“FLY ON THE WAL: UNDERCOVER AT WAL-MART, THE HEARTLAND SUPERSTORE THAT MAY SAVE THE ECONOMY,” by Charles Platt, is a great story. Sure doesn’t make Walmart look like a company that owes its success to the “benefit” of public roads, an occasional use of eminent domain, and limited liability for shareholders. But what does he know.
[To clarify for those I was too cryptic for: I think Walmart is great. I think the left and left-libertarians bashing it are wrong. Some allege that it's successful only because of state "favors," such as subsidized roads, occasional use of eminent domain to buy property, and limited liability arising from the corporate form. In my view, almost every business and most citizens have "unclean hands" to some degree nowadays; so adopting a rule whereby we condemn someone as criminal for having any unclean hands at all is obviously a bad idea. The notion that absent state roads, state incorporation statutes, and eminent domain laws, Walmart would not be in business, is in my view daft. I think, if anything, Walmart would be even more successful and prosperous.]8:43 pm on April 10, 2009 Email Stephan Kinsella