Wal-Mart. Unions. Zoning regulations. Cities.

Of all the existing businesses within four square miles of the store, a quarter closed within two years of Wal-Mart's opening day.
"Adding Wal-Mart is not an effective strategy to increase employment or economic development," says Prof Merriman, and cites other national studies with similar results.

Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. It drives human progress and our quest to make profitable commercial space travel, profitable mass transit and an Africa that pulls itself out of the deepest hole any continent has been in for a long long time.

What's this got to do with Wal-Mart?

I shop at Wal-Mart when I can and it's convenient. Great selection, decent prices (not always the lowest), friendly customer service and a very convenient layout. Not very personal, but then I'd expect to pay more at the "Organic only" snobby food store in the more affluent part of town.

The mom & pop stores in the area close down because they can't compete. Tough luck. Innovate and re-invent and adapt your business style or get bought out out or out-competed.

Now the people in the area pay less overall for their goods. Now the value to many customers is increased a little across the board. They now have more money left over for other stuff. Like saving. College. Education. The economy as a whole prospers as things are delivered to the consumer more quickly and more cheaply.

Sure it doesn't look as nice as the old neighbourhood did. You're welcome to make zoning restrictions to try to keep a semblance of "Old World villlage" intact. In fact I approve of it. Just realize that with those restrictions will probably come higher prices for most of everyone.

Or you can insist on the old way of doing business as the rest of the world out-competes you. Kinda like that old Soviet Union thing - remember that? Or having small factories that hand-made automobiles and various consumer goods.

Yeah, let's accept the fact that with capitalism comes the fact that not everyone can just keep doing what they've been doing and expect to keep making money. The people with inventive business models that do things more effectively will prosper. Good for them.

I'll leave the unions out of it, for now. There's both good and bad things to say about them.

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