From a leftist paper’s online comments:
People shop at Wal Mart BECAUSE they can’t afford to shop anywhere else because Wal Mart drives other businesses who pay more out. Self fulfilling prophecy!
Is that how it works? This conjures up a few follow-up questions. What is wealth and how is it created? If it is defined as the number pictures of dead white people in our pocket, why should the government not just print out a billion dollars for each American? We could all have swimming pools in our backyards and never have to work again, or is wealth actually different than these monochromatic images? How does one increase in wealth? How does society increase in wealth? How do shifts in labor attribute to this increase in wealth, if at all?
In 1870 there were 80% of Americans working in Agriculture. These were small farms, small businesses. Was this society wealthy? Is the average American wealthier today? Could the agrarian society produce an iPod or a Subaru Outback? What changed between then and now? Was the loss of these small businesses good or bad?
Would our society be better off with the current distribution of labor in the future? Do small businesses today create wealth by standing around in a small store managing a counter? Would we be better off if more people did this activity?
Does any socialist have an answer?