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Seizing control

When people tell me how mad they are at Wal-Mart for driving the mom-and-pop stores out of business, I ask them how Wal-Mart managed to do that. Did they go around torching their stores in the middle of the night, threatening the moms and the pops with baseball bats if they didn’t close their stores?

The consumers drove the mom and pops out of business. The consumers preferred Wal-Mart (and Target and K-Mart) to the mom-and-pops. To the extent Wal-Mart did the driving, it was by offering better products at better prices.

I was thinking of that yesterday when I saw the headline in the Washington Post:

GOP Seizes Control of House

I know, it’s just an expression. But they didn’t seize control. The voters essentially gave the Republicans control. (I say “essentially” because voters don’t vote for who gets control–they vote for an individual politician.) And if the Republicans don’t do a good job, the voters will let the Dems run the House again.

And for those of you reading this via email and uncertain of who’s writing this post, I’ll let you know that I voted on Tuesday. That should help you figure out who the author is.