Target: FOX News
Goal: Stop using pro-Walmart propaganda to condemn living wage requirements in D.C.
The city council in Washington, D.C. recently passed legislation that requires any retail outlet with a parent company that receives $1 billion or more in annual revenue to pay a living wage of $12.50 per hour to its employees. The legislation targets huge companies like Walmart that are known for low wages and poor labor conditions.
FOX News has completely disregarded economic evidence in its discussions of the legislation, siding with Walmart in the matter. When regional general manager for Walmart U.S. Alex Barron published an op-ed in the Washington Post claiming that the bill would require the company to halt its plans to build three new sites in D.C., FOX defended Walmart. FOX Business personalities Charles Payne and Elizabeth MacDonald claimed on the program Your World that the legislation will deprive the city of jobs and keep workers in poverty. Walmart, they claimed, brings jobs and prosperity to the areas it operates in.
These assertions, however, do not hold up when compared to concrete economic evidence. In a study conducted by economists David Neumark, Junfu Zhang, and Stephen Cicarella, it was found that Walmart in fact does not significantly bring new jobs to areas where stores are located. Another study reveals that counties with more Walmart locations experienced greater increases in poverty rates during the 1990s.
On the other hand, research has shown that raising minimum wage requirements for large retail companies has hugely positive effects on low-income workers. The living wage requirement is a step in the right direction for advancing labor rights in D.C. Tell FOX News to stop bashing the living wage bill with their baseless arguments.
Dear FOX News,
In your coverage of the Washington D.C. living wage bill, you have perpetuated myths about Walmart. The recently passed bill requires any retail outlet with a parent company that receives $1 billion or more in annual revenue to pay a living wage of $12.50 per hour to its employees. Walmart claims that this requirement will lead to a loss of jobs and increased poverty in D.C. by forcing it to cancel plans to build three new locations in the area. Political commentators invited to discuss the issue supported Walmart’s claims.
However, economic research suggests that these assertions are myths. Economic evidence disproves the idea that Walmart significantly creates jobs in areas where its stores are located. In fact, increased wages for huge retail companies have proven to have a significantly positive impact on low-wage workers.
The assertion that the living wage requirements will lead to increased rates of poverty for the city is unfounded. Stop spreading myths and bring more clarity and accuracy to your coverage of labor issues.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Walmart Corporate via Flickr