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

"I don't believe that will work.

"It's a misunderstanding of how labor markets work and ignores that wages are driven by skills and the availability of the labor pool.

"It doesn't address the real issue – the lack of jobs in the middle. And it fails to understand the important role of entry level jobs, including those in restaurants, hospitality, and retail.

"These jobs are a starting point... – a chance to build skills and begin taking on bigger jobs.

"Just about everyone started out in an entry level job. My first job was as a dishwasher in a restaurant for $2.10 an hour. I'm sure some of you started out stocking shelves or carrying bags.

"We all started somewhere. And by the way, these jobs are a source of opportunity today.

"For example, we're proud that, at Walmart, about 75 percent of our store management teams started as hourly associates.

Rebuild the Middle with Manufacturing

"So the solution isn't to get rid of these starting points. The solution is to fill in the middle with more good jobs.

"One of the best ways to do that is through a revitalization of American manufacturing. And that's why we're here today.

"America can't be a service economy; we have to make things.

"I can't think of a successful example in history of an economy built solely on services.

"Here's how I think about it.

"Let's say I work in a restaurant and you work at a movie theater. I pay to see a movie in your theater, and that gives you money to come eat dinner in my restaurant. And that can go on for a while. But if one day you decide to eat in...then I can't go to the movies...and the whole thing collapses.

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