Sunday, May 28, 2006

Our Heroes: San Diego City Council

The San Diego city government has not demonstrated any particular character or economic brilliance for citizens in the year plus that we have lived down here. However, thanks to an editorial in the San Diego Union-Tribune, we now know what this government does when not doing keg stands off the public's tax money: "very bad legislation."
Unfortunately, the advent of more normal times has led to renewed interest in the biggest stinker: a proposed law ostensibly meant to promote wise land use but that in fact is a bald bid to stop Wal-Mart from building in San Diego the combined department store-supermarkets it calls Supercenters.
As you well know, our civilization faces no greater challenge than the imminent threat of low-price groceries. I'm so relieved they are there to rescue us from horrors such as:
the extraordinary consumer benefits that much of the rest of the nation has realized because of Wal-Mart's entry in to the grocery business. UBS Warburg study found that Wal-Mart's prices on a typical range of supermarket goods were an astounding 14 percent below its rivals. Even those whose elitism or politics lead them to avoid Wal-Mart benefit because other grocers reduce prices to compete with the retail giant.
I wonder if they feel like they are "sticking it to the man"? Standing up for the little guy against the big oppressor? Certainly these pinnacles of virtue are not influenced by special interests?
Not just folks in studio apartments but anyone with a mortgage to pay could have used the extra money that Supercenters would put in all our pockets.
The only proper use of that money is to go to the city council's campaign funds, so the unions obviously are using it better than we could have. Or so I'm sure the thinking goes. Assuming there is thinking taking place. Here's my favorite part: My wife says that the Wal-Mart in Nanjing, China (her hometown) is a Supercenter. Evidently even the Supreme Protectors of the Working Class in the People's Republic (i.e., Communist thugocrats) flinched in the face of the low-price monstrosity that these councilmembers are fighting. In fact, the council is so progressive, they are attacking preemptively:
A final note: We haven't even mentioned the worst news. That's the fact that Wal-Mart has no plans to build Supercenters and selling groceries in San Diego even if the City Council doesn't pass a spiteful bill preventing it.
Ah, yes. The new slogan for our "fair city": As corrupt as China, but less market-friendly.

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