business news in context, analysis with attitude

There is an excellent piece in the Washington Post by columnist George F. Will, in which he writes about the retail evolution from Gimbels to Macy's to Walmart to Amazon, and while some level of destruction has taken place in this evolution, it likely is both necessary and good.

Will begins the column this way:

"When the president speaks of closed factories scattered like 'tombstones' across America, has he noticed the shuttered stores in shopping centers, and entire malls reduced to rubble? He promises 'protection' to prevent foreigners from 'destroying' manufacturing jobs by exporting to America things that Americans want to import. Does he know that one American company might be 'destroying' more American jobs than China is? And that this supposed destruction is beneficial?"

And Will also poses a question: "Why should manufacturing jobs lost to foreign competition be privileged by protectionist policies in ways that jobs lost to domestic competition are not?"

"Protecting the economy," Will argues, "can end up killing it."

Excellent piece, and you can read it here.
KC's View:
Another columnist, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, likes to make the case that far more jobs have been lost to computer chips than to Mexico, and that politicians looking to bolster the American economy through an emphasis on more and better jobs should take care that they are aiming at the right targets. Which I think is similar to the points that Will is making.