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>> the Washington DC city council recently voted in favor of a “living wage” ordinance that would impose a super-minimum-wage of $12.50 per hour on Wal-Mart, which is planning to open six new stores in the District (three are already under construction). ... Wal-Mart announced yesterday that it will not start construction to open stores at three of the planned inner-city locations if the ordinance passes and is not vetoed by Mayor Vincent Gray.
At the Antiplanner blog (“dedicated to ending government land-use regulation, comprehensive planning, and transportation boondoggles”), a post titled “Job-Killing Living Wages” makes some great points about the DC Wal-Mart situation:

The left excuses this discrimination [against Wal-Mart] by calling it a “living wage” ordinance. But why is it that only employees of Wal-Mart, and not employees of smaller retail shops, supermarkets, restaurants, or other businesses?

Ironically, over the last decade three successive Washington DC mayors worked hard to attract Wal-Mart to build stores in inner-city neighborhoods. Wal-Mart was reluctant to build in those areas due to crime, but finally agreed to open six stores in the district. “We’ve been praying for food in this neighborhood for about 40 years,” said the resident of one neighborhood where Wal-Mart was planning to build.

Residents of this and other neighborhoods would not only benefit from Wal-Mart’s low prices but also from the hundreds of jobs that each store would require. Certainly $12.50 an hour is more than $8.25, but $12.50 times zero jobs is a lot less than $8.25 times 600 jobs. Not surprisingly, Wal-Mart is now threatening to abandon at least three if not all six of the stores it was planning to build in the city.’

These policies set the standards all wrong. The only valid way of judging Wal-Marts and other major retailers is from the point of view of consumers, not employees and certainly not their competitors. People who don’t like Wal-Mart should just not shop there, and people who think Wal-Mart doesn’t pay enough should just not work there. Otherwise, they should get out of the way and let others make their own decisions. <<

Typical DC idiocy. Remember the council member said having a Wal-Mart would make children turn to a life of crime?

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