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"Commerce V. Theft"

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Title was theirs, not mine. As with my other letters, I don't do these to be some great work of writing. I just like to get a strong statement of some basics out there to oppose the crap.


Some letters contain philosophical disasters of such epic proportions that my respect for the greatness of man inspires me to spend some of my time challenging them. Such a letter appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star recently. That letter was “Stop U-Stop,” in which John Baldus opposed the building of a U-Stop/McDonald’s at 21st and K streets.

According to Baldus, it is immoral to start a business. It is immoral to invest time and money providing products and services people want at a price they are willing to pay. It is immoral to value one’s time and effort, and thus to want to be paid for the value one provides to others.

To Baldus and those agreeing with him, I ask: What, then, is moral? One possibility, Baldus implies, is the Antelope Valley Redevelopment Plan. Part of that plan is the theft of desired property when negotiations fail. If the property owners do not wish to sell their lands, the government simply readies its guns and takes them.

By what standard does this morality condemn trade while condoning theft? Were it not for the wealth that people behind businesses like U-Stop create, there would be nothing to steal. Production is the means by which we thrive. The people with the courage and ingenuity to produce should be praised, not condemned.

Matthew Stein, Lincoln

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