More Pontificating, Less Producing – That’s the Power of DC

by Don Boudreaux on May 11, 2011

in Seen and Unseen, Wal-Mart

Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:

Andy Shallal insists that the opening of Wal-Mart stores in the District would “water down D.C.’s character” (Letters, May 11).  He’s correct – but not for reasons he understands.

While Mr. Shallal agrees that “our most vulnerable neighborhoods, where the Wal-Mart stores are planned, are desperately underserved,” his recipe for addressing this problem is (1) call a company that consistently serves consumers well a “bully”; (2) demand that consumers not be permitted to have such a company operate in their neighborhoods; and (3) offer, as an alternative, only a parade of platitudes and hip gobbledygook (“The solution is multi-tiered and drawn from a sustainable economy: innovative businesses, better tax incentives, improved infrastructure and a more prepared workforce.”)

So, yes, Wal-Mart’s operation in D.C. would indeed “water down” that city’s characteristic tic of allowing the abstract fancies of economically illiterate elites to trump both the actual entrepreneurial doings of businesses seeking to serve consumers and the wishes of those consumers themselves.

Donald J. Boudreaux


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