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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.”

Go deeper

Resurrecting Martin Luther King's office

King points to Selma, Alabama on a map at his Southern Christian Leadership Conference office in Atlanta in January 1965. Photo: Bettmann/Getty Contributor

Efforts to save the office where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., planned some of the most important moments of the civil rights movement are hitting roadblocks amid a political stalemate.

Why it matters: The U.S. Park Service needs to OK agreements so a developer restoring the historic Prince Hall Masonic Lodge in Atlanta — which once housed King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference — can tap into private funding and begin work.

Off the Rails

Episode 4: Trump turns on Barr

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Drew Angerer, Pool/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 4: Trump torches what is arguably the most consequential relationship in his Cabinet.

Attorney General Bill Barr stood behind a chair in the private dining room next to the Oval Office, looming over Donald Trump. The president sat at the head of the table. It was Dec. 1, nearly a month after the election, and Barr had some sharp advice to get off his chest. The president's theories about a stolen election, Barr told Trump, were "bullshit."

In photos: Protests outside fortified capitols draw only small groups

Armed members of the far-right extremist group the Boogaloo Bois near the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing on Jan. 17. About 20 protesters showed up, AP notes. Photo: Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

Small groups of protesters gathered outside fortified statehouses across the U.S. over the weekend ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The big picture: Some protests attracted armed members of far-right extremist groups but there were no reports of clashes, as had been feared. The National Guard and law enforcement outnumbered demonstrators, as security was heightened around the U.S. to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots, per AP.