DC Mayor Vetoes Job-Killing Anti-Walmart Minimum Wage Bill

Walmart LogoWalmartEarlier this summer, the Washington DC City Council engaged in a boneheaded effort to shake-down the retailer Walmart by passing the Large Retailer Accountabliity Act, that would hike the minimum wage for workers at "big box" stores to $12.50 per hour. This is a big increase over the city's $8.25 minimum wage. Evidently the city council believes that this is the way to entice retailers like Walmart, Target, and Wegmans to open businesses in the city.

The scheme backfired spectacularly when Walmart announced that it was cancelling the construction of three new stores in economically depressed DC neighborhoods and was considering cancelling three others. The Washington Post urged DC Mayor Vincent Gray to veto the Act before any more damage was done. Hizzoner has finally gotten around to it. In a letter to the City Council today announcing his veto Mayor Gray notes:

The bill is a job-killer, because nearly every large retailer now considering opening a store in the District has indicated that they will not come here or expand if this bill becomes law. The Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development has estimated that, should the bill take effect, it will cause the loss of more than 4,000 jobs District jobs in just the first few years alone. ( all emphases in original)...

Even if the bill did somehow end up creating a small number of higher-paying jobs, it does nothing to ensure that those jobs would be filled by District residents. Instead of creating higher-paying entry level jobs for District residents, at best the bill will create a very small number of higher-paying jobs, many of which will go to higher-skilled Maryland and Virginia residents who will commute to the District. Meanwhile I am convinced that more retailers will open stores just outside the District’s borders, where labor costs would be 40 percent cheaper for large non-union retailers. …

The bill will deal a huge blow to economic development. The bill will not modestly delay economic development in underserved District neighborhoods long deprived of jobs and retail amenities; it will kill economic development in these communities for a generation.

The mayor's veto is good news, but the damage is already done. Retailers are now on notice that the City Council is ready to shake them down at some time in the future.

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  • some guy||

    Evidently the city council believes that this is the way to entice retailers like Walmart, Target, and Wegmans to open businesses in the city

    That is not what they thought. They knew damn well it would keep Walmart from opening shop in DC and that's the way they wanted it. This was never about raising the minimum wage it was about rehashing a fight they already lost years ago.

  • ||

    The mayor's veto is good news, but the damage is already done. Retailers are now on notice that the City Council is ready to shake them down at some time in the future.

    Exactly. There is no way they will open any new stores whatsoever, because the next mayor might be fine and dandy with the City Council doing this.

    Politician scum are too stupid to exist, yet they do, and they drag us all down with them.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    And who is to say they won't wait until Wal*Mart builds the stores and then zap them anyway?

  • Jayce||

    That's precisely why Wal-Mart won't build the stores.

  • Irish||

    The scheme backfired spectacularly when Walmart announced that it was cancelling the construction of three new stores in economically depressed DC neighborhoods and was considering cancelling three others. The Washington Post urged DC Mayor Vincent Gray to veto the Act before any more damage was done. Hizzoner has finally gotten around to it.

    But if we had a national living wage there would be no negative impact. After all, employers are just salivating to pay unskilled immigrant labor $15 an hour to man the drive through.

  • some guy||

    unskilled immigrant labor

    Well, the touchscreen machines will likely be built in China or Japan...

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Stared down by Walmart. How embarrassing.

  • Raston Bot||

    Economic sanity out of DC local government?

  • Doctor Whom||

    Once in a great while, yes. DC has changed somewhat since Marion Barry was God-Emperor-for-All-Eternity.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Marion Barry: The Once and Future King

  • SugarFree||

    Begin collecting the recall signatures right now, hippies.

  • some guy||

    His administration has been one scandal after another, reaching all the way back to the primary campaign. A recall fight might actually be a welcome respite.

  • SugarFree||

    I enjoy DC city scandals. It's a nice illustration of what I think all government consists of.

  • ||

    The consensus around the internet comment sections seems to be that this is Republicans fault even though not a single Republican is involved.

  • Irish||

    Republican billionaires bought off the D.C. mayor. Get your head in the game, idiot.

  • NoVAHockey||

    I'm pretty sure everyone but republican billionaires have bought off grey

  • ||

    After killing Wal-Mart, liberals will the turn their attention to the market failure that is not enough grocers offering affordable and nutritious food to poor neighborhood.

  • Swiss Servator - Gnome Slave||

    BETTER A FOOD SAHARA THAN A WAL-MART BE BUILT!!!

    /Prog

  • PapayaSF||

    Leftist economic thinking in a nutshell: I want my boss and the companies I buy things from to pay more taxes, and everyone should get a raise because things cost so much these days.

  • Sevo||

    Not Moonbeam:
    "Brown supports rise in minimum wage to $10"

    Too many kids working in CA, I guess.
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/art.....807422.php

  • creech||

    When did the Koch Brothers buy off the D.C. Mayor with their voodoo economics?

  • Agammamon||

    I don't understand what the city council was thinking - DC is not such a large place that basically everyone can afford to cross the city line and shop elsewhere.

  • Agammamon||

    But I guess their next step would be to try to pressure MD and VA to 'harmonize' their laws and tax rates. Can't be having any of those 'havens' allowing competition between tax jurisdictions.

  • William Occam||

    Interestingly mayor Gray also argued that even if the bill did end up creating a small number of higher-paying jobs many of them would go to Maryland and Virginia residents who are "higher-skilled" than potential DC employees. A remarkably candid analysis of the economic "worth" of the unskilled labor pool in Washington (and I am not talking about politicians) that more minimum wage advocates should pay attention to (for more see here).

    http://bluecravat.blogspot.com.....-with.html

  • MuyBienPatricio||

    The problem is most progtards and pro-union asswipes will still believe that Walmart threatened to pull out because they are just a bunch of greedy capitalists. Economics be damned. It's those greedy corporations that prevent us making a "living wage." Whatever that means.

  • Michael Price||

    The left has no shame left. They're pretending this is about helping low-wage workers, but if that were it why doesn't it apply to ALL retailers? Or all businesses come to think of it? If paying such low wages is bad it's bad whether you're paying 3 people those wages or 3,000. There are a lot more small businesses that need to pay those poor workers a "living wage", if that's what they really cared about.

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