Tuesday, September 29, 2009

People's Grocery Collective #151.

There are rumblings on the horizon of a new right, to be enshrined alongside such rights already enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, like The Right To A Living Wage and The Right To Affordable Health Care. This new one is The Right To Buy Groceries From A National Chain.

Apparently, a grocery chain like Kroger must, once they've opened opened one, keep a store open even if the local economy goes down the toilet. It doesn't matter if the place hemorrhages red ink and more food gets stolen than bought, closing it would interfere with people's right to cheap groceries.

That's the weird dichotomy of the Granola & Prius faction of the left: They hate them some national chains (or at least national chains without the words "fresh", "whole", or "trader" in the name,) and yet they demand that these same national chains, in which they would not be caught dead, service the needs of... you know... THOSE people (wink, nudge, we care, give us your vote.)


Weer'd Beard said...

So essentially they're calling for a "Collective Right", given the rights of the few (The management and corporate structure's desire to remain in business by culling off non-functional stores) outweighs the rights of the people who want to intermittently shop, work, and steal from these stores.

Also how much evil carbon is the wasted space in that near-empty chiller case spewing into the environment?

perlhaqr said...

How the hell did "we as a nation" become so goddamn whiny?

"It's my right to all this stuff! You have to give it to me!"

It's like a petulant three year old. It makes me sick.

Anonymous said...

The Left is always whining about "food deserts" in cities--Detroit, LA, Boston, NYC--but everytime I go there I see a bunch of fat people sitting about and a lot of empty land that could be converted to gardens.

Instead of giving them stores, we should give them shovels and seeds.

Shootin' Buddy

staghounds said...

UNLESS the national chain is the eeeeevil Wal Mart.

CGHill said...

I'll believe them, maybe, when they start imploring Walmart to open one of its Supercenters on Woodward Avenue.

Tam said...

That's the weird dichotomy of the left: They hate them some national chains (or at least national chains without the word "fresh", "whole", or "trader" in the name,) and yet they demand that these same national chains, in which they would not be caught dead, service the needs of... you know... THOSE people (wink, nudge, we care, give us your vote.)

Anonymous said...


There is enuff empty land in urban Detroit to set up several large Peeple's Agricultural Kollectives --

The most you see is an occasional garden. Tho' the survivors of the Old Black Bottoms neighborhood -- about three remaining houses now standing per block -- are actually forming a new nieghborhood, where Da Peeples [new urban pioneers and old stock] are lookin' out for each other.

But out of Chicago this morning, is news of another student beaten to death, by being in proximity to warring 'school factions'. The mug shots of the perps show hardened mature adult faces -- hardly dewy cheeke'd teens. Why would any for profit enterprise want to venture money in such a toxic social condition?

Years ago I asked a casual labor employee what he thot of the near-universal Middle Eastern carryout ownership. He said they were all right, but not real friendly. Then added, "But if you try to rob them, they will fire you up and burn you down."

Hardly the business model for the American Corporate Foodstore.

'dedue' -- lotsa sugar in dat can

John, the Red

tomcatshanger said...

I'm guess it's because Houston is just so damn spread out, but there are no shortages of grocery stores that I've ever run across in the area. If there's not a national chain within a mile or two there tends to be a smaller chain or a mom and pop, and you can bet that within 5 miles there are 4 or 5 big name stores.

Nathan said...

Kroger is unionized.

Wal-Mart isn't.

I think that says it all.

Weer'd Beard said...

"That's the weird dichotomy of the left: They hate them some national chains(or at least national chains without the word "fresh", "whole", or "trader" in the name,).

Heh had a dirty hippie roomate who always shopped at the local whole foods, but once refused to enter an Amato's for a sandwich because she "didn't shop at chains"

Most are sayin "Who?"

Amato's is an Italian sandwich shop founded by some hard-working folks from "The Old Country" at the turn of the century. They've done well and have opened a bunch of stores in Northern New England. Enough Mainers refuse to buy their sandwiches (Similar to Hoagies, or Subs, but called "Italians") at smaller shops because they aren't "A Real Italian"...and the shop my dim-witted hippie refused to enter happened to be the very brick-and-mortar that family bought when they first hopped off the boat.

Ahhh Irony, is anything quite as sweet?

Ian Argent said...

Amusingly enough, Trader Joe's isn't union either.. And the one that I go to has at least as many McCain bumpers as Obama ones.

The staff is a good deal less surly than that of most grocery stores, too... Also, isn't Whole Paycheck non-union?

Anyway, another case of short-term gain, long-term loss, and the soft bigotry of low expectations

wv: polediv. What happened in sept 1939?

Corey said...

Spoutin' logic once again. "It makes no sense that common sense don't make no sense no more..."

--John Prine.

crankylitprof said...

I would like The Right to Have an Orgasm Every Time I Sneeze.

Is there a petition or lobbying organization for that?

When it passes, I'll start my lobbying campaign for The Right to Three Pounds of Pepper Per Citizen Per Day.

Mike W. said...

Why not just have government-run cooperatives where you can buy groceries?

I hear those worked well in Communist Russia.

Timmeehh said...

If the left demand their "right" to have a local supermarket, then the supermarket owners have the "right" to demand the locals guarantee that the local store makes a profit. If it can't do so with commerce then the locals must make up the difference by paying a community "shopping convenience tax".

I wonder if they will like them apples.

Laughingdog said...

Did any of you actually read the whole article, because you all seem to have missed this part of it.

"I realize there's no right to have a store in your neighborhood, but this is the kind of thing that does affect property values, and lower property values in turn mean fewer grocery stores. "

How does a "I hope this isn't the start of some kind of death spiral" post get read as a "I'm a commie" post. Hell, the author's original point was that the Kroger where he shops is running out of a lot of things because another Kroger closed.

Joanna said...

Laughingdog: I read it as speaking more to the people written about than the person doing the writing. People who proteset a closing store that can't stay open either a) don't understand basic economics or b) don't understand basic human nature. More "I'm a NIMBY" than "I'm a commie", if you will.

Laughingdog said...

Or the people protesting live near that store, have no practical means to reach another store, and really don't know how they're going to get food if it closes. It is obvious that at least one guy, the one that plans to boycott Kroger, doesn't get that the closure is for financial reasons, and not just to spite him.

Nothing I've seen in the post Tam linked, or in any of the things that post linked to, seems to suggest at all that any of these people think there's a right to have that store stay around. I just think that everyone here is letting their libertarian bias blind them a little in this case. Just because everyone in that video probably voted for the Lightworker doesn't mean they're always expecting rainbows and unicorns.

Tam said...


I don't disagree with the author of the post to which I linked.

The stuff to which he linked (and the further movement behind it) is where things go off the rails...

On a Wing and a Whim said...

I do disagree with the author of the post, in that he seems to think store closures will result in permanently longer lines and things staying sold out.

The way capitalism works is that demands are met with more of what's demanded, not with rationing or permanent imposition. When the store he frequents has a good handle on the increased demand, they will order more product. If not all cash registers are attended, they'll hire more or promote a few stockers. The demand will be supplied!

Also, while Kroger couldn't make a go of an old store with dated equipment that lacked the current trend's moneymakers and higher-profit-margin like the deli and coffee bar, a smaller store, with a limited selection and much more aggressively controlled for shoplifting and employee theft, may still be perfectly plausible. Just because there's no Safeway in Detroit doesn't mean there's no food in Detroit.

Ian Argent said...

If capitalism is allowed - yes...

(Which was the point of the post to begin with).