Monday, August 09, 2004

Always Low Principles. Always.

An issue of great interest to many libertarians today is the rampant abuse of emminent domain. Steven Greenhut wrote an excellent article on the subject that's linked on Lew Rockwell today.

There are many forces at work today that are attacking Wal-Mart and Costco and other big name stores for their "business practices." A prime example of this foolishness can be found at the Always Low Prices website. I once read an article linked there written by a botonist (a botonist??) that complained that a cashier working at Wal-Mart couldn't afford to take care of a family of four on what Wal-Mart pays.

Can you imagine? Which is more ridiculous -- that a cashier can't support a family or that a botonist actually thinks that a cashier should earn enough money manning a cashier to support a family?

Most cashiers are high school kids who don't need to support families, and the ones who do are usually in that situation because of their own irresponsible choices. That's not Wal-Mart's fault.

On the other hand, getting back to my original topic, Wal-Mart does have business practices that we libertarians find offensive, and that is their abuse of emminent domain.

Imagine, for a moment, that you have a plot of land on which you've had a family homestead for a hundred years. Wal-Mart or Costco covets that plot, and wants to build a store on it. You refuse to sell, so they send their representatives to whisper in the ears of the local government officials to force the person to sell his property and vamoose. This is called emminent domain, and the scenario I just described is outrageous, and it occurs all to often in today's world, and the media is, for the most part, silent about it.

So, if you want to boycott Wal-Mart, do it for a reason that makes sense.


At 3:46 PM, Blogger whizler said...

There's an interesting article in today's Washington Post how people are moving further and further away from job centers. One of the reasons is affordability; county leaders in closer areas greatly restrict the development of land into residential areas, thus artificially limiting supply and driving up prices.

The OC Register article you link provides an example of government and corporations colluding to screw the regular guy. But as the Post article demonstrates, government can just as easily collude with regular guys to screw other regular guys too.

So much for property rights.


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