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Is Walmart holding DC hostage?


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#1 Captnrontx

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 09:21 AM

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Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post - Opponents David Catania (left), Muriel Bowser and Tommy Wells confer as Vincent Orange (not pictured) defends the bill to force large retail stores to pay higher wages. Wal-Mart’s threat to withdraw three planned stores did not change any legislators’ minds.

By Mike DeBonis, Published: July 10E-mail the writer

D.C. lawmakers gave final approval Wednesday to a bill requiring some large retailers to pay their employees a 50 percent premium over the city’s minimum wage, a day after Wal-Mart warned that the law would jeopardize its plans in the city.

The retail giant had linked the future of at least three planned stores in the District to the proposal. But its ultimatum did not change any legislators’ minds. The 8 to 5 roll call matched the outcome of an earlier vote on the matter, taken before Wal-Mart’s warning.

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If signed by the mayor, the D.C. Council measure would require retailers with corporate sales of $1 billion or more and operating in spaces 75,000 square feet or larger to pay their employees no less than $12.50 an hour. The city’s minimum wage is $8.25.

 

“The question here is a living wage; it’s not whether Wal-Mart comes or stays,” said council member Vincent B. Orange (D-At Large), a lead backer of the legislation, who added that the city did not need to kowtow to threats. “We’re at a point where we don’t need retailers. Retailers need us.”

Whether or not Wal-Mart needs the District, it had spent the past three years wanting to enter the city in a way no other business had. Activists celebrated Wednesday’s vote, saying the company, which reported net income of $17 billion on sales of $470 billion in its most recent fiscal year, could afford to pay better wages. But the council action threatens to halt several developments anchored by Wal-Mart in neighborhoods long under­served.

“Nothing has changed from our perspective,” Wal-Mart spokesman Steven Restivo said in a statement after the vote, reiterating that the company will abandon plans for three unbuilt stores and “review the financial and legal implications” of not opening three others under construction.

The company’s strategy had to this point been calibrated to avoid political conflicts in a city of liberal sentiment, where the retailer’s earlier entreaties had been met with deep skepticism.

Well before it had any solid plans to open stores in the District, Wal-Mart joined the D.C. Chamber of Commerce and began making inroads with politicians, community groups and local charities that work on anti-hunger initiatives.

The campaign was matched with cash. Through its charitable foundation, Wal-Mart made $3.8 million in donations last year to city organizations including D.C. Central Kitchen and the Capitol Area Food Bank, according to a company spokesman. Meanwhile, it has kept a prominent local lobbyist, David W. Wilmot, on a $10,000-a-month retainer to smooth relations with elected officials.

The company has not disclosed what it has spent on plans and designs for its six D.C. stores, but development and retail experts say it is probably in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and possibly as high as $1 million per location. Some of the stores have undergone major design changes since they were first announced.

Should the bill be signed by Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) and pass a congressional review period, retailers with corporate sales of $1 billion or more and operating in spaces 75,000 square feet or larger would be required to pay employees no less than $12.50 an hour. The city’s minimum wage is $8.25, a dollar higher than the federal minimum wage.

 


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#2 LP-1

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 10:03 AM

The government taking on wal mart. Ain't that something. The whimper before the diesel truck plows you down. Now wal mart, the oil companies and agriculture will tighten a vice around our necks that will make is wish we never dared take on corporate inevitability. It ain't gonna be pretty.
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#3 Sanman

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 10:33 AM

If people hate WalMart so much, why do they keep shopping there?  This is not something for DC to stick their ignorant noses into in the first place.


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#4 LP-1

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 10:43 AM

If people hate WalMart so much, why do they keep shopping there? This is not something for DC to stick their ignorant noses into in the first place.


The average person earns below the poverty level. They are easily led by convenience and pricing. They depend on the pricing for sustainability. They're locked in even though they know they're feeding the leviathan that created the new economy.
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#5 TexomaPowerboater

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 12:08 PM

There has never been any economic proof that minimum wages help the economy. We could cut our unemplolyment rate in half and increase the standard of living for low income people if we eliminated the minimum wage completely. The minimum wage destroys jobs especially younger and minority americans. 

 

Retailers operate on small margins so their only real variable cost is labor, when their labor cost shoot up by 50% that cost will immediately get past on to the consumer causing hyperinflation. Those big retailers subject to the living wage won't be able to compete with smaller retailers not subject to the same living wage. You may also see people shift to online stores. Consumers may also leave the state or just do their shopping out of state were prices are lower. If the consumer refuses to pay the higher prices the retailers will be forced to cut back on employees, yet require the same amount of work. . Its like a triple whammy for americans - in addition to destroying jobs the employees that do keep their jobs will be forced to work harder, longer; and the perceived "raise" won't do a bit of good because they will have to turn around and pay higher cost for basic needs like groceries.

 

Economic policies of liberals consistently hurt the very people they pretend to represent. What good is a 50% raise if the cost of living also goes up 50%?  From a purely tax perspective, giving someone a 50% raise while raising the cost of living 50% could actually decrease discretionary spending due to the possibility of being put into a hire tax bracket.


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#6 Shiver me timbers

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 12:12 PM

Makes perfect sense. It's keeping with the cornerstone philosophy of the left that success should be punished. How do they justify this burden on a business based purely on their size and revenue (success)? It's classic moron econ. The good news is that the market will give them exactly what they deserve. 


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#7 TexomaPowerboater

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 12:15 PM

The average person earns below the poverty level. They are easily led by convenience and pricing. They depend on the pricing for sustainability. They're locked in even though they know they're feeding the leviathan that created the new economy.

So where were you when the democrats were pressuring the Fed to create more inflation in order to bail out their failed economic policies? You obviously weren't thinking about the low income americans you pretend to have compassion for. True to your party's strips, all you really cared about was re-electing a marxist at any cost. Even if that meant taking food off the table of hard working americans in order to inflate stock prices so the rich could profit. Have you no shame man?


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#8 LP-1

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 12:57 PM

So where were you when the democrats were pressuring the Fed to create more inflation in order to bail out their failed economic policies? You obviously weren't thinking about the low income americans you pretend to have compassion for. True to your party's strips, all you really cared about was re-electing a marxist at any cost. Even if that meant taking food off the table of hard working americans in order to inflate stock prices so the rich could profit. Have you no shame man?


Umm... The bailouts, every one of them started on GW's watch and were happening as he walked out the door. Obama just signed what was already in the desk. You moron.

Also, since you're such a financial whiz, look at wal marts profits, look at the cost of the wage increase. Take away the increase from the profits. What you have left, is still an absurd amount of profit. There's a new word you've probably never heard of because it was just invented yesterday. It's called "profiteering." Look it up. You might find it interesting and possibly relevant in this little oligarchy you created.
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#9 Captnrontx

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 03:38 PM

Two points:

 

1.  Walmart did follow through on their threat to the DC Council.  They withdrew 3 stores from building in the area.

2.  Sure Walmart makes a profit, but are you really disappointed in your 401K or stock portfolio when their stocks increase and pay nice dividends.


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#10 tnt

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 06:13 PM

the three store they claimed they would build,they also promised dc that they would pay a minimum of 13 an hour..
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#11 Captnrontx

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 06:22 AM

the three store they claimed they would build,they also promised dc that they would pay a minimum of 13 an hour..


Did not see that in the article.
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#12 TexomaPowerboater

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 08:38 AM

Umm... The bailouts, every one of them started on GW's watch and were happening as he walked out the door. Obama just signed what was already in the desk. You moron.

Also, since you're such a financial whiz, look at wal marts profits, look at the cost of the wage increase. Take away the increase from the profits. What you have left, is still an absurd amount of profit. There's a new word you've probably never heard of because it was just invented yesterday. It's called "profiteering." Look it up. You might find it interesting and possibly relevant in this little oligarchy you created.

Wal Mart's net income is only 4% of sales. This is the same tired, failed argument you communist made about health insurance companies even though their net income margins only averaged around 3%. Whats funny is liberals actually made deals with and protected big pharma whose net income margins are closer to 15%.

 

Suggesting that government should be able to increase employee costs merely because a company makes a profit is a sure fire way to eliminate all profits. But then again liberals have long been against profits, which is why they have no problem making policies that destroy profitable companies and the jobs they produce. Only by destroying all private sector jobs will liberals be able to truly enslave the masses and destroy what liberty we have left. Communism, total government control of resources and labor is the end game of liberal economic policy.


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#13 LP-1

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 08:44 AM

Wal Mart's net income is only 4% of sales. This is the same tired, failed argument you communist made about health insurance companies even though their net income margins only averaged around 3%. Whats funny is liberals actually made deals with and protected big pharma whose net income margins are closer to 15%.

Suggesting that government should be able to increase employee costs merely because a company makes a profit is a sure fire way to eliminate all profits. But then again liberals have long been against profits, which is why they have no problem making policies that destroy profitable companies and the jobs they produce. Only by destroying all private sector jobs will liberals be able to truly enslave the masses and destroy what liberty we have left. Communism, total government control of resources and labor is the end game of liberal economic policy.

You rely heavily on no one knowing anything so you can just say anything. Again it was bush who made a deal with pharmaceutical companies. Rummys pet project and stock Portfolio. Removed competition. And gave American drug companies protection from competition and allowed them to charge whatever they wanted for necessary life saving drugs without free trade to maintain competitive pricing. This single event set in motion the need for Obama care. Under bush, healthcare became a perk of the wealthy, just like a Porsche or Russian caviar. You never cease to amaze me - and the people who believe your bullshit, are even more amazing. Or should I say... stupider.
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#14 Captnrontx

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 09:50 AM

I agree with many of you, that government can really screw up a wet dream. I just wish they would stick with fixing pot holes, delievering mail, providing a strong military and let survival of the fittest reign. worked in the Great Depression.

oh well, now here comes the rain of fire.
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#15 LP-1

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 10:32 AM

Do you know what cause he great depression and what ended it?
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#16 Shiver me timbers

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 11:39 AM

Protectionism, bad fed money policy & poor banking practices caused. WWII ended. 


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#17 Sanman

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 11:43 AM

Nothing will ever change until you all get out of the stuck mentality of Left vs Right.  Bush and Obama are both tyrants and evil (as were many who came before them from BOTH sides).  Pointing out one side's evil and counter arguing by pointing out the other side's evil only serves to further polarize everyone instead of coming together, declaring both sides equally evil, and then finally focus our attention on the puppet masters who are the ultimate evil behind these puppets of evil we call politicians.


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#18 tnt

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 12:17 PM

Did not see that in the article.


same story different article.
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#19 LP-1

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 04:17 PM

Nothing will ever change until you all get out of the stuck mentality of Left vs Right. Bush and Obama are both tyrants and evil (as were many who came before them from BOTH sides). Pointing out one side's evil and counter arguing by pointing out the other side's evil only serves to further polarize everyone instead of coming together, declaring both sides equally evil, and then finally focus our attention on the puppet masters who are the ultimate evil behind these puppets of evil we call politicians.


Yeah but, they're more evil than we are.
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#20 Captnrontx

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 04:49 PM

Gee LP1, I was caught off guard about the Great Depression. I thought it was a giant headache.
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