High minimum wage closes low-income friendly stores

From Breitbart Big Journalism:

WaPo Buries: Minimum Wage Increase Cost Inner-City DC Two Walmart Stores

The Washington Post headline screams, “District leaders furious Walmart breaking promise to build stores in poor neighborhoods.” So you would think that the primary reason behind the so-called broken promise would be near the top of the story, correct? Well, not if you’re reading the Washington Post when the reason for the broken promise is inconvenient to one of the Left’s favorite narratives — the minimum wage.

On top of three current D.C. Walmart stores already doing worse than expected, Walmart is backing out of the other two because the cost of doing business in DC is just too high. The DC minimum wage is already an inflated $11.50 an hour, and that could jump to $15 in November. Naturally the left-wing Washington Post buries that inconvenient news under more than a dozen paragraphs:

Evans said that, behind closed doors, Walmart officials were more frank about the reasons the company was downsizing. He said the company cited the District’s rising minimum wage, now at $11.50 an hour and possibly going to $15 an hour if a proposed ballot measure is successful in November. He also said a proposal for legislation requiring D.C. employers to pay into a fund for family and medical leave for employees, and another effort to require a minimum amount of hours for hourly workers were compounding costs and concerns for the retailer.

“They were saying, ‘How are we going to run the three stores we have, let alone build two more?’?” Evans said.

Thanks to the Left’s stupid economic policies, hundreds of jobs that would have paid $7.25 an hour and up, are now gone. Hundreds of people in DC’s inner-cities that would have had work will now make nothing. More.

Reality check: File under: The early stages of the post-employment society. Demands for a minimum wage are an easy banner to rally a crowd under. Few will stop to consider that the situation is fundamentally different today from what it was a century ago.

A century ago, a higher minimum wage gave more buying power to lower income people, resulting in a broader distribution of (once deemed) luxury goods. Today, it merely hastens the pace of automation.

WalMart might act upset, but probably isn’t really. WalMart Canada, for example, is moving fast toward “order online and enjoy home delivery.” The clerk who might have had a high minimum wage—if she still had a job—is not the company’s responsibility but the taxpayers’.

It’s the same principle as with the US Chamber of Commerce encouraging amnesty. New immigrants will keep costs down by accepting low wage jobs. Once those jobs are automated, the former workers will not be the companies’ expense but the taxpayers.

Aren’t companies taxpayers? Yes, but if they are big enough they can manipulate, scheme, and deal on a much more equal basis with government. Their execs probably hold their assets safely offshore.

I doubt that much can be done about the trend as such. My concerns are

1. A growth in pointless public disorder. People who, decades ago, would have worked and acquired status and property that they didn’t want to lose will have little to do but develop and vent grievances.

2. Concurrently, we will see a reduction in civil liberties, as opposed to freedom to act out. The bong pipe everywhere, but only small, tightly monitored “free speech” zones.

Both trends are now well established at universities, which train our future leaders.

My guess is that intellectual freedom—which was won by people who did not depend on government to fed, clothe, house, and vet them—will not survive the post-employment society. My concern is not to “stop” all this (probably no one can) but to help those who do not want to be a part of it find a civilized way of life in its midst.

See also: Will robots take all jobs? No. But a great many.

But who actually needs Millennials? Except for votes?

Will the junior jackboots of Asshat U finally get “justice”? (Yes, but read on … )

  • Exile1981

    Our local McDonalds went to one of the new digital touchscreens for ordering in place of an employee at a till. I love it; it means I can order for the whole family and get what I ordered rather than always having to take a burger back because they misunderstood “hamburger with nothing on it” to mean just a patty – no bun etc,

  • john700

    The self-scanning system was tried by Walmart Canada about 10 years ago. It did not work because it allowed people to steal stuff and because some people were too stupid to use it. It is in place at Home Depot, but they still have a person supervising severa lanes.

  • ntt1

    I use the self scanner As much as possible
    as I find,with the exception of one or two seasoned older cashiers ,the younger ones are rude gum chewers
    The only problem with self scanners is the smug plummy tones of the robot voice, Ibelieve it will be the voice of the looming progressive totalitarian regime

  • John

    We’re going to see many, many Walmart stores close in the coming years as more people order on line.

    Last year Future Shop ( I think…) closed the majority of its stores because everyone now buys tech products on line.

    It’s a shame, though, that the retail sector is shrinking because wandering about shops and handling merchandise has always been a pleasure for many.

    It seems we’re all headed for a ‘lardbutt’ future.

    • Katyn

      I liked future shop because I could go in and see and handle the actual merchandise, even ask questions from staff that were generally very knowledgeable and helpful, before going home and ordering cheaper over the Internet. I can see why they went out of business.

    • DMB

      Best Buy bought Future Shop in the early 2000’s when it came to Canada. It’s ultimate goal was to eventually convert the Future Shop’s into Best Buy which it did to some of the stores while closing others. I know of a lessor known competitor called Tiger Direct which had multiple stores in Southern Ontario which last year decided to close all its stores and go entirely on-line. Now do you or anyone else remember them. Most people I know never heard of them or forgot about them which gives Best Buy the advantage since they still have retail locations out there giving them plenty of name recognition. Besides that if you need to have a computer fixed you can’t do that at an online only store which is why you will need to take in to a retail store which Tiger Direct used to do but Best Buy still does and that is why they are the dominant electronics retailer excluding Walmart and Costco which are not electronics only stores.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Down here there’s a big chain of gas-kiwikymarts called, “Sheetz”. They sell a great deal of hot fast food which is made by people but the entire ordering process including all custom orders is done by point of sale self serve terminals. It’s much faster than dealing with people and a lot less error prone.

    The only thing that bothers me about self serve lines is when I purchase something age restricted. Pain in the butt to have to call someone over to expedite it.

  • Maggat

    I intensely dislike the self serve checkouts. SuperStore has them. Having said that, any time I go into SuperStore, which is very seldom, I will use the self checkout as they are marginally better than the normally incompetent and rude checkout cashiers.

  • Katyn

    The real minimum wage is zero.
    An enforced minimum wage merely discriminates against the least skilled in society.

  • Terrence11

    I think that the bozos who advocate a $15 an hour minimum wage hold a lot of stocks in of robot making companies; where ever minimum wages are imposed the unskilled and unschooled face massive unemployment increases.

    • simus1

      There is no better backstop for venture capitalists backing robotic fast food prep and robotic checkout systems for mega chains than a high minimum wage. You would think the present minwage dullards would eventually catch on to those so interested in “helping them achieve a living wage”.

      • Agreed. No one can force a company to stay in business while losing money (though government could nationalize it and lose money at the expense of the vat masses of people who never shop at the store). The workers are making higher wages now in return for unemployment and public dependence sooner. Is this a good bargain? Hard to say. I wonder though how many even see it coming.