Letters: Opposition to a Walmart world

A shopper looks at merchandise at a Walmart

A shopper looks at merchandise at a Walmart store in Danvers, Mass. (Credit: AP, 2012)

Columnist Lane Filler writes from extremely limited, unscientific experience to paint a picture of Walmart's unskilled employees to justify their low wages ["Walmart's formula works for workers," Opinion, Nov. 27].

There are, after all, more than 4,000 Walmart stores in the United States. Filler's viewpoint is galling considering that Walmart's chief executive was paid more than $20.7 million in 2012. Without calculating for benefits, that pay translates to approximately 1,105 full-time workers at $9 an hour.

Each store has roughly 280 workers, so 1,105 workers could operate about four stores. On average, Walmart earns $95 million per store each year. Which would have a greater impact on Walmart's bottom line for one year, the chief executive taking a leave of absence? Or the closure of four stores, costing Walmart $380 million in lost revenue?

These "unskilled" workers provide value to this company, more than they are compensated for.

Christopher L. Turpin, Patchogue

There are a few points missing from this column in favor of corporate greed.

Walmart destroyed the economies of hundreds of small towns, leaving people little choice about where to shop or work. By selling clothing, appliances, furniture and electronic goods made outside of the United States, people in manufacturing and sales were put out of work.

Yes, farm hands made lousy pay, but they were often housed and fed by the farmers they worked for. The American taxpayer did not have to subsidize their housing or provide food stamps.

The brief and shining era of what you call "prosperity" in post-war America was really a jump from poverty into middle class. Auto workers, particularly from the South, came from places with no electricity and ended up in two-bedroom bungalows with a color TV. Very nice, but hardly prosperous.

I favor the profit motive, but Walmart executives are living in unfathomable wealth while the gap between the rich and the rest of us has been growing faster and faster since the days of the Reagan administration.

Ann Rita Darcy, Huntington Station

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