Walmart sought to meet the needs of Hispanic and Asian immigrants in LA’s China Town. They became a cheaper source of food and necessities compared to the local drug stores.
But the political activists in the city didn’t welcome them. They claimed Walmart was a climate change criminal (since they are a large 33,000 square foot store). They hated that Walmart refused to unionize, and they demanded that Walmart pay their employees $15 an hour.
So LA isn’t the only city that will be losing a Walmart. Over 150 stores will be closing their doors across the country and thousands of jobs will be lost.
Many seem to have forgotten that Walmart isn’t just a “big evil” company – it’s also a large employer. They employ 2.1 million people – 1.4 million in the United States alone – that’s 1 out of every 100 US workers. The average hourly Walmart employee makes $11.75 an hour, 38% higher than the federal minimum wage. Walmart is a business that seeks to offer the lowest prices to customers, and I think most of us would agree they do that very well. They provide necessities to a huge sector of the population at much lower prices than their competitors.
What happens when they are forced to pay their employees more? Stores close. People lose their jobs. Prices rise and many people can’t afford some of the things they need. Because at the end of the day Walmart is a business, it has to make a profit to continue, or it won’t. Unlike the government that can simply raise more taxes on hard-working Americans, businesses like Walmart must provide a service people want at prices they will pay and for a profit that will allow them to exist. ALL parties – Walmart shareholders, employees and customers have to win. And ultimately, if all 3 aren’t winning the company will close its doors.
Let’s remember this is what happens when the government interferes with the balance of the free-market system.