Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Yes, it is your fault 

Anyone remember when Krispy Kreme was all the rage? Well the last one in Minnesota closed, and the reason is quite simple:
"Just not making the dough. Just not enough retail, not enough wholesale. We're a retail, wholesale operation and the retail just has not even met our expectations ... It's just disappointing," said Molly Spoor, the Director of Operations for the Maple Grove location.
Mild wailing from James, but Kathy's lamentation bears notice.

I'm so ashamed. This is my fault. I'll admit it. I'm to blame. Since the various Krispy Kremes about town were nowhere near the Cake Eater pad, I visited only occasionally when we had a car, and then not at all when we didn't. Maple Grove is quite the hike from the Cake Eater Pad. It takes about a half-hour to get there---and that's without traffic. I just couldn't be bothered to get in the car and drive all the way up there to get some donuts. I lamented their lack of inner city locations, but, woe is me, did nothing to support their glazed ambitions because it was too far to go for donuts. I should have made the effort. Really, I should have.

To be fair, however, they did deliver to all the local Holiday stations, and there are a few of those nearby. I patronized their glazed deliciousness via the local gas station, but alas, they lost that contract to a local grocery store chain a few months ago. And while I like the local grocery chain's custard filled chocolate bismarcks, I still adored the glazed goodness of a Krispy Kreme. Unfortunately, I didn't adore them often enough.
Well, it's unfair of you, Kathy! You should know that your decision to not drive has impoverished Molly and many other KKD workers! I'm asking you to believe, "We are all in this together. From CEOs to shareholders, from financiers to factory workers, we all have a stake in each other's success because the more Americans prosper, the more America prospers.�

Oh, wait. That was politics, this was supposed to be about donuts. But Don Boudreaux points out that, well, shift happens:
Trade is just one manifestation of consumer sovereignty. Just as there are ... winners and losers from consumers shifting their expenditures from goods made in America to goods made abroad, there are winners and losers from consumers shifting their expenditures from goods made in Illinois to goods made in Arizona - and from consumers shifting their expenditures from donuts, beef, cigarettes, whiskey, and train travel to bagels, fish, yoga lessons, wine, and air travel. Trade plays no unique, or uniquely important, role as an avenue of economic change spurred in part by consumer sovereignty. The only practical way to rid the economy of such "loses" is to try to freeze it, a futile step that will in the long-run only make losers of everyone.
The decision of Americans to avoid carbohydrates in an effort to trim their waistlines is a choice that a free society should embrace, but KKD was a loser in that. Maybe they made mistakes in overly aggressive expansion, but I don't see any Dunkin Donuts here from the east nor an invasion of Tim Horton's from the north. As an east coaster, I'm very, very fond of the Double D, but because there are not enough of me my preferences are not fulfilled in the market either. By what right would I be able to claim my two honey dips and a coffee regulah no sugah? By what right would the worker at KKD have a claim on my purchasing pattern?

But isn't that what we do when make claims for "free trade as long as it's fair"? Or use tax expenditures to favor firms who invest with our friends rather than someone else's?

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