IRVINE, CA–Last week, the New York City Council’s Economic Development Committee held a hearing that basically opposed the plans of Wal-Mart to open its first-ever NYC store in Rego Park, Queens. “They have to make big changes if they want to come into New York,” threatened Councilwoman Helen Sears, echoing the familiar objections raised by unions against Wal-Mart.

But, said Dr. Andrew Bernstein, senior writer for the Ayn Rand Institute, “such political posturing represents an outrageous violation of the rights of countless individuals. Aside from the fact that Wal-Mart employs tens of thousands of individuals who all sought their jobs voluntarily–and that complaints against the chain do not typically come from employees, but from labor unions who want no non-union competition–by what presumptuous claim to dictatorial power does the government tell free men and women where they may and may not shop?”

Bernstein pointed out that nationwide 100 million people per week voluntarily choose to shop at Wal-Mart. “The reason they do so is obvious: quality products in astonishing varieties and quantities at low prices.”

Bernstein concludes that Wal-Mart’s stunning success was made possible by a revolution in productivity. “Sam Walton’s firm pioneered the computer management of its stock and continually finds low-cost suppliers to keep its prices down. It is the efficiency of Wal-Mart’s vast operation that enables it to provide a plethora of quality products at low prices. Such productivity should be celebrated by all Americans–even the politicians.”

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