You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life - Albert Camus
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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:
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.