Have the problems ended?

Have the problems ended?

From time to time, suddenly, Romania heats up in a discussion about nothing and, obviously, doesn’t reach any result because it cannot exist. It just consumes energy, apparently, excessively.

A few months ago, there was a national debate about self-scan houses, sparked by a post from a kind of influencer rebranded as such from a policeman.

What clearly represents, on one hand, the right of a 100% private business to manage its resources and efficiency, and on the other hand, the consumer's right to accept the choices of the private sector or to give up its services, became a discussion about mothers losing their salaries and about the exploitation of the customer by the true capitalist who makes money on the backs of those subjected to the hard work of a cashier.


For several days, we have had a heated debate about whether or not hypermarkets should be closed all weekend or at least partially, this time not started by an "influencer," but by the interests of small traders who want to escape the competition of large networks, more pressing precisely on days when people have more time for shopping.

Even the Prime Minister got involved. The bizarre, seemingly retarded, Minister of Agriculture even proposed a referendum on this vital issue for the country. It seems that for many people, however, their problems and real issues have ended, it seems.

I've heard all kinds of arguments. For example, that the poor employees of large networks are exploited to work hard on weekends or national holidays instead of being with their families.


It's amusing that the argument started from small traders who, what do you know?, want to sell more while the employees of hypermarkets rest, keeping their own employees at work for that. They can be exploited.

In addition to this obvious hypocrisy, it's interesting that the employees of hypermarkets themselves didn't say a word alongside those mourning for them. Does this mean that perhaps these shifts suit them for various reasons that no one but themselves has to evaluate? Maybe because reducing hours could lead to layoffs?

In Romania, unemployment is very low, the labor force crisis is significant, so there is no reason for an employee to hold onto a job if they are dissatisfied.


It is equally true and even tragic that we have a lot of unskilled labor force, and yes, this restricts employment options, but this is not the fault of employers; it has deep-rooted causes related to the education system, never as intensely debated, of course.

Another argument is that this way domestic products from markets, fresh and healthy, would be favored. Seriously? You never know how many of the products on market stalls are truly domestic, and even the part about "healthy" is not that certain.

In the press, there have been reports showing that Romanian products in markets are teeming with pesticides used excessively. And it's no surprise.

If imported products are at least spot-checked, those from markets are never checked by anyone. That's why I wouldn't even touch the flashy items on the stalls, like the first tomatoes, the first new potatoes, even if I were given them for free.

Not to mention that large stores are 100% compliant with taxes, and that's where the state actually collects VAT. In markets, evasion is at 100%.

In fact, in my opinion, things are simple. In a free market economy, everyone should be free to set their own schedule, both the seller and the buyer.

If there are no buyers in a certain time frame, the seller will take measures to avoid losses. If they exploit their employees, they will lose them.

Not everyone can afford to go to the stores during the working week. They work from morning till night to have something to buy, and on the weekend, they stock up for 5 days.

Who benefits from crowding everyone in traffic jams, in parking lots, at checkout counters, whether traditional or self-scan? The infernal traffic is at the top of the list of problems cited by Bucharesters. How about adding those obliged to go shopping daily, as they can't carry their bags on electric scooters?

Those who want to support small traders are free to buy only from them, no problem. And as long as they don't close shop, clearly things are going well. Not on the large retailer level, but it's working.

It's not a big surprise that some small traders tried to pull the blanket to their side. Just as it's not surprising that the political class has every interest in shifting the debate from real and extremely uncomfortable issues to parasitic subjects. It's regrettable that so many people fall for it and waste their time and energy on nothing.

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