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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5957/san-diego-dodges-a-bullet/

San Diego Dodges a Bullet

November 29, 2006 by

Thank goodness for the San Diego City Council, which has taken a stand against convenience and inexpensive groceries. No Wal-Mart Supercenter will be allowed to open in San Diego.

“I have a vision for San Diego and that vision is about walkable, livable communities, not big, mega-structures that inhibit people’s lives,” said councilman Tony Young. If they inhibited people’s lives perhaps people wouldn’t flock to these stores, but of course Tony Young knows what “inhibits people’s lives” even if they themselves do not. How lucky San Diegoans are to have such an omniscient city councilman to impose his “vision” on the city, and to tell them what they think!

Some people’s “vision” might involve making it possible for families to get the things they need at prices they can afford, and without their shopping experience, with children in tow, always having to be a five-hour ordeal. Good thing such small-minded people are kept away from this kind of decision making.

(The complaints in the article about traffic, pollution, etc., are probably not the central concerns of Wal-Mart’s opponents in this case, though I’m prepared to be proven wrong. Those, in any event, are at root calculation problems stemming from the lack of private property in the pertinent resources and from our non-market system of environmental law. On the latter, see this crucial Rothbard piece.)

{ 17 comments }

Angelo November 29, 2006 at 5:08 pm

Ha! And the city government [i]isn’t[/i] inhibiting people’s lives.

Steve Hogan November 29, 2006 at 8:45 pm

It should be obvious to anyone not chugging Koolaid from the organized labor punch bowl that the hue and cry over those poor exploited Wal-Mart workers is a sham. If they were unionized, the protests would end overnight.

Of course, if Wal-Mart had to deal with a unionized workforce, they would be less efficient, less nimble against their competitors, service would quickly degrade and prices would rise. None of this deters the organized labor (crime?) leaders from spouting their Marxist nonsense. Screwing over the consumers for their own short-term benefit is all in a day’s work for these sheisters.

wcw November 29, 2006 at 9:07 pm
David C November 29, 2006 at 10:11 pm

I’m really looking for an exit strategy from this city when things go to hell (unfortunately, I live in San Diego). Between the 2 billion dollar pension scandal, and them trying to make it illegal to rent to illegal immigrants, and now this which will pretty much lock out inexpensive goods, not to mention the overindebted over expensive housing sector out here that happened specifically because of bad zoneing and building restrictions. So what is this financially and morally bankrupt city doing, well they are lineing the streets with new curbsides and plants. (the junk spending gets 1st priority so that they get to blow it all before it gets cut).

I was thinking about Hati? at least there – there is no false pretext about my rights. At least it can’t go down much further than it is. At least there, I could probably afford to bribe my way to freedom. No standing army, hmmmm. If I could get enough people together with guns, we could just be another gang that no one messes with. (like the cops are in San Diego)

M E Hoffer November 29, 2006 at 10:40 pm

DC,

To paraphrase Bud Fox paraphrasing Sun Tzu: “Outmatched? Better to split, to fight another day.”

and, a refresher, care of the Riggs Institute:
“Silent final e words are written without the e when adding an ending beginning with a vowel. (have, having)”
http://www.riggsinst.org/28Rules.aspx

Good thing they’re still around, too bad Riggs Bank isn’t.

Brad November 30, 2006 at 9:34 am

“I have a vision for San Diego and that vision is about walkable, livable communities, not big, mega-structures that inhibit people’s lives.”

-Tony Young

http://www.sandiego.gov/directories/pdf/offices.pdf

Here are a few mega-structures that inhibit people’s lives – start there.

George Gaskell November 30, 2006 at 11:06 am

First, the government lays out and builds the roads, then it imposes zoning and other development restrictions that encourage the proliferation of big box retailers, and then, when the natural and inevitable consequences of these actions arrive, these same government thugs complain about how their cities are not walkable and how awful Wal-Mart is.

Also, the arrogance of the whole “I have a vision” thing is just astounding.

M E Hoffer November 30, 2006 at 11:26 am

GG,

Would it be apt to characterize the import of your comment in other words, such as these: “The whole set-up is set up.” (?)

If so, what is to be made of the (e)conomists, to be found, otherwise seemingly rational, promulgating the myth: “we live in a “Free Market”"?

Saturdaynightspecial November 30, 2006 at 3:42 pm

but the people have spoken…

libidjit December 1, 2006 at 12:53 pm

I love it….y’all are as predictable as the swallows in Capistrano.

Let one group, person, organization, town, city, or meter maid say something bad about Wal Mart and this place goes ape. WMT should fire those city slickers who are trying to improve their bad image and just hire a bunch of libertarians.

Never was there a bunch of more intellectually stunted Chinese-junk-addicted groupies than in here. Rave on lunatics, rave on!

Francisco Torres December 1, 2006 at 4:36 pm

Let one group, person, organization, town, city, or meter maid say something bad about Wal Mart and this place goes ape.

Regardless of opinions, the important issue is that there are important moral and ethical issues at stake whenever a group, town, city or organization tries to limit our freedom to buy from wherever we want.

Whatever your take on what Walmart decides to sell, it is not up to you nor anybody to decide what I should buy and from whom. It does not matter if I prefer to buy (as you put it) Chinese junk. Your position reeks of crass elitism.

libidjit December 2, 2006 at 8:05 pm

Mr Torres:

Right away you go from a limitation on the LOCATION of a store – right down that hyperbole-laden path – to the unsupported, biased and asinine assertion that you’re being told what you must buy (or must not buy), where or where not and at what price.

No such thing was ever stated – explicitly or implicity. Unless you’re amoung the very few who must walk everywhere you want to go, you’re free to drive your arrogant ass to the Wal Mart a little further up the street.

Just because people want to decide what their town looks like you accuse them of limiting your choices. Your perspective reeks of rank stupidity and base idiocy.

Saturdaynightspecial December 3, 2006 at 7:15 am

The control of Wal-Marts by anyone are a symptom of more socialism – modern-day socialism.

They are also some proof (of more socialism) that governments are creating profit centers at the expense of our freedom.

This was a good topic because it exposes a socialist government in San Diego that is (as socialistic governments are) in deep financial trouble. And this will further expose these kinds of governments for what they are: political machines, corrupt, controlling, lieing, trampling civil liberties and failures. For the most part they are composed of socially acceptable crooks, sanctioned by a city full of “chumps and suckers” for tolerating so much “plunder.”

Government is our worst enemy…

Scott D December 3, 2006 at 10:54 am

libidjit:”Right away you go from a limitation on the LOCATION of a store – right down that hyperbole-laden path – to the unsupported, biased and asinine assertion that you’re being told what you must buy (or must not buy), where or where not and at what price.”

Location means access. A more distant location means time and money added to any transactions with Wal-Mart, but arguing this point means that you have already conceded that freedoms have been limited to the detriment of some. And no, we’re not confusing an obviously discriminating zoning restriction with a law that directly prohibits consumer choice, just pointing out that both the intent and the end result is the same, whatever the means.

“Just because people want to decide what their town looks like you accuse them of limiting your choices.”

Who is “people”? Do you mean the five people on the City Council?

“Your perspective reeks of rank stupidity and base idiocy.”

If there is one thing that libertarians can teach anyone, it is to constantly question and strive to look deeper. Just because a government decision might appeal to me personally does not make it right, and laws that might seem to be better for everyone often have hidden costs and unintended consequences that end up impoverishing everyone. To forgo personal bias in this manner and seek the truth seems to be quite opposite from the way you have chosen to describe the individual you quoted.

I can see from your posts that you seem to have some (probably well-deserved) misconceptions of what libertarians are really all about. I heartily encourage you to start with “Human Action” by Ludwig Von Mises. You can find the full text of the PDF available for free on this site. Just keep an open mind and consider Mises’ arguments carefully. They’re quite compelling.

Aakash December 3, 2006 at 9:47 pm

Many of these population growth and sprawl issues – especially in places such as California – wouldn’t be as significant of problem (re: “inhibiting people’s lives”… and causing increased traffic congestion, pollution, etc…) if the states and communities were able to get immigration levels under control.

There was a time – not too long ago, in fact – when organized labor took the correct stand, on this issue. They have betrayed their rank and file, and now complain about the results.

Francisco Torres December 5, 2006 at 9:46 am

Right away you go from a limitation on the LOCATION of a store [...] to the unsupported, biased and asinine assertion that you’re being told what you must buy (or must not buy), where or where not and at what price.

Limiting a location for a store is limiting MY choice and the price at which I can buy. You simply ignore the unintended consequences of this limitation, which is less competition and more expenditure in fuel and time.

No such thing was ever stated – explicitly or implicity.

It IS implicit. If a group of thugs deny the establishment of a store near my home, those thugs are implicitly denying my choice of buying in that store. They made the decision of buying for me, as if I could not know better.

Just because people want to decide what their town looks like you accuse them of limiting your choices.

Which people? Because last I read, those “people” were only a few city councilmen. Even if you have the consent of 99% of all persons in the city, that does not ipso facto give them the right to limit the choices of the rest 1%. The grandiose schemes of a few are not compatible with people’s freedom – that much was proved by what happened during fascist or communist regimes in Europe and Asia.

It is only by way of our PURCHASING choices that we as individuals legitimately limit or encourage the spread of stores. If the locals really did not intend to buy from Walmart, their choices would have made the company close the store and move on. Thuggish behaviour by a few councilmen, however, is a threat to our liberty.

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