business news in context, analysis with attitude

A new report, released by a Northern California legislator and prepared by the Democratic staff of the state's House Education and Workforce Committee, says that Wal-Mart is guilty of draining government resources "because its low-paid, under-insured or non-insured workers have to rely on public subsidies, such as school lunch programs and Section 8 housing."

The report, released by Rep. George Miller as a way of influencing a Match referendum on whether Wal-Mart and other big box retailers (larger than 90,000 sq. ft.) should be banned from contra Costa County, "estimates that taxpayers bear $420,750 in social services costs for each Wal-Mart store with 200 workers," according to a story in this morning's Contra Costa Times.

Miller said that Wal-Mart creates "downward spirals in communities," violating child labor and workplace safety laws and "paying wages below industry averages."

Wal-Mart responded to the report by saying it was irresponsible and a way of pandering to labor unions.
KC's View:
Well, if Wal-Mart gets to release its report saying how wonderful it is in Southern California, we guess that the opposition gets to do its report on how reprehensible the retailer is.

The thing is, both reports probably are wrong…or, at the very least, inaccurate and incomplete. The truth probably is somewhere in the middle.