Everyday Dumb Ideas in Boston; They Have a Shortage of Grocers, But Mayor is Anti-Wal-Mart

Last week, I featured a Boston Globe editorial by Michael Graham about Boston Mayor Tom Menino’s anti-Wal Mart position now that the retailer has “threatened” to bring jobs and low prices to the benefit of struggling families in Beantown.

Today’s Boston Globe has a related article titled “Shortage of Grocers Plagues Massachusetts Cities“:

“Massachusetts ranks nearly dead last — third from the bottom nationally — in having enough supermarkets with fresh, nutritious food, according to a report to be released today by the Massachusetts Public Health Association. The shortage is especially severe in lower-income communities, where many residents struggle with obesity and related ailments.

The analysis found that in some cities, such as Lowell and Fitchburg, the number of supermarkets would need to double to be in line with the national average. In other urban areas, including Boston, Springfield, and Brockton, there are about 30 percent fewer supermarkets per person than the national average.

A growing body of research indicates that people in communities without a nearby supermarket suffer disproportionately high rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic health issues.”

MP: So the mayor’s anti-Wal-Mart (WMT) position could actually have adverse health effects on Boston communities, which is then compounded because, as Michael Graham pointed out in his editorial, the mayor also opposed low-cost, convenient retail clinics coming to Boston:

“In 2008, Mayor Menino turned down CVS’s request to open “minute clinics” here, providing cheap health care in some of Boston’s neediest communities. Why did Menino oppose it? “Allowing retailers to make money off of sick people is wrong,” Menino told CVS Caremark (CVS) — a company whose entire business is selling medicine to sick people.”

Bottom Line: Sure seems like Boston “doesn’t need politicians like that in their city,” with “Everyday Dumb Ideas” about low prices, jobs, increased choices, and convenient, consumer-driven retailers coming to the city.

HT: Rick Spillane

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About Mark J. Perry 262 Articles

Affiliation: University of Michigan

Dr. Mark J. Perry is a professor of economics and finance in the School of Management at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan.

He holds two graduate degrees in economics (M.A. and Ph.D.) from George Mason University in Washington, D.C. and an MBA degree in finance from the Curtis L. Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Since 1997, Professor Perry has been a member of the Board of Scholars for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a nonpartisan research and public policy institute in Michigan.

Visit: Carpe Diem

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