Don’t Fall For Corporate America’s Dirty Trick

They Hope You Won’t Notice

Just after the tax bill passed, retail giant Walmart announced it was granting a $1,000 bonus to celebrate. It soon emerged that employees were eligible only if they’ve worked in the company for 20 years. That ruled out nearly all shop-level workers … those who need it most.

Here’s something else: The total value of Walmart’s bonuses was $400 million. The value of the tax cut to the corporation will be $18 billion. So only 2% percent of its tax cut is going to its (best-off) workers.

Stock buybacks have helped to concentrate income and wealth among the richest U.S. households. After all, the top 10% of households own 86% of all stocks. Buybacks appear to have little to no impact on real investment or job creation.

That’s bad enough, especially if you’re still in the workforce. But the fact that stock buybacks — once illegal, now pervasive — heavily distort the stock market most of us rely on to fund our retirement is every bit as bad.

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