November 14, 2005

Suddenly, The End

Sadly, this will be my last substantive post on Always Low Prices.

Soon, this website will go dark.

I appreciate your readership and participation in this venture; it's been very exciting to have a ring-side seat at such an interesting commercial, political, and ideologically prize-fight. I'm sorry to have to exit during an early round, and it is unlikely that I will return to blogging about Wal-Mart any time soon.

I have not been bullied by Wal-Mart into this decision, but have decided -- not without considerable disappointment -- that my direct involvement in an often over-heated public-policy discussion is no longer in the best interests of me or my employer.

Why am I leaving the blogosphere? Well, I'm not -- I just won't be writing anything about Wal-Mart. My other blog , Truck & Barter will host the ALP archives (which will be closed to new comments), and I will continue writing about economics generally. I take this severe measure to prevent even the appearance of a conflict of interest. My recent public exposure brought this risk to the forefront...

But something more fundamental has happened: I'm getting ready to perform serious research -- on my own -- about Wal-Mart. At the recent economic conference, I asked a Wal-Mart representative if it would be possible to perform reasearch about Wal-Mart's logistics and disaster response activities. While Wal-Mart expressed no firm commitment, and no dialogue has been started between me and Wal-Mart, the mere existence of any such potential personal contact with Wal-Mart that would benefit my career is inconsistent with the independent stance of ALP. In short, I don't want a credibility problem in the future, so I'm taking harsh measures now.

Posted by Kevin on November, 14 2005 at 04:08 PM