Walmart An existing Wal-mart in Rogers, Ark. (REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi)

Wal-Mart.

See? You have an opinion already. Wal-mart makes you go “grr” or “yay.” And that’s a complicating factor in everything they do. In this case, Wal-Mart regional manager Alex Barron takes to the op-ed page to say Wal-Mart “yay,” D.C. Council “grr.”

Ooh, wait. PostScript wants to try that, too.

D.C. Council.

Whoa! So, so much opinion! Gadzooks.

Wal-Mart (your opinion here) had plans in motion to build six stores in D.C., and the D.C. Council tried to force them (and other retailers with over $1 billion in worldwide sales) to pay a higher minimum wage than that paid by Washington’s smaller stores. So Wal-Mart says it’s pulling out, either partially or fully, which may or may not have been the D.C. Council’s intended outcome. Wal-Mart is controversial for a LOT of reasons; one line of thought is that this is less about compelling higher wages and more about not being Wal-Marted at all.

jrussell1

I recently read that many Wal-mart employees receive some type of federal assistance in order to make ends meet. That said, isn’t it time that we, the taxpayer, quit subsidizing Wal-mart?

cub4vt

I find it fascinating that there is absolutely NO OTHER employer in DC (including the DC Government) that pays wages that still qualify the employee for government assistance. That is a complete revelation. Wait, that’s not true? Oh. Then, why is it Wal-mart’s fault that DC minimum wage is below the poverty line?

tedwalsh7

A worthy debate, and one not being had by the DC City Council. This is about protecting established retailers.

Aha! Is that the issue here, instead of Wal-Mart?

jeffdc1 thinks so:

If the DC Council was truly interested in helping workers earn a living wage, it would require every business in DC to pay a living wage, including all of the small bodegas scattered throughout the city. By targeting big-box retailers, it is clear that the Council’s main mission instead is to reduce the ability of these larger stores to offer lower prices.

JPRS says no, it’s just that big-box chains have more ability to pay higher minimum wages:

When Wal-mart comes into a market, it tends to set the prevailing wage for service sector jobs. When Joe’s Corner Market opens shop, it doesn’t, because it doesn’t have the same market leverage. Wal-mart has advantages already built into its supply chain, so it can absorb part of a wage increase more readily than a local mom and pop store can.

Also, little stores are more likely to be locally owned, meaning the profits would stay in the D.C. area.

mgochs, though, manages to make this not about Wal-Mart at all:

This pretty much guarantees that Wegmans pulls out too and they are a great employer.

And codetalker has an epic post that cuts right to the heart of the matter, at least once PostScript excerpted it. Higher wages bring a lot indirectly to the community:

Will the wage [big box workers] earn support them and the community? Pay for office visit co-pays, prescriptions? Can they afford an injury forcing no work for 2 months, one month, 6 months? Can they afford magazine subcriptions? Netflix? The Washington Post? Do they have a pension like an elected official? Can they send their children to college? Can they afford children? Will they be able to retire? If I want to shop I need money.

WHOA. THE WASHINGTON POST. PAYWALL. WAL-MART. IT ALL FITS. The minimum wage should be at whatever point people start subscribing to newspapers.