Did Wal-Mart cave to the Pressures of its Employees or Avoidance of Persecution?

Call it cynicism or skepticism but whatever you call it, I have to wonder why after all these years and millions of dollars Wal-Mart made off the backs of its employees they all of a sudden decided to do right by them and give them that pay raise.  In an article titled “Wal-Mart will give half-million employees pay raises” written by Katie Little for CNBC.com, it is reported that “Wal-Mart will give a half-million employees pay raises, the discount retail giant said Thursday as it announced a mixed quarterly earnings report.  Hourly workers will earn at least $1.75 above the current federal minimum wage, or $9 per hour, in April. By next February, it will rise to at least $10 per hour.  "I think it actually is good news," Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Trussell said about the wage move. "Frankly part of Wal-Mart's problem has been concerns around inventories being out of stock, been about bad customer service, long lines at the checkout counters. There have been a lot of disgruntled workers, and frankly this does sound like the new CEO both of the U.S. Wal-Mart team and Doug McMillon at the helm taking a step to perhaps correct those past evils."  Personally, I think not.

I think that they were driven more by what is reported in an article titled “Big Banks Face Another Round of U.S. Charges” written by Ben Protess and Jessica Silver-Greenberg back on October 6, 2014.  This article reported, among other things, that “interviews with more than a dozen lawyers who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private negotiations open a window onto previously undisclosed aspects of an investigation that is unnerving Wall Street and the defense bar. While cases stemming from the financial crisis were aimed at institutions, prosecutors are planning to eventually indict individual bank employees over currency manipulation, using their instant messages as incriminating evidence.”  Now those lawyers in those private discussions are either trying to cover their own butts or have finally gotten enough of making their profession look like nothing more than a bunch of “get-rich-quick” crooks and have decided that doing the right thing feels oh so much better than living a lie.  I think large corporations like Wal-Mart are beginning to see their gravy train running out of railway and they are doing something that may just help them in the end.  With the trillions of dollars, stored away in overseas banks and those banks now being investigated, they may be able to work a deal where they bring that money back, use it to shore up their pay raises and other employees benefit programs so they will owe less and receive a slap on the wrists instead of the gift of handcuffs.

Whatever the reason, this pay raise may be enough to show how much better of a nation and how much stronger our economy will become if we all were given an equal shot at prosperity.  Lest not be fooled, there will always be  a Wal-Mart out there and there will always be tricksters but they should never be the measurement by which all Americans are judged and they should never be the reason we do not try harder for those who cannot defend themselves.  This is what this nation was built upon and not ‘survival of the strongest” like so many wish you to believe.


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