The title of this post should have an asterisk next to it. Then, the bottom of the page should have the words, “If you can afford it.”
It isn’t easy doing things right. Most of us can’t buy everything from a small retailer who must mark up prices to pay overhead. We fall back on chain stores or online shopping sites, which in the long run don’t support the local economy.
If you want to be an apologist for online shopping, there are legitimate positions you can take. Those companies create business for the USPS (which needs as much business as it can get) and other shipping services. They also make it possible for people who can’t leave home to stay reasonably independent.
Where chain stores are concerned, there are people who can’t afford food or basic toiletries unless they shop at Wal-Mart.
However, many of us have unnecessarily gotten into bad habits with online or in-store bargain hunting, and we haven’t been to a bodega in years. We ignore the consequences when the net profit of a transaction goes out of state or out of the country. We try not to accept blame when we see empty storefronts, or when a friend who operates a small produce shop goes out of business.
Personally, I’ve tried to maintain a balance, but I can do better. I will, too. After yesterday’s visit to Trader Joe’s, I’ve decided my next grocery trip will be to a cooperatively-owned store in San Francisco called Rainbow Grocery.
Earlier this month, Charlotte Cuthbertson of the Epoch Times wrote an excellent article about this threat to local economies. Here’s a link: