Big box stores targeted in California


Big box stores are in the crosshairs in one state thanks to new legislation that would effectively outlaw the free market and competition.

The general assembly of California has passed legislation that would require Wal-Mart (and Target, as a bystander kind of casualty) to complete an exhaustive economic feasibility study before opening new locations. (Editor’s note: This move in California was subsequently banned by the governor of the state.)

The intention of the state is to protect small business from corporate behemoths. But the problem is that whenever government decides who to protect, it’s the consumer who winds up getting cut.

You have the same thing in Wisconsin, which I recently learned has a minimum pricing statute. That state is ripping own citizens by requiring a store sell things at a minimum price above cost. Ultimately, the consumer should decide where he or she wants to shop. It shouldn’t be done by government fiat.

With the California thing, I think it’s outrageous that unions — principally those of supermarket workers — were able to get this legislation passed. Groceries are cheaper in Wal-Mart than traditional supermarkets by about 20%. So if you can’t compete with them, why not outlaw them, right?!

All this picking on Wal-Mart all over the country, why not just let the consumer decide? Wal-Mart has been in trouble lately with declining same store sales. Polling reveals that the public has lost its perception that Wal-Mart has deals.

So businesses lose touch with customers on their own, without any government interference helping it along. But the marketplace should decide, not elected leaders trying to pay off a bunch of union people.

Clark Deals
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