Today on the internet I saw a list posted by Forbes Magazine of the 5 richest women in the United States. The top 2 were Christy Walton and Alice Walton of the Walton family and Wal-Mart fame. Christy’s brother-in laws (Alice’s brothers) Jim and S. Robson, are also quite wealthy and together they are numbers 6,7,8 and 9 on the top 10 list of the richest people in America. All together they have over 107 billion dollars between them.
Isn’t it amazing that a company whose employees are mostly poor and whose shoppers are mostly poor creates enough wealth to produce 4 of the 10 richest people in America?
In fact Wal-Mart CEO Michael Duke’s (not a member of the family…too poor) earns about $20 million a year, or about 9,615 dollars an hour. Which when you think about it is only about 9,606 dollars more per hour than your average Wal-Mart employee who makes around $8.75 an hour and who would gross about $13,650 a year. So Mr. Duke earns about as much as 1,465 of his employees put together.
On the other hand, the 4 richest Walton’s earn more than 7.8 million of their employees put together…but that’s OK because Wal-Mart only employs about 1.5 million Americans…so there is still plenty of Wal-Mart work to be done. Yet just to be fair, that is a lot of employees and Wal-Mart does pay its taxes…but still…
There are many ways to make one’s fortune in this world, and building one on the backs of the poor is still the best way to make the biggest ones possible. And why is that? Because…
On an interesting and ironic side note, if you Google “The Waltons” you’ll see a list featuring the story of John-Boy and all of his favorite relatives who live with him in Walton’s Mountain, a fictitious television town in rural Virginia. If you watched this show then you learned about how a very large and extended family could live happily together during the great depression in the United States even though they were poor and didn’t have much money… and yet they had a town and a mountain named after them….go figure.
But of course in America art imitates life almost every day…on television.