W-a-l-m-a-r-t does not spell welfare
Apparently the liberal MSM and politicians confuse the name Walmart with the concept of welfare. The first is a publicly traded retailer with stockholders that expect the company to remain profitable. The second is a government-sponsored entitlement program for the needy. The two are examples of entirely different economic animals: the first provides purpose, the semblance of independence and potential upward mobility, while the second guarantees socialistic stagnation and the status quo.
In 2013, the D.C. minimum hourly wage was $8.25. At the time, the city council tried to shake down the world's largest company (in 2014, by revenue as well as the biggest private employer) with the “Large Retailer Accountability Act.” The bill targeted only non-union retailers with stores in the district larger than 75,000 feet and with corporate sales of $1 billion-plus. When Walmart balked and almost bolted, the bill was rejected by then-Mayor Vincent Gray. It would have required them (and a limited number of other companies such as Target, Home Depot, and Macy's) to pay employees a 50-percent premium over the city’s minimum wage, or $12.50.
Although mandated wage hikes sound good in theory, in the real world of economics that politicians wholly disregard, they are job-killers. These district-running Democrats grouse about low-wage jobs and a “living wage” in order to perpetually keep their voter bases stirred up, ensuring their own re-elections. This is their draconian justification to use the heavy hands of government to throw destructive monkey wrenches (these arbitrary, Orwellian regulations) that, in practice, promote more unemployment under the guise of promising its opposite. In this, they completely ignore the history that such positions were designed as “starter” jobs, to give the young their first employment experiences. They were never intended to be the stuff of careers – or the economic basis upon which to raise a family.
Independent of the above situation, Walmart did initiate paying its hourly employees more, a $9.00-per-hour wage in April of 2015. (Reported Wednesday: a scheduled second round of pay increases to $10.00 will begin next month.) Perhaps a questionable business decision, given the fact that employee wage increases have directly led to diminished profits; by October, the stock had dropped 10%. This logically has caused an economic contraction, compelling Walmart to downsize worldwide, including 154 stores in the U.S. – among them two in D.C. This actuality has current D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser “blood mad,” because of the five stores promised – on a handshake – only three were built, apparently in the better areas of town. The two slated for poorer regions have been abandoned.
Politician Bowser can stew and take it personally, but it is only business. Unlike government, which never has a bottom line and seems not to care one whit for economic consequences (read: 19 trillion in U.S. deficit spending and counting), such is not the case for any business or any rational person managing a household budget. Yet liberals' knee-jerk reaction is always the same: the politics of victimization. In this case, demonize the “evil” capitalist entity, and publicly proclaim it a “racist” enterprise that “scammed” D.C.'s poor out of an economic oasis in a dilapidated urban area – a circumstance, the MSM neglects to mention, caused by Democrats' anti-capitalist policies and gross mismanagement of many of America's prominent cities.
David L. Hunter is on Twitter and blogs at davidlhunter.blogspot.com. He has previously been published in multiple in The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and FrontPage Mag, and extensively in Canada Free Press and American Thinker.