Charles Payne

They’re calling it the “Large Retailer Accountability Act” that would force big box retailers to pay minimum wage of $12.50 in Washington D.C. Currently minimum wage in the District of Columbia is $8.25, which equals $17,160 a year. If that sounds low consider zero is a much lower sum and what many earn in D.C. now is significantly less. Take Ward 8 in Washington D.C.:

> 94% Black
> 38% poverty rate (highest in 30 years)

Washington has the third highest income inequality gap in America after Atlanta and Boston: 

> Top fifth earn $473,000 (national average is $292,000)
> Bottom fifth earn $9,100

How good does $17,160 a year look to someone earning $9,100? How good does having any kind of job feel when you haven’t had a job in years or maybe never (In Spain 20% of adults under the age of 30 have never had a job- never!)? How do you hone skills from getting up on time to learning and fulfilling responsibilities to paying for stuff earned by the sweat of your brow without some kind of entry level job? 


How dare politicians behind this bill use the word “accountability” when all they’re looking for is a way to shake down Wal-Mart, to make business a villain, to deflect from their shortfalls and to keep Americans tethered to government dependency. It’s despicable that jobs and less expensive things like flat screen televisions and groceries would be denied to the less fortunate in Washington for a bunch of reasons - all political. 

We’re talking about Boomtown USA where unemployment is 5.5% because federal spending has doubled in the past year.

The haves are loving life, the have-nots are mired in the same muck as yesteryear but forced to watch prosperity around them. Not only are there a lot of haves in D.C., but five of the ten richest counties in America surround the District (see table).
The haves will not see their fortunes altered a bit without the three Wal-Mart stores on the drawing board. I guess their message to their poor neighbors, whom they never see but hear about, is:


“Eat cake and blame capitalism, republicans and greed.”

Charles Payne

Charles V. Payne is a regular contributor to the Fox Business and Fox News Networks. He is also the Chief Executive Officer and Principle Analyst of Wall Street Strategies, Inc. (WSSI), founded in 1991 which provides subscription analytical services to both individual and institutional investors.

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