Does D.C. Need Wal-Mart More than Wal-Mart Needs D.C.?

I want working people to make a decent living. I want to make a dent in the growing chasm between the poor and the rich. I want the destroyer of small-town businesses and purveyor of made-in-China smiley faces to offer some recompense for its sprawling, depressing stores, for its crushing effect on the American economy and its unequal treatment of female workers.

It would make a great Disney movie, wouldn’t it? The city that’s not even a state stopping the big, blue bully in its tracks.

But this bill isn’t going to be the way to do it, I’m afraid.

Wal-Mart threatened to pull out of three planned stores in D.C. if the city council moves forward with its “living wage bill,” and today, Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak argues that D.C. needs Wal-Mart more than Wal-Mart needs D.C., and that Wal-Mart will probably win this battle. Some residents Dvorak spoke to said they rely on Wal-Mart’s cheap prices to make ends meet, which is exactly what Wal-Mart wants to hear. In any case, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray still hasn’t vetoed the living wage bill, and if he doesn’t, we’ll see whether or not Wal-Mart will actually pull their plans.

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