I'm not quite prepared to say that John Tamny's column on "the Flip Side of Failure" is the worst piece I've read since the onset of the recession, but it's arguably the most overblown.
Tamny's thesis is pretty simple. Another way of looking at a devastating recession is that it represents "assets falling into the hands of those who can either afford them, or who possess a stated objective to use them more wisely. In short, the flipside of failure is opportunity." And Tamny, to his credit, gives examples. Buffalo Wild Wings, for instance, which has taken over eight restaurants formerly owned by the Don Pablo's chain. And Panera Bread Co., which is moving into some of the buildings previously inhabited by the now-shuttered Bennigan's. This seems, to me, like a fundamentally sad macroeconomic story: A lot of jobs were lost and a couple of jobs were gained. This is like taking consolation because you won $50 at slots even as you lost several thousand in Vegas. But Tamny is more enthused. "The failure of certain chains and restaurants has created opportunities for other eating establishments to expand," he writes.