We estimate that Wal-Mart workers in California earn on average 31 percent less than workers employed in large retail as a whole,receiving an average wage of $9.70 per hour compared to the $14.01 average hourly earningsfor employees in large retail (firms with 1,000 or more employees). In addition, 23 percent fewer Wal-Mart workers are covered by employer-sponsored health insurance than large retail workers as a whole... At these low-wages, many Wal-Mart workers rely on public safety net programs—such as food stamps, Medi-Cal, and subsidized housing—to make ends meet. The presence of Wal-Mart stores in California thus creates a hidden cost to the state’s taxpayers.Of course, this is not news to anyone who has read Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed. In that book, Ehrenreich tries to get by on a Wal-Mart salary (although she kinda tries to disguise the identity of Wal-Mart) and it is, of course, impossible - even with Ehrenreich "cheating" by having a car and a wee bit of savings. We can only imagine how difficult it is to get by without being an undercover brilliant author like Ehrenreich who works at Wal-Mart with all the benefits of her education and first and last month's rent. So while we're drinking our free water to celebrate the creation of Wal-Mart jobs at a high cost to taxpayers, the employees, local business, and the environment, maybe we should also consider resisting? In her book, Big Box Swindle, Stacy Mitchell shows not only how companies like Wal-Mart destroy communities, but how many communities are successfully resisting allowing big-box stores in. Stopping Wal-Mart from creating these "jobs" that in fact are a form of exploitation of workers and taxpayers would be worth breaking out the champagne for.