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Two days ago, the world watched the duel between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Who will win, people asked themselves? The "black Muslim Socialist," as Obama was often decried by his adversaries, or the "white Mormon capitalist," as Romney was often depicted by his detractors? Black vs. white? Modest origins vs. rich upbringing? Democrats vs. Republicans? Intellectual vs. popular education? Regardless of which side we were supporting, the two men represented the divide of a worn-out American society. They became, willingly or unwillingly, icons of their respective camps.
Less than three days after Sandy made landfall on the East Coast of the United States, Iain Murray of the Competitive Enterprise Institute blamed New Yorkers' resistance to big-box stores for the misery they were about to endure. Writing on Forbes.com, he explained that the city's refusal to embrace Wal-Mart will likely make the recovery much harder: "Mom-and-pop stores simply can't do what big stores can in these circumstances," he wrote.