Old 08-18-2011, 10:42 AM   #1
Rhinoqulous
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Shopping Local

I was talking with my girlfriend yesterday on the CEO of Starbuck's recent call for corporations to end political contributions and instead use that money to create more jobs, and we drifted into the whole buying local v corporate debate. Keeping with coffee as an example, I have some friends who co-own/operate a Coffee Shop, running it as a co-op. The vast majority of the money that goes into their shop stays local, the only money not staying right there in town is for the coffee they buy. You know when you buy a cup of coffee there the money by and large is staying in your community, helping your community thrive.

On the other end of the spectrum you have large corporations such as Starbucks. I don't have the exact figures in front of me for Starbucks, but I've commonly seen that it's only pennies on the dollar that actually stay in your community when you purchase from large corporations. Many products are bought in bulk by the corporate structure, so there is less support of other local business (such as mass produced frozen pastries v getting your pastries from the baker down the street). So, less of your dollar spent is actually staying in your community and helping it thrive, most of it going off to help gawd knows what (buying a new cottage in Aspen maybe?).

BUT, it's not like corporations are evil and sucking the life out of your community. Many corporations, such as Starbucks, provide benefits for their employees that smaller local businesses just can't, such as profit sharing, 401k's, and health coverage. My friend's coffee shop, while keeping the money local, provides none of these, and most likely never will be able to provide such things. So the employees of the corporations end up in better positions than they ever could be if they worked for a business that was overall better for their local community.

So my questions is, where does that leave you with spending your dollar? Do you spend locally, which benefits the local economy to a greater degree, or do you spend corporately, which gives more immediate benefit to the employees? I don't have an answer, just curious what others think about this.

Wait just a minute-You expect me to believe-That all this misbehaving-Grew from one enchanted tree? And helpless to fight it-We should all be satisfied-With this magical explanation-For why the living die-And why it's hard to be a decent human being - David Bazan
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Old 08-18-2011, 10:46 AM   #2
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I do a mix of both- I tend to buy produce locally from the farmers around me (I Live in the country) and patronise local coffee shops etc but also do once a month shops at Sainsbury's etc

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Old 08-18-2011, 10:58 AM   #3
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So my questions is, where does that leave you with spending your dollar? Do you spend locally, which benefits the local economy to a greater degree, or do you spend corporately, which gives more immediate benefit to the employees? I don't have an answer, just curious what others think about this.
'Buy local' is basically just a giant signal to those around you that you're economically illiterate, and should be charged higher prices for your irrationality.

"When science was in its infancy, religion tried to strangle it in its cradle." - Robert G. Ingersoll
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:00 AM   #4
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There are environmental reasons to buy locally, as it usually takes more resources to ship products, leaving a larger carbon footprint and so on. As with every environmental issue, it's more complex than that. A Californian might do better to buy Asian rice, e.g., since California does such resource-intensive agriculture compared to say, Bangladesh.

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Old 08-18-2011, 11:01 AM   #5
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'Buy local' is basically just a giant signal to those around you that you're economically illiterate, and should be charged higher prices for your irrationality.

or you could just fucking answer the question without launching into your idiotic tirade

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Old 08-18-2011, 11:04 AM   #6
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or you could just fucking answer the question without launching into your idiotic tirade
It seems like by indicating that I think buying local only is a completely retarded idea entertained only by the economically illiterate, for which they are justly penalized by the market, I have answered the question as to whether or not I buy local.

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Old 08-18-2011, 11:07 AM   #7
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It seems like by indicating that I think buying local only is a completely retarded idea entertained only by the economically illiterate, for which they are justly penalized by the market, I have answered the question as to whether or not I buy local.
I'll take that as a 'yes.'

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Old 08-18-2011, 11:12 AM   #8
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Victus, how is buying fresh produce from a local farmers market economically illiterate?

Wait just a minute-You expect me to believe-That all this misbehaving-Grew from one enchanted tree? And helpless to fight it-We should all be satisfied-With this magical explanation-For why the living die-And why it's hard to be a decent human being - David Bazan
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:14 AM   #9
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It seems like by indicating that I think buying local only is a completely retarded idea entertained only by the economically illiterate, for which they are justly penalized by the market, I have answered the question as to whether or not I buy local.

Yes of course you did dear but answering in the manner in which you did it was obvious that you were (again) trying very hard to show us how fucking superior you are to everybody else and how fucking inferior anybody who fails to do as you do or think as you do is and what retarded idiots you think they are-- so yes you answered the question but you are still a bullshit wanker with delusions of grandeur

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Old 08-18-2011, 11:14 AM   #10
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Victus, how is buying fresh produce from a local farmers market economically illiterate?

cos he says it is of course - sheesh don't you know he's the expert???

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Old 08-18-2011, 11:17 AM   #11
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Victus, how is buying fresh produce from a local farmers market economically illiterate?
It isn't, if they're the lowest price for that quality. 'Buying local' just for the sake of buying local (to keep the precious monies in the community) is economically illiterate, though.

What's the upside of keeping the money in your community, specifically? Maybe it could be doing something more productive somewhere else. Like paying impoverished 3rd world farmers for their labour.

And why just the 'community'? Why not scale it down to individual streets. Or houses. That would cut down on transportation costs!

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Old 08-18-2011, 11:27 AM   #12
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I grow tomatos, Victus Ill sell you 3 for a tenner
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:31 AM   #13
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I grow tomatos, Victus Ill sell you 3 for a tenner
They're cheaper through a chain store ($3.95/kg).

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Old 08-18-2011, 11:36 AM   #14
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I have no problems being illigiterate ecunomicaly illiterate – I buy heaps of what I judge to be good quality fodder from my local farmer’s market – hell, in the past I’ve helped transport the stuff in and I’ve gratefully received charitable offerings in the process.
I guess it could mean that there are things in the world to enjoy other than economics for the terminally boring.

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Old 08-18-2011, 11:46 AM   #15
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I buy what I find to be the consistently better product, regardless of whether I save 50p on this or that. I feel privileged that I can do so, and grateful that I don't have to consider the things above when making my choice, I am much happier contemplating the taste than the economy.

"Belief means not wanting to know what is true"
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