Lessons from Tragedy

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. That’s the lesson of last Friday’s shopper stampede.

Last week a Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death as bargain-hunters stormed the store. The 34 year-old man was thrown back onto the floor as the crowd surged around and over him.

Such behavior isn’t limited to New Yorkers. In London the furniture store Ikea had to close just after opening when 6000 shoppers forced their way in. The chain had offered 90% discounts on leather sofas. Similar incidents have happened in Tokyo and elsewhere.

Free items are never free. Most of us use the “free” roads, and we endure traffic jams and potholes as a result. Parents place their children in “free” schools and pay for the privilege via the housing market. The better the school, the higher the local property values.

This is not to say that government services should be eliminated. But we should charge for them, and provide assistance to those who need help. That trusts people to make their own choices, though. Not a popular approach, today.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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By | 2014-09-04T15:37:09+00:00 December 5th, 2008|Global Market Update|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. - Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all! - And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

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