Wal-Mart Has a Right to Set Up Shop Anywhere in America
By Andrew Bernstein (San Diego Union-Tribune, December 2, 2006)
To prevent Wal-Mart from opening a superstore in San Diego, the city council voted to ban big retail stores from operating there. But neither the residents of San Diego nor their representatives have a right to prevent Wal-Mart from opening a store in the city.
Wal-Mart violates no one's rights by opening stores on its own land and should be free to do so even if local residents are against it.
Wal-Mart deals with its customers and employees by voluntary means. Wal-Mart offers products that people can choose not to buy and jobs people can choose not to take. That millions shop in Wal-Mart's stores and thousands line up for job openings in the company is evidence that huge numbers of people find value in dealing with Wal-Mart.
While local retailers may indeed lose their business to Wal-Mart, they have no right to be protected from competition and from Wal-Mart's ability to offer lower prices.
Likewise, while local residents may be inconvenienced by a surge in traffic or by the sight of a Wal-Mart store, they have no right to prevent Wal-Mart from opening a store in their city.
If the residents of San Diego--or any other American city--don't want Wal-Mart to succeed, they should not shop in its stores.