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How many Walmarts do we need?

by Greg Belfrage

"How many Walmarts do we need?"

That question is being asked frequently on social media today after the South Dakota Supreme Court ruled the city properly annexed land for a new south-side Walmart.

Frankly, I want to pull out what little hair I have left every time I hear someone ask that ridiculous question.

Nobody ever complains that we have too many Subways, McDonalds, Hilton Hotels, Starbucks, Pizza Huts, Costcos, Great Clips, Targets or the hundreds of other major chains that dot the landscape.

That question is only reserved for the reviled Walmart.

Okay, you don't shop at Walmart. Well, you won't ever see me in a Great Clips, but you'll never hear me complain that we have too many of them.

To the emotional hand-wringers who lament the fact that Sioux Falls will soon have four (oh, the horror) Walmarts... take a breath. Call your therapist. It's not the end of the world.

If you don't like Walmart, don't shop there. It's your right to spend your money where you wish.

However, despite what you believe, businesses like Walmart have rights, too.

And so do your fellow citizens who will rush to Walmart to apply for jobs, as well as the many thousands of others who will flock to Walmart to shop.

I guarantee that Walmart has a much better idea than you whether the local economy will support more stores. They don't just throw darts at a board when they're deciding where to build new retail centers.

Now, I realize it's difficult for you to hear that life isn't all about you.

Perhaps you're unaware that America, for the moment, is still a free country.

But will you do the rest of us a favor and stop whining? Take your money elsewhere and be proud that you're committed to your principles.

As to your question, how many Walmarts do we need?

The answer is simple: As many as the market will bear.

Welcome to America.

Greg Belfrage @belfrageshow is heard 6am-9am on KELO 1320 AM and 107.9 FM. Greg can be contacted at greg.belfrage@mwcradio.com.