Letters to the Editor

Create competition with leaner, more creative companies

Re the Dec. 19 article Walmart foes fight permit — again: Residents of Midtown are engaged in a struggle to prevent Walmart from plundering the landscape with a 203,000 square foot megastore. But there is a much-larger issue at play here that is routinely ignored.

The Sherman Antitrust Act was passed way back in 1890, and its intent as stated by the Supreme Court in Spectrum Sports vs. McQuillan (1993) was to restrict conduct that “unfairly tends to destroy competition.”

Can anyone argue that Walmart is not an impediment to opening a small, independent retail outlet within 20 miles of its megastores?

Over the years we have changed our philosophy of promoting small to medium-sized business development by breaking up behemoths like Standard Oil, American Tobacco, and even stopping JP Morgan from taking over the nation’s railroads.

But today it’s “bigger is better” as the politicians have sold us on the idea that multi-national companies are “too big to fail.”

In the years following the implementation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, did we destroy AT&T, or the oil industry, or big sugar? No.

In fact, we created more competition between leaner, more creative companies that grew the economy and created the kind of jobs we wish we had today.

Workers find better opportunities to start or manage businesses when there is competition, rather than have no choice but to work in low-paid positions with very few benefits such as what Walmart offers.

Local politicians will never solve this problem.

We need the weak-kneed folks in Washington to protect our future by breaking up corporate monsters instead of standing at the trough of big business trading favors for campaign contributions.

Maybe then, we could build a strong economy, take more pride in our communities, and create the jobs and opportunities that free societies value so dearly.

James Gersing, Pinecrest