Words are generally used to convey beliefs.
Consider the Dayton Area Community Coalition use of words: “We are residents of the town of Dayton and the extended community, and we recognize the danger profit-centered growth and development presents to our very way of life. We are in favor of growth for the town, but only on the condition that it causes the town and its residents no harm, offers demonstrable benefits, and will serve to complement and enhance our small town atmosphere.”
They are very clear, but wrong, in their beliefs: They believe there are two kinds of growth and they alone can determine good from bad. Accordingly, good growth is not profit driven, causes no harm, offers demonstrable benefits, complements and enhances small town atmosphere. At best the Coalition’s is naive, at worse it is dangerous.
In a free market economy, “not-profit driven growth and development ” is charity. Soup kitchens and homeless shelters are “not profit driven”. From the largest business enterprise to the shoe cobbler on Main Street, both have one thing in common: profit. Both must make more than it costs to operate their respective businesses (profit) or they will cease to exist. Both are excluded from the town the Coalition hopes for. “Shame on the consumer who wants more for less, or their shoes repaired. We want charity based businesses.”
When an authoritative individual or group, makes decisions for the community in regards to what economic activities are acceptable, the free market is eliminated. Because the Coalition determines what “causes no harm, offers demonstrable benefits, and complements and enhances small town atmosphere”, there is no need for a market that sorts out these very qualities. People don’t buy what causes them harm, offers no demonstrable benefit, nor complements and enhances their life, there by enhancing the life of the community and businesses that do not meet these qualities cease to exist.
By claiming the mantle of moral arbitrator, the coalition casts those who work and shop at, for example, WalMart, Costco, Verizon Wireless, Subway as well as the for profit shoe cobbler, lawyer, hair stylist as morally inferior and relegates them to second class citizenship. Can re-education camps will soon be far behind?
It will be “soup kitchens” and “homeless shelters” if the Coalition exercises their collective will. But I doubt many citizens would consider standing in line for a free meal at a shelter “date night”. Whether it is “Hope you can believe in”, “Or make America Great Again” really does not matter when the totalitarians are in our midst on both sides of the political aisle.
If this group existed 100 years ago, the town would still be waiting for electricity, flush toilets, paved roads, pizza delivery and cable tv.