The Imperial City has ruled that it doesn't need Walmart, the nation's most popular retailer, since Washington has attained a condition of sleek prosperity whereby, according to one member of its ruling council:

"We’re at a point where we don’t need retailers. Retailers need us.”

Must be nice. Communities from sea to sea would, no doubt, like to be in Washington's comfortable and expensive shoes and have the sublime economic confidence to cook up an ad hoc rule that would require Walmart to pay employees 50 percent above of the city's minimum wage. A rule that, incidentally, exempts unionized establishments.

Charles Krauthammer calls it a "bill of attainder." But the city council members could be forgiven for acting in such a high-handed fashion since they have the examples Congress and the federal bureaucracy right in the neighborhood and temptation is hard to resist.

So consumers who might have taken advantage of Walmart prices will be stiffed. And people who aren't fortunate enough to have a K Street gig and might like to have landed a job at one of the three Walmart stores that will not be opening will have to keep looking.

This is unfortunate. But somehow fitting. Washington is not the country and the country is not Washington.

And thanks be for that.

Next Page