I think this is a great example of how “socialism” can be useful in certain communities. I applaud the Mayor for this approach. Even making it a pseudo non-profit for his community. Sourcing locally like all those hippie businesses.
That was a great article. Thanks for posting! I live in a community of <2000 and by the definition given, we’re a food desert too. Other similarities are that our only IGA burned down around 12 years ago. Our solution was a local gas station expanded to hold fresh meat and vegetables which is not great. Its 8 miles to the closest Walmart & Kroger’s.
This town in Florida had the building, enough funds to pull a decent loan from to get things started, innovative thinkers, and support from local taxpayers. It was a perfect idea enhanced by multiple local folks being hired. Being able to pull the initial funds is where many small communities will struggle to follow this example. Planning it as for profit with repayment options made this idea feasible. I applaud this community!!
The specific issue with us being in Ohio and this little town having such a low tax base, is having dollars left in the fund after street repairs, ambulance purchases, and other necessary costs fly away. Our biggest tax contributor is the school and the jail (we have almost zero businesses). We legit struggle to fill those pot holes every winter and depend on grants to help buy emergency equipment. That town was really lucky to have the resources and wherewithal to launch this grocery store.
This town borrowed from their reserve fund which most towns have… The original reporting was by the Washington Post but I didn’t link to that since its a paywall.
Over the summer, after holding several workshops, the town council approved a $150,000 loan from a reserve fund to get the Baldwin Market up and running. There wasn’t much hesitation about getting into the grocery business, Lynch says, since just about everyone was frustrated with the lack of options. The IGA’s former manager gladly took her old job back and resumed her duties as though nothing had changed.
All the store employees are on the town payroll.
Probably a better employment opportunity than the grocery store offered too. Most towns and cities have a passable benefits package at least…
A food desert is an urban area where at least 500 residents — or at least a third of the population — live at least a mile away from a full-service grocery store or market that sells fruits, vegetables and fresh meat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
It was 14 miles for us. Hell, I’m in a food desert now. Who knew!
Fine. Public libraries may be “socialist” too. Lets not mistake the occasional perfect fit for saying that running a socialist economy is a practical or ethical way to go. If you want to look at that path you only need to look at Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in the last century to see how that works out.
That low one-mile number surprised me too. I tried thinking where my family lives and just about everyone I know lives in a food desert according to that definition.
So reading the article, it would seem this is not really socialism:
Two sections were particularly popular — the meats, which sold out the first day, requiring a resupply from a local butcher
Does the town own the means of production?
The part about the town already owning the land and building was interesting as well.
I have no problem with this…my problem if its force down from the top.
Growing up in rural Pa, nearest large store was 9 miles north or 10 miles south. Ther was nothing east and west for bout 70/75 miles other then small mom and pop stores.
So… socialism is good?
Not interested in playing your silly game.
Yet here you are.
It’s known as the boonies or a Native American reservation.
Now here in jersey. Very few deserts.
I have to walk a block and 1/2 to the closest supermarket.
Woe is me.
In this one, unique town, it benefited the residents due to the expense of money and time to shop for groceries at the distance that the alternative was. It was beneficial for the town to fund the opening of a grocery store. The key here is…all other business entrepreneurs turned the opportunity down. That’s great…recognizing…it’s a rare thing when considering this scenario…Pluto perfectly aligns with Mars. It isn’t a long-term successful business model that would work over-all. Rule one…someone has to give a ■■■■■ Is it making money? Is it satisfying customers that they’ll return? What is your employee satisfaction and how does that relate to turn over and the bottom line? What is your variety? How much is tied up in inventory? What is your turn? What is your ROI? Considering socialism, it’s a black hole of inefficiencies because potentially…nobody give a ■■■■■
It’s over 60 miles for us. Heck how have we survived for the 50 plus years we have lived here. And the closest Walmart is over 3 hours away. We should have starved years ago in this food desert.
The “gov’t” didn’t take over the grocery business, they filled a need in the community when the need arose.
They also did nothing to prevent a private grocer from moving in to make the gov’t intervention temporary and unnecessary.
But I thought government couldn’t do anything right. Isn’t that the whole point of Reagan and Thatcher’s Neo-Liberalism world order?
So, should the community get rid of the store when a company moves in immediately since the government is now involved in private industry?