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View Diary: Washington, D.C., city council passes large retailer living wage bill despite Walmart threats (116 comments)

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  •  Unemployment in the District (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JohnnyBoston, Jo Bob

    is 8.3% - a full 1% over the national average. With such high unemployment, these employed people on the city council sure are comfortable taking risks with new jobs for their struggling constituencies. If Walmart pays $12.50 across all of their employees (including those with seniority and departmental and store managers), obviously they are not going to be able to pay a minimum wage of $12.50 for someone hired without experience. Plus, if they were to do so, they'd experience a nationwide backlash from those employed in all of their other stores. So they're not going to do it. And all those jobs will not be created (and the deflationary price pressures on consumer goods that Walmart brings to cities also will not materialize). This is a bonehead move by the city council IMO; if the mayor vetoes it that will be a victory for the unemployed and poor in DC.

      •  You may think it is unanimous amongst (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JohnnyBoston, Jo Bob

        liberals that Walmart is a 100% bad thing. But the truth is that there is plenty of disagreement over this huge company that brings plenty of both bad AND good with them wherever they go. You should always be skeptical of positions that do not allow for any balance between positive and negative. Hillary Clinton was a supporter (and Director) of Walmart because she know that as our largest private employer Walmart can be a force for positive change.

        •  No self respecting liberal (31+ / 0-)

          gives a good God Damn about Wal-Mart. Wal Mart represents everything that is wrong with our country.

          -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

          by Blueslide on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:53:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am self-respecting, and quite liberal, (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JohnnyBoston, MikeCA, Jo Bob

            and I think that Walmart has some bad practices but overall they are a positive force economically for America's poor. You may disagree, but the fact that you think that there is no other way for anyone to look at something than how you see it is something you'll have to figure out for yourself. I could just as easily say that liberals who believe that Walmart is all bad aren't good liberals, but I would never think that way. Part of what makes liberals liberals is that they are supposed to understand that in life there are few black and white issues.

            •  LOL, I guess the Company Store was good too? (42+ / 0-)

              Let me get this straight.  Walmart, a company that pays its employees so little that over 1/3 are on Medicaid / food stamps / earned income credit, etc. is a positive force for America's poor?

              Walmart is the modern day Company Store - pay your workers so little and sell cheap shit that is all they can afford to buy.   The National Bureau of Economic Research shows they lower prices for all retail outlets wherever their stores are by 5%. How does that help the poor?

              Oh, but they've brought prices down.  Have they? Funny thing that. Let's take 2 examples. Vlasic Pickles - several years ago, Walmart demanded that Vlasic provide a gallon jar of pickels for $2.97. So, yes, the price came down - you could now buy a year's worth of pickles for 3 bucks. Did this help the poor? Hell no.  First, you can't eat a gallon of pickles - Vlasic did consumer studies which showed that 75% of the jar went into the trash.  Second, it decimated all pickle makers brands and their pickle spears and pickle chips product lines. Which in turn decimated the pickle factory jobs and, since the product was now just whole pickles in a jar, pickle product development went away.  Even back to the vegetable farms, without higher margin products, pickle makers had to outsource their purchases of cucumbers to get the lowest price possible, which hurt farmers.  So, all it resulted was in waste, loss of jobs and a trade imbalance.

              Or take Huffy bikes - same thing.  Walmart demanded cheap bikes, and Huffy complied, they had to. So, Huffy had to give up their higher profit models and just produce the low end models, which, of course, means that they were now producting a low tech, high volume product so the manufacturing was outsourced. Huffy doesn't make bikes in the U.S. anymore. Moreover, the cheap Huffy bikes imported from overseas? No quality - they broke more, and the price was so low that it didn't make sense to repair them anymore.  And of course, they didn't last, so the family with 3 kids now has to buy each one a new bike rather than passing one down, because the bikes don't last from one kid to the next.

              Remember the environment?  They have violated the clean water act in 12 states.  The cost of the infrastructure and energy to supply their stores and the localized heat islands created by their stores and parking lots contribute to global warming.  

              Here's a benefit of Walmart - a benefit to hate groups. Penn State University research shows that membership in hate groups increases when Walmart comes to town, due to their negative effect on community involvement. A behemoth national corporate store with no ties to the community compared to local retailers leaves a vacuum.

              The end result of Walmart is that it is a corporation subsidized by government social welfare policies which carries out monopolistic practices that have decimated American manufacturing, communities and greatly contributed to the decline in social mobility in this country.

              No, they are not a positive force for the poor.

              Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

              by absdoggy on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 04:49:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I love my parents, but they incessantly whine (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Odysseus

              About the old mom and pop grocery and hardware store being gone, while demanding more freedom for Walmart. I guess this ship has sailed.

              Since we are basically reduced to the one company store, I will give big kudos for Walmart banking for low income earners.

              “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

              by jeff in nyc on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 05:16:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  You are not a Washingtonian. (5+ / 0-)

              Stay out of it.

              Call WalMart and invite them to destroy your city/community/world/whatever.  

              We do not have to abide by your tenets of madness even if you believe we should just because you send a Congresscritter and a couple of Senators to this town.

              •  Stay out of it? (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dinotrac, Shreve, Jo Bob, Jahiegel

                In other words, don't comment on this issue on Dkos unless you either live in DC or agree entirely with inclusiveheart? Do you realize how inane you sound? Do you think that any of us, by chitchatting here, are "in it"? This is just a blog man, this is not the real world. I AM staying out of it by just writing about it here. Doh!

                •  Yes. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Barton Funk, Janet 707, mconvente

                  Stay out of it.

                  You haven't even the first clue what it is to be a DC native or about what has gone on for decades in our "territory".

                  Invite WalMart into your realm all you want, but don't force them down our throats.  You haven't the first clue what this town and the politics are about.

                  •  I have a dinner reservation, but (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Jo Bob

                    if I wanted to comment further I would. You don't go around telling people to beat it. And anger does not make for a happy life. So what if I like Walmart more than you do? Why take it so personally and lash out? Anger = unhappiness.

                    •  A dinner reservation at the local WalMart cafe? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Barton Funk

                      Bully for you.  Have at it.  Enjoy.

                      I don't take any of this personally, but when you swoop in trying to make other people live under your desired tenets from some far away place, you are likely to get pushback.

                      Your problem, not mine.

                  •  Ummm...We all have a role in DC, whether you like (0+ / 0-)

                    it or not. DC is not just some city in some state. It is the nation's capital and it is under the jurisdiction of the United States Congress -- our representatives.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 07:34:29 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  LOL - well our very liberal constituency (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Barton Funk, Janet 707, smartalek

                      should by all rights under your metric should have the power to decide how you live wherever you live, then.

                      Let's do it!

                      But seriously, we are in your estimation not just "some people in some state" who should be self-determined, right?  We who are born in this territory are your property to do as with you please, correct?  Really?  Yes, really that is what you are asserting, actually.

                      But no worries.  We are happy to be your slaves or indentured servants - whatever term makes you more comfortable with discounting our rights to self determination in what is supposed to be a democracy!

                      Have at it babe!  Protect us from ourselves.  LOL we haven't been stupid enough to even come close to electing a Republican in I don't know how many years.

                      •  Facts are a tough nut for you to crack, eh? (0+ / 0-)

                        "My metric" has nothing to do with it. It is a fact of D.C.'s status within the country. It is unique -- a city without a state, under the direct jurisdiction of Congress.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 08:35:31 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  you sound like their spokesperson (6+ / 0-)

              imagine for a second if our entire economy were structured like Wal-Mart - a mass of impoverished manufacturing workers in dismal sweatshops, a smaller class of working poor in retail, a tiny middle class of supervisors and managers, and a few superrich elites.  is this what you think liberalism is?

              plus, wal-mart can only survive because enough people have non-wal-mart jobs to buy enough to make them profitable.

            •  How is it there are Democrats who haven't (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              smartalek, JBL55

              studied the Big Box problem? CostCo is pretty much the only one that has made the model palatable. But really, the whole thing is unsustainable and undesirable on every level.

              I would ask any Democrat who thinks the only significant difference between Big Box and local is price to look into it a little more. If we can't even count on Democrats to figure it out, how the heck can we expect to get anywhere? Oh, that's right, we aren't.

              Big Box Swindle, Stacy Mitchell
              “This is the ultimate account of the single most important economic trend in our country—the replacement of local businesses, and all they represent, with the big boxes.” — Bill McKibben

              “In the muckraking tradition of Fast Food Nation, this is a searing indictment of the impact of behemoth retailers… Big-Box Swindle takes mega-retailers to task in convincing fashion. But Mitchell also provides inspiring lessons from places that are turning the tide.” — John Marshall, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

              In less than two decades, large retail chains have become the most powerful corporations in America. In this deft and revealing book, Stacy Mitchell illustrates how mega-retailers are fueling many of our most pressing problems, from the shrinking middle class to rising pollution and diminished civic engagement—and she shows how a growing number of communities and independent businesses are effectively fighting back.

              Pretty much any Get Local organization in any City has a website that'll explain the the issues, outline the benefits...

              Here's the homepage of a national association.

              This is not some crazy, left-wing, commie plot against capitalism. It's common sense.

              That's Funk, not Fink. Think Guy Fawkes with glide in his stride and pep in his step. Parliament-style. Ka-BOOM! Dude blew my mind.

              by Barton Funk on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 09:54:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  One more reason Hillary is unacceptable (15+ / 0-)

          and too backward-looking to be a good candidate for 2016. The list keeps lengthening. My resolve to oppose her keeps growing.

          Sorry, but that attitude of "Tell the unemployed they can have a lousy job at shit wages and they'll kiss your ass" is pure Republican. WE should be looking at creating living-wage jobs. Supporting getting people jobs at any cost, even if it means paying them crap, is just what the GOP is driving at. And it will affect YOUR bottom line eventually, no matter what you do, because no customers will have the money to support it.

          Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

          by anastasia p on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:55:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Unacceptable"? (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JohnnyBoston, jeff in nyc, buffie, Jo Bob

            What does that even mean? If she is our nominee against some Republican, then what?

          •  WalMart is Arkansas' biggest business. (0+ / 0-)

            Bill was governor of Arkansas.

            This is a special case that should no count against Hillary.

            look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

            by FishOutofWater on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 06:04:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's debatable unfortunately. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fuzzyguy, Janet 707, Barton Funk

              Neither the Clintons nor the Obamas have done anything to protect the citizens of the District of Columbia from being subjected to the whimsy and crazy of elected officials from the rest of the country.  We have always been on our own here and dealt with a hand that holds very little real political power.

              I am happy about the DC Council's decision.  National politicians will and have always been prone to deep-sixing our local interests for two Centuries.  There is always some bigger fish to fry in their eyes than our rights to self determination as citizens of this territory.

        •  Ok, I'll list the bad things and you list the good (9+ / 0-)

          - out-compete local small businesses because of their buying power and pricing policies, resulting in closures
          - the newly unemployed then have to take whatever jobs are going in the area at lower wages (Walmart)
          - lower wages force people to shop where they can afford (Walmart) rather than locally owned shops

          Rinse and repeat.

          Your turn.

          'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

          by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 06:06:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The businesses Walmart closes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jo Bob

            are small mom-and-pops that charge high prices with limited selection. A small number of jobs are lost relative to the jobs gained. That is because Walmart boosts the volume of retail sales significantly in the area. And because Walmart is there, all the other stores must lower their prices. This myth that Walmart singlehandedly lowers employment and wages and thus creates a lower class is really not supported by any kind of data. It was created by the NIMBY folks who fight against Walmarts (mostly backed by other retailers).

            •  So basically you "hate" American family-run (5+ / 0-)

              businesses, eh?

              Sheesh.

            •  Well who woulda thunk I would find... (5+ / 0-)

              a paper (WARNING: PDF requires registration to academia.edu - not such a bad thing)?

              A DOWNWARD PUSH: THE IMPACT OF WAL-MART STORES ON RETAIL WAGES AND BENEFITS

              Arindrajit Dube UC Berkeley Institute for Research on Labor and Employment

              T. William Lester UC Berkeley Department of City and Regional Planning

              Barry Eidlin UC Berkeley Department of Sociology
              December 2007
              UC BERKELEY CENTER FOR LABOR RESEARCH AND EDUCATION

              RESEARCH BRIEF

              EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
              Empirical evidence suggests that employees at Wal-Mart earn lower average wages and receive less generous benefits than workers employed by many other large retailers. But controversy has persisted on the question of Wal-Mart’s effect on local pay scales. Our research finds that Wal-Mart store openings lead to the replacement of better paying jobs with jobs that pay less. Wal-Mart’s entry also drives wages down for workers in competing industry segments such as grocery stores.

              Looking at the period between 1992 and 2000, we find that the opening of a single Wal-Mart store in a county lowered average retail wages in that county by between 0.5 and 0.9 percent. In the general merchandise sector, wages fell by 1 percent for each new Wal-Mart. And for grocery store employees, the effect of a single new Wal-Mart was a 1.5 percent reduction in earnings.

              When Wal-Mart entered a county, the total wage bill declined along with the average wage. Factoring in both the impact on wages and jobs, the total amount of retail earnings in a county fell by 1.5 percent for every new Wal-Mart store. Similar effects appeared at the state level.

              With an average of 50 Wal-Mart stores per state, the average wages for retail workers were 10 percent lower, and their job-based health coverage rate was 5 percentage points less than they would have been without Wal-Mart’s presence. Nationally, the retail wage bill in 2000 was estimated to be $4.5 billion less in nominal terms due to Wal-Mart’s presence.

              'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

              by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 07:02:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  So you have nothing to say about the paper? nt (0+ / 0-)

              'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

              by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 03:19:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That Berkeley paper is well known. (0+ / 0-)

                And the implications of a technologically efficient retailer are obvious. Of course there are fewer jobs - that is the point of innovation. The history of mankind is a history of becoming more and more efficient. Across all industries (starting with farming). Okay, that is bad for the specific displaced worker, and for mom and pop who own the local inefficient store. But we all benefit from greater efficiencies. It may be a rallying cry here that we are better off with more people doing a job that less people can do. But in the long run, that is a more destructive policy than anything Walmart is accused of doing.

                •  Where does the paper say anything about... (0+ / 0-)

                  technology and efficiencies forcing wages down?

                  Why don't you address what the paper says rather than what it doesn't say?

                  Our research finds that Wal-Mart store openings lead to the replacement of better paying jobs with jobs that pay less. Wal-Mart’s entry also drives wages down for workers in competing industry segments such as grocery stores.

                  [...]

                  With an average of 50 Wal-Mart stores per state, the average wages for retail workers were 10 percent lower, and their job-based health coverage rate was 5 percentage points less than they would have been without Wal-Mart’s presence. Nationally, the retail wage bill in 2000 was estimated to be $4.5 billion less in nominal terms due to Wal-Mart’s presence.

                  'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

                  by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 07:18:26 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Boo-effing-hoo (31+ / 0-)

      WalMart is known for paying crap low wages and making sure most of their employees get less than 20-25 hours per week. And most of those hours are on irregular or split shifts, sometimes 2-3 hours at a time, changing weekly.

      Meaning it's impossible to get another part-time job, since WalMart refuses to have set schedules.

      Remember, we're talking WALMART, where part of the employee starting paperwork and training includes information on how to apply for food stamps, state medical assistance, and other aid for low-income folks - because they KNOW they're paying you so little you can't live on it, and screwing with your schedule so much you can't get another job to supplement your income.

       

      My job takes me into many retail establishments around my part of the state, including up to 9 Walmarts. Walmart is consistently the filthiest, most understaffed store in each town. Shelves go unstocked, customers can spend 20 minutes trying to find an employee with no luck (thanks to corporate's determination to go cheap), and the food items - just CHECK EXPIRATION DATES if you buy any food items there. Any time I work a food project at WalMart, I find things that have expired weeks, months, or even the year before. It's beyond disgusting! (NO other store I'm in has such a systemic problem with rotating stock.)

      I go past the recall boards on each visit, and no other store has SO many recall notices, and they're constantly changing. They primarily carry cheap, shitty versions of products, and it shows.

      On the whole, I prefer not to be lectured on patriotism by those who keep offshore maildrops in order to avoid paying their taxes. - Molly Ivins

      by Lashe on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:43:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If your experience were the universal (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JohnnyBoston, Jo Bob

        rule, Walmart would not be as successful as it is. More Americans (esp. poor Americans) shop there than at any other store. And more Americans work at Walmart than at any other private employer. They are the employer of last resort; if no one else will hire you, Walmart will. And Walmart employees who do a good job can leave for greener pastures or receive promotions. The poor benefit from the focus on lower prices that Walmart introduces into a community's retail sector. It's not all bad. It (like most things) is complicated.

        •  Good lord. I don't even know what to say (29+ / 0-)

          to this Randian, brutal dog-eat-dog outlook on life. Yes, let's keep crushing the poor until we are ALL poor because a handful of people have all the money and there's no one to pay us. Then everyone from doctors down to teachers down to janitors will be poor for real.

          Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

          by anastasia p on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 04:00:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We all want America to be less poor. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JohnnyBoston, Jo Bob

            I happen to think (along with many other people) that Walmart is a step in that direction. We disagree on tactics, not goals. Don't be so arrogant as to think that your way is the only way. This is a complex situation.

            •  I suggest you try Costco (9+ / 0-)

              As the emulative model.

              May the Conservative Supremes share Paula Deen's heart-stopping culinary tastes as much as they share her cultural ones.

              by pajoly on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 06:33:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There is one problem with Costco as a model. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kathy from austin

                Costco makes a very substantial portion of its money from membership fees. Most retail stores can't or don't charge fees.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 07:43:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  But what then is the problem? (0+ / 0-)

                  I agree that "most" cannot, to the extent that they service the customer in a single area of his/her lives (e.g. apparel, appliances). But, that's not true for Wal-Mart, it services its customers needs for most of their needs, from banking to eye care to food to consumables to goods. There is no reason they could not have such a model. In fact they do, it's called Sam's Club.

                  May the Conservative Supremes share Paula Deen's heart-stopping culinary tastes as much as they share her cultural ones.

                  by pajoly on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:02:29 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Most Wal-Mart stores are not Sam's Clubs. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Lashe

                    They need a higher markup than a Costco, which can generate money from membership fees and cut handling costs by selling in bulk.

                    The closer model I can see is Aldi stores, but those are single purpose, do not keep a lot of stock that is not in the aisle, and use very few employees.

                    One thing, though --

                    Today's Wal-Mart stores do not seem very much like the Wal-Marts of years ago, when Sam Walton was still around. Prices are low, but service is lower.  I remember a time when new registers would be opened if lines started to lengthen, and goods stayed in stock.  I seem to remember they also used to do a lot of promotion from within. Don't know if that's still true.  The kid's just don't seem to have the old man's approach.  Probably letting MBAs drive the bus now.  Surest ticket to death for any major corporation.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 06:40:11 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Home Depot did the same (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      dinotrac

                      One or two registers would be open with 10 people stacked in line. No one in the aisle's to ask for help either. I switched to Lowe's a few years back, or my local store for really common items I know they carry.

                      May the Conservative Supremes share Paula Deen's heart-stopping culinary tastes as much as they share her cultural ones.

                      by pajoly on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 09:27:01 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Your claim with respect to you and your (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JeffW, Barton Funk, mconvente, smartalek

              values is patently bullshit.

              You do not want America to be "less poor".

              You want America to be more dependent and beholden to a corporate entity that doesn't even provide a decent service or good products.

              This discussion is not about tactics or goals.  

              This discussion is about quality -- quality of pay -- quality of products that people are able to pay for -- and most of all quality of life ------ which is evidently not even remotely a priority for you.

              Where are you from?  Why don't you spend your time enacting your grand vision in your town or city with WalMart and leave the rest of us alone while you create your "perfect" society?

              •  Hey bud. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Jo Bob

                If you don't want to hear what I have to say just skip my comments. Your tyrannical approach here (in the name of liberalism, no less) is amusing, but it can get old quickly. If you won't ignore my comments, I'll tell you what - I'll ignore yours telling me to shut up. Later...

            •  how? (5+ / 0-)

              by driving wages down?  by encouraging consumption of cheap disposable goods?  by encouraging automobile dependent communities?  by creating a business model dependent on desperate poverty - because without it no one would work there or make the crap that Wal-Mart sells.

        •  Wal-Mart has been losing ground lately. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lashe

          Failure to have shelves stocked is one reason.  I know that I stopped going to one local Wal-Mart because the bathroom was consistently filthy.

          And -- you know what?

          It ain't Sam Walton's Wal-Mart any more.

          We have a regional chain store nearby (Meijer) that is far more pleasant and a much better place to buy groceries. We go there, we go to Aldi, we go to Trader Joe's, we go to Costco, we go to Target, we got to a couple of local stores (not so cheap, I'm afraid). We go to Wal-Mart when we need something and we are by the Wal-Mart. Not so often these days.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 07:40:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's NOT cheaper (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mconvente

          Time after time, price comparisons show that Walmart is NOT the cheapest price on products. (When you can even find some things on the shelves.)  Hell, as many stores as I go in, I generally know who's going to have a better price on all sorts of products, and 99% of the time it's NOT Walmart.

          Terrible product quality, outdated food products, and higher prices? Who needs 'em? (And as someone mentioned, the bathrooms are horrible. Worst of any chain I'm in by a long shot. And as a woman who's 8 months pregnant, I've gotten a lot more familiar with store restrooms in the past few months...)

          One of the reasons a lot of poor people shop there is that Walmart has started sponsoring free "shuttles" from low income housing areas to their stores. You see them picking up at lower-priced apartment complexes, senior high-rises, and other places where people are less likely to have vehicles that would allow them the freedom to shop where they prefer. Captive audience.

          On the whole, I prefer not to be lectured on patriotism by those who keep offshore maildrops in order to avoid paying their taxes. - Molly Ivins

          by Lashe on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 08:59:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That shuttle idea (0+ / 0-)

            Is actually genius... I just wish it was emulated with a more reputable business than Wal*Mart.

            And I love the troll on here who is trying to call Wal*Mart a "job creator." Yeah, we have some more $8/hr jobs, but we lost how many hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs so that Wal*Mart could sell us cheap Chinese crap?

            Yeah, Wal*Mart is a job creator.... for China.

      •  I wonder if WalMart set the standard (25+ / 0-)

        for part-time jobs with such irregular schedules that you CANNOT work additional jobs. Now that I'm job hunting I am finding this practice is common. This means those jobs are not doable for me, as I have no one else to pay the rest of the bills. In any case, it's a bad precedent.

        And one of the main reason I stopped ever going into WalMart is that virtually every time I went there, the checker made a mistake in checking me out and it took forever to rectify. The employees all seemed distracted and demoralized.

        And just the very fact that it is the largest employer in the country means it sets standard for everybody. It's dragging us all down.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

        by anastasia p on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:59:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Perhaps (0+ / 0-)

          There needs to be some new regulation addressing the scheduling issue. For people below a certain income level, if we can't get a living wage passed, then at least we can mandate a predictable work schedule so that the 2nd job can be obtained.

          Not to mention the toll these schedules take on family time, babysitting, doctor's appointments (if they can afford to even go,) college or GED classes...

    •  I'm beginning to dislike your opinion (14+ / 0-)

      on all kinds of things more and more lately.

      "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

      by mconvente on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:48:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wal Mart is a net public expense (28+ / 0-)

      paying wages so low that many of its employees qualify for public assistance. It is also a net destroyer of jobs wherever it goes and a disaster for the communities it locates in. Running Walmart out of town IS a jobs program.

      "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

      by johnmorris on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 04:13:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Walmarts profits are dependent on the welfare (7+ / 0-)

        We give their employees. All conservatives and liberals should object to this...it perfectly encapsulates what's wrong with the current welfare state. I'm not a republican, but I'm pissed about paying walmarts business expenses in the form of transfer payments to their workers and customers, when that family doesn't even work.

        “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

        by jeff in nyc on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 05:26:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Abso - net negative jobs, and sub-poverty incomes (5+ / 0-)

        Walmart runs some 100 main-street businesses into the ground when it shows up in town, strategically suppressing its prices for the first few years in order to do so.

        And even $12.50, getting just 20-25 hours/wk? At ~$14K annual income, even that DC-mandated wage is below federal poverty level for a family of just two.  

        •  Yeah...taxpayers are just basically giving Walmart (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fuzzyguy, Em, smartalek

          Trillions. The Walton's, by the way, have never done anything in their lives, donate approximately nothing to charity, are rightwing boors, and get their profits from taxpayers. At least the Medici contributed to society, and they had maybe a thousandth of the wealth of the Walton's, the wealthiest people in all of world history.

          “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

          by jeff in nyc on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 07:06:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That's exactly what was predicted (20+ / 0-)

      in Sante Fe. Not only did Walmart not pull out of Sante Fe when they passed the highest min. wage in the country, they added another store, and both are doing well. Unemployment in Sante Fe, as of April 2013, is 4.6%. The min. wage is $10.51/hr.  Yeah, $12.50 is a lot higher, but so is the cost of living in DC. These dire predictions about the consequences of min. wage increases NEVER materialize.

      "It is easier to fool people, than to convince them they've been fooled" - Mark Twain

      by Sarge in Seattle on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 04:18:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Come on, such gullible reasoning? Seriously? (6+ / 0-)

      That we should accept any sordid retailer that is looking for a footprint to pop-up in DC, enabling—rather than confronting—disturbing documented evidence of a company repeatedly violating labor and environmental qualities, and risk job losses from businesses that lose revenue directly to Wal-Mart? What is that "worth?"

      "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~Edward Abbey ////\\\\ "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois

      by rovertheoctopus on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 05:29:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Have you ever (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buffie, elwior, gramofsam1, mconvente

      Had to live on $12.50 or less an hour?  

      If people in the city are making a basic minimum wage, the economy will improve.  Why?  People who have more to spend stimulate the local economy which in turn creates even more jobs.

      Study Detroit, for example.

    •  Please feel free to pay my share (6+ / 0-)

      Of "Wal-Mart welfare" taxes to cover for social services for Wal-Mart's employees. The feds should be allowed to recoup 100% + penalty from employers whose employees -- part time too if those employees some significant percentage of total employees -- are paid so poorly they need federal assistance just to FUCKING EAT.

      May the Conservative Supremes share Paula Deen's heart-stopping culinary tastes as much as they share her cultural ones.

      by pajoly on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 06:26:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who is kidding who here? (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Chi, Barton Funk, mconvente, smartalek

      Experience or not, it costs a minimum amount to live and travel to and from work.

      Pay less than that, and everybody else is subsidizing the labor.

      The more of this that we see happening, the more expensive that subsidized labor becomes.

      I agree with you about Wal*Mart coming under fire for hiring people at a living wage when they fuck so many others over regularly and have been doing it for years.  That is why they won't build the stores.

      Once people find out they can run Wal*Mart just fine at a living wage, the shit will hit the fan and the labor subsidy gravy train will come crashing to a halt.

      Great!  Doing this is good for everybody.

      Now, what you don't get is that all the currently employed people, getting fucked over on a too low minimum wage and who are already costing us significant amounts of money, will get that increase and SPEND IT.

      They will spend it because they still will be in relative poverty, but they won't need anywhere near the subsidy from Uncle Sam as they do now, and that spending will create demand, and improve the tax revenue to the treasury and that direct economic stimulus will fund the creation of new jobs.

      You see, Wal*Mart creates jobs by providing a vehicle to fuck people over and the means is the ideas of lots of jobs and cheap shit for sale.  The cost of it is well known.

      When you can offer something really cheap, it's a sure thing.  You will get business by fucking everybody else over --in particular, those people doing the right thing now, asking for reasonable margins, etc...

      Add a Wal*Mart, and you add under paid labor that requires safety net program money to make it, and you subtract jobs and that higher income from the economy resulting in the closure of other small business.

      Net loss when you add it all up, including the big profits going to the owners of Wal*Mart.

      On the other hand, upping the minimum wage will drive demand to the small business that is already there, and fund the creation of additional jobs to meet said demand and it happens through direct economic stimulus which a minimum wage increase is.

      ***Be Excellent To One Another***
      IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

      by potatohead on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 06:49:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some victory (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Chi, Barton Funk, mconvente, schnecke21

      When your job opportunity doesn't pay a living wage.  

    •  doc2 is a pragmatist (0+ / 0-)

      I don't like WalMart, don't shop there. BUT, my relatives who are on a limited income do. They can't afford to shop at Central Market or Whole Foods. Just a fact. And they are as progressive as they come. I have become really offended at the Mercedes, Lexus', BMW's that I see at Whole Foods here with bumper stickers raising hell about WalMart in the parking lot where the avg grocery ring is $180.

      Sorry folks, but at least WalMart offers fresh veggies and groceries at roughly 30% below Whole Foods. I have seen their produce and it is light years better than Randall's (Safeway). Also, the alternative are local growers/farmers markets which I love! They operate once or twice a week, with about a $2/per pound difference on proteins and limited selection on produce.

      Lastly, Walmart will gain share in the DC metro area, whether they do it in the city limits or in the burbs who will ipso facto get the benefit from the taxes of DC shoppers driving to the Walmart. Just a fact. WalMart has about a 10 mile radius for stock up shoppers.

      In a nutshell, DC will lose out on the taxes and employment and their shoppers will pay more for substandard goods.

      But by God they will feel good about themselves!

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