Thursday, March 13, 2008

Kincaid's - A Libertarian Dilemma


Star-Telegram.com: 03/13/2008 Lease dispute could mean move for Fort Worth landmark Kincaid's

This is where we Libertarians get conflicted. The landord of Fort Worth's beloved Kincaid's (aka Charles Kincaid's Grocery & Market) is raising the rent from around $7.00 a foot to more than $27.00. Plus 6% of the gross. Nobody in the burger business can pay that kind of rent. Not on that stretch of Camp Bowie.

Well, dang it, the propery belongs to the landlord, doesn't it? Even if it's just an uninsulated cinderblock building. And even if the price they're wanting is ridiculous. The building doesn't belong to us. It belongs to the landlord in Oregon.

I think the city council should intervene and change the zoning so that nothing else can ever be built there. One of the foundations of the Libertarian idea is that your property is your property. No one should be able to tell you what you can or can't do with it. Otherwise, you won't risk improving it, take out loans against it, or develop it. It's the difference between here and Cuba.

Maybe we could contact the Architectural Preservation Council and have them declare Kincaid's a city monument. One of the primary differences between our growing and dynamic economy and that of less developed societies is our respect for property rights.

You've gotta understand how good these burgers are. Plus, there's the history of the place, and all the funky stuff on the walls. It's where my Central Shipping Manager and his wife met as employees. Heck, as I understand it, Gentry (the manager) GAVE them a car ! ! ! They're that kind of people. And the people who currently own this property now live in Freakin' Oregon ! ! ! What do they know about Fort Worth??? Kincaid's is a civic landmark. Government must intervene in this heartless Free Market power grab ! ! ! Anyway, we Libertarians have to remain consistent. The building belongs to those folks in Oregon, to do with as they please.

For more info on this Kincaid's bidness, visit the good folks at Fort Worth Hole in The Wall. Mr. Fort Worth Hole In The Wall does nothing over there but restaurant reviews. Seriously, save this link. Next time you're looking for a good place to eat in Tarrant County, follow his suggestions even if I'm still pouting because he won't email me to join him for lunch at "Cancun Mexico" in the 7400 block of Camp Bowie, and let me convince him that dollar for dollar, it's the best Mexican Food in town.

So eat at Kincaid's while it's still there. Market Forces have spoken, and we must let the Free Market have its way. Dammit, I took my parents to eat at Kincaid's the first time they came to Fort Worth because it had been written up in "Southern Living" magazine. Can we get former Congressman/Secretary of the Army Pete Geren involved in this somehow?

3 comments:

TomG said...

This sad story points to a pet peeve of mine with the "Free Market Or Die" and "Property Rights At All Costs" folk - where they hold the outcome of its exchanges/transactions/decisions as some how sacred and optimal, when it's neither.

I just wrote this: "it's reality that most all exchanges result in one side getting the better end of a deal, even if both sides felt equally satisfied about it. It's just the way life is, that's all. A free market does not guarantee best results possible in each and every trade/purchase that's made, but that doesn't take away from the fact that it's the best we've got ... where resource allocations, opportunity costs, negative externalities, and dissemination of knowledge are reckoned with accordingly - and should all be accounted for in the determined price of each transaction."

Of ongoing comments in:
http://mises.com/forums/t/1549.aspx?PageIndex=5

Anyway, yours is a perfect example (and thanks for the humor too) of where all the factors (and social costs) are *not* being considered properly in this impersonal, very much arms-length rent-maximization-seeking actions (and not sure how long that property will sit unoccupied at that exorbitant rate - at least as hinted by the % increase)

The Whited Sepulchre said...

TomG,
Thanks for the comment. Will check out your link later.
As much as I want to see Kincaid's remain intact, I believe that when buying and selling prices are controlled by legislation, the first thing to be bought and sold is legislators. (I think that's a P.J. O'Rourke line....)
In which case, this decision would be made by which side has the most buddies in govt.
And it still might be. People are getting worked up over this. God help the next tenant, if there is one.

Richard said...

Hi,
Just came across your blog on a Libertarian blog list.
I created a community blog site for Third Party people and other independent thinkers. You're welcome to simultaneously post anything at http://www.RVOCE.com

Thanks!