How much I've forgotten about economics is... well not that much because I'm not even that edumacated about economics.
I have spent more than a few hours thinking and reading on the subject and so I will attempt to answer your questions. Apologies if they're not great answers. Hey, at least they're honest and a little better than the highly moderated comments here.
Ok, since you have such a great understanding of economics, please explain to me how it's a good thing that the Walton family has more wealth than 40% of Americans (that's 129 Million Americans) combined, yet pays their full-time workers so little that they can't afford food or a place to live without welfare and foodstamps?
I wouldn't say it's good or bad. I think walmart has both good and bad aspects.
- good: it seems to be efficiently run
- bad: it treats it's workers badly by playing a min/max hours game to ensure they don't have to pay benefits
- good: prices can be low for the customers
- bad: it trains and ensures it's workers are making government claims for every welfare state benefit available
- good: it generates lots of profit because it serves the consumer very well.
- bad: they bribe and pressure local governments for subsidies and unfair tax breaks so they can out-compete mom & pop stores
How does it help me that my tax dollars have to subsidize Walmart employees (we're not talking about lazy drug addicts, we're talking about hardworking fulltime employees) when the company makes such huge profits?
A: it doesn't help you at all. The entire tax system is immoral. Although, I think they purposefully keep them as part-time employees (by government classifications) in order to qualify for these subsidies.
How does it help the economy when those employees can't afford to buy products that other companies manufacture and sell?
Consumption never 'helps' the economy. The economy is more than just passing money from hand to hand in exchange for consumer goods. Only the voluntary actions of individuals cooperating via a free market price system 'helps' the economy.
Or does it just benefit the 6 Waltons that are on Forbe's list of billionaires?
Don't forget all of the politicians that greased their hands making deals with all the billionaires on Forbe's list. Unfortunately it's the nature of human kind that as soon as one comes into power, the average human tends to wield it to their own advantage, especially power over others obtained by coercion and violence, hence 'government'.
Here are a few more discussions, thoughts:
Minimum Wage Argument Destroyed!
The True Cost of the Minimum Wage
Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, Peter Schiff and the War over Minimum Wage
And the best resource of them all Mises Media