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When the only grocery in a deep red town
closed, the city opened its own store. Just
don't call it 'socialism.'

Original Article

Posted By: ladydawgfan, 11/23/2019 2:57:09 PM

BALDWIN, Fla. - When Sean Lynch ran for mayor, he never anticipated that the job would involve hiring a butcher and tracking the sale of collard greens. But in 2018, two years into his first term, the only grocery store in town shut down. People in this rural northeast Florida outpost were left with few options. They could leave town, driving 10 miles through road construction to nearby Macclenny or battling 20 miles of freeway traffic through Jacksonville's suburban sprawl. They could cobble together a meal out of canned goods from the local Dollar General, or head to a nearby truck stop for deep-fried fast food.

Comments:

Not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, I can see the need. However, the whole concept reminds me of the Soviet Union and the photos seen of people shopping for meat and staples amid empty shelves.

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Reply 1 - Posted by: Midnight Rambler 11/23/2019 3:15:28 PM (No. 243427)
Not going to click WaPo story, but I can tell you 10mi is nothing. The road construction won't be there forever. People in flyover country do this everyday it's part of the price of living in a small town.
32 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: TJ54 11/23/2019 3:15:35 PM (No. 243428)
what a stupid article, written by a stupid person, for a stupid "newspaper."
36 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: InvestiGator 11/23/2019 3:18:38 PM (No. 243430)
No real issue with the store, but Baldwin, FL is hardly in the sticks as depicted in the story. Baldwin is the first city west of Jacksonville, FL on I-10 and has its own fast food alley. We at at the McDonalds there two weeks ago. Ironically, both Winn-Dixie and Publix grocery chains have distribution centers on the same interstate 3 and 10 miles away.
13 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: Highlander 11/23/2019 3:18:46 PM (No. 243431)
This is not socialism, where a few select elites control the population through coercion, this is communalism, where the locals get together to benefit their community. This is a right and natural order of things.
16 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: NYbob 11/23/2019 3:20:47 PM (No. 243434)
Can I place a bet on higher taxes and eventual scandal? Spin it any way you want propaganda Post, but politicians at any level of government are incapable of running a business that isn't woefully inefficient and sooner or later massively corrupt.
16 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: Bur Oak 11/23/2019 3:36:25 PM (No. 243446)
There's a WalMart Supercenter 9.3 miles and 14 minutes west of Baldwin. I'll bet most of Baldwins workers drive farther than that to go to work.
25 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: watashiyo 11/23/2019 4:34:38 PM (No. 243488)
FTA: "We take the water out of the ground and we pump it to your house and charge you," he said. "So what's the difference with a grocery store?" Apple and Orange! Soon the hardware store, clothing store, gas station, barber, pharmacy, thrift shop and etc. If the townspeople cannot be resourceful enough to feed themselves, then they should leave for greener pastures.
7 people like this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: HotRod 11/23/2019 4:43:38 PM (No. 243499)
I predict that the new city store will go bust too, after some people make money from the taxpayers.
4 people like this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: Luandir 11/23/2019 4:45:46 PM (No. 243502)
I predict that the usual governmental inefficiencies will raise prices and lower service, and eventually drive customers away. Will the city then give up and close it, or will it hang on as a make-work white elephant?
4 people like this.

Reply 10 - Posted by: cor-vet 11/23/2019 4:54:15 PM (No. 243509)
It's a WaPo story, so won't open it. However, I live 10 miles East of one town and 12 miles West of another town, both on the same 2-lane State Hwy. We have construction all the time, and logging trucks and guess what? No one has ever starved that I know of. We also have a few small stores/service stations that carry pretty much anything you need to tide you over until you can get to the large metropolis, 30 miles away, and do your main shopping. Anyone having trouble finding groceries, needs to get out of mamas basement and go find some.
7 people like this.

Reply 11 - Posted by: hurricanegirl 11/23/2019 4:56:40 PM (No. 243510)
Really? Driving 10 miles to buy groceries is a hardship? We used to drive 35 miles to get groceries, and I have relatives who drove 2+ hours to get groceries (both times reflect only the time it took to get to the grocery store, mind you). It seems a large portion of this nation has become wuss-ified!
11 people like this.

Reply 12 - Posted by: MissMann 11/23/2019 5:17:50 PM (No. 243521)
The mayor would have been better off finding out why no one found if feasible to run a grocery in town and then fix the parts the government was responsible for. I guarantee the government is not going to be better at running a grocery than a for-profit business can.
4 people like this.

Reply 13 - Posted by: chance_232 11/23/2019 5:27:50 PM (No. 243526)
Baldwin is literally a one light town. McClenny to the west,Jacksonville to the east, Starke to the south and Callahan to the north. Baldwin is an intersection town. By itself, it isn't large enough to support any business. What we have here is basically a convenience store, not a grocery store. That said, if it was communist, the residents would be required to shop there.
4 people like this.

Reply 14 - Posted by: Newtsche 11/23/2019 6:38:12 PM (No. 243586)
Just the WaPo establishing its bona fides for when the left gets the reins of government back and needs state run and funded information sources. Who needs advertisers?
1 person likes this.

Reply 15 - Posted by: edgar 11/23/2019 7:12:38 PM (No. 243624)
I have to drive 10 miles to get to a grocery store. BFD. It takes 20 minutes. If I lived in a busy suburb, the trip down 'strip mall road' would take just as long with traffic and stop lights. Your choice folks. No need to call Bernie and the more government guys to solve your problems.
4 people like this.

Reply 16 - Posted by: DVC 11/23/2019 7:38:50 PM (No. 243654)
If there was an unfulfilled demand for groceries, the store would have remained open. The city owned store IS socialism.
5 people like this.

Reply 17 - Posted by: kono 11/23/2019 8:38:06 PM (No. 243703)
If the demand exists to make a city-owned store viable, then a privately-owned store could be likewise viable. If the profit margin needed to make it viable would also make it not competitive, then there IS competition there, which would mean the people's plight was being construed (or at least exaggerated). The government is not for running business, but for nurturing the conditions that would attract commercial enterprises. What about Baldwin drove the private-sector business out of town? And why is nobody interested in exploiting the market vacuum, themselves? Would having the city as the only option be evidence of anti-competitive conflict of interest? The article might give answers to some of those questions; but I'm not sure I would give the click to Bezos even if I held Amazon Post's credibility in high esteem.
3 people like this.

Reply 18 - Posted by: VLH 11/23/2019 8:59:51 PM (No. 243726)
Those poor people! (sarc) Seriously though, I live 27 miles from the nearest grocery (10 of it on a dirt road requiring 4x4). No sympathy from here...
2 people like this.

Reply 19 - Posted by: Lawsy0 11/23/2019 11:40:47 PM (No. 243822)
She didn't tell us why the ''only grocery store'' closed down. Was politics the reason? Mad Chow disease? What?
0 people like this.

Reply 20 - Posted by: ColonialAmerican1623 11/24/2019 12:16:25 AM (No. 243840)
Makes it sound like state run alcohol stores. The median income for Podunk is $44, 271. The should all feel the pain of low income elderly and disabled people. I don't feel any sympathy.
0 people like this.

Reply 21 - Posted by: Trigger2 11/24/2019 3:10:35 AM (No. 243870)
A follow-up needs to be done in 6 months to a year to see how much price gouging is going on. I bet the town decides to drive the 10 miles rather than shop there.
1 person likes this.

Reply 22 - Posted by: Frenesi1 11/24/2019 7:42:32 AM (No. 243944)
10 miles? lol. People in the mid west do that all the time. Grocery stores, jobs etc.
1 person likes this.

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