Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, has benefited from more than $1 billion in economic development subsidies from state and local governments across the United States, according to a new study by Good Jobs First, a Washington, DC-based research center ( available at http://www.goodjobsfirst.org). "Wal-Mart presents itself as an entrepreneurial success story, yet it has made extensive use of tax breaks, free land, cash grants and other forms of public assistance," said Philip Mattera, research director of Good Jobs First and principal author of the study.
The study found more than 240 cases in which the construction of a new Wal-Mart facility was assisted by taxpayers. Apart from 160 retail outlets, the study found subsidies at 84 distribution centers, representing more than 90 percent of the network of huge warehouses Wal-Mart has built to facilitate its expansion. Mattera stressed that the $1 billion figure is necessarily an understatement, given that public disclosure of subsidies is severely limited.
Un-fucking-believable. Be sure to check our archives: we've got LOTS of articles about the evils of Wal-Mart and how their employees need welfare benefits to survive.
"That a company with $9 billion in profits can wrest subsidies from state and local governments shows that the candy store game is out of control," said Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First. "The subsidies to Wal-Mart are particularly troubling, given that it uses taxpayer dollars to create jobs that tend to be poverty-wage, part-time and lacking in adequate healthcare benefits."
The study recommends that states prohibit subsidies to retailers except in distressed areas that lack adequate retail outlets for necessities such as food. Any retailer receiving subsidies should be required to pay a living wage.
And for those of you that don't believe, here's this article...