This weekend Ann Althouse mocked -she is good at that- the Madison Public Market:
Either they got more and more interested or they became conscious of the need to look interested. I would expect people, here in Madison, Wisconsin, to be aware of the importance of not looking bored or uncaring when someone comes at you with talk of "inclusiveness" and the "com[ing] together" of "cultures and ethnicities.
There is good reason why the analysis of the Public Market includes a focus on diversity, inclusiveness, and equity.
Here are some of the inputs in the analysis:
- As is usually the case following difficult economic periods, the recovery after the Great Recession was pretty good for middle and upper income households including most professionals. It was bad, and is still challenging, for low income families and individuals.
- The kind of entry-level jobs that used to provide parents opportunities to raise middle class bound children are quickly disappearing:
- Full-time retail positions with advancement and career opportunities are replaced with part-time jobs with no benefits.
- Entry-level positions in state government and at the University of Wisconsin are disappearing.
- Wisconsin is dead last in entrepreneurship among the fifty states.
- Madison is the major exception in the Badger State in creating new small businesses.
- Entrepreneurship as an essential element of our economy is new to Madison because of our historic reliance on the University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin State government as a job creator.
- For low-income people of all colors and races, entrepreneurship is one of the few opportunities for accumulating wealth without a college degree.
- The food industry is a robust sector for new businesses; over one-third of all new businesses in the US are founded by immigrants.
There are dozens pf public markets in the United States and they are as varied as their cities. The French Market in Chicago is expensive. It serves mostly highly processed foods to tourists and business people out for lunch.
Pike's Place Market in Seattle still provides a variety of fresh seafood to the locals, but it is expensive and losing its charm as it is now a major tourist destination. One only hopes it does not go the way of San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf.
The Reading Market in Philadelphia is in a class of its own. Its variety of foods, fresh and processed, and its history are unique, as is its relationship to the rail terminal. When Madison was to have a rail connection to Milwaukee in the pre-Walker era, locating Madison's Public Market in direct proximity to the Madison terminal made sense.
In Minneapolis and York, Pennsylvania, are three different markets for Madison to emulate. The Mercado is Mexican and the Global Market is what its name implies. In York, the market vendors are almost all white, reflecting the population of the community. All three markets, particularity the Mercado and York, are in unassuming buildings, their focus is serving real people, not elites and cosmopolitans.
If Althouse can look beyond her own exclusive world, one reeking in privilege, perhaps she will escape the shackles of her rigid assumption that everything in Madison is crafted by liberals, reeking in socialism. At times these plans are crafted by liberals reeking in capitalism.