Always Low Wages? Wal-Mart’s Other Choices

Yesterday, we looked at the benefit to McDonald’s of having its workers subsidized by state and federal aid. Today, its Wal-Mart’s turn. Recall our discussion last month on the related subject of “How McDonald’s and Wal-Mart Became Welfare Queens.” We learned that employees of these two companies are often the largest recipients of aid in their states.

McDonald’s recently found itself in the spotlight courtesy of its “McResource” line — the company help line that helps its poverty-level, full time employees enroll in various welfare programs. A recording of that McResource line sparked outrage, driving this issue into public view.

More recently, Wal-Mart’s holiday public-relations headache began when a Canton, Ohio, store decided to hold a food drive for needy local families for the holidays. What made this a PR nightmare was that the needy families were full time Wal-Mart employees who were working in the store holding a food drive.

Thus, our questions over the arc of these columns about some of the largest retailers in America — Wal-Mart is the single largest private employer in the country; McDonald’s, the largest fast food chain – are simply this:

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