Despite President Barack Obama’s rosy report on the strength of the economy during his last State of the Union address, the economy is still struggling mightily, as evidenced recently by an announcement from retail giant Walmart.
Walmart recently made known that it would be closing hundreds of retail stores in the U.S. and around the globe, potentially laying off thousands of workers.
One of those Walmart stores, just closed on Sunday, was the downtown Los Angeles “Neighborhood Market” location that served the largely Hispanic and Asian communities of Chinatown, according to Breitbart.
The retailer cited a “number of factors” taken into account in deciding to close the store, but the fact that L.A. just raised its minimum wage to $10 per hour, on its way to $15 per hour by 2018, was likely one of the main factors in the decision.
Sadly, the largely impoverished community had fought for years to get Walmart to open a store in their area, but the retailer has been consistently attacked since by liberal labor and environmental activists and union organizers, despite the fact that most of the employees of the store rejected efforts to unionize them.
Anyone with even a modicum of economic understanding knows that arbitrarily raising the minimum wage, which means higher labor costs, will result in lost jobs and closed stores as employers attempt to balance the thin margin between their profits and expenses.
We have already seen the steady creep of automation making its way into the fast food restaurant market in response to the increased labor costs that result from increased minimum wages for unskilled and replaceable entry-level workers.
Conservative Tribune is in favor of higher wages for workers who earn them. We are not in favor of statists at the federal, state or local level arbitrarily setting wages that are better determined by the free market.
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