The benefits of shopping locally–a subject barely covered by the media
We are waiting for the mainstream media to cover the benefits of shopping locally. But, in the meantime, at least we found a story from CNN that addressed a problem–yes, one problem–with shopping on those gigantic e-commerce sites.
Traditionally, the mainstream media has been happy to perpetuate Corporate America’s false narrative that “bigger is better.” So, we should be happy when we see CNN actually trying to get the story right, right? But, not surprisingly, “America’s addiction to absurdly fast delivery has a hidden cost” really falls short. For one, there is more than one “hidden cost.” And–we wonder–are the costs really that hidden?
The problems with America’s addiction to behemoth e-commerce retailers runs far deeper than the negative impact on the environment (sorry for giving away CNN’s story). And the problems don’t stop at the e-commerce channel either. Serious damage has been inflicted upon America by national and big box retailers too.
The High Cost of Shopping at Corporate America
We would have to write a very lengthy book to account for all the havoc that our beloved monopolistic corporations have wreaked on America. But, we will name a few. First, they have very bad habits that profoundly contribute to global warming. Nor do they pay their fair share of taxes. This leaves the burden on us to fund important government programs and services and the national debt. What does that mean? Well, it means we have to pay higher taxes to make up for the revenue shortfalls. Also, they are not job creators so much as job eliminators (vs. local businesses). They’ve destroyed mom and pop businesses and most other competition. Last, but definitely not least, they have eroded our democracy. Oh, we could go on and on.
In short, we think Corporate America does to cities, towns, and neighborhoods what smoking does to people: It kills them. It begs the question: Is shopping gigantic retailers really the bargain they say it is?
The Benefits of Shopping Locally
On the flip side of this issue, shopping locally has innumerable benefits that would also require us to write a very lengthy book to account for them all. But, let’s name a few. Small businesses pay their fair share of taxes. The money we spend in our community also recirculates in our community. This means there is more revenue for our local governments to fund important programs and services. It also means that they take in more revenue so they do not have to increase our taxes. For many reasons, local business do not have the negative impact on our environment that Corporate America does. Local businesses generally create more (and higher paying) jobs. Having vital, healthy small business communities creates vibrant, diverse neighborhoods that are enjoyable to live in. Oh… we could go on.
Our favorite benefit right now, though, is this: When we spend our hard-earned money locally we are actually redistributing the wealth from Corporate America and their money-hoarding executives to our own communities and to ourselves. It begs the question: Isn’t shopping locally the true bargain?
CNN, why don’t you cover that?
Before you go
If you enjoyed this blog and care about this issue, please check out some of our other blogs here.
Please join our community and engage in the conversation here (LINK TO COME).