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The Left, Wal-Mart, and the D.C. City Council Fiasco

Evidently, Ms. Williams has not taken the leftist message to heart that anything or anyone “progressive” must oppose Wal-Mart, and oppose saving money when buying groceries.

To stop the chain from building the new facilities, one University of Michigan economist told IBD, was a “politically motivated ‘economic death wish.’” Fortunately, the vote passed with one vote shy of a majority, and the mayor of D.C. has said he would veto the council’s resolution. Already, the leftist Daily Kos site is urging its readers to send a letter of protest to Mayor Vincent Gray, who wisely supports the opening of the Wal-Mart stores, and to threaten to oppose him if he goes through with a veto.

The Left might recall the experience of the residents of some California towns, whose councils had passed a similar increase in the minimum wage. The result was that scores of small businesses fled to other states and communities, since the forced increase in wages meant they would have been put out of business.

As the centrist Washington Post editor Charles Lane put it, if legislators want to increase jobs and help the poor, they might actually consider lowering the minimum wage:

Minimum wage laws do indeed reduce job opportunities for less-skilled workers and even tend to reduce their earnings. ... If Obama and Congress were really as serious as they say they are about reducing unemployment, they would at least be willing to discuss rolling back last July’s minimum wage increase. It would create some jobs for those who need them most, and it would not cost taxpayers a dime.

Lane, of course, knows he is being sarcastic. There is not a ghost of a chance that Democratic liberals and leftists in the House and Senate would ever take such a wise step. Instead, they prefer to think that a foolish act of legislative leftism is all it takes to create prosperity. It is akin to a leader who wants an educated populace awarding a Ph.D. to every citizen.

Once again, leftist politicians, listening to middle and upper-class leftist activists, have taken a step to assuage their guilty consciences by opposing an industry and firm that helps create jobs and thus increases economic well-being for all. As they shop at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, you can be sure that the fate of the poor is the furthest thing from their minds.