Vox: Walmart is paying $20 billion to shareholders. With that money, it could boost wages to over $15.

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Vox: Walmart is paying $20 billion to shareholders. With that money, it could boost wages to over $15.

When the GOP passed their tax scam back in December, congressional leaders claimed that the bill would help American workers, as money going to corporations would “trickle down” and help employees. One of the main examples Republicans cited was Walmart, which, after the bill passed, announced it would raise the minimum wage paid to its workers to $11 an hour, and give “eligible associates” a $1,000 one-time bonus.

But a new report out this week shows that the company could have done much more if they hadn’t also decided to give $20 billion to its shareholders via stock buybacks over the next two years.

Without the buyback, Walmart could boost its wages to over $15. Instead, the company is valuing its shareholders instead of its employees. It’s not helping its workers to the extent it could be—despite the GOP’s claims—and is yet another example of what Sherrod said would happen as a result of the tax scam: Those at the top continue to benefit, while hardworking Americans like those Walmart employs may still find themselves struggling. See the numbers:

Walmart is paying $20 billion to shareholders. With that money, it could boost wages to over $15.

Emily Stewart – Vox

Key points:

  • After Republican leaders passed their tax bill, Walmart announced it would boost the minimum wage paid to its workers to $11 an hour, give “eligible associates” a $1,000 one-time bonus, and deliver other new benefits to an estimated 1 million employees thanks to its tax cut.

  • However, the company could’ve gone a lot further with helping its workers if it hadn’t decided to deliver $20 billion to shareholders via stock buybacks over the next two years.

  • According to a report released by the Roosevelt Institute this week, if the company hadn’t gone with the buyback, Walmart could increase their wages by $5.66 an hour to a $16.66 base wage. Or it could buy its employees Walmart stock and turn them all into shareholders, doling out about 113 Walmart shares—currently valued at about $83 apiece—to each.

  • Walmart isn’t alone: Many companies choose to spend the money from the tax bill on shareholders instead of their own workers. The tax bill has exacerbated buybacks. Corporate stock buybacks hit a record $178 billion in the first three months of 2018.

  • Walmart employs an estimated 1.4 million Americans. Its base pay is below the federal poverty line for a family of three.

Read more here.