Here we go again. From Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog:
For two and a half years now, Washington has been trying to figure out what, if anything, to do about the six stores Wal-Mart is planning to open in the city. The company has a pretty bad history of paying low wages and vacuuming streets of their local businesses, and activists have pushed for concessions that would at least force it to be a good corporate citizen.
But the company cut its real estate deals such that local politicians had little leverage, and most didn’t want to use it anyway, lulled by promises of thousands of jobs and retail for some of the neighborhoods that need it most. Ultimately, Mayor Vincent Gray signed a “community partnership agreement” that contains goals for the hiring of local residents, but no enforcement mechanism whatsoever.
At long last, however, the D.C. Council may have found a way to squeeze something more out of the world’s largest retailer: passing a bill that requires all corporations in the city with more than $1 billion in global sales to pay a minimum wage of $12.50, with exceptions for companies with collective bargaining agreements. That means that Wal-Mart, along with other big chains such as Home Depot, Costco and Macy’s, would have to pay nearly 50 percent more than D.C.’s existing $8.25 minimum wage.
Why do Vile Progs hate Walmart? They provide jobs and a low-cost source of food, clothing and household supplies. They have been pretty damn successful at it too.
I have never worked at Walmart, but they did offer me a job once when I was still in college. At the time I was working at a competitor. I know from experience that the “big box” retailers all use the same basic business plan. As far as I can tell Walmart is just better at it.
But Walmart is the one the Vile Progs obsess about. Is it because they are headquartered in Arkansas? Is it because they are synonymous with the disgusting proles that shop there? (Face it, shopping at Walmart is as unhip as it gets.)
As for those studies that claim that forcing Walmart to give all their employees a huge raise would result in a negligible increase in prices I think they are full of shit. Labor costs are not that small a fraction of retailers’ budgets.
If you don’t like how Walmart does business, don’t shop there.