Walmart’s big lie: No, it doesn’t create jobs! –

6 Aug

Does Walmart create jobs? That question is at the heart of the debate currently raging over its plans to open stores in Washington, DC. Last month, labor groups scored a major victory when the DC City Council passed a bill requiring Walmart and other big box retailers to pay their workers a living wage of $12.50 an hour. The mega-store has threatened to pull out of DC if the bill, which requires the signature of Mayor Vincent Gray, becomes law. (Gray has not taken a position but is said to be leaning against the measure).

One theme that Walmart and its defenders keep hitting, hard, is jobs. Walmart, they say, would bring badly needed employment to a city where the jobless rate is 1.1 percentage points greater than the already alarmingly high national rate. This argument sounds compelling, especially because this time, it’s not only Walmart’s flacks and the usual right-wing ideologues who are making it. Even the liberal Matthew Yglesias argued that the bill would be “a serious misstep” because it would kill “job opportunities.” (To be fair, Yglesias later appeared to back down from this claim.) Some of my liberal, normally pro-labor friends have made similar arguments.

The problem is, this argument is dead wrong. Contrary to Walmart’s self-glorifying mythology, the retailer is anything but a job creator — in fact it is a huge job killer. Not only that, destroying jobs is an essential component of Walmart’s anti-worker business model. Let’s put aside Walmart’s happy talk and examine the cold, hard facts. More…

via Walmart’s big lie: No, it doesn’t create jobs! –


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