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Remarks By Walmart U.S. President And CEO Bill Simon At The U.S. Manufacturing Summit

"Many people are wondering what's happening to opportunity in America ...and to the American dream itself.

"This country was founded as a place of possibility. We have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It's right there in the Declaration of Independence.

"We aren't guaranteed happiness, of course, but the right to pursue it.

"Here, you can stretch, you can grow, you can dream - and with hard work you can make a better life for yourself and your family.

"But what that requires is opportunity – simple things like a first job to learn some skills, someone to give you a chance to prove yourself, and a path forward.

"Today, America has an abundance of entry-level jobs and some high-end jobs. But the middle has eroded, leaving Americans with fewer opportunities to save money, send their children to college or build a nest egg for retirement.

"Some people talk about it as an hourglass economy. I tend to think of it as a canyon being hollowed out between the two ends of the job market.

"It's harder to get to the middle class. And the harder it is to get to the middle class, the worse off America is. And because of our role in the global economy, when America is struggling, the rest of the world feels it too.

"Now, almost everyone can agree that this is a problem - no matter your party or your ideology or your industry.

"Most people agree it can't go on like this. The question is what we do about it.

Entry Level Jobs

"Some people say the answer is to just raise up the entry level jobs – to keep inflating wages at the bottom until an entry-level job pays as much as a professional job.

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