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Bernie Just Can’t Quit Walmart

Socialists are often wrong Bernie Sanders is no exception. He often screams about a $15 minimum wage and likes to target Walmart in particular. I am not exactly sure how the Walton family did to the Senator but it seems awfully personal.

The first thing Bernie Sanders does not understand is the concept of total compensation. Employers pay a wage that is paid out to the employee on a regular basis. Additionally most employers provide other benefits. Health insurance, life insurance, dental benefits and other perks. The sum total of the cost of all of the benefits plus the wage is called total compensation.

As it turns out, Walmart offers it’s employees some pretty extensive benefits that almost sound like everything Sanders and the Democrats would like to government to pay for. Maybe that’s why he hates the company so much.

Let’s take a look at their healthcare benefits. From the Walmart Website:

  • All eligible associates – both full- and part-time – have affordable options that include no lifetime maximum and eligible preventive care covered at 100%.
  • We offer medical plans starting at around $28 per pay period, as well as dental and vision plans.Coverage for domestic partners is available.
  • Our Centers of Excellence program covers select procedures (spine and heart), replacement surgeries (knee and hip), transplants (organ and tissue) and cancers (breast, lung and colorectal) – all at no cost to associates.
  • Associates have free access to nurse care managers and health care advisors.
  • Health reimbursement plans provide $300 to $1,000, and our health savings account plan gives up to a $700 match to help pay for eligible network or non-network medical expenses.
  • Associates can take advantage of Resources for Living, a free confidential counseling and health information service.

This is after they raised the minimum wage in their stores to $11.00. But there’s more.

  • Associates can contribute to their 401(k) starting on their first day with the company. Walmart provides up to a 6% match after one year on the job.
  • Associates can participate in an associate stock purchase plan with company match.
  • Our associate discount card offers a 10% discount on fresh fruits, vegetables and regularly priced general merchandise at Walmart stores and on Walmart.com.
  • The Associate Discount Center provides exclusive discounts on travel, cell phone services, entertainment and other goods and services not available in Walmart stores.
  • In 2019, we became one of the first retailers to offer 48 hours of Protected PTO for all field hourly associates (full time, part time and temporary).
  • Maternity: The enhanced maternity benefit supports birth moms with up to 10 weeks of protected paid time away from work.
  • Parental: The parental benefit supports associates who become a parent through a birth, adoption or foster-care placement, with up to six weeks of protected paid time away from work.
  • Adoption: This benefit pays associates back, up to $5,000, for expenses related to adopting a new family member. 

They are even covering college costs for high school grads.

The education program that will be offered to teens will offer subsidized tuition, books and fees and up to seven hours of free college credit as well as free ACT and SAT college entrance exam prep courses through a partner network, per CNN.

Employees enrolled in the Live Better U program can earn associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in fields including business administration and management, supply chain, transportation and logistics management, cybersecurity and nursing from colleges including Brandman University, Bellevue University, the University of Florida and Southern New Hampshire University.

High school completion and college prep programs will be available to students who are not quite ready for college.

The company also created a $1,500 graduation bonus program that will be available to as many as 5,000 associates each year.

Exceptional heath benefits to include free coverage for some of the most expensive life saving procedures. Paid family leave. Retirement savings and employee stock purchase programs are available. Discounts on food and other goods and services with paid time off for everyone and subsidized tuition? Am I crazy. or should Bernie and his ilk love this company?

The reason the Walton’s themselves are wealthy has more to do with the value of Walmart stock that it does store profits. They manage their supply chain, store growth and store operations very effectively to maintain profitability. As the company grew, the stock split, the share price went up and the amount the family holds became more valuable.

Socialists like Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Elizabeth Warren like to paint the picture that whatever profits a company earns somehow end up cash money in their owners pockets. If you own a 401K or do any investing you know nothing could be further from the truth.

Now, the Walmart CEO is actually advocating for a $15 minimum wage. This should actually make the Bernie Sanders of the world very suspicious. It is pure crony capitalism which Democrats are supposed to hate. Let me explain.

In case you haven’t noticed, there far fewer actual cashiers in most Walmarts. I know after the $11.00 and hour hike, the number of checkouts staff by a human being went down to less than 25%. Walmart is a huge international company that can afford the investments in technology that will reduce their labor costs so they can absorb the increase in wages.

You know who can’t? The little guys. The local butcher, the local farm store and even your locally owned ACE Hardware. This is not the only industry where this type of big company advantage will kick in. It is the same in large fast food chains and other big box stores like Home Depot.

Aren’t socialists and Democrats (but I repeat myself) supposed to care about the little guy and be suspicious of big multi-national corporations? Looks like they might actually be corporatists now. How ironic.

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