Peace through victory - the American way.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

No Wal-Mart For You: Not Your Father's San Diego, Anymore: Part III

We are reminded once again that San Diego is no longer the Republican, pro-business, pro-developer city it once was. (Here, here, and here.) It's more Democratic than ever and the dominant special interest throwing its weight around in local politics is now Big Labor.

San Diego's City Council has a Democratic majority and the vote to ban Wal-Mart superstores, the shopping center of choice for America's working poor, was along partisan lines:
"Those supporting the ban are Democrats; those opposed are Republicans. ... A group of labor leaders and grocers proposed the ban three years ago, while pro-business organizations, including the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, fought it." (Here.)
Although supporters claimed aesthetics and the protection of local businesses motivated the ban, this was a vote about class. Costco and membership stores are exempt from the ban even though they compete with grocery stores and are large unsightly warehouse buildings surrounded by large parking lots, just as ugly as Wal-Mart. But the middle class and people just like the City Council members shop at Costco.

America went through this crisis in capitalism before when grocery stores displaced local specialty markets and department stores displaced smaller specialized businesses. Eventually grocery stores and department stores won out and came to dominate their markets. Superstores are likely to do the same. People can only be expected to spend more money than they have to for so long until the lure of low prices wins out.

But low prices for groceries will have to wait in San Diego. Republican Mayor Jerry Sanders opposes the ban and has threatened a veto but his threat means nothing. You see, San Diego has a Paper-Tiger Mayor form of government in which a veto can be defeated by a mere majority in the City Council. It took 5 votes to enact the ban and it will only take 5 votes to defeat the mayor's veto. Where's Pete Wilson when we need him?


Republished once to fix San Diego Union-Tribune link.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

the world still contains a few great thinkers.

-your best coffee girl

3:02 PM

Blogger tdr said...

So, coffee girl. Rumor has it you're in Seatlle these days. Is that true?

8:50 PM

Blogger tdr said...

Er, Seattle.

8:51 PM

Blogger Maria Teresa said...

yes, seattle. i have been having trouble with my blog... but im under maria teresa...

o, and the new gibson film?


10:52 PM


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