Buy local, screw the oligarchy
Sometimes, I ask myself, what have we done? This is usually followed up with why did we do it? And then, why did we do it to ourselves? Are we truly masochists or just short sighted? Or possibly so indifferent to what’s happening in our community that we don’t care, especially because we’ve been shown how convenient it is and how much money we’re saving. But it’s an illusion, it’s truly a conspiracy and all controlled by the group behind the curtain, they are definitely not beneficial wizards, and in most cases I would simply refer to them as having questionable parentage, uncertain dates of conception and even at times some perverted incestuous relationships.
At some point, somebody thought it would be a good idea to help you save money by offering you a wide variety of goods, at great prices. A variety of your basic needs all in one building. What a concept. You need some screws or a new faucet, you go to one store, while you’re there you might as well pick up dinner, and don’t you need some new shoes? How about a new hunting rifle to go along with your new socks and underwear? Not into hunting how about a bicycle and some guppies? Of course if you’re a true couch potato, you can get the couch, the TV, the little refrigerator to hold your beer, which is over in aisle 8, by the pharmacy and the land of the dead and dying where you can get a great deal on a dead plant. Of course, if you lived in an outpost in Alaska, this store would be a blessing. If you live in a well populated urban or suburban area, this store is really questionable, but you don’t ask the questions, after all you just got a new bathroom faucet for $9.95 and you saved three cents on a pound of bananas.
Such convenience, you don’t have to go anywhere else, they even have an optometrist and a bank. And now, you don’t even need to go to the store, they’ll deliver it to you since they acquired Jet, just like Amazon or in conjunction with Amazon. So while the jesters behind the curtain are giving you great pricing, convenience, mediocre quality and limited selection what they don’t advertise is the true and total cost. It is a cost and an impact that nobody wants to see or hear about. It’s a cost that all of us have to share in, whether or not we shop at that store. It is a dynamic economic destruction of our communities, a surrender of standards of quality and ultimately it’s an enslavement to a norm designed by those in power, financial power along with the purchased political power. A norm that makes the consumer nothing more than hamster on the exercise wheel. Run a little get a reward as determined by those who give out the rewards and keep you in the hamster cage. Running and running on that little wheel with no escape.
For the opportunity to buy cheap crap, and the convenience of buying it all in one shot, you are paying way more than what you would have paid at your local store. If you had supported the local store, you wouldn’t be paying for “Buy Local” campaigns. If the local store were still in business, you would be able to buy what you want, now, you buy what is offered. You buy it in pre-packaged quantities that somebody you don’t know or will ever see decided is what you needed. If you need something different, you’re wrong. If you needed less or more, buy the number of packets to meet your needs and throw the rest away.
And that is just the beginning of the control. As the small stores and business struggle, they lose their leases, and the landlords can’t find tenants who can compete against the juggernauts systematically destroying each category of retail business, category killers, eating away at the heart of the commercial core of your community like Godzilla eating Tokyo. When the landlords can’t make the profits they need, especially in the older communities, they sell the real estate. The new owners see better profit potential by razing the property and building new high rise offices, and residential units, with some retail for the major chains to occupy. Of course the residential properties are touted as low cost affordable alternatives, and they never are. The new cost is low compared to the new cost of other residential units being built at the same time, but all are built at today’s prices, which simply aren’t affordable. They certainly aren’t affordable when all of the jobs are controlled by massive companies who pay low salaries and no taxes. In addition to that, these larger buildings have a higher demand on services than the original buildings, to meet that demand, taxes go up. But hey, that plastic widget was so cheap you can afford to throw it away, pretty much the same way you helped throw away your communities. Right now, we’re still in the calm before the storm. But the storm clouds are showing. One of the latest tricks is for the box stores to buy up their suppliers, which means they are eliminating the supply chain that also feeds the smaller businesses, putting yet another choke hold on free enterprise, but being able to buy plastic clothes and Chinese canned green beans all at the same time is important.
Many years ago, there was a company in the trash business, that would move into a territory and offer pricing at half or less than anyone else in the area. People switched, the companies that had been servicing them for years, the small local companies, most family owned and operated, could not compete. They were broken, and then they were consumed by the bandits holding the big guns and all of the leverage. One by one they fell and once they were all gone, the prices in the area doubled, and everybody grumbled and complained and paid the bill, they paid the price, they paid the ransom and embraced their captors.
This pattern will continue and slowly but surely, we will watch capitalism reduce us all to the proletariat and they the proletariat will become the true ruling class as they have planned all along. Steadily chipping away at our abilities to make choices, our abilities to come up and above our roots. With their strength growing constantly they ultimately will also become the “Politburo”, ruling every aspect of our lives, how decisions are made, who makes the decisions. The growth of the Mega Corporation, like the Mega shark requires continuous feeding to the point where ultimately it will consume the very concept that spawned it and become what it always feared.
Buy local is not just a slogan, it’s a battle cry. It’s a call to protect ourselves and our communities, it’s a call to maintain our independence and to preserve our abilities to grow as an independent society where all can participate, where all can enjoy life as they choose, not as a minion but as a master of their own future.