Maybe you recently saw this news story about a food drive that a Cleveland Walmart hosted for their own employees.
The article articulates how this situation presents a microcosm of what is wrong with the US economy right now. We recommend reading it, but in case you don’t, here’s their three main points:
- Corporate profits margins are at an all-time high
- Wages as a percentage of the economy are at an all-time low.
- Fewer Americans are working than at any time in the past three decades
In a healthy economy at healthy companies, customers should get good products and prices, shareholders should get a good return, and employees should earn a good living.
But, right now in America, customers are getting good products and prices, shareholders are getting absolutely fantastic returns, and employees are getting screwed.
That’s not just greedy and unfair, it’s also hurting the economy.
Why does this matter? This study released by the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce demonstrated how Walmart’s wages are so low that many of its workers must rely on food stamps and other government aid programs, costing taxpayers as much as $900,000 at just one Walmart Supercenter in Wisconsin. That means our government is subsidizing Walmart to the tune of almost one million dollars per store because Walmart won’t pay their workers a living wage.
One major part of our Odds in Our Favor campaign is to spread awareness about the massive economic equality that exists in both the US and beyond. Another part of the campaign is to provide our members with ways to fight those inequalities.
If you have some free time on Friday, here’s one thing you can do that is a step in the right direction: our friends at ChangeWalmart.org (we go way back to 2006 with them) are helping to facilitate actions at Walmarts all day long.
It’s Black Friday, and there is a HUGE need for folks to turn out and support workers at Walmart stores that day. Walmart workers themselves are requesting actions— and that is a totally cool thing.
This is a big deal. We change Walmart, and then whole retail scene changes; we start addressing poverty and the economics behind the growing inequality between Panem and the rest of us. Walmart is the world’s biggest retailer and they are under the microscope. Big financial gurus are saying they can afford to pay a decent wage!
Here’s what you can do:
Go to this page and enter your zip code:
We would *love* to have even a couple people show up for an hour at these stores! If your local store doesn’t have anything planned, you can sign up to host, and there are lots of downloadable materials to make it easy. Just hold a sign or, if you are bolder, deliver a letter to the manager or have a few words with them!
Don’t forget to take a photo, post to FB, tweet it out— whatever you can do! Hold up your 3-finger salute in solidarity!
This is a small thing you can do. But big change starts with small actions.