://www.epi.org/blog/every-day-lowwages/

As we all know corporations in the Unites States today are becoming economically larger and more and more powerful over the people. One way corporations are able to stay at the top of the food chain is by extremely low employee wages. For example, Wal-Mart! However, a recent bill (Large Retail Accountability Act) has been passed by the Washington D.C City Council in order to attempt to lessen the wealth gap in the U.S created by corporations.

This bill would require “large retail corporations—specifically businesses with more than $1 billion in sales and retail locations of at least 75,000 square feet—to pay their workers a minimum wage of $12.50 per hour.” However Wal-Mart believes this bill was created specifically for Wal-Mart stores and has announced that if the DC Mayor does not veto this bill, Wal-Mart will cancel construction of three planned stores. Wal-Mart believes this bill was meant to target its store but other corporations such as Macys and Costco would also be affected.

The truth behind it all is that Wal-Mart simply does not want to increase the wages of its workers because it would cost them much more than what they are currently paying. If the bill passes Wal-Mart would have to $26,000 a year for ONE full time worker. However, the Budget calculator calculated that the standard living cost for a single parent household with one child is over $70,000 in D.C.

One jaw dropping statistic is that the Walton family has accumulated a wealth for its Wal-Mart stores that is “greater than the bottom 48.8 million American families combined—41.5 percent of all U.S. families.” Yet they argue that they cannot afford to increase the wages of its workers and will continue to fight to pay the lowest possible wages. The D.C Mayor should realize the effects Wal-Mart has had on the U.S economy including the wealth gap and not veto this bill.

I chose this picture because Wal-Mart’s motto is “Always low prices” and this picture humors that motto by saying “Always low wages” and I believe America knows which motto is more accurate. Wal-Mart’s wages to its employees are extremely unfair. Employee’s wages should be more important than being able to save several cents on an item. Those savings are being paid to Wal-Mart elsewhere anyway. Therefore, this bill must pass!

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