Some one million Walmart employees in the United States will have their meager pay supplemented this year with a bonus averaging $400, thanks to the lapse of usual parsimony by the owners of the world’s largest retailer – the Walton family. That total $400 million is $71 million less than the cost of the bottom two estates ($222 million and $249 million) in the above video of the five most expensive homes in the world.
Half of all workers in the United States make less than $30,500 a year, and half earn more, so $400 is meaningful, even though a flat 25% ($100) will be lost to income tax under an odd IRS ruling, leaving $300.
But $300 could buy you and the spouse a motel room for two nights, and have some money left over for lunch one day. That would be a one-room accommodation. Hotel rooms with multiple rooms charge much more than $100 to $200 a night.
While you are pinching pennies to pay for this $300 getaway, how would your benefactors – the Waltons of inheritance fame – entertain themselves? Since “all men are created equal”, but allowing for some being more equal, you would expect the gang of seven to perhaps rent an entire floor of a Best Western or splurge at a Hilton.
Actually, the poorest member of the Walton family, Nancy Walton Laurie, could afford to not just rent a room, but buy all five of the properties listed in the above video – including Buckingham Palace – and still have nearly $2,000,000,000 left of her fortune.
The fifth and sixth richest Waltons – Ann Walton Kroenke and Christy Walton – together could manage to buy three sets of the five most expensive houses – 15 in all – and keep $2,200,000,000 for a rainy day.
Lukas Walton has enough wealth to buy ten Buckingham Places.
Alice Walton, S. Robert Walton and Jim Walton together could afford to buy 90 Buckingham Palaces.
Of course, there is only one Buckingham Palace, not the one hundred that the Waltons could afford, and the Queen hasn’t yet put it up for sale.
Speaking of bonuses, the Walton family received a special one on Oct. 10 last year. The value of their Walmart stock increased $5,000,000,000, or an average of $714,000,000 for each heir in just that one day. If that money had gone to Walmart employees it would have averaged about $5,000 each to the million workers.
All of the major news outlets, including those as diverse as FOX and MSNBC, have been breathless in extolling this January bonus fiesta, which corporate talkers attribute to the GOP lowering the corporate tax rate by 40%. Are they feeding us a distraction – look at the bonus and ignore the business tax cut?
A company with a billion dollars in profit should be acknowledged for giving its 5,000 workers a $1,000 bonus. However, the cost of that bonus is only $5 million dollars, and their future 40% tax savings will equal $400 million every year. The company will also avoid some one million dollars in taxes by awarding the bonuses.
P.S. And if it were the Waltons, they could afford to award such a $1,000 bonus to 5,000 workers about 30,000 times.