talk about taking the time to talk local

Isn’t it time we talked about taking the time to talk about what happens to our money after we spend it?

Let’s face it. We live in a world where what seems, on the surface, to matter most, is how we make our money and how we spend it. How government collects our money and how they spend it. How corporations earn their profit. How pawn shops and auction hunters and storage wars and even housewives spend their money. How killer deals make millionaires of some of us and slaves of others. Did we really work this hard to live in a scavenger economy? I sure hope not.

It’s time we took the time to talk about what happens to our money AFTER we spend it. Not just how we made it or how we spend it – but what happens to it once it’s spent. Otherwise, it’s like saying we only care about sunrise, not sunset. Grand children, not Grand parents. Puppies, not dogs. It’s short sighted and by short sighted, I mean not good.

In life, we have choices. Too many choices, if you ask me. Which is why our brains seem to stop as soon as the debit card PIN number is entered and the transaction is approved. The power of your dollars should really start there. We spend far too much time thinking about the best deal and the best price rather than the best impact.

Case in point. Costco or Walmart. Canadian company with fair wage employees who have profit sharing or minimum wage employees with profits to Arkansas?  WestJet or Air Canada?  Airlines with shareholders who treat you as guests or airline who treats you as “passengers” with wretched staff relationships who put their own spin-off maintenance company out of business to save money on a few upgrades? Closer to home – think Askews vs Safeway. Same deals, same money. Discounted two for one bargains or local economic booster. It seems so obvious to me yet so elusive.

If your money matters to you – and let’s face it – what other choice do we have, please think about what happens to your money after you spend it. Your spending power, as powerful or as weak as it may be, it what really matters. And the sooner we embrace this, the better off we’ll be.

This post wouldn’t be complete without a nod to the city who argues that the best deal for the city is the best deal for us. I disagree. Our money is best spent on one another and our home grown, hard raised tax dollars work best when they work at home. When they leave town, they leave us for good, or as this argument goes, not so good. Our spending power is lost when we foolishly believe that the best deal comes from the lowest price. To think otherwise, is to be foolish. And call me crazy but I still want to believe that I live in a town that elected a team of people who, at the very least, are not fools. But I have my doubts. Don’t we all?

On the other hand, don’t buy local. It’s a free trade economy after all. Just don’t come whining to me when living local doesn’t add up to as much as you expected it, or in the case of  many small businesses who buy local and hire local, expected it to be. But I wouldn’t write this post if I didn’t have total faith in you. Don’t just shop local. Buy local. That’s where the real spending power is.

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One Response

  1. […] been a while since I’ve cruised by Louise Wallace Richmond’s blog The Blahgg Blog. Her  talk about taking the time to talk local is the most recent entry centered on the buy local issue prompted a short while ago by the City […]

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