Monday, July 29, 2013

Conservative ire at DC's 'fair wage' law

Since my post, 'Meyerson: Cities resist the 'Wal-Mart-ization of work,' on July 17, I've been eagerly awaiting the decision of DC Mayor Vincent Gray whether or not to veto the DC City Council's "fair wage" law ("Large Retailer Accountability Act of 2013") that would require all big-box retailers, such as Wal-Mart, that earn more than $1 billion in yearly revenue with floor space of over 75,000 square feet to pay all employees a minimum wage of $12.50 an hour, up from $8.25.

According to WSWS, other major national retailers such as Home Depot, AutoZone, Macy’s, Lowe’s, Target and Walgreen’s have written an open letter to Mayor Gray, declaring the bill "misguided."

For what it's worth, the "liberal" Washington Post has also come out against the bill.  Let me repeat that: arming al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria?  For.  Paying working Americans a living wage?  Against.  That's the lib'rul media for ya'.  

We're still waiting on Mayor Gray's decision.  The tension is so thick you could cut it with a knife!  ... And why not cut it with a premium electric knife with rubberized handle (made in China) from Walmart for only $18.00?  (Hey, it's my way of balancing the scales, since I rip on Wal-Mart so often).

If you think it's just me, or just liberals, that see this DC law as a bellwether, think again. Witness all the conservative ink spilled on the subject:

If all these right-wingers think that DC's living wage law is a terrible idea, then it must be good!  

Seriously though, anybody who knows, knows that where Wal-Mart goes, wages go down across the board. Is that what DC really needs?  A line has to be drawn somewhere, and only the DC City Council has the authority to draw it.  

In the absence of action by the states and federal government on raising the minimum wage, which should be at least $10.59 today, only cities can take action. That's what DC is doing. That's federalism in action. Funny that pro-fedreralist conservatives are so up in arms about it.

There's also this stupid debate about who needs who more: DC or Wal-Mart?  Of course Wal-Mart needs DC, why else would they be opening 3 stores and planning 3 more?  Wal-Mart is not in the charity business.  

I lived in SE DC for two years, so I know that Washington, DC does not need cheaper toasters; it needs more jobs that pay a living wage.  Wal-Mart will not only offer poverty wages, it will depress wages at its competitors and across the District, making Washington poorer. 

Let's hope Mayor Gray has a big brass sack!

UPDATE (01.08.2013): Mayor Gray says he hasn't made a decision yet, and hasn't even been presented formally with the bill by the City Council: "D.C. minimum wage bill: Vincent Gray still undecided on signing or veto."

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