Friday, March 14, 2014

Taxpayers and Wal-Mart

Sometimes I hear people say that the taxpayers are subsidizing Wal-Mart by providing low-wage workers with government benefits (like welfare or the Earned income tax credit). I see this logic as fallacious for the following reasons:

Imagine a man starts a business and sells oranges. However, oranges fetch a low price because there is such a bountiful supply of them and he has many competitors. In fact, the income he derives from selling his oranges doesn't make him enough money to make ends meet, he reluctantly subscribes to government aid.

Now, would any rational person say that taxpayers are subsidizing the low prices of orange consumers simply because the seller of oranges does not earn enough money to make ends meet? Obviously not. However, somehow, when it comes to workers selling their labor to employers (consumers of labor), if the worker's wages does not pay all his/her bills then "the taxpayers are subsidizing the employer (ex. Wal-Mart)".

It's also worth noting that, if anything, Wal-Mart is saving the taxpayers money by employing low-wage workers. If not for these jobs, would the taxpayers be paying more or less money out in government benefits? The answer is obvious.

Thus, the claim that taxpayers are subsidizing the employers of low wage workers is nonsensical and logically fallacious.

No comments:

Post a Comment