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Cowen on Retailing

I very much like my colleague Tyler Cowen’s observation about retailing:

Retailing isn’t simply the final step at which goods are sold to consumers. Retailing is the stage where an economy elicits information about what consumers really want. Retailing stands at the heart of rational economic calculation.

Absolutely true. And yet retailing remains a favorite target for the Socially Aware, and for all other of society’s self-appointed scolds.

Tyler goes on to ask why no government has identified retailing as a strategic industry. Good question. But let’s not ask it too loudly, lest some politician be inspired by the notion.