Wal-Mart vs Washington DC. What side are you on?

PBAB 2013/07/16 02:30:35
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Washington DC has proposed raising the city’s minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $12.5 an hour. That’s nearly a 50% increase. But only for Wal-Mart.

The law would apply ONLY to specific large retailers and of those only one with an immediate affect. The legislation, termed the Large Retail Accountability Act (LRAA), targets a specific subset of D.C. retailers: those with more than 75,000 square feet. The proposal also exempts businesses with collective bargaining agreements or less than $1 billion in revenues. Going forward, the bill would not apply to any existing stores for at least four years. That leaves only one company immediately affected by the bill: Wal-Mart and its plans to build six stores in DC.

If the law passes, there will be challenges on the legality of taxing only a segment of the local private sector economy.

The measure is being cheered by unions and worker advocates who have long complained about Wal-Mart's wages and working conditions. Wal-Mart already pays it’s workers more than the federal minimum wage.

Other cities around the nation also have higher minimum wages than the federal mandated minimum of $7.25 an hour. San Jose, Calif., recently raised its minimum from $8 to $10 an hour and San Francisco's rate of $10.55 an hour is the highest in the nation. The new $12.5 dollar rate would be 18% higher than the highest rate in the land.

Some economists say targeting large retailers that can afford to increase wages may be an effective way to raise pay to even higher levels than a broad-based minimum wage. "A large retailer can more easily absorb a pay hike than a corner store," said Arindrajit Dube, an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a prominent supporter of raising the minimum wage. Large stores are "less likely to shut down or cut back on employment" in response to such an increase, he said.

But does the learned professor really understand the unintended consequences of the legislation?

As a result, Wal-Mart has announced that, if the bill becomes law, it will halt plans to build three stores in D.C. and consider abandoning three other stores now under construction. How will that affect the local economy and jobs?

By any analysis this is a really flawed proposal that's also very discriminatory," said David French, senior vice president of the National Retail Federation. "The assumption is that retailers make a lot of money, therefore they can pay higher wages and therefore you can impose higher costs by fiat," he said. "That doesn't necessarily reflect reality." Retailers are typically low-margin businesses, French said. While they move a lot of products, he said retail profitability is less than many other similarly situated businesses. The district measure could also affect other retailers like Best Buy and Macy's.

Is this a battle between a city and a company? Or is it a struggle between the private sector vs an over intrusive government?

Read More: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_MINIMUM_...

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  • Pronatalist Pronatalist 2013/08/05 01:10:57
    Pronatalist Pronatalist
    Why doesn't the corrupt government reduce the high cost-of-living by doing away with most government taxes and fees? Then even lower wages would seem like more and go farther, and with government sucking less money out of the economy, jobs and wages would naturally increase.

    Such government tampering, leads to ever more corruption, bribery, and unemployment, and more poverty. Is it any wonder so many jobs, and smart people, are fleeing the country?
  • frank 2013/07/16 16:05:09
    It looks like the idiots that are running Washington DC are trying to punish people who are successful, which in this case will force Wal-Mart the leave DC and lay off employees. This is just another dumb ass move by the Left.
  • White Panther 2013/07/16 14:52:47
    White Panther
    What's good for the goose is good for the gander. How can you legally force one company to pay a higher wage than another? It's stupidity at it's finest, and typical of anything that comes out of Washington DC.
  • BrianPaul4 2013/07/16 14:08:39
    Washington DC
    It's not only for Walmart..it is for any business making over 1 Million dollars annually. Your source is incorrect. Walmart pays the lowest wages of any retail chain nationally. So this law would require large retail giants to pay a "living wage". Other large cities should follow D.C. example.
  • PBAB BrianPaul4 2013/07/16 14:37:49
    In DC, Wal-Mart pays the minimum which is $8.25 an hour but they also pay higher than that based on job positions and tenure. That minimum is $1.00 an hour higher than the federal minimum. If you think that is too low, then lobby to increase the federal minimum, but don't blame Wal-Mart.

    The law would require only Wal-Mart to pay $12.5 an hour. That is 18% higher than any other city minimum wage in the entire country and is 72% higher than the federal minimum. Wal-Mart won't stand for that, they can't afford it despite what you believe. They are a huge volume, small profit margin business. They will not pay it. So they move out. Then what? The consumers have to pay more expensive retail in small mom and pop stores that don't have the bulk purchasing power of Wal-Mart. The consumers get hurt in the end, especially the poor.
  • BrianPaul4 PBAB 2013/07/16 14:51:02
    Walmart Consolidated net sales reached $466.1 billion for the year, an increase of more than $22 billion, or growth of 5.0 percent.
    Here is a quick read that sways my opinion. Granted this is only one store, but is a telling sign.
  • PBAB BrianPaul4 2013/07/16 15:58:52
    The article says "Wal-Mart wages are so low that.......", then a list of woes. But what the article doesn't give is one example where Wal-Mart pays less than the minimum wage. Not one instance. If there is no city minimum wage, then Wal-Mart pays the federal minimum. If there is a city minimum wage, as there is in San Fransisco, then Wal-Mart pays that wage. In this case, $10.55 an hour.

    If you want to single out all those companies that pay the minimum wage, the list would include nearly every store in the country. Thousands and thousands of companies. Do you blame all of them?

    As to the sales of Wal-Mart. Sure, it's in the billions, and so are the expenses, in the billions. You never see an article criticizing big business that shows the other side of the coin.
  • BrianPaul4 PBAB 2013/07/16 16:08:34
    I guess all I am saying is any company big enough, with billions of dollars can treat their employees fairly and pay them a "living wage" (cost of living). So taxpayers like myself don't need to supplement there income though social programs. Regardless of what the minimum wage may be. That's all thanks for listening to my rant.
  • PBAB BrianPaul4 2013/07/16 16:32:57
    No problem, I think there are valid concerns when a company doesn't treat its employees correctly. But I try to keep an open mind and want to see proof of wrong doing.

    The employees of Wal-Mart need less from social programs than if those same people were unemployed. It costs the system less if that person is employed.

    And if a company makes a billion and one dollar. Then has expenses of a billion dollars. That company only made a dollar. Simplistic example to be sure, but it's the "other side of the coin argument".

    Thanks for the conversation also, good day!
  • Bevos BrianPaul4 2013/07/19 14:56:14 (edited)
    Net sales for the yr. $466.1 Bil, and how much of that, do you suppose they paid out? and 5.0% growth tells me they are doing something RIGHT. And this bothers you why?

    Do you know that it was the Unions AND the HATE of the people for Wealthy Businesses, in Detroit that ran the businesses off? Which left the people without jobs. And they left town, and now there is nobody left to pay taxes and the city went Bankrupt. That is what is going to happen to every city That hates the very people that support it!!! And it should. Get it through your head. IT IS THE WEALTHY THAT EMPLOY AMERICA!! Without them, NOBODY would be working!!!
  • BrianPaul4 Bevos 2013/07/21 14:33:50
    ' IT IS THE WEALTHY THAT EMPLOY AMERICA!!"...Just my Opinion, Because I am allowed one. Just a new form of slavery if you ask me.
  • Bevos BrianPaul4 2013/07/21 14:57:45 (edited)
    A new form of slavery? And what would you propose as a solution to this form of "slavery"??? What option do you have other than working?
  • BrianPaul4 Bevos 2013/07/21 15:01:50
    Ever heard of a CO-OP. Everyone shares equally in the profits....but again just my opinion.
  • Bevos BrianPaul4 2013/07/22 15:39:21 (edited)
    Yep. I have heard of CO-OPs. been involved in a few of them. Electric CO-OPs. Their Electricity 8 yrs ago cost almost twice as much as my Alabama Power does today. And I never got one check from them.
    But where do you get the idea that if a person INVESTS his own money and time and sweat and tears, into a Co. That he opens and runs, and causes to become successful, himself, that he owes it to his employees, to just turn it over to them?
    IF they were investing THEIR money in the start-up of it, I might say you were right. If they were investing their time and hard work,without pay, quite often, I might consider it. But most often they had nothing to do with the building of the business, so WHY should they be HANDED that Co. so they could collect all of the rewards?
  • BrianPaul4 Bevos 2013/07/22 16:38:51
    I want to start by saying thank you for this debate, You bring up some very valid points. Back to Walmart v.s. Washington DC. As I understand Big Business drives our economy and Walmart is the largest retail chain. In an Ideal world (haha) there could be some compromise between Walmart and D.C. As well as Between Walmart and it's (in my opinion underpaid employees). As for CO-OP's I see them as a alternative to the corporate crazy and hope one day they find a larger part in this economy.
  • Bevos BrianPaul4 2013/07/22 16:50:24 (edited)
    I hope they don't. They are not as great as you think they are. And as far as Co-ops are concerned, Walmart gives stocks to their employees after they have worked for a certain amount of time. So in essence they are collecting more than just their paycheck.
    Try going down the street for a job. MINIMUM WAGE, no benefits, no stock in the Co. .
  • santa6642 2013/07/16 14:04:18
    Screw washington
  • frank santa6642 2013/07/16 16:11:06
    Now that would be fare play. They have been screwing us for years.
  • Bevos 2013/07/16 13:53:09 (edited)
    Walmart should cancel their plans to build in DC. Their are plenty of other towns that would treat them better. Towns that actually NEED the employment. I am SO SICK of a Govt that thinks they are there to RULE US!!! If the red States had any B-LLS, they would all secede and form their own United States WITHOUT OBAMA'S BS. Or his Lib Cronies.
    RUN EVERYBODY off that does anything resembling Liberalism or Communism.
  • gfreeman BN-0 2013/07/16 13:24:43
    Washington DC
    gfreeman BN-0
    They are probably fed up with subsidizing Wal-Mart's workforce. In fact, we all should be fed up.
  • PBAB gfreema... 2013/07/16 13:39:29
    If Wal-Mart leaves, jobs will be lost and it will cost them more.
  • gfreema... PBAB 2013/07/16 16:04:38
    gfreeman BN-0
    Wal-Mart isn't leaving, they are not there now.
  • PBAB gfreema... 2013/07/16 16:53:53
    They have several stores in the metro area, but none in the city limits, that's true. The six new stores in the city would bring 3,600 jobs. Those jobs would stimulate the local economy while improving local residents’ access to fresh, affordable groceries. Not to mention all the peripheral jobs like trucking, warehousing, etc. All that would be lost if Wal-Mart's plans are cancelled.

    How many of those 3,600 people would need more government services because they are unemployed? How much does that costs?
  • IOWA 2013/07/16 12:56:21
  • Thom Payne 2013/07/16 12:27:44
    Washington DC
    Thom Payne
    If Wal-Mart paid a living wage this wouldn't be an issue. The company is making hundreds of billions of dollars by underpaying their employees and letting the taxpayers make up the difference with food stamps, WIC and picking up the tab for health care.
  • PBAB Thom Payne 2013/07/16 12:45:32
    Does that justify singling them out and passing laws that only apply to Wal-Mart? Regardless of how you feel about Wal-Mart, laws for corporations should be enforced equally.
  • Thom Payne PBAB 2013/07/16 14:42:58
    Thom Payne
    They would also include K-Mart, Target and others. Wal-Mart was not singled out, they just chose to play the victim.
  • Bevos Thom Payne 2013/07/16 14:00:15
    Their starting wage is higher than minimum wage. What is your problem? I raised my two boys on mimimum wage. And it CAN be done still today. If each and every person in the household didn't have to have their own personal "OUTRAGEOUSLY PRICED" phone. Or I-pad or I-pod.
  • Thom Payne Bevos 2013/07/16 14:52:38
    Thom Payne
    I didn't say minimum wage, I said 'living wage'. In constant dollars, the minimum wage in 1968 would be equivalent to $10.74 today. If someone works at that wage full time they would only reach 65% of the poverty level in this country.

    Sam Walton's kids have had enough privileges in their pampered lives, why do they need more at the expense of their employees?
  • Bevos Thom Payne 2013/07/17 13:14:36 (edited)
    How about instead of raising everybody's wages, they open more stores with the money and put more people to work.
    I don't have a problem with the fact that Sam's kids had a lot and still have a lot. He earned it. I just hope they can put my grandkids to work.
    BTW My neice works at Walmart and has for yrs. I don't know what she makes, but she is supporting her two kids, buying a house, and putting her Daughter through College. And she is the only one working. She threw her worthless Husband out yrs ago. She has worked her way up to Dept Manager. I think it has more to do with what your priorities are. She does not spend money on a lot of frills.
  • PBAB Bevos 2013/07/17 14:03:37
    Great story about your niece. The complaint is about starting minimum wage being lower than "living wage", but they forget the opportunity that a company like Wal-Mart offers. Your niece had the opportunity to move up to Dept Manager and higher pay than minimum wage. Instead of focusing on starting wage, the conversation should be about lost opportunity for those in DC to build a career.
  • Bevos PBAB 2013/07/17 14:30:33
    Absolutely. I guess those that wish Walmarts would disappear, would GLADLY support their relatives that are employed there? I think NOT!!!

    My neice has worked in three different stores. In two completely different areas in Mich. and one in Alabama. And she loves them. But she sure did not get to where she is by crying about them or her wages, or her hours. She got there by hard work and going the extra mile. The only way you will get ahead in ANY Co.

    I guess the ones that hate Walmart are the ones that think they should have a Union job where they are WAY overpaid and WAY underworked. In other words where they can sit on their Arses all night and get drunk and still have a job in the Morning.
  • Thom Payne Bevos 2013/07/17 20:02:32
    Thom Payne
    Rule #1 of business is that you don't build another store in hopes it will work. You evaluate demand and if you have more demand than a store can handle, then you build another store.

    If you don't pay your employees - if no one pays their employees a decent wage - then you won't have demand.
  • PBAB Thom Payne 2013/07/17 20:46:57
    Demand is not based on the wages of the employees. It's based on the quality and price of the products.
  • Thom Payne PBAB 2013/07/18 12:48:40
    Thom Payne
    Demand is based on how essential your product is seen by the consumer and how much discretionary income the consumer has - which means it IS based on the wages of the consumer - your employees and everyone else's.
  • PBAB Thom Payne 2013/07/18 13:26:00
    You said wages of the employees and tied that to demand. Of course that same employee is also a consumer. But you were not speaking of consumer wages.
  • Thom Payne PBAB 2013/07/19 01:07:46
    Thom Payne
    What I said was "If you don't pay your employees - if no one pays their employees a decent wage - then you won't have demand."

    Which part of "if no one pays their employees a decent wage" did you not understand?

    Is English your second language?
  • PBAB Thom Payne 2013/07/19 02:48:32
    Your premise is, if nobody gets paid, they have no money, then they can't buy products, so there is no demand. Am I right about this?
  • Bevos PBAB 2013/07/19 14:21:09
    I wouldn't waste my time on him. He is like so many other Democrats. When they have no arguement, they get insulting!!!
  • Thom Payne PBAB 2013/07/20 03:40:27
    Thom Payne
    Yes. That is the point.

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