Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Working Folks Subsidize The Wealthy

No, I'm not referring to distribution of tax dollars back into the community, I'm talking about private enterprise here. American business. The Publix chain of supermarkets is the biggest one in the region and it seems that you just can't get more than a few dozen blocks away from the closest one. Most people live within walking distance of one (if you really had to walk).

I'm about halfway between two of them and I could walk to either one in fifteen minutes at most. Both stores were built in the early 60's, have asphalt parking lots with the usual age cracks, minimal and poorly maintained landscaping, worn and faded striping marking the parking spaces. The concrete walkways were last pressure cleaned decades ago. In general, ugly and unappealing places to visit.

But go off in a third direction, north past the post office, to the strip mall fronting a pricey new high rise development, and there's a pristine brand new Publix market. The lush tropical landscaping is lovingly trimmed and cared for. Well it's new. You'd expect that. What isn't expected, though, is the amount of acres of driving lanes that consist of these pretty hand placed pavers. They cost a fortune compared to asphalt, and it has to be pressure cleaned on a regular basis.

Inside the store it looks new and clean but they have the same advertized specials as the other Publix markets, and as far as I can tell the prices throughout the store are the same as other Publix prices. That means that the fancy store with the higher taxes, the higher insurance costs, all that good stuff, has to get paid for by someone, and the money must be coming from the profits of the other stores. We're paying for the posh rich folks' store!

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