Old Drum

Commentary on Warrensburg, Johnson County and Missouri issues from a Libertarian perspective. View my earlier commentary at www.olddrum.net.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Wal-Mart and taxes

How refreshing to see someone else in the community speaking out against the Wal-mart tax and other corporate welfare scams (if you don't know what the Wal-Mart tax is, see Olddrum.net). I'm speaking of Jim Skelton's letter in Thursday's DSJ. Last month he wrote so lengthy a letter on the Wal-Mart tax that the DSJ made him take out an ad. This time he corectly points out that local shoppers end up paying for the TDD, TIF, NID or whatever tax scheme or abatement is used. While I think the local one is a done deal, I hope that other Democrats like Jim will make common cause with us Libertarians to reform the whole system.

Meanwhile,the same DSJ carried an editorial from the Columbia Tribune lauding support of the free market system as Boonville citizens voted down an attempt to stop a new Wal-Mart supercenter. That from a decidedly liberal paper. Wal-Mart's greatest offense against free markets isn't its aggressive use of its market dominance, the greatest offense is its willingness to use goverment to secure benefits. This includes its use of eminent domain in other areas and its embracing of TDDs here (and in Warsaw).

Let's make all the developers pay their full costs instead of making the little people who shop at Wal-Mart pay for infrastructure to support upscale stores and restaurants.


  • At Monday, November 21, 2005 6:34:00 AM, Blogger Ben Pierce said…

    Bill makes an excellent point about Wal-Mart using market dominance to secure benefits, which ends up actually distorting the free-market system that originally allowed it to achieve the market dominance.

    Large corporations don't even seem to mind obtrusive government regulations because they achieve automatic barriers to entry. What small company can hope to compete with Wal-Mart in building superstores when the cost of attorneys, gifts to politicians, and satisfying government environmental regulations is so high?

    So they play along with politics in order to get along with politicians.

    In order to reverse this trend, we have to take power away from government and put it in the hands of individual citizens who have millions of votes every day on how they spend money. By allowing politicians to reduce our decisions on how we spend money (by making it possible for fewer and fewer firms to enter the market), we distort the market and give power to large companies.

    Keep up the good fight, Bill.


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