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DC's Walmart Minimum Wage Law Would Hurt the Poor


DC has just become the latest battleground over Walmart’s business practices. The retailer recently announced plans to open a number of stores in the city, but the District government has been throwing obstacles in its path. On Wednesday, the city council approved the Large Retailer Accountability Act by an 8 to 5 vote. The bill would force any non-unionized retailer with more than $1 billion in revenue and more than 75,000 square feet of retail space (read: Walmart) to pay employees at least $12.50 an hour. Minimum wage in DC is $8.25.

Washington Mayor Vincent Gray now has ten days to veto the bill. On the eve of the vote, Walmart executive Alex Barron wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that the retailer would cancel its current plans to build three locations in the District if the law passed.

If the bill stands—or if the Walmart opponents manage to override a Mayoral veto—it’s the city’s residents who will ultimately suffer. Democratic Councilman-at-Large Vincent Orange, a key backer of the legislation, argued that, “The question here is a living wage; it’s not whether Wal-Mart comes or stays….We’re at a point where we don’t need retailers. Retailers need us.”

Mr. Orange is dead wrong. The three stores Walmart is threatening to cancel are all badly needed retail and grocery options in underserved and poorer areas of DC that don’t have many options. As Ezra Klein, no lover of Walmart, writes:

[S]everal of the locations where Wal-Mart has committed to open have very little in the way of retail around them, and Office of Planning Director Harriet Tregoning has emphasized that small businesses in the vicinity should be able to prepare for it. Currently, many District residents are skipping over those small stores anyway on their way out to suburban Wal-Marts; keeping them in the neighborhood might open up opportunities for complementary businesses – such as restaurants or auto-repair shops — to open around them. Finally, many of the developments had been searching for anchor tenants for years; it’s unclear that Wal-Mart could be easily replaced, leaving the sites fallow.

DC is already an incredibly expensive place to live, and a lack of outlets for affordable basic commodities makes scrimping that much harder for middle class and poor residents. Cheaper prices at Walmart mean that in terms of purchasing power everybody in DC gets an immediate pay boost.

Blue politicians who oppose Walmart in DC—and in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles before it—do so with good intentions to help low-paid hourly workers afford life in their overpriced metropolises. Blue-model economic governance has often looked for ways to increase prices for certain producers through things like farm subsidies, taxes, regulation and construction controls. For those that can’t pay, they provide offset subsidies like food stamps.

So one of the main reasons there’s a case for living wage laws at all is that a combination of bad urban policy, overstuffed bureaucracies, excessive regulation and government-endorsed economic cartels have all driven up the cost of living so much that people can’t afford to live on the national minimum wage.

Instead of raising the minimum wage or fighting discount retailers—steps sure to make everything more expensive and create further problems—cities like DC should be working aggressively to bring down the cost of living so that more people can live on the wages they earn.

[Walmart image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

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  • Kavanna

    Cronyistic plutocracy is the real point of the Democratic party today. DC is now where New York is, only more so: the poor are on welfare, the cronyists are on top, and the independent and salaried middle class are squeezed out.

    Wasn’t that the point?

    • Corlyss

      “The transformation of the DC area into a gold-plated, recession-proof enclave in the last 20 years has been astonishing.”

      It’s been like that since WW2. Recessionproof DC is not nearly that new.

  • Corlyss

    “DC’s Walmart Minimum Wage Law Would Hurt the Poor

    They don’t care, just like they didn’t care about Michelle Rhee’s reforms. It’s the People’s Republic of the District of Columbia. I suspect this has more to do with unions and the limousine liberals in the Northwest’s figuratively-gated communities and the gentrified area in SE around the Congress and the Library of Congress. Those folks have always been supporters of reparations and think its perfectly fine for most of the DC population to be on welfare.

    Personally, I think the statute would be struck down as a bill of attainder since they exempted all the union stores. If Walmart needs the DC poor’s business, then I would expect the world to reverse rotation on its axis.

  • circleglider

    Didn’t the failure of the Soviet Union prove once and for all that centralized economic planning doesn’t work?

    • Nick Bidler

      ‘course not, because that would mean admitting fallibility.

    • Patriot

      Right on. The problem is that STUPID just can’t be fixed. It just keeps proliferating.

  • Corlyss

    When Jim Cramer described the arrival of Walmart as the “first time poor people could buy a nice suit appropriate for job interviews,” suddenly a lot of things about their success and the limo liberals unyielding hostility to Walmart became clear.

  • dawadu

    DC Council members are people who refuse to let facts get in the way of their opinion and in this case WalMart is bad and hurts the poor.

  • Andrew Allison

    Re: “Blue politicians who oppose Walmart in DC—and in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles before it—do so with good intentions to help low-paid hourly workers afford life in their overpriced metropolises.”
    I big to differ. They do it, and thereby deny workers jobs which they would willingly take, because of political pressure from the businesses which would be hurt by the competition.

    • Corlyss

      Amen! I often wonder what child’s fairy story some of WRM’s charitable, give-em-the-benefit-of-the-doubt opinions come from.

    • foobarista

      Motivations are irrelevant. Only results matter.

    • bpuharic

      America has no unions so blaming it on that boogeyman doesn’t work. And Wal mart isn’t about competition at all. It destroys competition

      • 1StaleBiscuit

        How does Walmart destroy it’s competition?

        • Tom

          Basically by undercutting their prices and other such eeeeeeeviiilllllll tactics. And by paying their workers poorly enough that they have to shop at Wal-mart.
          Or so the left says, anyway.

          • 1StaleBiscuit

            Yup and Walmart shoppers get the benefit. I kinda like the money staying in my pocket.

          • Tom

            The other thing is that most of the people who work at Wal-mart would end up getting paid those wages anyway, or would be on the dole.

          • grahambanks

            Umm, that’s not undercutting competition, that IS competition. That’s what keeps prices down and quality up, keeps innovating new products, and gets a ridiculous variety of products to every Podunk burg in America.

          • Tom

            I was being sarcastic.

        • Patriot

          It only occurs in the dreams of left-wing a-hole extremists!

    • 1StaleBiscuit

      Andrew–well said. It is about protection for unions and other retailers. I am in Orlando and Walmart items are consistently 17 to 20% less expensive then their competitors.

      • bpuharic

        Since America has no unions (less than 7% of the private sector is unionized), this is just another excuse for the right to invent a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist

        • Dan045

          So the poor would be better off if they’re forced to buy expensive food (etc)?

          • bpuharic

            THey’d be better off if their boss made less and they made more. That’s what unions do

          • http://www.SuperiorPolitics.Com/ SuperiorPoliticsDotCom

            Maybe you should move to Caracas, Venezuela and see how well socialism is working there. It ain’t.

            Time for you to come out of the basement. Your mother is calling… it’s dinner time.


          • bpuharic

            Godwin’s law violation. ALthough it usually applies to Nazism, it also applies to the radical right winger who calls anything that’s American “sociaism’

            Saves you from having to think

          • http://www.SuperiorPolitics.Com/ SuperiorPoliticsDotCom

            Sorry, little boy…. I’m a registered Libertarian. You can’t lump me in with people I don’t vote for.

          • bpuharic

            And the difference between a nazi and libertarian is?

          • http://www.SuperiorPolitics.Com/ SuperiorPoliticsDotCom

            The difference between a nazi and libertarian is a Democrat.

          • Patriot

            Hey shouldn’t you be at a memorial for little angelic Trayvon Martin?
            You don’t want to be late now do you?

          • Dan045

            Most of the poor don’t work at Wal-Mart, but they’d be better off if they shopped there.

          • bpuharic

            The same can be said of the poor in Somalia, which is what the American right wants the US to become

          • Dan045

            Stupid argument. Any dollar cut from the budget will turn us into Somalia? Really? Every dollar the gov spends is well spent and better than what I could?

            Further I hear about the glories of the unions all the time since I’m in Michigan.

            Then I look at what the teacher’s union has done for Detroit’s kids and what the car unions did for Detroit’s jobs and I wonder what you’re smoking.

          • bpuharic

            Stupid response. The right is waging an ideological class war against the middle class (the 47% they think are ‘moochers’). While they practice communism for the rich and gut social programs for the middle class and poor (e.g. the farm bill), they tell us how they’re protecting us

            If the right was correct, states with no teachers’ unions would be at the top of the heap.

            State with the best education in America? MA with strong unions.

            And how we doing now that we gutted the unions? THe middle class hasn’t had a raise in 30 years while the 1% has tripled theirs

            Proud of that, right winger?

          • Dan045

            How many failed school systems have unions? All of them, right? And the local gov still insists on sending kids into failure factories, because union jobs is more important than children’s educations.

            Good schools can have unions, but a bad private school without government union power would just die.

            I’ve talked to some liberal friends about this and they’ll admit over a beer that it’s a big problem, but then they’ll protest that if we got rid of the teacher’s union, how would the local dems get money?

            That failure is yours, you own it.

            As for the “war on the middle class”, how is Obamacare going? I know all those jobs you’re destroying doesn’t bother you because you don’t understand economics. Your good intentions trumps any poor result.

            How many jobs have you personally created? None, right? Join the real world and you’ll become a conservative.

          • bpuharic

            Can’t help you dude. If your argument was true, non unionized systems would be at the top of the heap.

            THey’re not, Far from it. Unions are a minor player but the right is fanatical about unions because the right has a mythology that America is a land where social mobility is unlimited

            no matter that that’s wrong. IT’s a beautiful story

          • Dan045

            “…non unionized systems would be at the top of the heap…”

            Hardly. I live in a union school system, moved their actually. To my eye, the union doesn’t help or hurt, because the parents are strong and involved. The local union isn’t dominate.

            Unions don’t make children succeed, but they do make an awful situation much worse by running a weak system for their own benefit.

            “…America is a land where social mobility is unlimited…”

            Agreed, it’s not. But we’re not going to change that until we fix the failure factories, and the unions are dead set against that, and for good reason. Any solution means they’ll lose power.

            We need to empower parents, not unions. Parents put their children first, unions put their own power first.

          • bpuharic

            No one cares what your Aunt Nelly’s hairdresser’s mechanic thinks about unions

            Liberals rely on evidence.Conservatives rely on anecdotes

            The EVIDENCE shows non unionized systems are no better than unionzed systems

            Go back to your Reader’s DIgest and let the adults talks

          • Dan045

            “…Liberals rely on evidence…”

            You’re funny. Unions have nothing to do with failed schools? Really? How many gov mandated failure factories can you mention which DON’T have a union in the middle of it?

            How many times do we need to watch union power derail school reform before we move out of the district?

            For you this isn’t about education, this is about power. Without union support you don’t have a party, they’re not “bit players”, they’re the dem’s strongest supporters.

            Children don’t vote and can’t donate money to dems. Got to keep your priorities straight after all.

          • bpuharic

            Meaningless phrase ‘govt mandated failure’.

            We gave Wall Street EVERYTHING they wanted…busted unions…deregulation…and what did they do

            caused the greatest depression in 80 years

            Unions weren’t involved

            Thanks right wing

          • Dan045

            “…Meaningless phrase ‘govt mandated failure’…”

            What, you think the local parents don’t know their kid has almost no chance of success at the local school? Gov said I needed to send my kids into a lesser school, so I moved.

            I held my girl back a grade, against the schools wishes (best move I’ve made), and gov told me if I couldn’t send her back into the local school, I’d have to send her into a school of their choice, and shockingly it wasn’t a good one.

            So we went charter. I have resources to make that happen, poorer people don’t.

            “…Unions weren’t involved…”

            In Wall Street and the banks? Yeah, they weren’t, but that mess was hardly right wing only.

          • bpuharic

            Sure it was a right wing mess. It cut across party lines but liberals have opposed deregulation of banks vs the right which, to this day, thinks regulation is a policy of the anti christ

            And local schools? We need a national curriculum like every other advanced country has. Here in the US we have a fetish for local control under the myth it gives us better results

          • Dan045

            The parts of the banking system which failed weren’t the parts which were deregulated. Housing was very regulated, controlled, and manipulated for political advantage. Who said “let’s roll the dice”?

            To be fair, imho the banking sector finds ways to blow itself up every few decades, and this was more an issue of that rather than left/right wing trying to put people into houses they shouldn’t have been in.

            “… We need a national curriculum…”

            Everyone already knows where the failure factories are, including the parents. Schools that currently produce children who can’t read don’t know they’re supposed to be teaching kids to read? Does anyone seriously think that’s the core problem?

            The entire point of “a national curriculum” is to avoid giving to parents the ability to destroy union jobs. That’s why it will fail.

            This is like giving the three stooges detailed instructions on what should happen… no matter what the objectives are on paper, I expect we’ll see a comedy.

            Let parents choose. Most, like me, will not care if it’s a union shop if it works. But if giving parents power costs union jobs then it costs union jobs.

          • bpuharic

            Housing was not the cause of the banking crisis. Unregulated trading in credit default swaps was.

            If the banking sector fails every few decades, why does the middle class have to pay for it both in bailouts and in jobs? As Nobel prize winner Joseph Stiglitz pointed out, we’ve privatized reward and socialized risk. And the right seems fine with this. They pay lip service to the ‘free market’ but continue to support deregulation which is part of the problem.

          • Dan045

            The underlying equity which lost money was housing. Swapping the hot potato just determined who got caught with it, it didn’t actually create it.

            Imho we’ll always live in a world where banks go boom occasionally, the real problem was we let them do so without firing the top two layers of management. That was just criminal.

            “…we’ve privatized reward and socialized risk…”

            If anything he’s understating the problems. That sort of situation isn’t just unethical, it’s outright corrupting to our institutions.

            Really good examples of it would be Fanny and Freddy, or various public union’s retirement fund blithely claiming they can get crazy high rates of return. We the tax payers will end up paying dearly for their assumptions.

          • bpuharic

            Nope, the math doesn’t add up for it to have been housing. Home ownership as a percentage of all households has been pretty constant at 64-68% over 30 years.

            What was NOT constant was credit default swaps which ballooned by 20,000% in 10 years. THAT factor doomed our economy.

            Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac got into the market late, only in 2004 after the GOP congress deregulated them, allowing them to back risky mortgages.

            And we didn’t protect unions with TARP. We protected Wall Street bankers. Americans will sell their first born to protect the wealthy

          • Dan045

            Home Ownership as a percentage over the years.


            Inflation adjusted cost of homes.



            Fannie and Freddy’s role in the crisis and business model being exactly what you were complaining about:


            “…And we didn’t protect unions with TARP…”

            True, but, but history will repeat itself with gov public union pension funds.

          • bpuharic

            Thanks for proving me right. The math does not support the claim GSE’s played a significant role

            If you want to ignore a 20,000% run up in credit default swaps, be my guest. The right can not possibly conceived that Wall Street and not main street was the cause of this meltdown. It doesn’t fit their dogma.

          • Patriot

            We’ve obviously been infected by yet another troll!

            Friends, Please don’t feed the trolls! No good will come of it!

          • bpuharic

            If we didn’t feed the trolls you’d starve.

          • Patriot

            “F”-off troll!

          • Patriot

            Hey jerk-wad, you just described what the left has long been on record as to what they stand for. Take your left-wing BS elsewhere. We aren’t buying!

          • bpuharic

            You and I have something in common

            neither of us knows what you’re talking about.

          • jagiela

            they would make more- if Obama did his job and deported the illegal aliens.

            But of course, why should you get worse wages if you join a union? How does that help the poor?

          • bpuharic

            Illegal aliens are just a useful whipping boy to keep the right wing focused on the poor instead of the wealthy.

            Illegal immigrants didn’t blow out our economy in 2007, the rich did. Yet the right worships and adores them with slavish devotion


          • jagiela

            Nice try but truly pathetic:

            The illegals drive down the wages of the working class by increasing the supply of manual labor. Everyone knows that which is why Obama’s business cronies are behind the immigration push.

            And why did Obama, Biden and Clinton vote to bailout the billionaires on Wall Street? Because the Democrats are the party of insiders and they hate the poor

          • bpuharic

            What drives down wages is when the 1% blow out the economy and put millions out of work. We’ve had illegals here for decades but it’s only now that the right is hysterical

            Why? Because otherwise we’d have to look at the financial sector and that would cause God…AKA Wall Street…to be questioned and the right will NEVER permit their Wall Street masters to be questioned

          • jagiela

            Wall Street Masters? Tell it to their slave Obama

            If this is so good for the workers, why do workers in unions not get the same protection?

            Why should they have to pay dues just to get a pay cut?

            Why do you hate union workers so?

          • bpuharic

            There are no unions in the US. The few union members who do exist make more than those who aren’t members.

            Why do you hate the middle class?

          • jagiela

            So then why did the DC council exempt companies under a collective bargaining agreement? How stupid can you be?

          • bpuharic

            By the way…the bailouts?

            Occurred during GEORGE BUSH”S administration

            So in addition to being uneducated you’re a liar.

          • jagiela

            Are you really that stupid? Are you really that dumb? Are you really that illiterate? Are your really that naive?

            I said that Hillary Clinton, Biden and Obama all VOTED for the bailouts- which they did. The bailouts may have happened during the Bush administration but they were passed with Democratic votes led by the cheerleading trio of Obama, Clinton and Biden

            Now go to your room and leave the discussion to your betters.

          • bpuharic

            Your theme song? “Don’t know much about history”

            Hey genius…the wealthy have stacked the deck with their right wing socialism. We have no choice. THey screw up? We pay. THey make money? They keep it

            Who defends the rich? THe right wing.

            Crack open a history book instead of smoking crack. Quit listening to Rush (PBUH). You may learn something

          • jagiela

            coming from someone who didn’t know that Obama, Biden and Hillary all voted for the billionaire banker bailout that really makes no sense.

          • bpuharic

            Uh…genius? I did know that.The right wing had bankrupted the country with its socialist moral hazard wealth enhancement for the 1%. THat’s the genius of the right…bankrupt the middle class with socialism for the rich THEN get the middle class to worship the rich.

          • jagiela

            So why did you pretend it wasn’t true if you knew it was? Because your a leftist and leftism is pure evil and the only way evil can triumph is to lie which is all you can do.

          • bpuharic

            Since I never mentioned who voted for it, I couldnt pretend it ‘wasn’t true’. Your meaningless statement is a desperate ploy to salvage your fantasies about right wing economics

          • Patriot

            Haven’t you been reading this turds musings? You know he’s stupid, un American, illiterate and naive to boot. Your a pretty good judge of character or in this case, lack of character.

          • Lizard

            Does that also go for union bosses?

          • bpuharic

            When’s the last time you voted for a CEO?

          • Patriot

            What a good little Marxist you are. Try being an American for a change.

          • bpuharic

            Godwin’s law violation of the right. Anytime someone questions the Holy Writ of the far right, they get called a marxist.

          • Patriot

            That’s exactly what he’s saying!

        • Patriot

          7% is still way to high!
          Public sector unions need to be outlawed. It’s just another excuse for legalized theft. Most union members unfortunately are individuals who can’t or won’t fend for themselves!


          • bpuharic

            Let’s see…the right enabled Wall Street to destroy our economy while making trillions

            to the right that proves unions are too strong.

      • Patriot

        If the unions had their way, prices would be 17 to 20% more expensive! Unions are not the answer. Free trade and capitalism is!

        • bpuharic

          Both are myths. As Nobel prize winners Joseph Stiglitz and Robert Solow have pointed out, the conditions under which a ‘free market’ exist never happen

          But go ahead, Keep reading those fairy tales that tell us how well the middle class is doing.

    • 1StaleBiscuit

      Another fact to help our friends who think Walmart is bad to its employees. When Walmart opened a store just outside the Chicago city limit the applicant to job ratio was 7 apps for each job available. Seems like some folks saw WM as an opportunity. Don’t you love the virtuous folks on the council?

      • Patriot

        Chicago also lost a lot of tax revenue due to their stupidity and anti Walmart bias!

    • 47Percenter

      If there is money to be made they will.. How will it hurt the poor.. Hog wash.. If the stores are on such shaky standing that paying a little more will do them in then its good that the people not get jobs they will loose as soon as price of gas goes up 5 cents..

      • Andrew Allison

        It will, as the article clearly states, hurt the poor by requiring them to pay higher prices. It also hurts the city: Cities have been trying to shut out Walmart and Big Box stores for a very long time, with the result that the revenues which would otherwise flow to the cities go somewhere nearby. And, it hurts the environment by causing addition driving as people seek out better prices. You last sentence is nonsensical.

    • Patriot

      This is called business racism and business profiling! They have this bug up their butts because Walmart is successful, they create jobs and reduce dependency on Government. Sam was a conservative and they don’t like that. Perhaps that explains why no attacks on Costco?

  • bpuharic

    Walmart already receives large govt subsidies in the form of food stamps for workers, tax concessions, etc. Again and again elites like WRM keep arguing that, as long as we keep the poor poor and provide massive subsidies for the wealthy, America will do just fine

    The Somalia model is not a recipe for growth.

  • bpuharic

    Right wing economists like Casey Mulligan have argued we need to REDUCE the minimum wage since the middle class hasn’t had a raise in 30 years. That will make the middle class feel better.

    WRM, Mulligan and others are engaged in justifying a race to the bottom for the middle class. Corporate profits are at an all time high.CEO pay is at an all time high. Middle class wages are at an all time low as a percentage of GDP and STILL Mead doesn’t see a problem with this.

    The middle class is dying and Mead is busy at the florist’s buying lillies.

  • Jim__L

    We have a lot of territory in this country. Why do we have to stuff so many people into one place?

    As far as Washington DC goes, I’d like to see our federal government moved to somewhere closer to the middle of the country. Nebraska, say. The rationale behind having it in the center of the old thirteen colonies is obsolete — the logic that supported that solution now supports a different solution.

    Having a less urbanized capital kept the outlook of our politicians more balanced. We could use more of that today.

  • PBHT

    I think people should realize Washington DC is not, some little po dunk town in the middle of no where. The Walmart kills competition theory doesn’t exactly apply to metropolian areas with millions of people. Walmart would definately be good for DC, lower prices would be a huge benefit for the poor. It is true that walmart entry level jobs do suck, but cmon if you have to take a job at walmart its not like your going to be making great money anywhere.

  • Arclight

    DC’s politicians don’t care about poor people. Half are white elitists who are more concerned about wrenching the crown of “most progressive city” from San Francisco, and the other half are race hustlers who use the language of grievance and victimhood to extract what they want from the rest of the city, who is only too happy to give it to them so long as they stay away from U Street, Dupont, Adams Morgan and H Street. Actually helping the lower class achieve self-sufficiency is not and never has been on the agenda.

  • Historybuff

    The DC City Council is made up of democrats.

    That should explain everything to folks.

    Walmart would bring Jobs. Democrats do not want that – gets people off government assistance… food stamps. Can’t have that because that would lessen the dependency on Big Government… And then what would the liberal democrats have to buy votes with?

    • bpuharic

      THe US economy collapsed under the GOP. That should explain everything.

      THe GOP just passed a farm bill that has socialism for the rich and starves the poor. Govt dependency for the 1%. Starvation for everyone else

      • JohnG69

        The economy aint doing any better under a Democrat unless 7.6% unemployment for 5+ years is a good thing to you.

        • bpuharic

          Financial sector recoveries are slower than others…when the right blows up the economy they do it right.

          • JohnG69

            That is an often repeated falsehood.

            But tell me, how much longer will it take for Obama to fix the economy?? He has been in office for 4.5 years now. That is longer than it took us to win WW 2.

          • bpuharic

            I guess if it doesn’t come from Rush (PBUH) it’s a lie. The talk radio bobbleheads…like you…just mouth what they’re told:


            Oh, look. You’re wrong

            What else is new. Being right wing means, by definition, being wrong.

            As to WW2 and such…Bush gave us the longest war in US history

            How we doing?

  • bjpun

    Liberals only like helping the poor when they use someone elses money. I don’t understand how this is a shock to anyone.

  • leadingedgeboomer

    Funny, in my little town where the minimum wage is $10.51/hour and inflation-adjusted (we want people who work here to be able to live here), Walmart has opened a giant big box store and continued its normal-sized store. Bluster from Walmart. I wish we had Costco, which treats its employees far better.

    • Tom

      Yeah, but how much does Walmart have to pay for the property in your town? Not as much as in D.C., I’ll guarantee that.

  • sun_wukong

    Who cares. Poor people keep voting in the morons who support such legislation. It is only right that they suffer for their actions; how can you save people who vote to oppress themselves?

    • bpuharic

      A fair comment.Alot of conservatives on food stamps are folks who lost their jobs but think only black folks get ‘welfare’ and food stamps. Pathetic

  • JohnG69

    How could such a law pass a court challenge. You can’t write laws so narrow they only effect one company. And union companies are exempt?? Seriously??

    I would expect a court to toss this law.

  • Pronghorn

    Minimum wage laws are perfect for getting the votes of the uninformed. They sound ideal, everyone wants their neighbor to get a raise, so just pass a law doing it, presto! We can all be wonderful, caring human beings by supporting minimum wages. Except for the minor problem that they deny jobs to the people who need them most…young, unskilled, long-term unemployed, lazy, disabled, old. Never mind, just give them food stamps and wash your hands of them.

    • bpuharic

      The right objects to increases in the MW because they have a fantasy that the market is perfect, never fails and, although America has the least social mobility and worst inequality of any western country, our job is to protect the rich and gut the middle class, who are, after all, moochers.

      • Pronghorn

        The right believes that free markets are on balance superior to regulated ones. Social mobility has to start somewhere, and it’s often with a very low wage job, or several such jobs. If you destroy the low wage jobs, as with MW laws, you end up with more inequality.

        • bpuharic

          Progressives believe this as well. Adam Smith called for regulated markets.

          The US has the worst social mobility of any western country

          The US has the greatest inequality of any western country

          To the right that proves how exceptionally wonderful we are

  • mjnellett

    What has D.C. done that hasn’t hurt the poor? Obama is a pathological liar and doesn’t give a hoot about anyone except himself, and his supporters. 15.5% black unemployment?? Yeah, he cares alright…NOT!

  • AERzondzinska

    “Cities like DC should be working aggressively to bring down the cost of living so that more people can live on the wages they earn.” How exactly would you do that in a free-market economy?

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