Jim Geraghty of National Review Online assesses one major city’s plan to get into the grocery business.

[T]he era of government-run grocery stores may not be as dead and buried as it seems, as the city of Chicago – already doing such a terrific job on handling crime, poverty, homelessness, and unemployment as is – is exploring the possibility of establishing municipally owned grocery stores.

City officials contend a city-run grocery store would be better because they wouldn’t have to worry about making money. And mayor Brandon Johnson is enthusiastically embracing the idea:

“The City of Chicago is in the early stages of planning a city-owned grocery store in a neighborhood with limited access to fresh food, Mayor Brandon Johnson announced Wednesday.

“The city is working with Economic Security Project, a national non-profit organization, on a feasibility study to create a roadmap toward opening the store.” …

… Now, no doubt Chicago’s city run grocery stores would have the same service, efficiency, and quality that Chicago residents have come to expect from the local government of a city ranked 149th in financial stability, 67th in its education system, 71st in its health care system, 80th in its public safety, 129th in the quality of its economy, or, credit where it’s due, 37th-ranked in its  infrastructure and pollution. (That’s out of 149 U.S. cities.)

Call me crazy, but I think if you had safe streets and no shoplifting and petty theft, grocery stores could thrive in any neighborhood, because people have to eat. The good news is that so far this year, murder is down in Chicago, with “only”435 people killed from the beginning of the year to September 10, compared to 485 people in the same time period last year. The bad news is that overall, major crimes are up 30 percent from the same period last year. Motor vehicle theft has nearly doubled from last year.