I frequently receive critical comments in response to my columns. However, sometimes criticism helps flesh out an issue beyond the (admittedly) narrow viewpoint being expressed.
Last week, I wrote about the hypothetical possibility of a Wal-Mart opening up in the French Quarter. I stated that there was no legitimate basis for opposing a Wal-Mart in the French Quarter if it applied with all applicable laws. One commenter, “Cousin Pat from Georgia,” responded that while a Wal-Mart could certainly open in the Quarter, the city “shouldn’t offer them any tax breaks or subsidies to open shop there.”
Now, to my knowledge Wal-Mart actually doesn’t normally receive subsidies or tax breaks to open new stores, and if anything, government tends to be more of an impediment than a benefactor to their business model.