To those on the City Council responsible for keeping Walmart out of Ward 7:
First of all, you are to be heartily congratulated on your victory. Typically, evil selfish greedy Walmart has its violent way with any community it wants to invade. That was not the case with their planned takeover of this section of the nation’s capital, as they just announced that they have canceled their plans to open 2 new stores.
For various insidious reasons, Walmart is usually successful in breaking down the doors of even the most resistant of neighborhoods. Obviously, your pushback was successful and they lost the fight. Your pride is utterly justified.
The planned defense of your city started with a genius move a couple of years ago. When Walmart first announced its intent, the minimum wage in the area was at an immoral non-living wage level of $8.25 an hour. They clearly smelled profit-maximizing blood in the water. They saw an opportunity to steal from the community for the benefit of their bottom line and thieving shareholders.
Brilliantly, you immediately set up a plan to increase the wages that they would be required to pay. Now that the mandated minimum wage is at $11.50 an hour – with a possibility of it increasing up to $15 an hour – this certainly got the attention of the accountants and exploiting revenue enhancers of the company.
This bold move had to be a struggle, as over 23,000 of your constituents applied for the 600 jobs that the company was going to attempt to fill. Even though the unemployment rate in the area is almost three times the national average, you stuck to your principled guns. If these moronic people are willing to work for what are essentially slave wages, it is your elective responsibility to thwart their well intended but absurdly naïve desires.
As you are aware, a lack of funding from the Federal government has kept Woodson High's graduation level to a lowly 60%. This sub-par education may explain why these people are pursuing what they mistakenly think is in their best interest. Fortunately, you collectively knew better and implemented policies to that end.
Assuming that your economic theories were made clear during your election campaigns, you are simply following through on the types of commitments you made. You certainly promised higher wages and what better way to achieve that then to insist that companies have to pay them?
In addition to insisting that any employer pay their employees the amount you deem to be acceptable, you also furthered the goals of social and economic justice by insisting that paid maternity leave be a condition of employment. Workers should be paid to take time off to be with their newborns and families, just like most of the rest of the civilized world requires.
Opponents of this move might point out that businesses are free to offer paid leave, should they decide it a necessary inducement for attracting employees or just as a matter of corporate policy. This, as we know, is ridiculous. If something is good, as paid family leave certainly is, it should be required across the board. It would have been easy to relent on this, but you did not.
A third wonderful benefit to keeping Walmart out of the neighborhood is the positive economic impact for local businesses it will have. Massive national retailers undercut the prices of those they compete against. This has a disastrous effect that ripples throughout the community and you’ve just magically avoided such a circumstance.
We all know that most people prefer to shop at locally owned businesses and want their dollars to remain close to home. But, on the other hand, consumers tend to also pursue the lowest prices for goods they acquire. Everybody wants a bargain and when it comes down to making a choice between higher and lower cost items, assuming everything else is equal, people always choose to spend less. They think it makes good economic sense.
By keeping out Walmart, the low price leader for almost every single thing they sell, you’ve made the decision for your constituents extremely easy: they no longer get to choose to buy lower priced items. Some might argue that this hurts the community, by artificially keeping the cost of living higher than it would otherwise be, but we know this is not the correct perspective to have.
Your local businesses will now be force-fed economic activity because they will be the only option. This will then yield increased sales and revenue. This will then yield more income and more jobs. It is a terrific win for everyone. Any short-term pain experienced in the mean time should just be dismissed as a temporary glitch that will be eliminated in the near future.
In summary, extraordinarily well done. Let some other community get those Walmart stores and the insulting pay scale that they provide. Let other neighborhoods bear the ill effects of low-cost goods and the horror they entail. You should be proud of yourself!
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