Washington Post: Harold Meyerson- ‘Washington D.C. Council stands for fair wages and against Wal-Mart’

“For Republicans who want to cut the number of food stamp recipients, here’s a helpful suggestion: Support the ordinance passed last week by the D.C. Council, which required big-box stores like Wal-Mart to pay their employees at least $12.50 an hour.

On average, Wal-Mart pays its workers $12.67 an hour — which means that a huge number of its 1.4 million U.S. employees make a good deal less than that. By paying so little, the Bentonville behemoth compels thousands of its employees to use food stamps to feed their families and Medicaid to pay their doctor bills. It compels taxpayers to pick up a tab that wouldn’t even exist if the company paid its workers enough to get them out of poverty.

How many such workers go on the public rolls? Some states occasionally survey where those employees work, and Wal-Mart almost invariably tops their lists. An Ohio tally in 2009, for instance, found that 15,246 Wal-Mart workers were Medicaid recipients and 12,731 were on food stamps. (McDonald’s came in second in each category.)”

From The Washington Post

“Harold Meyerson, editor at large, American Prospect; columnist, Washington Post; board member, Alber”

Harold Meyerson, editor at large, American Prospect; columnist, Washington Post; board member, Alber (2015) - Google Search

Source:Albert Shanker Institute– left-wing political columnist and political activist Harold Meyerson.

From the Albert Shanker Institute

I like this move involving Wal-Mart that the Washington City Council made for these reasons:

Washington is already one of the most expensive and wealthiest big cities in the United States. Not just the metropolitan area but the city itself with a very high cost of living. And Wal-Mart coming in which is the largest low-paying employer in America, would make that situation even worst not just for its employees in Washington but for others.

If you were to work at lets say a downtown Washington Wal-Mart, you are probably going to need to live in the city to work there especially if that is your main job. Good luck doing that making eight bucks an hour with very little if any benefits with your job. And this would also affect other Washington service industry employers who would feel the need to cut their benefits and wages in order to compete with Wal-Mart. But having a $12.50 minimum-wage in Washington, keeps the Wal-Marts out of there. And prevents workers from having to go on public assistance to support themselves and their families. And saves tax payers that money as a result.

I know raising the minimum wage or creating what I would prefer to do which is a living-wage comes with a price. Which is a price I’m willing to pay and believe we should pay as a country. Workers should be paid based on the work they do and the skills they bring to the table. But seven dollars and hour or eight dollars an hour is still underpaying for even service workers. Who are pretty valuable and make their companies successful and wealthy.

So I’m not looking to pay low-skilled service workers twenty or thirty bucks and hour as a living-wage. But pay them for the work that they do that saves tax payers money on public assistance. But do it in away that doesn’t make employers especially small business’s payrolls too expensive and forces them to layoff their low-skilled workers. Which is why I support increasing the minimum-wage or living-wage for workers to 10-12 bucks and hour Federally and allow for those employers to deduct part of those costs from their taxes.

But we should be doing more than just raising the minimum-wage or creating a living-wage for our low-skilled workforce and invest more in job-training by empowering employers and private non-profits to train our low-skilled workforce. Empowering our low-skilled workers to go to community college so they can get the skills that they need to not have to work in a service industry to support themselves which would be a good investment for tax payers. Because they would have to pay less for public assistance in the future as a result.

About Erik Schneider

Full-time blogger on a multiple ray of topics and subjects, because of multiple interests.
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