Let me get this straight. Walmart is evil, right? They sell cheap goods, drive smaller businesses in the area out, and pay slave wages, right? That makes them a player in Satan’s team photo, right?
So why is it that DC residents are now complaining after Walmart has decided to divest them of its evil, odious presence?
Melinda Jones needed a Walmart badly. The 50-year-old lives in the far eastern corner of Washington, D.C. The closest grocery options are over the line in Maryland, well out of walking distance. Because any shopping trip is a production, she typically takes the train out to Virginia and carpools with family to a military commissary.
“There’s nowhere to shop around here. A Walmart would have been great,” Jones said. “I can’t believe it … This makes me want to cry.”
Jones was supposed to have her shiny new Walmart, at a site called Capitol Gateway, as part of a five-store deal hatched between the company and city officials in 2013. But late last week, the Arkansas-based retailer said it was scrapping plans for the two as-yet-unopened stores in the city. Faced with lagging sales, Walmart is closing 154 locations and laying off 10,000 employees in the U.S.
After all, the District was less than welcoming when Walmart initially proposed to build stores there, according to the Washington Post.
Pushed by labor unions, a majority of the D.C. Council at first pushed back against welcoming Walmart to the city. Opponents cited Walmart’s large profits and refusal to let workers unionize, as well as its reputation for low wages.
And then, there’s the District’s minimum wage, which is already high at $11.50/hour, which is apparently not enough for those who want to do minimum work and get paid like skilled labor, and the proposal proposal to require D.C. employers to pay into a fund for family and medical leave for employees, as well as a plan to require a minimum amount of hours for hourly workers.
Apparently, DC expects Walmart to run its business at a loss, as long as the entitled get theirs, including former DC Mayor Vincent Gray, who brokered the deal with Walmart and was hoping to use it to resurrect the carcass of his political career after some not so savory activities came to light.
Melinda Jones apparently can’t get fresh produce where she lives – at least not anywhere close – so she was counting on the Walmart to build its store there, so she would have somewhere to shop.
The residents in the neighborhoods where the two stores were to go up apparently expected the company to run those businesses at a loss, because they NEED them.
Another resident said he planned to get a job there. “Everybody around here probably would’ve tried to get a job,” Mayo said. “Here one minute, gone the next.” Were they hoping to get easy work for high pay, because DC politicians think they can continue fleecing “the rich” while getting themselves re-elected? Well, guess what! Instead of getting work at $7.25 per hour, getting much-needed experience, and perhaps moving on to better employment, these residents now have no jobs at all. And they can thank DC government that they put into positions of authority for that!
But Walmart is evil, horrible, and awful for not wanting to open more stores where they will undoubtedly make no profit, because apparently stores only exist for the benefit of those who want to work there (at inflated wages), those who want to shop there (at low wages), and the politicians who want to put said deal on their resumes.
So DC wants to force Walmart to pay higher wages for jobs that require few basic skills and practically no education, and are meant to be a gateway into the working world, not a lifestyle.
DC wants to force Walmart to keep employees on the clock even though it might not need them.
DC wants force Walmart to pay money into a pot for benefits it does not see fit to offer, because somehow everyone is entitled to them.
And now DC seems surprised and upset that Walmart doesn’t want to build two more locations in the city?
Someone in DC needs some lessons in basic economics.