Jarrett Barrios tweeted this neat map earlier Monday highlighting the class divide in the geography of the San Francisco Bay Area and also, I would think, the differential land costs. Wal-Mart relies on a much larger per store footprint to generate a reasonable return on investment, so it's often not practical to build Wal-Marts in places where land is expensive.
Still, even though I don't expect the Bay Area to alter the pattern of dysfunctional land-use regulation that gives rise to this economic geography, I wonder how stable the divide will be. Wal-Mart is making a very deliberate effort to move into new markets (several stores in the works in Washington, D.C.), while Whole Foods almost necessarily has to find ways to move downmarket in order to keep growing.
TODAY IN SLATE
Ford’s Big Gamble
It’s completely transforming America’s best-selling vehicle.
Should the United States Grant Asylum to Victims of Domestic Violence?
The Apple Watch Will Make Everyone Around You Just a Little Worse Off
This Was the First Object Ever Designed
Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison
In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal.
How the Apple Watch Will Annoy Us
A glowing screen attached to someone else’s wrist is shinier than all but the blingiest jewels.
A Little Bit Softer Now, a Little Bit Softer Now …
The sad, gradual decline of the fade-out in popular music.