The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it - Henry David Thoreau
Every time Walmart tries to open a store in a poor neighborhood, a bunch of well-meaning wealthy people object to it. Their argument ... I think ... is that bringing jobs and cheap goods to poor neighborhoods is somehow a bad thing (Penn and Teller did a great episode on this some time ago; you really should watch it). Funny enough, the poor people who live in these areas really don’t have a problem with jobs and cheap goods.
Reason has been covering a similar incident from the “we know what’s best for you” Left in Jamaica Plans, a largely Hispanic neighborhood of Boston:
For 47 years, the Hi-Lo grocery store provided J.P. residents with staple items and a vast stock of Latin American products. But when Knapp Food group, the Massachusetts-based owners of Hi-Lo, decided that they had had enough of the supermarket business, they pulled out of Jamaica Plain, shuttered a local landmark, and negotiated a 20-year lease with Austin, Texas-based grocery giant Whole Foods.
You can guess what happened next.
Whole Foods, of course, is a bete noire of the Left right now because their owner—while stocking organic food and compensating his employees generously—opposes unions and opposed Obamacare (Balko has posted a hilarious guide to creating a lefty-protest-proof store). Mackey’s employees are happy, his customers are happy—but because he does not have correct views on unionization and healthcare, he’s evil.
You really have to read the entire article from Reason. It’s filled with all kind of over-educated fact-free pontification from activists. They are so completely wrong on everything—gentrification, the quality of Hi-Lo, the needs of the community—that it’s almost laughable.
And it gets even stupider. Balko flagged a blog from a liberal who just moved into the neighborhood. He wrote a piece opposing Whole Foods and his website was flooded with long-time local residents disagreeing with him.
His response? He shut off comments.
We sometimes talk about the intellectual insularity of the Left, but you will rarely find as perfect an illustration as we are seeing in this Boston neighborhood. The economists tells us Whole Foods isn’t hurting the neighborhood, the employees tell us they like working for Whole Foods, the residents say the want a Whole Foods. Whole Foods is exactly the kind of business the Left should applaud.
But they have their point of view—Whole Foods bad, local businesses good. And nothing and no one will be allowed to challenge this received truth.
Posted by Hal_10000
on 04/22/11 at 09:30 AM (Discuss this in the forums
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