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Thread: Costco's Profit Soars To $459 Million As Low-Wage Competitors Struggle

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    Re: Costco's Profit Soars To $459 Million As Low-Wage Competitors Struggle

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Without the government subsidies, those employees would not be able to work for the wages offered.
    You mean some of these no/low-skill workers would be unemployed, because I imagine others among the 24% of unemployed youth would gladly take those jobs. Whenever Wal-Mart opens a new store it's mobbed by applicants, some of whom drive long distances in order to apply for those $9 or $10 per hour jobs. But assuming I buy into your argument, what you're really saying is without these jobs those people would be unemployed and indigent and government would be paying their entire freight, right? So why is it good public policy to punish a company that reduces poverty and lowers the tax burden?

    Also, with the implementation of Obamacare, states that bought into BOb's expanded Medicaid program will include people up to 133% of the federal poverty level. So under your theory, beginning in 2014 wages should drop at Wal-Marts in states like California that bought into the expansion relative to states like Mississippi that didn't buy into it, right? I'll entertain a friendly wager on that if you want. I noticed that right across the border in Canada, which has national health insurance, Wal-Mart tends to pay workers MORE than it pays in the U.S. For example, according to Glassdoor a "completely subsidized" night stocker in Canada makes an average wage of $12.48/hour, well above the country's minimum wage, while in the U.S. the "low-subsidized" U.S. equivalent earns $9.60.

    WalMart Canada Salaries in Canada | Glassdoor

    Walmart Stores Hourly Pay | Glassdoor
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    Re: Costco's Profit Soars To $459 Million As Low-Wage Competitors Struggle

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrilla View Post
    I can see the morale argument... productivity though?.. not so much.

    whether I go into Costco or Walmart, the shelves are stocked and people help me find stuff....I doubt you'll find differing levels of productivity.

    what I usually find at Walmart, as opposed to Costco, is ...employees.
    there's lots of employees running around Walmart... not nearly so many running around Costco.... customer service is not their schtick.( it's a retail versus wholesale difference)

    I think the whole atmosphere is different when comparing Costco to Walmart. At Costco you feel like you're dealing with people who are intelligent, are genuinely interested in the best shopping experience you can have and everything is about quality at every level. Walmart; I don't think quality but I think cheap, not just products but the whole experience at every level from super long lines to no so sanitary restrooms to no ice buildup growing on some items in their frozen food freezers and employees who are nice people but...

    I have a former neighbor who works at Costco and she says it takes a while to get hired full time but they START they fulltime associates out at $60,000.00 a year. I seems they train and hire they fulltime associates to be generalists who can go any and everything in the store. Everyone of them is like a store manager and your interaction with them makes you feel like you're dealing with someone who cares about your shopping experience, appreciates your business and has the authority to personally solve any problem you might have. And although their prices aren't always going to be dirt cheap, you get what you pay for. You see the value of spending a little more when you know you're getting the highest quality products, packaging is often in bulk so you save there, free bonus warranties on electronics when you use certain payment methods and some things are actually less expensive than Walmart.
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    Re: Costco's Profit Soars To $459 Million As Low-Wage Competitors Struggle

    I should have mentioned that the Canadian wages in the post above are in slightly-stronger Canadian dollars.
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    Re: Costco's Profit Soars To $459 Million As Low-Wage Competitors Struggle

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahlevah View Post
    You mean some of these no/low-skill workers would be unemployed, because I imagine others among the 24% of unemployed youth would gladly take those jobs. Whenever Wal-Mart opens a new store it's mobbed by applicants, some of whom drive long distances in order to apply for those $9 or $10 per hour jobs. But assuming I buy into your argument, what you're really saying is without these jobs those people would be unemployed and indigent and government would be paying their entire freight, right? So why is it good public policy to punish a company that reduces poverty and lowers the tax burden?

    Also, with the implementation of Obamacare, states that bought into BOb's expanded Medicaid program will include people up to 133% of the federal poverty level. So under your theory, beginning in 2014 wages should drop at Wal-Marts in states like California that bought into the expansion relative to states like Mississippi that didn't buy into it, right? I'll entertain a friendly wager on that if you want. I noticed that right across the border in Canada, which has national health insurance, Wal-Mart tends to pay workers MORE than it pays in the U.S. For example, according to Glassdoor a "completely subsidized" night stocker in Canada makes an average wage of $12.48/hour, well above the country's minimum wage, while in the U.S. the "low-subsidized" U.S. equivalent earns $9.60.

    WalMart Canada Salaries in Canada | Glassdoor

    Walmart Stores Hourly Pay | Glassdoor
    Canadian employers in general are able to pay more because they don't have the burden of paying for health care for employees. The playing field is more even, then, as there is no longer the option of undercutting the competition by making the government pay for low pay employers while higher pay, more responsible employers pay themselves.

    For the really low paying jobs, the ones that conventional wisdom says Americans won't do, the employers hire illegal aliens. The government subsidizes them, too, by looking the other way while unskilled illegals come across the borders. If an illegal needs health care, they either get it from the government, or go to an emergency room and stick the rest of us with the bill. Either way, it is the public that is paying the tab for that cheap labor.
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    Re: Costco's Profit Soars To $459 Million As Low-Wage Competitors Struggle

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Canadian employers in general are able to pay more because they don't have the burden of paying for health care for employees.
    I find it hilarious that you're arguing Wal-Mart pays lower wages in California because it receives a subsidy while the same company pays higher wages in Canada because, well, it receives a subsidy. Presumably, Wal-Mart got religion in Canada and decided it can't hoodwink the competition, eh? You haven't explained why there's an uneven playing field in California and other companies are stuck paying higher wages than Wal-Mart. Maybe you have competition hampered by collective bargaining agreements in mind? I would say those workers can bargain for higher wages, but it seems a bit disingenuous for them to then claim they're playing on an uneven playing field when they were the ones with the shovels.

    Anyway, let's look at another example. In Texas, Medicaid eligibility is pretty difficult compared to some other states. For example, a pregnant mom in Texas can't earn more than 185% of the federal poverty level in order to receive benefits, while under California's Medi-Cal program she can earn up to 250% of the FPL. So under the "Medicaid Is a Subsidy" theory, to the degree that the "subsidy" is less than other states like California's, it should result in higher wages. And yet we see that Wal-Mart pays its Texas associates less, on average, than those in the rest of the country.

    I realize that other factors may be at play to explain the difference between wages among the various jurisdictions, but the argument that a Medicaid "subsidy" results in lower wages seems tenuous and anyone making such a claim should put up some stats to prove it. In the meantime, this has union lobbying in Sacramento written all over it.

    Walmart Stores Salaries in Texas | Glassdoor

    Walmart Stores Salaries | Glassdoor
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    Re: Costco's Profit Soars To $459 Million As Low-Wage Competitors Struggle

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahlevah View Post
    I find it hilarious that you're arguing Wal-Mart pays lower wages in California because it receives a subsidy while the same company pays higher wages in Canada because, well, it receives a subsidy. Presumably, Wal-Mart got religion in Canada and decided it can't hoodwink the competition, eh? You haven't explained why there's an uneven playing field in California and other companies are stuck paying higher wages than Wal-Mart. Maybe you have competition hampered by collective bargaining agreements in mind? I would say those workers can bargain for higher wages, but it seems a bit disingenuous for them to then claim they're playing on an uneven playing field when they were the ones with the shovels.

    Anyway, let's look at another example. In Texas, Medicaid eligibility is pretty difficult compared to some other states. For example, a pregnant mom in Texas can't earn more than 185% of the federal poverty level in order to receive benefits, while under California's Medi-Cal program she can earn up to 250% of the FPL. So under the "Medicaid Is a Subsidy" theory, to the degree that the "subsidy" is less than other states like California's, it should result in higher wages. And yet we see that Wal-Mart pays its Texas associates less, on average, than those in the rest of the country.

    I realize that other factors may be at play to explain the difference between wages among the various jurisdictions, but the argument that a Medicaid "subsidy" results in lower wages seems tenuous and anyone making such a claim should put up some stats to prove it. In the meantime, this has union lobbying in Sacramento written all over it.

    Walmart Stores Salaries in Texas | Glassdoor

    Walmart Stores Salaries | Glassdoor
    Anyway, let's look at another example. In Texas, Medicaid eligibility is pretty difficult compared to some other states. For example, a pregnant mom in Texas can't earn more than 185% of the federal poverty level in order to receive benefits, while under California's Medi-Cal program she can earn up to 250% of the FPL. So under the "Medicaid Is a Subsidy" theory, to the degree that the "subsidy" is less than other states like California's, it should result in higher wages. And yet we see that Wal-Mart pays its Texas associates less, on average, than those in the rest of the country.
    Since the threshold for receiving a subsidy is lower in Texas than it is in California, WalMart and other low pay employers are able to pay even less than they do here. You just made my point. In Canada, where everyone gets the same medical care insurance, there is a level playing field, responsible employers pay the same as irresponsible ones, get the same subsidies, and so wages are higher for low end jobs.

    As an added bonus, Canada's health care costs only about 2/3 as much as that in the USA. Were we to have a rational health care system that didn't place the burden of health care on the backs of the job creators, but one that put more of the onus of providing health care on the individual, we could probably reverse those figures and pay only half or two thirds as much as Canada, thus making our industry more competitive.

    But, no, we continue to have a patchwork medical care system, to subsidize low paying employers, and now under Obamacare, to require every employer to pay for health care and thus discourage full time employment. No wonder our economy is not doing well.
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    Re: Costco's Profit Soars To $459 Million As Low-Wage Competitors Struggle

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Since the threshold for receiving a subsidy is lower in Texas than it is in California, WalMart and other low pay employers are able to pay even less than they do here. You just made my point.
    So now you're saying the higher the subsidy the HIGHER the wages? You've got me completely flummoxed.
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    Re: Costco's Profit Soars To $459 Million As Low-Wage Competitors Struggle

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Well, I don't believe it. I don't know how they arrived at "the typical Costco employee makes $45,000 a year," but I don't buy it. I don't care what the survey shows.
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    Re: Costco's Profit Soars To $459 Million As Low-Wage Competitors Struggle

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahlevah View Post
    So now you're saying the higher the subsidy the HIGHER the wages? You've got me completely flummoxed.
    It's not a higher subsidy. It's a higher threshold of income to receive the subsidy.
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    Re: Costco's Profit Soars To $459 Million As Low-Wage Competitors Struggle

    Quote Originally Posted by Your Star View Post
    Yeah, **** facts. Who needs them.
    The "facts" are at Glass Door indicating no where CLOSE to $45,000 a year for a "typical Costco employee." **** simply believing what somebody tells you when it doesn't make sense. Go find the facts yourself. Glass Door tells quite a different story.

    In addition, DonSutherland checked in on this thread and explained that he went to their IRS filings (I think that's where he went) and that the average was taken including all CEO, CFO, etc. salaries. It is highly misleading to say that typical rank and file average $45,000 a year. Not only misleading, but patently untrue.

    I question what I read. You?

    Edit: The article also says that the $45K number was per Fortune. A search at Fortune.com produced no such article. *shrug*
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