Laura Sperling wrote an excellent column in the SHT yesterday. If you haven't read it you should. She has a wonderful way of saying what many of us wonder about:
Conservatives and libertarians tend to think that government should provide for public safety and not much more. Govern least to govern best, etc.
I, on the other hand, believe government should work much harder than that. As long as recipients do the dishes, put a chicken in every pot.
Government should build infrastructure, save the environment, educate us, broaden opportunity, level the playing field, cure disease, end injustice, support the arts, forecast hurricanes precisely, and unlock the secrets of the universe.
Demanding as I am, though, I do not expect government to provide me with a critical mass of high-quality retail.
I'm 99 percent sure the phrase is not in the Constitution, but the idea keeps popping up at Sarasota City Commission meetings. Municipal movers and shakers apparently believe that shopping is so central to our future that it warrants special nurturing by government.
Freedom to shop is grand. It contributes to the general economy. But as civic ideals go, a "critical mass of high-quality retail" falls way short of "justice for all."
Heck, it doesn't even measure up to "timely garbage collection."
Unlike, say, sewage treatment, retail is a competitive, for-profit enterprise. The private sector seems eminently qualified to sink or swim on its own.
Something to think about. Read the entire column.