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A business lesson in evolve or perish

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When did we throw in the towel and seek protection from economic competition? Such seems to be the mindset of folks unhappy with Wal-Mart coming to town. Wal-Mart is a “threat” to businesses, just like any other competitive entity, because it apparently uses all the tricks to its advantage. Yup, life isn’t fair. But we have China and the Internet as even greater “threats” to Auburn businesses. Why aren’t the protectionist folks wanting to cut off supertankers, Internet access or UPS deliveries? Being ahead of others has been an American tradition; always driven by competition, backed up by innovation, adaptability and hard work. Auburn businesses can thrive, but many may now have to find a new niche. And yes, those businesses run as a hobby will shut down, hopefully being replaced by more vital outlets. It all comes down to “do we resist change or do we embrace it?” China changed, in a way that some would say we Americans encouraged. We got what we asked for — market-driven forces and cheaper goods. Wal-Mart has certainly responded. Now it is time for Auburn businesses to respond or on the contrary, for Auburnites to choose where they want to shop — that’s free enterprise. I take umbrage to those who want to protect me from the Wal-Mart boogieman or my own decisions. Please don’t try to protect me from free enterprise competition. Jim Bennett, Auburn