The power of retailing

…the gap between the United States and the other advanced economies is large and has been growing over the past ten years…it is likely that the gap will continue to grow over the next ten years…at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the U.S, economy seems to be in a class by itself. Why is that?

…I think the reasons go a long way back. The United States adopted the view that the purpose of an economy was to serve consumers much earlier than any other society. The United States continues to hold this view more strongly than almost any other place.

Retailing isn’t simply the final step at which goods are sold to consumers. Retailing is the stage where an economy elicits informationa about what consumers really want. Retailing stands at the heart of rational economic calculation.

For a much longer expansion on this theme, see William Lewis’s The Power of Productivity. This is the last time I will be covering this fascinating book, so here is my final pitch: buy it and read it.

Public choice question for the day: Why do no governments seem to view retailing as a strategic industry?


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