Thursday, February 10, 2005


Walmart and the "Divine Right of Stagnation"

Walmart is looking to expand to the New York metro area with a store in Rego Park, Queens.
Yet the so-called "little people" are aghast.

The fight seems likely to become the biggest battle against a single store in the city's history, because the labor movement sees Wal-Mart as Public Enemy No. 1 since it is so anti-union, and because many small businesses fear that tens of thousands of Wal-Mart-loving consumers will flock to the store, taking millions of dollars in business with them.

"There will never be a more diverse and comprehensive coalition than this effort against Wal-Mart," said Richard Lipsky, spokesman for the Neighborhood Retail Alliance, an anti-Wal-Mart coalition in New York. "It will include small-business people, labor people, environmental groups, women's groups, immigrant groups and community groups."

Good grief!

So in other words, the wishes of consumers to get a wide array of goods for the best prices, along with the creativity, drive and ambition of the Walmart people should be throttled because some small businesses and labor unions don't want any competition. Never mind all the jobs that would be created. And never mind all that sales tax revenue that would be coming in.

This is what Nathaniel Branden referred to as the "divine right of stagnation" in Ayn Rand's book "The Virtue of Selfishness."

As Branden wrote:

The denunciation of capitalism for such "iniquities" as allowing an old corner grocer to be driven out of business by a big chain store, the denunciation implying that the economic well being and progress of the old grocer's customers and of the chain store owners should be throttled to protect the limitations of the old grocer's initiative or skill -- this is the doctrine of the divine right of stagnation.

And the people doing the denunciation are quite rabid:

"Wal-Mart has come to represent the lowest common denominator in the treatment of working people," said Brian M. McLaughlin, president of the New York City Central Labor Council, the umbrella group of more than one million union members. "Wal-Mart didn't build its empire on bargains. They built it on the backs of working people here and abroad."

Once again you have that common meme about wealth being created only at the expense of poor people. This moron is impervious to the fact that people shop at Wal-Mart of their own free will because they like the merchandise and the prices, and they no doubt like the service they receive there as well. Furthermore, Wal-Mart's employees work there of their own free will -- they're not indentured servants.

Go Wal-Mart!

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