Ignoring The Root Of The Problem

On Saturday, The Daily Wire posted an article about Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s announcement of a partnership with a far-left non-profit to advance his proposal of a government-owned grocery store, which he argues is needed for the sake of “racial justice.”

The article reports:

Mayor Brandon Johnson said in a press release this month that the city-owned grocery store — which would be the largest of its kind in the U.S. — is needed to address the exit of corporate grocery stores and promote “food equity.”

“[F]ood access and security link directly to environmental and racial justice,” Johnson’s office said in a press release, adding that “37% of Black residents and 29% of Latine/x residents are food insecure, compared to 19% of residents overall.”

The mayor’s office argued that “historic disinvestment has led to inequitable access to food retail across Chicago,” and noted that “existing inequities have been exacerbated as at least six grocery stores closed on the South and West sides over the past two years.”

Indeed, as Chicago continues to reel with violent crime and large-scale theft, corporate grocery stores like Walmart and Amazon-owned Whole Foods have recently packed up and left Chicago.

There  is so much here that is totally backwards. Does anyone trust the city of Chicago to run a grocery store without major corruption? Has anyone noticed that the lack of grocery stores in some areas could be changed by enforcing laws that would prevent crime in those areas? How about leaving criminals in jail so that the citizens of Chicago are safe?

For example, Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in America. However, in 2022, Chicago topped 600 homicides and 2,600 shootings in 2022, according to new Chicago Police Department data (source here). I suspect if Chicago dealt with the crime problem the lack-of-grocery-stores problem might solve itself.

The article concludes:

“We are not spending any taxpayer dollars, right?” she told CBS Chicago. “What we’re also going to be able to access is the funding that exists at the national level and the state level.”

Moreover, the mayor’s office has already acknowledged that this project, if completed, will also use economic grant money, which, too, comes from taxpayers.

Critics have said this grocery store proposal is akin to “Soviet-style central planning.” Detractors have also highlighted the city’s penchant for corruption and the city’s half-a-billion dollar deficit to question how the store could be efficient. There are also still questions about how prices would be set, how this would be superior to private grocery stores, and how it would affect private enterprise.

We all need to remember that grant money comes from taxpayers. There really is no free lunch!