Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Walmart is still taking kicks, especially in New York City. But as local politicians, union activists, and business bigots (people who develop hatreds for other people’s wage and consumer choices) continue to harass the company, it’s worth taking a step back and appreciating what it does right.

Indeed, it is so successful that it’s worth exporting. Or so suggests economist Tyler Cowen in an interesting interview on the Arabic Knowledge@Wharton website, where he says that companies like Walmart are exactly what the “poor people of Africa” need. Why? These big corporations make food

more accessible and more reliable. It’s not just the pricing at any one point and time. It’s what happens in the very worst periods. Companies like Walmart are very, very good at keeping up supply and being regular.

Anti-Walmarters in first-world countries tend to forget how bad everyday life is in poor countries, except when they are trying to find ways to increase foreign aid or pitch a Live Aid concert. They take for granted not only our vast markets, but the Industrial Revolution and our several agricultural revolutions.

And there’s the rub, for the Third World. The “Green Revolution” that staved off mass starvation in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s, has “somewhat slowed down,” says Cowen.

This is an unreported story. Crop yields are stagnant. It isn’t a problem we can solve overnight but it’s really one of the biggest problems in the world. It hardly gets any publicity. But for poor people in India, the Middle East and parts of Africa, it really matters.

So Walmart could really help.

But then, so would an end to Third World kleptocracy and its replacement by a rule of law.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. JFB says:

    This is no surprise, the vast majority of human advancement, exploration and enrichment has been driven by the seeking of commercial “advantage”, a very unfortunate term when describing mutually beneficial voluntary exchange.
    The elitists simply do not get it, they never place themselves in the position of the participants in the transaction and therefore are blind to the benefits and virtue of free markets.

  2. Jay says:

    I am NOT a scientist; nor is science my strong point.

    But a few other points: PERHAPS a reason that food production isn’t growing is the fear and sometimes prohibition of genetically engineered foods. (I learned, recently, that grapefruit was originally genetically engineered–I was aware that PINK GRAPEFRUIT WAS, not the regular grapefruit).

    Also, the lack–due to faulty science and fear mongering regarding the use of (for want of a better term) sterilization of foods. And the cutback in pesticides to grow food naturally (as if food grown in human and animal-possibly untreated) feces is an improvement. (Didn’t our ancestors have short life expectancies growing foods “naturally’–100-200 years ago?

    Just asking.

    i am sure that the intellectuals have more reasons. Probably all George Bush’s fault.

  3. Jay says:

    I believe that the term that I wanted in the above –for food sterilization is “irradiation”.

    Still, lieke our Presbro says, it is George Bush’s fault

  4. […] Common Sense with Paul Jacob » Archive » Walmart to the Rescue! […]

  5. Brian Wright says:


    Since when does common sense have perhaps the quintessence of the modern uberstate-privileged corporation, Walmart, saving humanity? That’s like saying BP is best suited to solve the planet’s energy needs.


  6. […] WalMart for the Win […]

  7. MoreFreedom says:

    Justice would be broke liberal cities using eminent domain to take property from citizens there to be replaced by a Walmart because it generates more tax revenue than the homeowners pay.

    Then liberal foreign charity organizations, instead of sending aid to governments that oppress their citizens, help get a Walmart built there instead.

    True liberals (those believing in freedom) would support Walmart. Walmart, unlike government, doesn’t force them to buy anything.

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