Comments about ‘Sen. Bernie Sanders: Why is the government subsidizing Walmart?’

Return to article »

Published: Friday, Feb. 21 2014 8:00 a.m. MST

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Humble, TX

What % of Walmart employees own smartphones?

True of False: If given higher wages then Walmart employees would use it to buy nutritious food for their families.

Do you know anyone who is starving in the U.S.? Does this level of starvation compare to those of Central Asia, Latin America, or Africa? Are these starving people using their money to buy cheap yet filling foods like beans and rice?

Are Walmart employees living on the street?

Did Walmart employees have the opportunity to attend community colleges or trade schools to develop skills to find higher paying jobs?

Will Walmarts owners say: "Gee. They raised the minimum wage. I guess that means we will just have to lower our profit margins and disappoint our shareholders to pay for the increase."? Or will Walmart owners find new creative ways to outsource and automate more of their business using cheaper labor in other countries?

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Ultra Bob" but the sum of knowledge or experience of a collective is not collectivism.

Capitalism does not fail when it is allowed to operate as just capitalism. Capitalism fails when the government control it or competes with it. Government in the US was never intended to compete with capitalism or to control it, yet thanks to the Progressives and liberals it is. Government's intended purpose was to enforce contracts and keep the nation secure. The government has little else to do.

There is no such thing as Uncontrolled capitalism. That is called anarchy, and that is not what capitalism is about.

If you want liberty, then you have to follow capitalism. All collectivist ideologies require strong central government, which will ultimately reduce you to little more than a slave.

So again, the challenge is yours. Tell us when collectivism has worked. When has collectivism been able to match capitalism?

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

to Redshirt1701

Irony & humor impaired, I see.

Vernal, UT

No news here. The Democrats want to raise the minimum wage. That is all they ever talk about. At what point is the minimum wage high enough? Why not call for a $20 per hour minimum wage? Why not $30 or $40 or $50 per hour minimum wage?

When the minimum wage is increased, EVERYTHING is going to cost more. And the people that only earn the minimum wage will never get ahead.

The youth of today will not have a chance of getting a job if the the minimum wage is constantly increased. Who would settle for a lifetime of minimum wage jobs?

Brigham City, UT

Famous recent quote: "Americans understand that some people will earn more money than others, and we don't resent those who, by virtue of their efforts, achieve incredible success. That's what America's all about."


I don't like, or shop at, Walmart. I understand the desire to raise the minimum wage but don't think it will bring the desired effect.

The problem, as I see it, is that it is a thriving economy that drives wages up; right now businesses have a large pool of the unemployed to draw upon. We don't have a thriving economy because guv'mt keeps intruding, because the corporate tax is high, because business is bogged down with too many regs. We also have such a large labor pool because mothers go to work, and illegal aliens clog the labor pool and bring wage levels down.

This is just another red herring. There needs to be a return to a solid manufacturing base in this nation, with a drop in the corporate tax, and an import duty sufficient to level the playing field with enslaved nations in Asia. There needs to be an enforcement of e-verify not amnesty. I'd love to see a reduction in the number of working mothers at that point, and a return to the old values of this nation.

My opinion: it won't happen, but I keep hoping.

Salt Lake City, UT

Two things:
1. Teenagers as a percent of all working age adults.
2. Jobs you think are for teenagers (and thus should pay next to nothing) as a percent of all jobs.

The latter is a much higher percentage than the former and some of you don't seem to understand that. Someone kinda has to work these jobs. Someone always kinda has to work these jobs. If everyone got a master's degree... someone still has to work these jobs.

Ex-Pat of Zion
Lititz, PA

@ DN Subscriber: Mosiah 4:16-19 with emphasis on the last verse. We're ALL takers.

Me an Der
Lees Summit, MO

Words, words, words -
As soon as we see THOSE
who want more of our stuff
taken from us to give to those with less stuff
STEP UP and give away their own stuff
only then can we know that their intent
is focused on the benefit of others
rather than their own status
and wealth
so forget their words
and check out their private actions

The Economist
Newport, PA

I do not know why these discussions don't describe what is really going on in the labor market. There is supply and demand like in any market. The supply of labor right now exceeds the demand. That is why there are lower paying jobs. If we improve demand for employment, wages will go up. Increasing Minimum Wages will shift the market. Some will benefit, but others will loose jobs because it will be cheaper to automate or shift employment elsewhere. I am not hearing discussions on what we can do to improve demand for labor. That will require stimulation of entrepreneurship, tax incentives for hiring Americans, tax incentives for providing tuition reimbursement to employees, providing educational assistance to those in need, etc. That is the long-term solution.

Salt Lake City, UT

Walmart does the opposite of what the senator alleges. It helps all of us more than government ever could. With its low prices it has grown to its current size, but along the way has saved shoppers billions - perhaps even trillions - of dollars. That's the way to truly benefit the average American, something the government could never do.

CPA Howard
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Since when did income equality become a right? I don't remember reading it in the Constitution or any of the amendments. However, I do remember reading it in FDR's bill of rights he proposed in his 1944 state of the union address, "Employment, with a living wage".

Before we jump on the band wagon of Wal-Mart should pay a living wage, the Government should make sure that NONE of the members of the Armed Forces. Sen. Sanders is a senior senator, why hasn't he gone after the president about raising the wages of our solders.

The minimum wage is a function of supply and demand. I live in Billiings MT and McDonalds is paying entry level employees $9.50 per hour because of low unemployment. Also only a small percentage of people who are paid the minimum wage are supporting a family, the majority are High School and College students.

Wasatch Front, UT

To all the lefties on this thread:

WalMart is NOT the largest recipient of welfare. This is a ludicrous but savvy political ploy that plays well with the uneducated and Senator Sanders political base.

It is not WalMart's job to pay its workers more than their market worth. It is not WalMart's responsibility to make sure its workers have a $13-16,000/yr health insurance plan, when the workers are not creating anywhere near that kind of value for others. And if government forces WalMart to pay its workers more than they are worth, in hourly wages and/or benefits, it will only hurt WalMart workers the most in the end, WalMart and other employers will be incentivized to hire fewer workers, raise prices, etc., and the economic engine will certainly slow down.

When Detroit, big Auto and Chicago/Illinois paid their workers more than they were worth, it helped some workers for a short time, but in the end, it bankrupted companies, cities and states. It slowed growth, reduced employment opportunities and hurt the least mobile, least educated the most.

Senator Sanders ludicrous statements may be good politics, but they make for horrible economics.

Ex-Pat of Zion
Lititz, PA

@CPA Howard. Not the Constitution, but the last sentence of the Declaration of Independence. Without the latter, the former never would have been framed. Despite all the rhetoric of the TEA Party, their constituents are mostly about "me".

How did Reagan shift the discussion at the end of the Carter administration? By creating a common external enemy (USSR) and spending an insane amount on defense. Bush? He got lucky with 9/11 (if one can call that luck) and again creating an external foe (Iraq). Reagan spent on a "cold" war and Bush on a "hot" one. Absent that, we start in on one another, finding fault in our differences with one another. Wouldn't it be tragic if we (poor and rich alike) persisted in activities that will lead us to our own destruction?

Hugh Nibley wrote a very nice piece on Rome in the fourth century A.D. titled, I believe as "A Question of Loyalty". All I can remember was it was in his collected works in the volume titled "Ancient States". That entire volume is a pretty good examination our current condition.

Economics tells us about businesses creating barriers to entry. The same applies to social status.

Virginia Beach, Va

Companies should not have to provide health insurance to employees. Medicare should be available to all and then contract out to Medicare Advantage like they do now but pay Medicare Advantage companies less. The benefits for Medicare should be reduced for younger people as well. Now once you have a baseline of what the minimum benefits are for Medicare and allow companies to offer better benefits then Medicare if the company wants to offer that to employees.

I lean towards the conservative side but I really dislike wal mart. Poor service, poor products and poor employees. Not something I support.

Harrison Bergeron
Holladay , UT

Ok all you genius Liberals. If raising the minimum wage to $10.10/hr will do so much to eliminate poverty, why stop there? Really, if that is the answer, why not $20/hr? Now we are talking about real 'hope and change.' But why stop there? That was so easy, let's just pencil-whip poverty out of existence! How about $40/hr? Yeah baby, now we are talking about a living wage, by golly!

Can you Liberals not understand that the free market determines what a job is worth? If you compel an employer to pay more for labor, what then happens to the products he sells? If the market will support a higher price, he can pass it on to the consumer. So now you have increased the cost of goods and services for everyone - including those with the new higher minimum wage! Or if the market will not support a higher price...hello pink slip.

Grand Rapids, MI

Wal-Mart pays its workers more than any other employer will pay them. Hopefully this is clear. A Wal-Mart worker cannot find a better-paying job anywhere. Clear yet? And for this, we fault Wal-Mart?

Murray, UT

Question - Who shops at Walmart?
Answer - Those with low wages, including Walmart workers.

Q - So when Walmart has to raise its prices to pay the workers more, who will be hurt by the higher prices?
A - Those who make low wages, like Walmart workers.

Senator Sanders favors the ACA, and it allows wealthy doctors and medical supply companies to receive government subsidies. Seems like he just wants to pick winners and losers.

EVERY time society makes a government safety net to help those in need, the clever people will find a way to get their hand in the deep pocket of the government and take a huge share. This is why the government cannot and should not be the answer to social problems. The pocket is too deep and the corruption too rampant.

South Jordan, Utah

In a free market economy, we all benefit from Walmart paying cheap wages through better prices. None of us owe anyone a living. The absence of government meddling is not a subsidy, and calling it one is very twisted logic. Minimum wage should never be raised again, so that businesses can be free to compete and workers can be free to find employment where ever they are able. Similarly, all businesses should be free to avoid paying government required benefits by limiting hours - that is the fault of the government regulations, and another example of how messing with the free market hurts everyone. If you can't get a job that pays enough to live the way you want, cut your standards or increase your value as a worker. Minimum wage hurts everyone by forcing jobs overseas, setting unrealistic living standards for unskilled laborers, and raising prices. Higher prices hurt low wage earners far worse than they hurt high wage earners. Pure free market economy is the way to go. If you are feeling exploited, find something else to do with your skills or find new skills.

Sandy, UT

@Harrison Bergeron. How would you end poverty?

The truth is there will always be people at the bottom no how hard anybody tries. It is capitalism, but in the past most people understood a need for a safety net or a minimum standard. The truth is minimum wage has not kept up with inflation. Your argument on why stop at $10.10 has been a typical argument from those opposing a minimum wage increase. No one was advocating making poor people middle class by just pencil whipping poverty out of existence.

I think maybe it is time for the government to stop giving tax incentives and deductions to companies that pay low wages. If the company wants to pay a minimum wage then fine but they should not get tax breaks or deductions.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments