A recent Sound Off lamented that Wal-Mart is driving mom-and-pop stores out of business and now is going after Winn-Dixie.
It's sad, but we have to realize that ours is a capitalist economy. The aim of a capitalist business is to pay employees as little as possible and charge customers as much as possible so as to maximize profit for the owners. Also, on behalf of maximizing its success, a capitalist business seeks to drive its competition out of the market so as to maximize its own number of customers.
The built-in protection in capitalism against businesses becoming monopolies and then being able to charge whatever they want for their goods or services is fair and open competition protected by the government.
That ideal is, of course, not always honored, and that is why we, the citizens, have to keep a close eye on government, whose decisions and policies can be influenced by private money.
Capitalism is a cold-hearted system, but when it operates fairly, it keeps prices down by means of competition, and it encourages innovation to produce new or better products to help maintain current customers and capture new customers.
If Winn-Dixie cannot compete for customers with Wal-Mart, it will simply have to close. But I do most of my shopping at Winn-Dixie and am happy to report that because of the competition from Wal-Mart, the prices at Winn-Dixie have come down. And, of course, better prices at Winn-Dixie will help keep Wal-Mart's prices down.
RICHARD E. CREEL