Saturday, September 14, 2013

Wal Mart Wins in D.C. Wage Scuffle

It was a huge win for capitalism and free markets in Washington D.C. Thursday when Mayor Vincent Gray vetoed the ridiculous Large Retailer Accountability Act which would have forced "large retailers" to pay an arbitrary minimum "living wage" of $12.50  an hour:

Mayor Vincent C. Gray vetoed legislation Thursday that would force the District’s largest retailers to pay their workers significantly more, choosing the potential for jobs and development at home over joining a national fight against low-wage work.
Gray’s quandary is playing out in many U.S. cities, where local leaders who generally sympathize with worker causes are also eager to lure jobs and commerce for their constituents. Retailers, most notably Wal-Mart, have placed an increasing focus on urban expansion, while unions and advocates for workers have pushed measures like the District’s “living wage” bill as a valuable hedge against the proliferation of low-paying jobs.
 The veto, which is unlikely to be overridden by the D.C. Council, clears the way for Wal-Mart to continue its entry into the District — plans years in the making that were thrown into question after lawmakers embraced the wage proposal this year.
As the blurb above mentions, the idiocy of these types of laws is patently obvious even to lefty mayors. You might as well call this bill the Elimination of Economic Freedom and opportunity act, because this, among other things, is the net effect of such ridiculous, Marxist statutes. And while we're at it, let's dispense with the notion that "advocates for workers" support this ridiculous crap. Workers do best when they are empowered to "advocate" for themselves. If you aren't happy with what your employer pays you in this country, you are free to go find an employer that will pay you better -- or create your own job.

Also referenced above is the fact that Wal Mart will more than likely move ahead with D.C. expansion plans that have been years in the making now that the D.C. city council has its boot off Wal Mart's throat, clearing the way for the creation of hundreds of decent-paying entry level jobs with benefits to be created in Washington D.C. not just by Wal Mart, but by other larger retailers as well.

Gray is apparently not a stupid man (apparently a hell of a lot smarter than the majority of the D.C. city council. He recognized that the best way to turn D.C. into the next Detroit was to tell "large retailers" they aren't welcome. The proof is in the rampant speculation about how fast Wal Mart is going to build now that Mayor Gray has welcomed them.

Facts are facts and the fact is that Wal Mart does more good for low and middle income people than any other retailer in America by providing them good products at the lowest possible prices. Shopping at Wal Mart raises everyone's standard of living -- it's been proven in study after study and it's just common sense.

Aside from the notion that an arbitrary wage of $12.50 an hour is a "living wage", what is an entry-level job worth? The simple answer is that, it depends on the area of the country just like whether or not $12.50 an hour is a living wage depends on the area of the country you are in. An entry level job at Wal Mart is worth whatever the market will bear for an entry level job in that market. If you are getting enough quality workers at the hourly rate you are paying, there is no need to raise the hourly rate. There are literally millions of workers who started in entry-level wage jobs who moved up the ladder and are now making good money in management positions in "large corporations" all over the country. An artificially-high minimum wage eliminates the  opportunity for some of these workers (particularly the younger ones) to enter the workforce in the first place.

It's just commons sense: When lefty politicians who have never had to make a payroll in their lives start dictating "minimum wages" to employers, it stifles economic opportunity for everyone.

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