Never miss Christian news that matters to you. facebookLike twitterFollow
pop up close

Decision to Block Wal-Mart Hurts Poor in DC

1
Sign Up for Free eNewsletter ››
  • Star Parker
    urbancure.org
    Star Parker is the founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501(c)(3) non-profit think tank which promotes market based public policy to fight poverty.
By Star Parker, Op-Ed Contributor
July 21, 2013|1:50 pm

Why, when there is no question that nothing has created more wealth and eradicated more poverty than capitalism, do left wing politicians hate it so much?

After all, it's supposed to be the left that cares about the poor.

The latest chapter in this ongoing saga of economic perversity is action being taken in Washington, DC to prevent Walmart from opening stores there.

The District's city council has passed a bill, awaiting signature of the Mayor, specifically targeted to block Wal-Mart. It raises the District's minimum wage 50 percent to $12.50 per hour only for stores with more than $1 billion in sales and store size of more the 75,000 square feet.

Unionized stores in the District with these characteristics are exempt. In other words, the bill protects special interests and blocks who politicos don't want – Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart promptly announced that if the Mayor signs the bill into law, they will cancel plans to open three stores, each of which would create around 300 new jobs.

Follow us Get CP eNewsletter ››

Wal-Mart's "low prices every day" business strategy is one of the greatest success stories in American history.

Opening its first store in 1962, it has grown and grown and grown. Today Wal-Mart has sales of almost a half trillion dollars, putting it number one on the Fortune 500 list.

According to the company, it now has over 10,000 stores around the world, employs 2.2 million people, and serves 200 million customers per week.

Is anyone forced to shop at Wal-Mart? Of course not. Is anyone forced to work at Wal-Mart? Of course not.

This mind-boggling growth happened as result of freedom. Wal-Mart's huge success is one hundred percent the result of delivering products that people freely choose to buy.

Critics of Wal-Mart claim that the company doesn't pay enough. The company responds that its average pay is at or above the industry average.

But the real issue is, what is it the business of politicians what Wal-Mart pays? Unlike government, that fines you or jails you if you don't do what lawmakers want, people work at Wal-Mart because they choose to do so.

Wal-Mart says it gets anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000 applications for 300 to 400 job openings when it opens a store. That's more than 25 applicants per job.

Doesn't appear to me like Wal-Mart has trouble convincing people to work there.
Washington, DC is more than 50 percent black. Its unemployment rate is above the national average. Its poverty rate is above the national average.

Yet Washington, DC's politicians would rather have no new jobs at $12.50 per hour than 900 new jobs at $10.00 per hour.

Some claim that big discount stores like Wal-Mart go into cities and displace small businesses. This is a claim. There is no definitive study that proves this claim.

But again, even if it were true, it would only be true because free people choose it to be so. What business is it of politicians to tell free people where to shop? What business is it of politicians to deprive people the freedom to go to a store that sells them products at the lowest prices they can find?

Low-income earners, the ones that supposedly the left wing politicos care about, happen to appreciate Wal-Mart's low prices.

One thing I particularly appreciate about Walmart, where I certainly shop, is the greeters. They are often disabled and other hard to employ individuals. Wal-Mart gives them a chance to work.

Capitalism has been the great success it has because it rewards creativity and hard work.

Socialism has been a failure because it deprives freedom, stifles creativity, encourages envy and covetedness, and it rewards sloth and corruption.

American success is about the miracle of freedom. When freedom is displaced by political power, everyone suffers. In this case in Washington, DC where politicians are blocking Wal-Mart, those who will suffer the most are the poor.

Star Parker is an author and president of CURE, Center for Urban Renewal and Education. Contact her at www.urbancure.org
 

Videos that May Interest You

Duck stops here: Star dropped from benefit over wine deal

Advertisement