Thursday, September 14, 2006

Get Wal-Mart Out of the Public Trough

WARREN MEYER at Coyote Blog has some interesting ideas about Wal-Mart:
If Wal-Mart wants to seek public funding for its business and impose regulation on its competitors, and thereby make itself a semi-governmental entity, then I am no longer going to have any sympathy for them when governments want to single them out for special regulation, no matter how bone-headed the regulation may be.
I have a couple of thoughts. First, I like his point of view. If Wal-Mart is able to borrow government's powers of eminent domain and if Wal-Mart is attempting to thwart potential competitors with support of public policies, then supporting Wal-Mart in general would appear to be to support more rent seeking in our system of political economy. Second, I suspect the sorts of things Meyer points to with respect to Wal-Mart can be said about many others in our economy. I suspect it is very difficult today to find an illustration of true market activity by which I mean economic activity neither constrained nor aided by some government policy.

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