Skip to comments.Blocking Walmart From Washington, D.C. Would Hurt Poor
Posted on 07/20/2013 4:22:25 AM PDT by Kaslin
Why, when capitalism has created wealth and eradicated poverty, do left-wing politicians hate it so much? After all, it's supposed to be the left that cares about the poor.
The latest chapter in this ongoing saga of economic perversity is playing out in Washington, D.C., as the district attempts to prevent Wal-Mart Stores Inc. from opening outlets there.
The district's city council has passed a bill, awaiting signature of Mayor Vincent Gray, specifically targeted to block the company. It raises the district's minimum wage to $12.50 per hour only for stores with more than $1 billion in sales and store size of more the 75,000 square feet.
Unionized stores in the district with these characteristics are exempt. In other words, the bill protects special interests and blocks entities politicos don't want: Walmart stores.
The company promptly announced that if the mayor signs the bill into law, it will cancel plans to open three of six planned stores, each of which would create around 300 new jobs.
The chain's "low prices every day" business strategy is one of the greatest success stories in American history. Since opening its first store in 1962, the company has grown exponentially. Today, it has sales of almost a half-trillion dollars, putting it first on the Fortune 500 list for highest revenue.
According to corporate officials, the company has more 10,000 stores around the world, employs 2.2 million people and serves 200 million customers per week.
Is anyone forced to shop there? Of course not. Is anyone forced to work at a Walmart? Of course not.
This mind-boggling growth happened as a result of freedom. The chain's huge success is the result of delivering products that people freely choose to buy.
Critics claim that the company doesn't pay enough. The company responds that its pay is at or above the industry average.
But the real issue is: Why is what the company pays the business of politicians? Unlike government -- that fines you or jails you if you don't do what lawmakers want -- people work at Walmarts because they choose to do so.
The company says it gets anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000 applications for 300 to 400 job openings when it opens a store. That's more than 25 applicants per job.
It doesn't appear to me that the chain has trouble convincing people to work there.
The population of Washington, D.C., is more than 50 percent African-American. The unemployment rate is above the national average. The poverty rate is above the national average. Yet politicians would rather have no new jobs at $12.50 per hour than 900 new jobs at $10 per hour.
Some claim that big discount stores displace small businesses. This is a claim. There is no definitive study that proves this claim.
But again, even if true, it would only be true because free people choose it to be so. What business is it of politicians to tell free people where to shop? What business is it of politicians to deprive people the freedom to go to a store that sells them products at the lowest prices they can find?
Low-income earners -- those whom the left-wing politicos supposedly care about -- happen to appreciate Walmart stores' low prices.
One thing I particularly appreciate about Walmart, where I certainly shop, is the greeters. They are often disabled and other difficult-to-employ individuals. The company gives them a chance to work.
Capitalism has been a great success because it rewards creativity and hard work. Socialism has been a failure because it deprives freedom, stifles creativity, encourages envy and rewards sloth and corruption.
American success is about the miracle of freedom. When freedom is displaced by political power, everyone suffers. In this case in Washington, D.C., where politicians are blocking Walmart, those who will suffer the most are the poor.
It is truly amazing that some folks cannot accept the opportunities offered to them.
My mentally disabled cousin has worked for Wal-Mart for 40 years plus. I’m so proud of him.
It has always been my understanding that the Walmart type, low level jobs, ‘Associates’, were meant to be a supplemental income. Not as a primary income to support a family. By raising the base pay, IMO, will raise the cost of their products. Pls correct me if I am wrong.
First I will question where does a city government get the authority to set wages for private entities.
Second I will question where the federal government gets the authority to set wages for private entities. I can think of no where in the constitution where this power is delegated to the federal government.
“It is truly amazing that some folks cannot accept the opportunities offered to them.”
Frankly, it’s the DC politicians who would rather keep these people on the Plantation and in slavery to the federal government who are against this. No telling what might happen if people could get jobs and work /earn their way to success. They just might become conservatives who would rather keep their own money.
More demise of America.
How much longer will the country last? That is a serious question.
Very well said
Walmart would encourage those who want to come out of bondage of the rat entitlement trap to a better brighter outlook. Walmart is the rat poison
Walmart is better off staying out of the District.
If they are smart they will get out now.
Washington DC is not like other places Walmart puts their stores.The labor force in DC is unlike any other.
Those who do not have Gubmint affirmative action jobs or haven’t got an SEIU job are unemployable.,
I get so tired of this.
Yes, the store will have 300 jobs that did not exist prior to the opening.
No, it will not lead to 300 more jobs being available in the retail sales field in the city. Since the sales of the new store will largely come from a reduction in sales by existing stores, the "new" jobs will be offset by loss of jobs elsewhere.
Since WalMart is by definition more efficient at selling, with greater sales per employee than most other stores, there might over the first year or so be an actual reduction in total retail sector jobs.
Walmart is also renowned for paying lower wages and keeping most employees on a part-time basis. Creating the possibility that the total city retail wages might go down.
This is offset by the probable fact that some people presently leave DC to shop at Walmarts elsewhere. So I agree it's complicated. I just disagree that a new retail store will add a net 300 jobs to the local economy.
Hard to believe that, in this day and age, folks still believe in the zero-sum fallacy.
“It has always been my understanding that the Walmart type, low level jobs,”
It is like ANY retail job. I do not know of any sales clerk
that supports a family from their wage.
Nobody forces one to work at Walmart or any other retail box store.
Frankly, I am sick of the leftist bashing Walmart, or any other box store.
“By raising the base pay, IMO, will raise the cost of their products. Pls correct me if I am wrong.”
You’re wrong, consider yourself corrected. The labor costs for a box store like wally world are not that significant a part of the cost of the products sold there. To wit, costco. They manage to sell stuff cheap and still treat their employees decently and pay a living wage. Also, Kroger has started to compete with wally world more directly. They’re a union shop and presumably pay their employees reasonably.
Oy. So get on the metro and go to VA or MD if you want to go to wally world.
Not saying that I agree with the DC government (I use that term very loosely). But if wally world is such a mecca for the poor that the authors make it out to be, it’s not like it’s cross country journey to go to one.
they should just shut it down and leave the district. It was a bad idea to go there because they will never be able to buy enough good press to win over the anti-capitalist left that dominates DC political life. These people keep electing Marion Barry for crying out loud.
Those stores will become targets for shoplifters, employee theft, race riots, flash mob actions, looters and union protests for as long as they stand. If they go through with the stores, they will probably some of the few Walmarts that close due to an inability to maintain profitability.
Imagine being the store manager. < shudder>
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