Yet another elected leader wants to decide where you get to shop. Boston mayor Tom Menino has put the kibosh on Wal-Mart opening a small supermarket with a pharmacy in Beantown’s Dudley Square.
The mayor’s rationale was that Wal-Mart might hurt other retailers in this section of Boston. But I say who elected the mayor as the decider of which capitalists should succeed and which should fail? I just don’t get it.
We all know Wal-Mart has established itself in suburbs throughout America. People choose whether to go and shop there or not. You don’t like the long checkout lines or the quality of produce or whatever it is? Don’t shop there. But if you do think Wal-Mart is acceptable, then go ahead and shop there by all means.
It’s easy for a wealthy guy like Menino to decide that those who are stretched and trying to make ends meet can only shop where he says so. But as a Boston Globe columnist wrote, “What’s next, the mayor picks our cellphone service? Our dry cleaner? In Menino’s Boston, do we get Chevy or Ford, Coke or Pepsi?”
I say why not let the marketplace decide? If Wal-Mart opens a store and nobody wants to go there, it will close. That happened in Germany where they went in and couldn’t compete with Aldi so they left. But let the free market make that decision, not an elected official.