Growing from a single Arkansas discount store in 1962 to the worlds biggest retailer and largest private employer, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., today provides jobs for two million people.
In our modern world, thats enough to make the Bentonville, Arkansas, company big labors Public Enemy Number One, with union-backed politicians (read: Democrats) organizing something of a dragnet to bring down the retailer.
Sure, we get it, they dont like the non-union jobs at Walmart . . . or the pay or the benefit packages. But no one is forced to take those jobs. The folks who do go to work at Walmart have freely chosen that opportunity to earn a living over their other (presumably less-lucrative) offers.
And then, after going to work, they havent collectively chosen to unionize, either. Perhaps many Walmart employees would like higher-paying union jobs. But they havent apparently been offered any, and may understand that, if Walmart were forced to pay more for labor, their job offers may vanish. They may understand a truth other folks have trouble with: you cant do just one thing — requiring that higher wages be paid doesnt mean that the same number of jobs will be offered. Cause and effect dont stop with politicians intent.
Walmart employees have, instead, teamed with a company so adept at its mission to sell for less that studies show shopping there saves the average American more than $2,300 a year and provides a greater financial benefit to the poor than does the federal governments growing food stamp program.
Once upon a time, even a Democrat from Massachusetts understood, reminding his fellow liberals: You cannot love employment and hate employers. Let us hope the common sense of the late U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas has not been interred with [his] bones.
But hope oft wilts when in Washington.
This past week, the august District of Columbia City Council took center stage to strike at Walmart. The council has been considering an ordinance to hike the minimum wage way, way up to a so-called living wage.
But not for everyone — apparently, some minimum wage employees will continue to have to die for their job.
The legislation increases the minimum wage by over 50 percent, from the current $8.25 an hour to $12.50, but it does so only for people working at non-unionized big box stores with annual sales greater than a billion dollars — in other words, just Walmart and Costco. Unionized grocery stores like Giant and Safeway are specifically exempted from the law.
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