Potentially big business news this afternoon out of D.C.:
The D.C. Council is set to vote tomorrow on proposed “living wage” legislation that would affect large retailers like Walmart.
More from the Washington Post:
Alex Barron, a regional general manager for Wal-Mart U.S., wrote in a Washington Post op-ed piece that the proposed wage requirement “would clearly inject unforeseen costs into the equation that will create an uneven playing field and challenge the fiscal health of our planned D.C. stores.”
As a result, Barron said, the company “will not pursue” stores at three locations where construction has yet to begin — two in Ward 7 and one in Ward 5. He added that the legislation, if passed, will also “jeopardize” three stores whose construction is already underway pending “financial and legal implications.”
The bill as currently written would require retailers with corporate sales of a billion dollars or more and operating in spaces 75,000 square feet or larger to pay their employees no less than $12.50 an hour. The District’s current minimum wage is $8.25.
Many on the Left are insisting that D.C.’s minimum wage should be raised, and they’re both rejoicing at this news and slamming Walmart:
But what these eloquent individuals don’t seem to realize is that when Walmart leaves, so do a lot of potential jobs for those who need them most:
Relatively low-priced goods will also be more difficult to come by:
Proponents of the living wage bill aren’t seeing the whole picture. As warm and fuzzy as it might make them feel to demand that workers’ pay be increased, what they’re forgetting — or ignoring — is that raising wages costs money. At some point for businesses, the costs outweigh the benefits. And higher costs for employers ultimately get passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices and employees in the form of job loss. Is that what the Left wants to push for?
If the bill becomes law, Walmart might wind up being one of many potential job providers discouraged from doing business in D.C. And then what?
‘Round and ’round we go.