Some small good news for American low-wage workers: Walmart is increasing its wages at the low end. By April, no Walmart employee will make less than $9 an hour; a year from now it’ll be $10. The retailer is also moving to improve its scheduling practices, a source of worker complaints. Walmart’s decision is a voluntary one, made for business reasons.
Washington is finally talking about increasing the minimum wage. Such a move comes with costs, but the benefits are far greater.
Do you remember what the world was like before Walmart? Can you imagine a world without the retailer (again)? My wife and I seldom shop at the Walmart in our town. (Occasionally one of our grandchildren will put something from there on a gift wish list.) However, when we’re at our family’s lake cottage, we shop regularly at Walmart—it’s one of the only options in that area. Every time we walk into the place, one of us utters some misgivings about the experience.
Eliminating food deserts isn’t enough. The nation’s diet problem calls for sustained community attention--and better federal policy.