Reading this article about Wal Mart stocking guns reminded me of a post just over a year ago about the US-EU divide. That focused on health-care and included some other major trans-Atlantic differences. The ability of American citizens to buy shotguns and hunting rifles in supermarkets (and the latter’s freedom to sell them) were not one of them. But it is surely a telling example of a very different attitude to individual (ir)responsibility and the virtues/vices of regulation.
On a more economic note, it would have been useful to put the seven-quarter decline in Wal Mart sales in the US in context. The article attributes this to Wal Mart policies and competition from ‘dollar stores’. This may well be true, but the last seven quarters have also been characterised by recession and household consumption retrenchment.