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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5953/government-at-work/

Government at Work

November 29, 2006 by

Let’s say a City Council set out to improve the community. Does banning Wal-Mart supercenters, as San Diego has done, contribute to the goal? After all, if the community opposed such stores, they would go out of business. If the community supports them, they would thrive. So there is a test to discern what is good and what is not good for the community, but to discover the answer, one has to permit producers and consumers freedom to make choices for themselves. To override the market test and declare the true answer ahead of time shows disdain for the citizens the city council supposedly serves. Maybe the citizen shoppers should retaliate and ban city councils? (Thanks Manuel Lora)

{ 5 comments }

Brad November 29, 2006 at 9:54 am

It is obvious that every level of government is simply populated by the vocal minority. One has to dispair what good democracy is when there are so many Philosopher Kings amongst us. Democracy is all well and fine when the the mass simply wants to be left alone and understands their limitations and can properly define their interests. Everyone having a say in truly common interests, which are rare is a great notion. Once a small, yet significant, population of people believe that they have the Perfect Order, democracy crumbles.

Voter turnout is incredibly low. The bulk of the masses simply want to be left alone and voting doesn’t accomplish this. Presidential elections turn out about 50%, and State and local elections turn out less than that, much less sometimes. So snots like those who make up the San Diego Council get the majority with their narrow sectarian views.

And the siren of “well get involved” is the catch-22. When one wants to be left alone, joining the Force Brigade is just the exact logical opposite. The answer to not wanting to be pushed around is not to push other people around.

Dan L November 29, 2006 at 10:07 am

I had a relative who lives in downtown Chicago (no Walmarts) visit our family for Thanksgiving. We went to a Walmart for a family portrait and she was just incredulous at the variety of products for sale and the low prices available in our low-brow suburban area.

coyote November 29, 2006 at 10:27 am

Note that it’s not large stores that are banned, but large stores that sell groceries. This is about protecting traditional grocery stores and their unions. The politically connected California grocery unions are leading and funding this effort. Article and links here

L.R. November 29, 2006 at 4:49 pm

Choice quote (from AP story):

Councilman Tony Young, who joined the 5-3 majority [in favor of banning Wal-Mart superstores], countered, “I have a vision for San Diego and that vision is about walkable, livable communities, not big, mega-structures that inhibit people’s lives.”

Dwarfing even the fundamental incoherence of this admittedly short remark (e.g., how can a life be “inhibited”–by a store, no less?) is the fact obvious to everyone but Councilman Young (and possibly four of his colleagues): NO ONE CARES what his “vision” is. He’s not a prophet, he’s not a minister, he’s not Barack Obama. He’s just some guy on the city council who thinks the decision about whether workers at Wal-Mart are paid too little should be made by him, not by the workers and company.

Absolute power doesn’t just corrupt, it intoxicates.

Saturdaynightspecial November 30, 2006 at 5:10 am

“I had a relative who lives in downtown Chicago (no Walmarts) visit our family for Thanksgiving. We went to a Walmart for a family portrait and she was just incredulous at the variety of products for sale and the low prices available in our low-brow suburban area.” [Dan L ]

Just like a soviet citizen, or a North korean one who, by miracle, finds their way into a capitalist society.

The Chicago city council became enraged when ATM machine owners charged a fee. And they considered outlawing these fees. After Dictator Daley got word that Wal-Mart, Target and other similar retailers would leave the Soviet Socialist Republic of Chicago he reluctantly vetoed any Big Box Ordinance. It would have made Chi-town a ghost town. But it wasn’t the socialism or communism that changed his thinking, it was the loss of tax revenue.

I believe the ADD (Attn Deficit Democ) is caused by a chemical in the drinking water. Everyday hundreds of gorillas (in suit and tie) are seen bent over at Lake Michigan shores drinking the water.

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