There are lessons in history.
Through most of the 1760s the British East India Company had maintained a monopoly on the importation of tea to America. As a result, tea prices were very high.
Seeing a chance to compete in this market, American businessmen commissioned their own ships and began smuggling tea from the Dutch Indies. Rioters in many cities refused to allow British ships to unload and they were turned back. There was piracy on both sides. This all cut into British profits.
In order to help the British East India Company tea, the British Government eliminated all their import/export tariffs and even subsidized the share that would normally go to the government. This made British tea very cheap, and they sold this tea at prices designed to undercut the American businesses.
We all know the story from here. Our Boston patriots dressed as the original locals and threw the tea into the bay, not because of oppressive taxation, but over low taxes that hurt local businesses.
Soon Walmart will come to town with their subsidized labor force and their subsidized import tariffs and their subsidized taxes and “deals” at every level of government, their subsidized health benefits (Medicaid), and their non-union low wages.
It will be interesting to see what our “tea party” conservative Republican town does about this. Will we support a sense of community and protect our local businesses, or will we go for the cheap underwear? Unfortunately, I think I know how this will end.
Clifford Lanxner, Applegate