Walmart has announced they will hire up to 100,000 honorably discharged veterans. The offer is extended to veterans within 12 months of discharge. On the surface this appears to be a very generous gesture by the super giant. However, critics are not so quick to jump on the Walmart bandwagon.
Walmart was built with a business strategy that depends on taxpayers to cover the medical insurance for the majority of its employees. By ensuring employees’ earnings remain below the income requirements for state-assisted medical coverage, Walmart is able to have fully insured employees without it costing them a dime.
This gesture to hire veterans immediately raised concerns about the tax credit available to employers that hire veterans, compounded with the 37 percent turnover rate, and this appears to simply be another attempt to hire employees that are insured on the taxpayers’ dime.
Veterans are eligible for VA benefits that cover their medical expenses. Walmart has 1.3 million employees, and the 37% turnover rate means they hire roughly 480,000 employees each year. Walmart hiring 100,000 veterans over a five-year period means that only 4.2% of the employees hired each year would be veterans. Furthermore, these are not new jobs- they are simply hiring veterans instead of other employees, which will displace those people instead of the veterans.
As skepticism increases, the faint hope remains that our veterans will be able to find stable employment and stability after sacrificing to serve our nation. The suicide rate per year in veterans is higher than the actual deaths in war. Our heroes deserve better. The nation owes them more.
It is a disheartening reality that an act such as this must be scrutinized and analyzed. There is no doubt that a corporation will not make such a gesture unless they are trying to earn points in society through such offers or they are looking for financial gain. The latter is always the most likely culprit. With this information in hand, it will still be a good opportunity for those veterans returning home that are unable to find work. That being said, let’s all hope things work out for the best for everyone involved.