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You often hear that Wal-Mart simply can't afford to pay its workers more than it does, because then it would have to raise those "always low prices" for which it's so famous. Now I have a problem with the whole concept of "always low prices", but a new study by the Economic Policy Institute points out that the argument's wrong in any case.
According to EPI, Wal-Mart could have raised the wages and benefits of each of its non-supervisory employees in 2005 by more than $2,000 without raising prices a penny and still maintaining a profit margin almost 50 percent greater than Costco (although lower than it is now). So really, there's no excuse.