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Ugly truths about Minot

Rob Port, Minot

The controversy over a new Walmart in North Minot has, unfortunately, uncovered a couple of ugly truths about our community.

The first is that one of our business neighbors is unconcerned with notions of fair competition. As a customer of MarketPlace Foods for more than 20 years, I was disappointed to see the company before the city council attempting to hamstring the new Walmart development.

There are two types of competition in our free market economy: Good competition that has businesses trying to succeed by outperforming one another, and bad competition which has businesses trying to destroy their opponents so they don’t have to compete at all.

MarketPlace is guilty of bad competition, and perhaps I’ll reconsider shopping there.

But worse was councilwoman Amy Moen’s opposition to Walmart. “Minot is now in a position where we can choose to be picky, and we can say no,” she was quoted as saying in this paper.

That is a grossly inappropriate statement. It isn’t the government’s place to pick and choose. It is the government’s place to develop policy, and then apply it equitably.

The idea that government can be “picky” about which businesses they allow to operate should turn the stomach of any citizen interested in economic freedom.

Shame on councilwoman Moen and those members of the city council who voted with her.