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Mike Duke leadership FAIL

DCblogger's picture

Mike Duke is the CEO of Walmart, the world's largest recipient of food stamps.

House Republicans are gearing up for massive food stamp cuts.

Many of Walmart's customers and employees are food stamp recipients. Any cuts to the food stamp program will have a devastating effect upon Walmart's sales. So why isn't Duke using the tremendous clout of Walmart to defend food stamps?

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Jay's picture
Submitted by Jay on

Ugh. I hate Walmart. But do we actually know that their lobbyists aren't working on this issue? I'm of two minds about their motivations. One thing that has stood out is that they appear to want legislation--any legislation--that weakens their labor force and makes them more dependent on their Walmart job and/or makes them more compliant. That would include lowering or eliminating the minimum wage, overtime payment, food stamp eligibility.

But it's only recently that they appear to have connected the fact that a surge in poverty and stagnant wages affect their customers' ability to buy products.

Given their track record, I'd wager that they overlook anything that's not directly, and immediately related to their balance sheet, and that they aren't foresighted enough to oppose SNAP reductions that will have utterly predictable long-term consequences. If it's not on the balance sheet, it doesn't exist.

I also get the impression that their suppliers are starting to squeeze back due to higher manufacturing and raw materials costs. So they're buying less, leading to fewer items on the shelves, and rather than identifying the state of the economy and their customers' purchasing power as the culprit for lower sales (not on the balance sheet), they'll blame it on their vendors.

As the recoveryless recovery drags on, I wouldn't be surprised at an earnings hiccup followed by the sort of accounting shenanigans and rapid store closings we've seen with other retailers over and over again. Wouldn't go long Walmart. The ideology and business practices that brought them to where they are, are not likely to work when conditions change drastically.

Then again, every aspect of the entire financial market looks distorted, distended, corruption-riddled and teetering. Would not be surprised at all if we had another market crash soon. Maybe the TPTB can hold it back until fall of next year when they can extract all sorts of TARP-style concessions during a changing of the guard. Wonder what will set it off this time? Deutsche Bank seems to have one foot in hospice and there are trillions in derivatives built on a foundation of economic Jello. Chances are looking good that the Tea Party caucus in the House do not know or care about the consequences of default.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

WalMart has some serious political muscle. If they were applying it in defense of food stamps we would be seeing the result.

Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

WalMart has some serious political muscle. If they were applying it in defense of food stamps we would be seeing the result.

To quote an old saying about logic: Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence. If Walmart were a publicly held corporation, their stockholders could sue them if they didn't at least attempt to lobby on behalf of continuing food stamps. Without some compensating increase in revenue or decrease in costs that resulted from failure to continue the program, not lobbying on behalf of them would be negligent. It's hard to imagine that Walmart's owners and senior executives would allow that to happen.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

according to a couple of Wal-Mart managers we know.

Bentonville, AR even has a corporate "union rapid response unit" that is deployed immediately, if the word "union" is uttered by an employee, LOL! (or at least if there is ANY hint of employee "organizing.")

(Supposedly, that's for real . . .)

letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

On effect of the cutting of Food Stamps could be more job actions at Walmarts around the country. Walmart won't be happy about that. I've wondered in the past why they're not for Medicare for All. After all, it would take any burden at all off them. It's plain stupidity on their part not to support these subsidies which will delay the day when they will be forced to pay a living wage..