Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on February 21, 2014

in Inequality, Wal-Mart

… is from page 62 of the manuscript of Deirdre McCloskey‘s forthcoming volume, The Treasured Bourgeoisie: How Markets and Improvement Became Virtuous, 1600-1848, and Then Suspect (original emphasis):

The four heirs of Sam Walton (Alice, Jim, Christy, and S. Robson) were worth a combined total of $107.3 billion (which puts them half-again above Bill Gates), earn from retailing in which profit margins are low (in groceries, which they now lead, extremely low).  Wal-Mart must be doing something right (no, dears: not by underpaying its staff, which the lively forces of entry and exit in the labor market prevent it from doing even if it wanted to; but by pioneering control of inventory and by pioneering mass but negotiated buying, for the benefit of its shoppers, with a small margin left overt for Alice, Jim, Christy, and S. Robson).

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