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Forget the tax cut, Walmart's pay hikes help the bottom line

Walmart employees stock shelves.
Employees at a Walmart in Burbank, California. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg.

Walmart announced Thursday that it would be raising the starting wages of full-time employees to $11 per hour starting next month, citing the tax cuts, while also giving employees who don't benefit from the minimum increase one-time bonuses.

The bottom line: All else equal, lower corporate taxes should make corporate investment, be it in higher wages, or building stores, more attractive. But the trend of higher wages in retail is about way more than changes in tax policy.