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Yes, it would be nice if market forces caused innovative entrepreneurs to open stores where the customers are rather than concentrating their efforts where everyone else has their stores.

It is nice since that is exactly how market forces operate.

And yes, it is ok for govt to provide incentives to build in under served areas, and even to limit new stores (where everybody else has theirs) usually through zoning laws.

Is it ok? This is restriction of trade. There is a loss of freedom and a cost to these policies. Shouldn't free people (customers and businesses) make these decisions? Aren't a few hundred million people making daily decisions with their own hard-earned money more capable of making better decisions than a few bureaucrats (insulated from the cost and consequences of their decisions)? Moreover, is it moral for government bureaucrats to arbitrarily impose these costs on people and take away their freedoms?

Do we really need the glut of vacant big box stores? Do business men need common sense? Or do they need help from outside forces?

Why can't the customers decide? Why would businessmen need help from outside forces? If they build a business where they have customers, the company will survive and prosper. If they build the business where they don't have customers, they will fail. This process selects for businessmen with better business skills ("common sense") and against those without. Allowed to work efficiently, this process produces a more efficient and prosperous society,a society where people have more and better goods and services.

When outside forces in the form of government intervene in this process through bailouts or incentives/payoffs, inefficient or unnecessary businesses survive at the expense of stronger and necessary ones. This is often called corporate cronyism. Well-intentioned "incentives" typically just become an avenue for corruption - favors or payoffs to those who are politically well-connected. This is immoral and decreases overall prosperity.

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