Minimum Wage

"Living Wage" Argument Heats Up as Wal-Mart Faces Off With D.C.

Because pricing workers out of the market is brilliant


The bitter standoff between Wal-Mart and Washington, D.C. officials over the city's effort to impose a higher minimum wage on big-box retailers is fueling a wider debate about how far cities should go in trying to raise pay for low-wage workers — and whether larger companies should be required to pay more.

Wal-Mart, the nation's largest private employer, is fuming about a "living wage" bill approved by the D.C. Council that has an unusual twist — it would apply only to certain large retailers, forcing them to pay employees at least $12.50 an hour. That's nearly 50 percent higher than city's minimum wage of $8.25 an hour.

The measure is being cheered by unions and worker advocates who have long complained about Wal-Mart's wages and working conditions. Opponents call it an unfair tactic that will discourage companies from doing business in the city.

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  1. “The measure is being cheered by unions and worker advocates who have long complained about Wal-Mart’s wages and working conditions.”

    Fuck them. The people applying for the jobs seem to have no trouble with it.
    I’m proposing Sevo’s law of trade:
    “In a voluntary transaction between two agents, only harm results from interference by a third party”.
    I’ll stand corrected if someone can show a clear and honest example where this is not true.
    (Or it’ll become “X’s law of trade” when someone points out that X said it earlier.)

    1. Dr. Sowell says something similar; I don’t remember the exact quote, but…oh here it is:

      At the heart of the left’s vision of the world is the implicit assumption that high-minded third parties like themselves can make better decisions for other people than those people can make for themselves.

      1. From the same article:

        There was a minimum wage law, but this was 1949 and the wages set by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 had been rendered meaningless by years of inflation. In the absence of an effective minimum wage law, unemployment among black teenagers in the recession year of 1949 was a fraction of what it would be in even the most prosperous years of the 1960s and beyond.

        As the morally anointed busybodies raised the minimum wage rate, beginning in the 1950s, black teenage unemployment skyrocketed. We have now become so used to tragically high rates of unemployment among this group that many people have no idea that things were not always like that, much less that policies of the busybody left had such catastrophic consequences.

        1. cavalier973,
          I don’t doubt that Sowell, among others, saw the issue, but so far I’ll still lay claim in that they all hinted, while none made the clear statement:
          ‘third parties cause harm’

          1. I concede the argument.

  2. People don’t get paid a living wage, they earn a living wage, based on what knowledge, skills, and abilities they bring to the marketplace.

  3. I got paid $11.50 to teach a classroom with 35 kids at a private school.

    There aren’t any mom and pop stores opening up anywhere to hire hundreds of people and pay them 12.50 an hour. It’s the city’s loss.

    1. “There aren’t any mom and pop stores opening up anywhere to hire hundreds of people and pay them 12.50 an hour. It’s the city’s loss.”

      And the m/p stores are paying the $8.25 to those who can’t be replaced by automation or just fired.

  4. So, the city government bumps up the price for labor for particular firms to $12.50 an hour. What next? Obviously, Walmart and other Big Box Retailers want to get the most highly skilled, productive labor for their money, so they seek out people who have already been in the workforce for awhile and who have verified education, preferably some college (thus eliminating people new to the workforce or who do not have a degree). On the other side of the ledger, people who are already making $12.50 an hour, or slightly above, for doing more strenuous, stressful, or dangerous work will happily switch to a less stressful job paying the same amount, thus doubling the crowd-out effect for the people without skills or education.

    Minimum wage is, truly, a form of oppression of poor people.

  5. Also from Thomas Sowell: “If they aren’t making a living wage, how are they living?”

    1. ‘Well, it’s not a living wage-living wage.’
      Whoopie Goldberg.

  6. How is this not communism by other means?

    This is fucking nuts.

    Fuck them as Sevo eloquently put.

    All I can say is I hope Wal-Mart gives them the middle-finger and moves on. Fuck the politicians; those parasitical commies.

  7. my co-worker’s mom makes $65 every hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for ten months but last month her payment was $13251 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site http://www.work25.?om

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