I would tend to place this article into the “unintended consequences” portion of my story.
I don’t doubt for a moment that Walmart is closing these stores because they’re uninterested in catering to those persons seeking to fleece the company, by either wages or unionization. They are of sufficient size that they can take the fiscal hit. For a time.
Walmart is the largest single employer of persons in the United States, at 2.2 million. Leftists despise “big” and they despise “corporations,” but fail to make the links between Capitalism, profits and freedom. They fail to understand the concept that, as costs increase, businesses either pass these costs on to the consumer or they fail. When businesses fail they stop providing jobs. To you and me, this is a simple and obvious concept. Not to Leftists, who believe that businesses have an obligation to lose money if such loss “benefits” certain strata of persons, as a societal onus.
Further, unionization is a desired outcome. When unions flourish, the first thing they do is enable a closed shop and force union dues. When you’re an undersea welder making $26 to $50 an hour, or a port crane operator making $82.15 an hour in NYC, you can pretty much afford your dues. But with a cheeseburger icon prodder or a burger wrapper making the desired $15 an hour, dues are going to hurt. And you’re not going to get a choice.
In Seattle, a bastion of Leftism, businesses are shuttering doors in anticipation of the minimum wage boost. Why? Because small businesses can’t, literally, afford it.
Further, just why is it that commuter airline pilots make roughly $15 to $20 an hour and — yet — unskilled workers pushing the CHEESEBURGER icon at McDonald’s expect to be paid a similar wage rate? I find that a ridiculous disparity on any number of levels.
Let’s be frank for just a moment, shall we?
Minimum wage positions were meant to be nothing more than introductory jobs, easing new workers into the ranks of the employed, getting them used to punching a time clock, appearing for work on time, being dependable, responsible, answerable to a higher authority, learning a preliminary skill, basic societal and business competence.
Let us also admit that not everyone was issued precisely alike from the factory. Some persons — and I’m sure you know your fair share — simply don’t have the inclination or the capability to perform certain jobs. In other words, they’re blithering idiots. Perhaps it’s your brother, your nephew, a co-worker or even your boss. You wouldn’t trust them to clean your toilet reliably and with acumen, much less what they’re doing now. Unless they are doing nothing.
Therein lies another rub. Actors ask: what is my character’s “motivation” in a certain scene, movie or play? There exists a strata of human clotted clag that simply lacks motivation, goals and aspirations. They are perfectly satisfied with doing nothing, accomplishing nothing, and expect to be paid and comforted for it. These people are drones. Their numbers are increasing daily because, for no other reason, various governments encourage such behavior — such as the federal government and your state government. In my case, Fornicalia. Fornicalia is a Drone’s and Illegal’s Paradise. It is also a psychologically-damaged and developmentally-disabled magnet.
Many people now say, however, that these unskilled workers are working two or three like jobs in order to provide for their families. Taken off these jobs or kept at a lower wage, these workers would actually cost the taxpayer more than if businesses would simply ante up to a $15 per hour scale.
This is a false argument.
Minimum wage jobs were meant to be introductory jobs only, not jobs for life. The wages for these jobs were and are commensurate with the skills and education necessary to perform them. I made $5.79 an hour as a deputy sheriff in Fornicalia in 1978, putting my life at risk every day. I considered myself lucky to have the job at all. And yet, at the time, the minimum wage was $2.90. There was no way I could afford a house in that coastal county — they were beginning at $100,000. Way over my capability to purchase.
So guess what? I didn’t purchase a house. I didn’t purchase an ATV, a motorcycle, a recreational vehicle, a motorcycle, and I didn’t carry a balance on my credit card. And yet, oddly enough, I survived and then thrived because I stuck it out. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I stuck it out. I refused to extend myself and place myself into a budgetarily-precarious position.
What a concept.
So pass that $15-per-hour minimum wage, Leftists, and let’s just see where it gets those workers it was meant to “protect.”
It is not business’s job to lose money.