Walmart’s Argument Against Paying More Doesn’t Impress Everyone

Photo (cc) by CMH-90

Walmart gave Washington, D.C., an ultimatum: Leave wage requirements low or we won’t come there.

The company said it wouldn’t build three stores and may ditch three more already under construction there if the D.C. Council passed a bill requiring that large retailers pay no less than $12.50 an hour, instead of Washington’s minimum wage of $8.25. The law “would result in fewer jobs, higher prices and fewer total retail options,” Walmart regional general manager Alex Barron wrote in The Washington Post.

The bill passed on July 10, and the threat changed nobody’s mind on the council, the Post says. The mayor has yet to sign or veto it, but the deadline to decide is here: The mayor has 10 calendar days excluding weekends to consider bills, the city website says.

Fast Company asked experts to assess Barron’s argument, and they refuted his key points.

Fewer jobs? Nope. A 2011 Center for Economic Policy Research study found that when San Francisco, Santa Fe, N.M., and Washington, D.C., raised their minimum wage, employment was unaffected. Higher wages offset high turnover and reduce hiring costs, National Employment Law Project policy analyst Jack Temple told Fast Company. The strategy works for Costco.

Higher prices? Negligible. Another 2011 study, this time from the Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, tested almost exactly this scenario — an across-the-board minimum wage increase to $12 an hour, rather than D.C.’s proposed $12.50, Fast Company says. The result was a 46-cent increase per shopping trip per customer, while workers would see an extra $1,670 to $6,500 per year.

Actually, a wage increase would probably save taxpayers money. A more recent report from U.S. House Democrats found that Walmart’s low pay qualifies some workers for government services for the poor, Fast Company says. For example, one Walmart store cost Wisconsin taxpayers more than $900,000 a year for Medicaid.

Fewer retail options? As council member Vincent Orange told the Post, “We’re at a point where we don’t need retailers. Retailers need us.”

What do you think? Can Walmart afford to pay a higher minimum wage for workers at a few D.C. stores? Is it going to abandon its investment in the area over the extra pay? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

These Are the 9 Best Benefits of Amazon Prime
These Are the 9 Best Benefits of Amazon Prime

These top-notch perks of an Amazon Prime membership won’t cost you a dime extra.

10 Cars That Lose the Most Resale Value After 5 Years
10 Cars That Lose the Most Resale Value After 5 Years

Two types of vehicles are especially likely to see steep plunges in value.

8 Products to Reduce Anxiety and Stress
8 Products to Reduce Anxiety and Stress

Current events have you feeling anxious? These Amazon products can take the edge off.

10 Tools You Need for Financial Stability
10 Tools You Need for Financial Stability

Have these tools and accounts in place so you can weather whatever comes your way.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

Why Cloth Masks May Increase Your Coronavirus Risk
Why Cloth Masks May Increase Your Coronavirus Risk

A new study finds that wearing a cloth mask can backfire if you don’t clean it properly.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car
This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car

Looking for a good deal on a set of wheels? This should be your first stop.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value
7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You can add value to your home without hiring a contractor to do expensive renovations.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.