It was with great interest that I watched Facebook catch fire with support of the calls for picketing and sick-outs at Wal-Mart stores across the country on Black Friday. From what I could tell, most of those supporting the calls were liberals who attacked the company with claims that it doesn’t pay “a living wage”, “exploits” its workers, or owes its workers health care. I even saw one fantastical claim that a majority of Wal-Mart employees are on food stamps. The suggestion was that Wal-Mart should be forced (via government itself or indirectly via unions) to change completely how it deals with its employees in terms of salary and benefits.

To set the record straight, according to Business Insider, Wal-Mart pays its workers an average of $11.75 per hour, just slightly below retail’s national average of $12.04 and well above the federal minimum wage of $7.25. The company itself states that the average non-manager employee earns between $10 & $12 per hour.

Those wages are at least sufficient to make Wal-Mart the largest employer in the country, with a current headcount of over 1.4 million employees. And no one forced those employees to take those jobs. One of the beauties of freedom is that employees are free to work at Wal-Mart or they can take their labor and sell it to someone else… or better yet, they could start their own businesses.

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