Regarding the March 21 Metro article “Large-retailer wage bill sparks vigorous debate”:

How can the District have “a thriving business community” that does not support a thriving population?

That is the question that the D.C. Chamber of Commerce wants D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) and others who support the Large Retailer Accountability Act to ignore. You do not need to dive deeply into Wal-Mart’s history to see practices and consequences that discourage entrepreneurs and mistreat workers. The company is a powerhouse with a name that is synonymous with saving money. But to what end?

I gladly pay my personal “social tax.” If I must pay 15 cents more for rice, 12 cents more for soap or $5 more for an iron, fine. I want that money to contribute to someone’s living wage.

What do we gain, culturally and as a national community, by putting so much value in the lowest price?

Carolyn Lieberg, Washington