Saturday, October 23, 2010


Go to Business Insider and read 16 facts About Walmart that Will Blow your Mind.

I don't want to pick on Walmart because I know they've provided a lot of jobs. We shop there all the time because, for many items, we don't have much of a choice. All that aside there's one thing about Walmart that really bothers me. This company has become so large, so powerful and in may ways so necessary that if it were to fail it could take the world economy with it. And that's the problem with unhindered free markets and the Objectivist view of the world. When any company becomes as large as Walmart the free market disappears in relation to it.

Tell me that Walmart cannot influence governments to act in its interests. Tell me it cannot encourage behavior by its suppliers that would be detrimental to its competitors. Who's to stop it? Certainly not the U.S. government or any of its regulators. With this fragile economy America can't afford to piss off Walmart.

The only way to protect the free market is to limit the size and power of any given company. This isn't to say that a guy that has an idea, risks it all and succeeds shouldn't get rich. There has to be a reason to risk because without risk there is no advancement. But no one or company should be able to control the market or the political system to such an extent that they can destroy the freedom of others. George Soros comes to mind but it could just as easily be someone from the right. And Walmart is the easiest example of a corporation with the same kind of power, maybe even more.

We've gone beyond the point where much can be done about it but, after the collapse, maybe while we're putting things back together we may want to consider just how much of any given market any company should be allowed to control. I mean, how is Walmart different than the phone company? Busting up Ma Bell may have caused some short term problems but it sure allowed for a whole bunch of competition and innovation in communications.

True free markets require small businesses with as much free enterprise as possible for as many as are willing to take a risk. Huge multinational corporations are the polar opposite of freedom.

The article excerpted below, an interview with author Christopher A. Ferrara, is well worth the read. Click on the link at the end.

"Those “traditionalists” who equate Socialism and Distributism have no idea what Distributism is or else are presenting it dishonestly. I am amazed at the level of obfuscation that has surrounded this simple matter. Distributism means simply the widest possible ownership of private property—that is, widely distributed ownership, hence Distributism.
Distributism means a society of small owners, which is what the whole pre-Socialist Western world was under Catholic social order. It means as much free enterprise as possible for the common man. As Chesterton put it so brilliantly: “Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists.”

Carping “traditionalist” critics of Distributism spend a lot of time rooting about in the works of particular distributist sources, such as the writings of Penty, in order to find evidence of the spectre of socialism—the same bugaboo liberals always raise to herd the masses into the concentration camp of rampant economic liberalism, where Wal-Mart with its Chinese wage slaves is portrayed as a bulwark of human liberty.

But in principle, Distributism is the polar of opposite of Socialism. Nothing about Distributism involves government seizure of anybody’s property. On the contrary, Distributists seek drastic reduction in the power of government precisely because Big Government has always favored Big Business and helped it to crush the small owner in a thousand different ways. As government recedes, and with it the massive advantages of Big Business over its small competitors, small ownership would return naturally.

Capitalism, as I show in the book, is not even at the midpoint between the two poles of Distributism and Socialism, but has actually evolved Leftward into a privatized socialism—Big Business in league with Big Government and Big Finance all over the world. Exhibit A: Bill Gates, promoter of socialism. Exhibit B: Warren Buffet, promoter of socialism. Exhibit C: Wal-Mart, which urges its employees to rely on government-subsidized health care. Exhibit D: The entire capitalist-created network of fractional reserve banking, which goes back centuries, was invented by financial “entrepreneurs” and is now protected by government at the behest of Big Finance. Exhibit E: Limited liability, publicly held, multinational mega-corporations, which are purely the inventions of government saddled to capitalist interests. Pius XI specifically condemned the innumerable abuses arising from this legal invention in Quadragesimo anno.

Anyone who thinks that Wal-Mart and its communist government-subsidized legions of wage slaves in China, or any of the other globe-spanning corporate megaliths that free-ride on government privileges and outsource labor, represents “free enterprise” versus evil Distributism needs to acquaint himself with the Church’s social teaching immediately.

Why do certain “traditionalists” oppose Catholic social teaching? For the same reason I once might have: They do not understand that they are bourgeois liberals who merely think they are “conservatives.” They have accepted the false dichotomy by which Liberalism has overtaken and overthrown all that remained of Christocentric social order: “freedom” or “socialism.”

To read more go to The Distributist Review.

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