Sunday, August 7, 2016

Wegmans!!!!

Pam and I went to the grand opening of Short Pump's new Wegmans today. We should have known better. This may have been the most eagerly anticipated, most over-hyped store opening in the history of Henrico County, and since our county is over 400 years old, that's saying something. We knew it might be a madhouse when we saw this guy at the corner of Broad Street and Wegmans Way...


 He was the first of at least a dozen of Henrico County's finest we saw patrolling the area, some in cars, some on foot and even a couple on bikes. Once we finally found a place to park we entered this monstrosity of a store...

Once inside I was astonished to see this...


If you squint you will see...yes, count them all...27 Checkout lanes, all manned( and womanned )by eager, smiling cashiers. Matter of fact, this store seemed to have an abundance of employees, handing out everything from glossy maps of the place to free beer samples. Speaking of adult beverages, if you're into that sort of thing, an entire wing of the building is dedicated to you...


...and that's only half of it. The rest contains three two story high shelving aisles full of wine from every corner of the globe. As awesome as the place was, it didn't take us long to decide that today probably wasn't the best day to be taking a tour. We only made it through roughly a third of the store, but what we saw can be summed up neatly this way...if you need something, anything really...you will find it at this store. 

"But, how are the prices?" you might ask. I have no idea. Probably not the cheapest in town. If I want the cheapest prices, I can drive down the road five minutes and buy my groceries at Walmart. If that's too embarrassing, I could always drop by Food Lion, the home of the perpetually sticky floor. Or, if I want to have my guilt assuaged for being part of the evil west, be-fouler of the planet, I can go drop truckloads of cash at Whole Foods, the world wide headquarters of self-flagulating white people. The point is, Wegmans is just another choice that a free market gives me.

My children, and many others their age don't have the same image of Socialism that I do. For them, Socialism is gorgeous Danes and Swedes eating ice cream while on one of their 12 weeks of paid vacation, courtesy of the State. For me and many of my age, Socialism looks like this...


This is the line forming outside a grocery store in Venezuela. The lines sometimes take ten hours to get through only to be told that there isn't any more milk.


This one is from Cuba, where the lines are a bit quicker, but the goods are limited. The Venezualians and the Cubans learned all of this from the pre-Gorbachev Soviet Union, which featured this sort of scene practically every day...




I can hardly visit Facebook without seeing some article written my some Millenial about the horrors of Capitalism, and honestly...Capitalism does have a few horrors. But whenever I hear this sort of argument, I always come back to the Wegmans of the world. Only a free market can deliver this sort of abundance. Do we have a free market in every segment of our economy? Not even close, and in the places where we don't like cable television, service and quality suffers. But Doug, but Doug...if capitalism is so great at allocating resources, how come we have 17 different brands of deodorant? Isn't that a waste of effort??? Well, I would rather let the marketplace decide the answer to that question. Apparently, there is currently enough profit in the deodorant game to compensate 17 different companies for making the stuff. Turn that decision over to a command economy government committee and we would eventually end up with one brand of deodorant which made us all smell like cat pee and nobody could find anyway since there would always be a shortage!

So, yeah. I'll take my Wegmans huge crowds and all, and be thankful that I live in a country where Wegmans is even possible.