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Killing the Golden Goose
Townhall.com ^ | July 21, 2013 | Rich Tucker

Posted on 07/21/2013 12:46:44 PM PDT by Kaslin

Whether or not you shop at Wal-Mart, you’ve already benefitted from the mega-retailer’s ceaseless efforts to cut prices. A 2005 study found that the nationwide expansion of the store had driven down everyone’s cost for food-at-home, commodities and overall consumer products. Competition among retailers drives down prices for all shoppers.

Meanwhile, by one estimate, Wal-Mart saved consumers at its stores a quarter of a trillion dollars in 2006. And that was several dozen price cuts ago. But you need to live near one to benefit directly. And in our nation’s capital, many residents could be denied the opportunity to shop at Wal-Mart, because the city’s government has decided to try to “help” residents by targeting that company.

On July 10, the D.C. City Council passed a bill called the “Large Retailer Accountability Act of 2013.” Columnist Charles Krauthammer says the measure is “almost like a bill of attainder” because it’s so narrowly aimed. It says that “retailers with corporate sales of $1 billion or more and operating in spaces 75,000 square feet or larger” would be forced to pay a minimum wage of $12.50 per hour, as opposed to the $8.25 that’s the minimum wage everywhere else in D.C.

The law also only applies to new stores, so it’s a perfect example of crony capitalism: existing retailers such as Target and Home Depot are benefitting from the D.C. government’s ability to limit their competition. Unions benefit too. Any unionized retailer, such as Giant or Safeway, would be exempt from the new law.

The Act passed as Wal-Mart was building three new stores in D.C. and planning an additional three. “The LRAA would clearly inject unforeseen costs into the equation that would create an uneven playing field and challenge the fiscal health of our planned D.C. stores,” the company’s regional general manager warned in The Washington Post before the vote. “Wal-Mart will not pursue stores at Skyland, Capitol Gateway or New York Avenue if the LRAA is passed.”

If the planned stores are indeed shelved, the city would lose hundreds of potential jobs along with the downward price pressure that having a Wal-Mart nearby creates. And because the planned stores are in low-income areas, it’s the poor who would be harmed the most if they’re not built.

Some don’t see it that way, though. “The question here is a living wage; it’s not whether Wal-Mart comes or stays,” council member Vincent Orange said before the vote. Of course, a “living wage” is a fluid concept in a city that’s famously filled, especially this time of year, with unpaid and underpaid interns.

Wal-Mart will keep on making money, with or without any presence in the District. Likewise, the city council will continue to pass laws. It’s D.C. residents who will suffer. “Something is always better than nothing, then work your way up,” city resident Kevin Brown told The Washington Post about opportunities at the proposed Skyland location. “People are looking forward to that Wal-Mart, they really are.” Cronyism means they can look forward to higher prices and lower wages, instead.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; US: District of Columbia
KEYWORDS: consumers; jobsandeconomy; minimumwage; walmart

1 posted on 07/21/2013 12:46:44 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

There are low-income areas in DC?? Who knew?


2 posted on 07/21/2013 12:50:11 PM PDT by Ken522
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To: Kaslin
“Something is always better than nothing, then work your way up,” city resident Kevin Brown

Wow. A capitalist in DC. What a surprise.

3 posted on 07/21/2013 1:03:19 PM PDT by hsalaw
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To: Kaslin

Yes, let’s have no other stores, only one megastore in every area - what a great idea.


4 posted on 07/21/2013 1:12:06 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: Kaslin

The residents elected the pos that is in office. Elections have consequences.


5 posted on 07/21/2013 1:30:05 PM PDT by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like it)
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To: Kaslin
" It says that “retailers with corporate sales of $1 billion or more and operating in spaces 75,000 square feet or larger” would be forced to pay ...."

Unless the D.C. City Council is even more moronic than they already appear; I doubt that that is what the bill actually says. The difference between "or" and "and" is a loophole big enough to drive a fleet of delivery trucks through.
6 posted on 07/21/2013 1:35:14 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: Kaslin
whether or not you shop at WalMart, you've benefitted from their low prices

(paraphrased)

The first sentence, and the author lost me already. I have suffered because of the WalMart influence. They undersell by providing cheap crap with no originality or handicraft. As a result, high-quality merchandise becomes less available, and even those companies who used to provide it had to cheapen their products and looked for cheap labor to compete. Because of the standardization of merchandise, originality, individual handicraft and quality have just about disappeared.

I'd much rather go back to an economy without these stores that shop globally for the cheapest merchandise. To do that, there would have to be laws that protected the starting and growing small businesses. And you know what? We'd actually save money if we paid more, employing US workers, and the merchandise lasted.

7 posted on 07/21/2013 1:43:36 PM PDT by grania
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To: kabumpo

Most small stores in those areas of DC can’t afford to stay in business because of the insurance, taxes and inventory shrinkage. Walmart was a natural choice to provide affordable priced food and household goods and they are fighting it after they all approved it.
I wish smaller retailers could succeed but unless you can pay your own police force and expect a shrinkage rate of at least 2% (which is almost total profit margin), you can’t really do business. When I lived in dc, the closest place was a mini-mart with everything, I mean everything behind bulletproof glass. The milk, the eggs, the bread, the juice was all behind the glass and you had to ask for it. You didn’t have a choice and the basics cost almost double what they did in the burbs. One time I was walking by and there was a guy hitting the glass with a hammer because he didn’t like the outcome of a scratch-off lottery ticket.

The closest supermarket had like five aisles and people would shoplift and sell the stuff outside the store for half price.

There is a reason small stores can’t succeed.


8 posted on 07/21/2013 1:48:11 PM PDT by newnhdad (Our new motto: USA, it was fun while it lasted.)
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To: freeangel
Elections have consequences.

Not in DC. Regardless of what laws the council will pass or how corrupt the council may be, the people continue to elect these stupid people.

Unfortunately, this same mentality is moving the national area. Look at the last election.

9 posted on 07/21/2013 2:02:13 PM PDT by HarleyD
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To: Kaslin

I wonder how much it cost Target to buy that law in DC.

Washington does not even try to hide the corruption these days.


10 posted on 07/21/2013 2:05:50 PM PDT by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: newnhdad

Walmart is part of the symptom, not the solution.


11 posted on 07/21/2013 2:08:37 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: kabumpo

>>Yes, let’s have no other stores, only one megastore in every area - what a great idea.

I haven’t had a pay increase since 2008 and my wife has had a 100% pay cut in the last year. If you can afford to shop at small businesses, then please do. The economy has taken that luxury away from me and many other Americans.


12 posted on 07/21/2013 2:14:31 PM PDT by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: Kaslin

Amish eschew Walmart


13 posted on 07/21/2013 2:16:57 PM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Travon... Felony assault and battery hate crime)
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To: grania
I have suffered because of the WalMart influence. They undersell by providing cheap crap

I'm an every few days Wal*Mart shopper. Let's take a look at some of the "cheap crap" brands I bought there in the last week or so:

Colgate toothpaste
Colgete toothbrush
Gilette disposable razors
Black & Decker weed wacker
Hampton Farms peanuts
Chef Boyardee Ravoli
Dite Rite cola
Eckrich smoked sausage
Progresso soup
Great Value tunafish (store brand)
Great Value hand soap with aloe (store brand - exactly the same ingredients as Soft Soap brand)

Yep, Wally specializes in "cheap crap." FWIW, I do shop other stores and it is rare for them to even come close to Wally's prices on the same merchandise.

14 posted on 07/21/2013 2:23:41 PM PDT by upchuck (To the faceless, jack-booted government bureaucrat who just scanned this post: SCREW YOU!)
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To: Kaslin

Killing the Golden Goose is a parable for our entire country at this point. The freeloaders have pushed their desire to live the good life on the dime of the evil rich so far that the productive people aren’t able to support the system. It is breaking down. And all the moochers do is scream that the rich have to pay “more more more!!” When the last producer leaves or is crushed under the weight of millions of moochers expecting him or her to pay for everything, the country will descend into chaos.


15 posted on 07/21/2013 2:25:10 PM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: bert
Amish eschew Walmart

Really? I've seen Amish folks quite often in the local Wally.

Do you know why they supposedly don't shop at Wal*Mart?

16 posted on 07/21/2013 2:25:51 PM PDT by upchuck (To the faceless, jack-booted government bureaucrat who just scanned this post: SCREW YOU!)
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To: Kaslin

For all the hype, I haven’t really seen much of an advantage to shopping at Wal-Mart. Kroger and more local grocery chains consistently beat them with groceries, produce, meat and packaged foods.

They do have a good selection of dry goods.


17 posted on 07/21/2013 2:28:11 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Be Brave! Fear is just the opposite of Nar!)
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To: upchuck

You are correct.

amended post......

DC Amish eschew Walmart


18 posted on 07/21/2013 2:28:50 PM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Travon... Felony assault and battery hate crime)
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To: kabumpo
Yes, let’s have no other stores, only one megastore in every area - what a great idea.

We have 3 grocery stores in our area, some organic store, a Safeway, and a Wal-Mart.

It took Safeway a couple of years to figure out they were losing sales to Wal-Mart, and they finally cut their prices about 20% to compete.

I admire rich people like yourself, you've got it made and can afford to buy at the old Safeway level prices, or maybe even at that organic place, prior to Obama I could too. No more.

Now I'm extremely grateful to have a Wal-Mart.

19 posted on 07/21/2013 2:33:05 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (When America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: upchuck

Did you know that often times the merchandise sold at WalMart and other such stores is of lower quality?


20 posted on 07/21/2013 2:34:11 PM PDT by grania
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To: Balding_Eagle

So you do want a Soviet-style one big place, no choices, no competition. OK.


21 posted on 07/21/2013 2:55:47 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: grania

“They undersell by providing cheap crap with no originality or handicraft. “

I wish Wal-Mart would get in a good supply of that cheap 9mm Winchester crap that is made with no originality or handicraft and packaged in those 100 round white box value packs for $23.

;-(


22 posted on 07/21/2013 2:58:02 PM PDT by moovova
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To: grania
Did you know that often times the merchandise sold at WalMart and other such stores is of lower quality?

Compaired to what? Colgate toothpaste is Colgate toothpaste whether you buy it at Walmart or at Safeway.

23 posted on 07/21/2013 2:58:58 PM PDT by reformed_democrat ("... it's a dishonor to leave your allies." President Traian Basescu, Romania)
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To: reformed_democrat

Oops - Compared, not compaired


24 posted on 07/21/2013 3:00:05 PM PDT by reformed_democrat ("... it's a dishonor to leave your allies." President Traian Basescu, Romania)
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To: kabumpo

Thanks for conceding the argument so diplomatically.


25 posted on 07/21/2013 3:02:46 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (When America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: grania
Did you know that often times the merchandise sold at WalMart and other such stores is of lower quality?

No, I didn't know that. Perhaps you'd share some examples as I did.

26 posted on 07/21/2013 5:47:07 PM PDT by upchuck (To the faceless, jack-booted government bureaucrat who just scanned this post: SCREW YOU!)
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To: Kaslin

The D.C. City Council needs a personalized tour of Detroit!

Perhaps a glimpse of the future of WDC if they keep up this level of insanity would wake them up?

Although, on second thought, probably not!

Stupid is as stupid does!


27 posted on 07/21/2013 6:48:50 PM PDT by Taxman (So that the beautiful pressure does not diminish!)
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To: Balding_Eagle

We have a Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer, Safeway, and a Winco all within a 10 minute drive from my house. I go to Winco for most groceries because they have a better selection AND cheaper prices than Wal Mart. I DO go to Wally’s at least a couple times a week for paper goods, personal stuff, plant/gardening things, ammo, etc. Funny thing is, before Wal Mart built the store, it was a BIG, EMPTY Field. Now, there’s an Applebees (jobs), a China Express (jobs), a Red Canoe Credit Union (jobs) a new Kohls department store (more JOBS), a new Les Schwab (jobs) a new Firestone (jobs) and just opened recently: Red Robin (jobs) and a Big 5 sporting goods (jobs). THIS in a place where ten years ago there was nothing. I view that as a good thing.


28 posted on 07/21/2013 7:05:28 PM PDT by Mama Shawna
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To: Mama Shawna

Same here. Big empty field 5 years ago, now 20 or 30 businesses have sprung up.

Doesn’t matter to those who don’t like Wal-Mart though, so I seldom make the effort.

Ignorance is bliss, and I often tell myself not to interrupt their bliss.


29 posted on 07/21/2013 7:33:56 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (When America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: Kaslin

Just another example of what Reverend Manning was discussing when he said there was no successful black government that he could name. DC is busily demonstrating how accurate Rev. Manning was.


30 posted on 07/21/2013 8:05:53 PM PDT by GladesGuru (Islam is antithetical to, and Islam is irreconcilable with, America. Therefore - Islam Delenda Est)
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To: grania

Do you want quality or low price?

Searches for both are the original ‘Fools Errand’ because quality costs more.

Harbor Freight sells low price tools. Snap on sells quality.
Sears Craftsman tools are in the middle in terms of price and quality.

Craftsmanship, did you say? ALlow me to use shotguns as an example. A Mossberg is cheap, but functional. A Benneli costs a bit more and has better detailed manufacturing. Actually hand crafted shotguns start north of the $10,000 mark and the best are another order of magnitude in price.

How much quality one gets is a matter of personal choice and ability.

Willing buyer, willing seller - the old free market bit.

TANSTAAFL.

;-)


31 posted on 07/21/2013 8:23:13 PM PDT by GladesGuru (Islam is antithetical to, and Islam is irreconcilable with, America. Therefore - Islam Delenda Est)
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To: freeangel
The residents elected the pos that is in office. Elections have consequences

Not when you get your food for free with EBT cards.

32 posted on 07/21/2013 8:54:45 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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