- “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.”
|What DC shoppers ought to look like.....|
|Is this the sort of person we want to attract to DC?|
The new, breathlessly titled "Living Wage" law passed in Washington DC city council this week, forces certain large retailers (like Wal-Mart) to pay a 50% premium wage over and above DC's already higher-than-average minimum wage. Wal-Mart which is building 3 stores in DC with plans for 3 more is having to rethink building any stores at all in the DC area. The snobs who passed this punitive, anti-discount retailer bill are quite happy with themselves. They don't like Wal-Mart anyway - all those oddly dressed poor people rushing in and out of there at all hours of the day and night. I mean really. Do we really want the sort of people Wal-Marts attract living in our nation's capital?
By the time these guys are through with their misguided, if not sinister attempts at social engineering, the only people who will be able to afford to live in DC are wealthy politicians and corporate fat cats.
Perhaps that's the point.
The guys making the new "living wage" (at least the ones who still have jobs) will all have to move out of DC to towns that do have Wal-Marts and they will spend a big chunk of that new "living wage" commuting into the city, not to mention adding hours to their working day commuting, an activity for which they do not get paid? And they'll spend most of the money outside of Washington which will, although the smart guys on the DC city council probably don't realize it yet, lead to a reduction in sales tax income. No matter. Just raise the sales tax to compensate. After all, with the new living wage, everyone will be able to afford it.
AND, with longer working days, they will spend less and less time with their families and what happens to their kids? Will they mandate add after-school "programs" to keep the unattended kids off the streets. Will we let the government raise them while we're sitting on a bus or a train 3 to 5 hours a day? One thing this kind of social engineering does do very effectively is push the working poor out of places like DC where costs rise beyond bearing. Marginal folk will have to leave the city. When they do the poorer parts of town can be "cleaned up" for the well-to-do who can afford to pay five bucks for a tomato down at Le' Groceree' Boutique Organic Foods.
Perhaps "the wealthy" will be able to buy out the abandoned DC slums for a song, bulldoze them and turn them into palatial dachas for politburo members. Not the Wal-Mart wealthy, though. They aren't welcome to do business in DC. So, they live and do business in places like Arkansas. Out in the country. Where real people live.
Of course, the whole forced living wage and increased government "planning" idea didn't work out so well in Detroit, but then, as always with progressive socialism, the whole thing depends on how smart the leadership is and don't we have all our smartest leaders gathered in Washington DC?
What could go wrong?
Plus the sponsors of this wrong-headed law will get to claim they did it all for "the poor". No matter that more and more people will be living "lives of quiet desperation" as Thoreau described it. Oh, well, the middle class has been getting too fat and comfortable over the past century. They are beginning to get uppity. The bread and circuses approach to the pacification of the masses isn't working as well as the nouveau-nobility had hoped it would. And reality TV seemed like such a good idea too. Perhaps, after all, it is time for the application of a little "quiet desperation" to get the masses to settle down and shut up. You know, just to remind them who's boss.
Jesus must be loading up the bus to come get us because this whole thing is going to blow up soon - right in their progressive little faces.
Tom King (c) 2013