Thursday, April 06, 2006

We Need Government Supermarkets

As some of you might know, I've been having my share of issues with the fascists who operate my food co-op. Granted, the food co-op is still far better than the robber-baron corporatists who run conventional supermarket chains -- but still, there must be a better way.

And then, I had one of my many inspirations: Public supermarkets, operated just like public schools. That is, if our system of operating public education is optimal, then so should a public-supermarket system be optimal. Think about it: Education is paramount, so it therefore must be public. But food is also very important! So, by extension, supermarkets should also be public!

Here's how public supermarkets would work:

  • Just like public schools, the entire country will be divided into public-supermarket districts -- and people will be restricted to their local supermarket (except for minorities who will be bused into supermarkets in white areas.)
  • Since the stores will be funded entirely by real-estate taxes, all groceries will be free. These taxes will be a fixed amount per household, regardless of household size or how much they eat.
  • The size of the total tax levy (i.e., the supermarket budget) will be proposed by the district managers and put to a popular yes-or-no vote. (A tendency for the big families and big eaters to approve, and for everyone else to not bother voting, will ensure that supermarkets always have reasonable budgets.)
  • The stores will be staffed entirely by union employees with civil-service protections who will not be under the control of either managers or shoppers.
  • The grocery selections and rationing decisions will be determined by state and local food boards. In general, every person in each district will be entitled to identical quantities of the same products.
  • As a temporary measure for political expediency, some private supermarkets will be permitted, but they must pass state food-selection crtieria. And there will be no reduction in public-supermarket taxes for people who wish to shop in private supermarkets; i.e., they must pay twice -- public and private.

It's not even close to utopia, but it's a very sensible first step.


Gus Hall said...

Government supermarkets would also spur new production of foodstuffs as the governement would be able to mandate by law higher, better, more nutritious crop yields at lower prices. Thus government supermarkets would create a healthier populace with a healthy attitude toward the role of government. With success like that everyone will clamor for more government in every sphere of human endeavor.

Anonymous said...

I got a question. If everyone is restricted to their local supermarket what happens if I want to travel somewhere? Would I need to get some kind of permit to shop at other supermarkets?

Professor Peter Kurgman, PhD, PhD, PhD said...

You would need to eat in restaurants when you travel. But you would have time to travel, as supermarkets (like schools) would be closed for the Winter Holiday, the Spring Holiday, and the entire summer. There might be some limited supermarket shopping in the summer, though. “Summer Supermarkets” we call them. Any other schedule, you realize, would be unfair to the supermarket unions. Anyway, this schedule is already a proven success in France.

Anonymous said...

When I'm in France I just eat at McDonalds.

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