Column, 301 words

Tiny Tim Time at Walmart

Shouldn't Sam Walton's heirs at least pony up a pittance from their prodigious inheritance for a few turkey-and-sweet-potato dinners on Thanksgiving?

Jim Hightower

Who says Walmart isn’t big-hearted?

Just look at the chain’s outlet in Canton, Ohio, where management set up bins for food donations, asking people to give generously to the poor who otherwise would not have a Thanksgiving dinner. But the bins weren’t for customers — they were tucked back in the employees-only area.



Walmart’s Thanksgiving food drive was for its own employees, beseeching low-wage workers to donate to even lower-wage workers who can’t afford a family dinner on this national day of thanks.

Yes, this corporate colossus, with an annual income greater than 140 countries, wants its poorly paid employees to buy food for fellow employees whose paychecks leave them in deep poverty. More astonishing is the corporation’s insipid, self-congratulatory insistence that the employee food drive demonstrates its deep ethical commitment to the welfare of all Walmart “associates” (as it grandiosely calls its beleaguered workers).

“This is part of the company’s culture to rally around associates and take care of them,” a spokesman for the big-box giant asserted.

But, of course, Walmart isn’t taking care of its workers at all. It won’t pay a living wage, won’t provide decent health care or other needed benefits, won’t allow workers to organize so they can have their own voice — and then abandons them to beg for scraps if they want to share in Thanksgiving with other Americans.

This is obscene and a moral outrage. Three Waltons — Alice, Robson, and Jim — are heirs to the Walmart fortune and are sitting on more than $33 billion apiece, thanks to decades of profiting on the low wages the corporation pays. Shouldn’t they at least pony up a pittance from their prodigious inheritance for a few turkey-and-sweet-potato dinners on Thanksgiving?

To push for a modicum of fairness, contact

OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown.

  • Bill

    Why would the Walton kids buy a Thanksgiving dinner for their employees? None of their employees will be at home to eat it, since they all have work that day.

  • Ozzie1

    Jim, I just wish people like you would stop bitching about Walmart and how evil they are. If life really sucked so bad working there, why would they be doing so well? I mean if they really treated their employees so bad how could they keep them and how could they continue to grow? It seems like the only people complaining about Walmart are those who want to ruin ANOTHER American company and allow a union to come into the shop and forc them to over pay employees for let’s face it…….unskilled labor. Why not do a story on the game played almost EXCLUSIVELY by blacks……Knock Out! You and your media folks are too busy making excuses for the most corrupt and failed president. Shut up Jim unless you have something usefull to talk about.

    • Tango3

      I’m sorry, what American company was ruined by allowing a union? I was under the impression that managers, boards, and executives made operational decisions. But I guess it’s really easy to point the finger and divert blame and responsibility for poor decisions and negotiations.

      Yes, unskilled labor. Because our manufacturing, our technology, and the jobs that were skilled were bank-rolled to China in order to turn a Communist dictatorship economy into a Commu/capitalist one. How much skill does it take to run up and down isle 9 wearing a blue vest dealing with obstinate ‘customers’? Cuts in education help with that and even if you have one, doesn’t give you grant to employment nor success. Salaries have receded to mid 90’s levels in the past decade if you work for a living. Thanks in part to the party of no and in part to those who voted them in to office.

      The Chinese learned well the failures of the Soviets and American Industry was only too happy to oblige. Now as Chinese labors costs inflate to the demands of their milddle consumerist class, corporations whine and bemoan their loss of investment in infrastructure, patent protection, and trade secrets. I guess they should have thought of that before racing off-shore and feeding the Wal-Mart culture with worthless crap Wal-Mart can make billions on.

      Frankly, you should take your own advice…or make another lap down aisle 9 or read chapter two of, “Wal-Mart: why it’s great for the Walton children” and get some more talking point propaganda.

    • Won Word

      Ozzie, you better take a pill before you pop a blood vessel with all that fear, anger and hate.

      As for your racism, well, there’s probably nothing to be done about that. Too bad.

    • fallopian_t