Let’s say that Limey finally gets his wish and opens up a pub somewhere in the hinterlands of Britain. Let’s also say that he’s greedy and has little understanding of the laws of supply and demand. As such, he sets his prices 1 1/2 times higher than his competitors. Let’s also say that he has little understanding of how to win friends and influence people and his staff is snotty, elitist and rather unfriendly. He does decent business for a while, mostly from friends and family that like to show their support.
Suddenly, a TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday: A chain of food & spirits establishments here in the US) decides to open up shop right across the street. They offer quality food, decent prices, and a friendly atmosphere. The TGIF is the cat’s pajamas and lots of people stream through their doors. This obviously takes a toll on Limey’s new establishment, as well as the other “independently owned” pubs in the area. Limey, being the greedy bastard that he is, gets mad.
He rails at the “corporation” that has suddenly begin to “steal” his business and cries against the injustice of it all. He puts up a website that attacks the “corporate greed” that is essentially driving him out of business. He asks his few patrons to help him “fight” against the corporations, claiming that they’re greedy automatons who care little for his plight.
All that is well and good, but is greed in the form of an independent shopkeeper any worse than the greed of corporations? I think about this as I read an article in our local rag about Walmart. It seems many people, here on Maui and on the mainland, seem to HATE walmart because it destroys small “mom and pop” shops that used to sell the same items, but a a much higher price.
Maybe I’m dense, but why would anyone want to pay more for something? Just to alleviate some of the guilt that might surface because a poor business person is losing his shirt making money? I mean, attacking walmart for being better at business, offering lower prices, a bigger selection, and a friendlier atmosphere is just plain stupid. Granted, losing the local flavor of a given berg is sad, but if those small mom and pop shops were really interested in serving the greater good of the community, they wouldn’t gouge their customers.
I for one believe strongly in evolution… survival of the fittest. If you want my dollar, you’ll not only have to earn it, but show me you really want my loyalty. I don’t shop a walmart, but would if I needed the crap they hawk. Forced to choose between walmart and a mom & pop that’ll charge me twice as much for toilet paper though, and you can bet I’ll be wiping my ass with Walmart brand booty wipes.
When people complain about successful corporations like Starbucks or Walmart, I wonder what these idealists are really complaining about… are they really complaining about having to pay more for their favorite products? Or are they just pissed that they don’t have stock in the corporation?
I hate whiners almost as much as I hate morons…