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Santa Monica Businesses Don't Exist to Subsidize McKeown’s Virtue Signaling

February 2, 2021

Dear Editor,

Once again, Councilmember Kevin McKeown displays a breathtaking absence of any understanding of fundamental economic realty in his quest to impose yet another personal vanity project on businesses operating in Santa Monica ("Two Long Beach Grocery Outlets to Close, Blame Measure Similar to Santa Monica Proposal," February 1, 2021).

And his virtue signaling -- I won’t shop at Kroger’s because they closed stores in Long Beach due to it imposing targeted costs on markets -- is particularly rich.

Carried far enough, of course, McKeown can eventually stop shopping at dozens of enterprises that, of course, no longer exist because of his ignorance of basic economics. Even the part-time Santa Monica grocery employee that lives with her mother and I has a better grasp of economics than our former Mayor.

What McKeown is oblivious to -- and has been repeatedly throughout his many years on the Council -- is that Santa Monica businesses do not exist in an economic vacuum, and they surely do not exist to operate at a loss in order to subsidize McKeown’s virtue signaling.

They can’t simply raise prices to fund his vanity project of paying "Hero Wages." People will simply go elsewhere.

But, more importantly, when vast numbers of people are living on the financial edge -- and others on fixed retirement income -- McKeown would indirectly reach into their pockets to redistribute funds they don’t or barely have to others.

Of course, those others are a political constituency of McKeown, so his underlying behavior is . . . well. . . unsurprising.

Kip Dellinger, CPA
Santa Monica

 


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