Letters to the Editor

Walmart and McDonalds add little value to local economy | Letters

How much more will you tolerate in the name of saving a buck or get a faster cooked burger before you say "enough?"

Recently, two major names that have multiple units here in Federal Way took insulting their employees to another level.

Walmart had a Thanksgiving meal food drive for their employees, asking customers and employees to donate food in pretty little bins.

McDonalds posted some tips to help their employees make it through hard times on their McResource employee support website. One tip instructed that employees could stretch their food a bit farther if they busted it up in pieces, and another tip said that they could sell unneeded personal items on eBay or Craigslist to raise additional funds.

To add to insult, McResourses has a link to their state DSHS website so the employees can apply for food stamps.

Both of these companies continue to see profits rise each year. Their executive management receives pay raises and obscene bonuses, and the employees see none of it. The other thing they share in common is they are the biggest benefactors of the social safety net. Each Walmart store, according to Dailykos exploits approximately $400,000 annually in social welfare due to the fact that they do not provide a living wage. Their CEO makes more in one day than the average employee makes in one year, all the while the corporation makes over $15 billion in clear pure profit. Walmart is also guilty of distorting union values.

Here in Federal Way, it would be an interesting study to see how much Walmart receives in tax breaks for their two stores and how much of the register receipts stays here in Federal Way and not Bentonville, Arkansas.

I would bet that that Walmart doesn't add any real value to our local economy and tax base. Yes, that is probably true with other retailers, but Walmart consistently boasts on TV how they change their employees' lives and local communities for the better. I'll bet very few of the Federal Way Walmart employees can afford a mortgage or rent here in town.

So while you are preparing your Thanksgiving evening shopping list, ask yourself why you find it beneficial to be roped into the store like cattle on Thanksgiving night by our capitalist culture. Yes, I understand that employees can choose where they work, but there are a lot who cannot. Walmart employees are not paid premium pay for putting their napkins down and putting on their blue smock so you can get a bargain that is costing you far more in many other ways that you are likely not aware of.

After all, who is paying for those food stamps?

Think about it this holiday season.

Randall Smith, Federal Way


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