Jan 17, 2018

Walmart meets tax reform

When the second shoe dropped. Photo: Scott Olson / Getty

Walmart last week became the GOP's poster child for how tax reform helps workers when it raised its minimum wage to $11 an hour — until, just a few hours later, it said it will also close 63 Sam's Club stores and cut 10,000 employees. And then Tuesday, the WSJ reported that the retailer is cutting another 1,000 jobs — this time at the corporate level. 

Why it matters: These moves capture the new tax law's schizophrenia. While delivering bonuses and raises for workers, it hasn't mastered the rapidly changing economy.

Conservatives would probably argue that cutting corporate taxes frees businesses to innovate. But the reality is that most of the ideas behind the policy have already been tried with only ambiguous success since the 1980s. 

What is actually happening is that Walmart is taking the actions it thinks it needs to compete with Amazon.

Key quote: “Retail is changing rapidly and we are transforming to meet the needs of our customers,” Wal-Mart spokesman Blake Jackson told the newspaper. She went on, “To help compete and win in this environment, we must make changes across our company to enable further investments in our strategic business priorities and growth.”

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Situational awareness

Photos: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images; Alex Wong/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Bloomberg campaign says Tennessee vandalism "echoes language" from Bernie supporters
  2. Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers
  3. Trump misrepresents 2020 Russia briefing as Democratic "misinformation"
  4. Bernie Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"
  5. Nearly half of Republicans support pardoning Roger Stone
  6. Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars

Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders told CBS "60 Minutes" that he was surprised by Mike Bloomberg's lackluster performance at Wednesday's Democratic debate.

What he's saying: "If that's what happened in a Democratic debate, you know, I think it's quite likely that Trump will chew him up and spit him out."

Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lyft has acquired Halo Cars, a small startup that lets ride-hailing drivers earn money via ad displays mounted atop their cars. Lyft confirmed the deal but declined to share any details.

Why it matters: Ride-hailing companies are increasingly eyeing additional ways to generate revenue, and Lyft rival Uber has been quietly testing a partnership with New York-based Cargo that gives it a cut of the advertising revenue, as I previously reported.