My Turn: There are pros and cons to working at Walmart

Last modified: Thursday, April 02, 2015
As a former employee of Wal-Mart for 12 years, I agree with much of Concord Wal-Mart manager Mike Bell’s letter (Sunday Monitor, March 22).

I worked with great people, my job afforded what I considered to be great benefits – specifically a 401K program and nine insurance benefits that cost me about $130 per paycheck when I left in 2012. A saving grace for my husband and myself after our small-business owner’s medical insurance policy increased to $740 per quarter in 1999, that was major medical insurance only, with a $5,000 deductible!

My job did not even require a high school diploma. In fact, Wal-Mart would help financially for an employee to get a GED. Those are my compliments to Wal-Mart. I have several criticisms.

In the past three years, Wal-Mart (not a person) has sunk some of its profits into buy-backs of its stock to the tune of about $30 billion. This practice keeps Wal-Mart’s stock price “artificially” high. (Just one ploy used by Wall Street to enrich heir-istocracies such as the Walton family.) There is no flip side to that coin. Accounting for inflation and productivity increases, the minimum wage should presently be $20 to $25 per hour, which would result in a robust middle class. Yet Republicans and right-leaning Libertarians scream that any minimum wage is an “artificial” wage floor. Never mind increasing it.

Wal-Mart Corp. (again, not a person) is a founding member and major player in the American Legislative Exchange Council, which has pulverized the middle class and Main Street. ALEC writes legislation that benefits big corporations and the “2 percent.”

“Republitarians” (Republicans and Libertarians with a hard right bent) take over state legislatures, then rubber-stamp legislation and tax policies, written by ALEC, which benefit the extremely wealthy while treating working people as though we are lowly chattel.

Whether you are Democrat, independent or Republican, if you are a member of the “98 percent,” I implore you to go to movetoamend.org. This is a movement to amend the Constitution to declare that corporate entities do not have the same First Amendment rights as people.

New Hampshirites also have a great opportunity with the N.H. Rebellion to remove corruption from our political system.

(Nancy Heath lives in Epsom.)