In a page from the "Good PR , really underhanded move" Book, Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott will ask Congress to raise the Minimum Wage.
Most of you know that I am not in favor of raising the minimum wage as I believe it actually hurts those it is trying to help. But this move by Wal-Mart is disingenuous at best.
Wal-Mart is the world's largest retailer and the world's largest private-sector employer. It has an effect (but admittedly limited) on the wages in this country. Most of it's employees are low-paid workers. If Wal-Mart wants to raise the standard of living for the poor in this country all it has to do is look in the mirror. If Wal-Mart makes a unilateral move to raise the wages it pays its low-cost workers than the other employers will follow or risk losing their workforce. There is no reason they have to wait for a government fiat to accomplish this.
Now Think About It. Why does Wal-mart really want to do this? I tend to think they have an ulterior motive other than trying to be nice guys. First, like I stated, it is a good PR move. But underneath that there may be something more sinister. This wage hike may put out of business the Mom-and-Pop stores Wal-Mart competes against. The Mom-and-Pop stores already face tremendous price pressures against Wal-Mart. They can't negotiate the same deals with suppliers that Wal-Mart has nor do they have the tremendous infrastructures that helps Wal-Mart keep prices down. Force them to raise their labor cost, and you just might be able to squeeze the very last competition that Wal-Mart faces. Of course, what is Wal-Mart going to do when it doesn't face any more competition?