In 2016’s first Democratic debate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and avowed socialist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders will fight to see who can best expand the welfare state. Both have championed increases in the minimum wage and paid family leave. These policies, however, have led Walmart to renege on its promise to open more stores in Washington, D.C. Walmart had planned to open five stores in the nation’s capital, and it has already opened three, but the company recently announced it will not open the final two stores.
The Washington Post quoted D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans (D, Ward 2):
Evans said that, behind closed doors, Walmart officials were more frank about the reasons the company was downsizing. He said the company cited the District’s rising minimum wage, now at $11.50 an hour and possibly going to $15 an hour if a proposed ballot measure is successful in November. He also said a proposal for legislation requiring D.C. employers to pay into a fund for family and medical leave for employees, and another effort to require a minimum amount of hours for hourly workers were compounding costs and concerns for the retailer.
“They were saying, ‘How are we going to run the three stores we have, let alone build to more?” Evans said.
One thing you won’t hear from Democrats is the admission that their programs make life worse for the poorest in our nation’s capitol. More mandates mean fewer jobs, less competition, and fewer options for consumers, even in Washington, D.C.