Short answer: the wealthy who control who gets paid what don’t want the 99 percent to go away. Walmart associates make $6.00-$9.00 an hour, about $18,000 per year a tbest for a full-time worker (before taxes of course!). Most associates are nowhere near full-time. Even the semi-mythical $18k is well below the poverty threshold for a family of three anyway. Yet in return for paying below-poverty wages, Walmart makes over $17,000 per employee, including $13,000 in pre-tax profits, after paying salaries, plus taxpayer subsidies of $5,815 per worker in the form of food stamps paid by the government to keep the workers nearer the poverty line than below it, and state tax breaks given to “create jobs.”
Meanwhile, the top four members of the Walmart family made a combined $28.9 billion from their investments last year. Less than a third of that would have given every U.S. Walmart worker a $3.00 raise, enough to end the public subsidy that costs taxpayer money (with some irony, Walmart's workers are thus subsidizing themselves in part), though the four Walmart scions would have to make due with only $20 billion a year. But why bother to change when the reality of politics is so much in the company's favor? Bottom Line: essentially the interests of the 99 percent are in direct conflict with those of the one percent. Still don't believe me? At the fall of Rome only two thousand people owned all the land between the Rhine and Euphrates rivers. In 2014, 85 people own half of the world’s wealth. Sorry kids. We adults sort of messed this up for you.