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Main Street, Not Wall Street‚ is that us?
Vulgar acts and politics aside I am sure most of us identify in some small way with the frustration, anger and feelings of helplessness on display in the "Occupy Wall Street" movements across the globe.
While I have not found myself in agreement with much of the debate from either side of the political spectrum and until recently didn't see much of a connection between myself and the protesters, it hit me this morning that Janet and I were actually "Main Street Not Wall Street" ideologues before there was such a movement.
I believe much of the fault for our current state of financial affairs in this country ultimately is due to the trend over many years away from the local, hometown mom & pop business to the national corporations.
Because of efficiencies in delivery and power in purchasing, many of the box stores and national financial institutions made it almost impossible for a mom & pop business to survive. In losing the local touch and concern for the community, combined with boards and stockholders demanding every greater profits, we the people have in the end, become the victim of our own desires and made possible the control of more money by fewer people.
At one time the non-local businesses appeared to deliver the goods and save us money and we took the bait hook, line and sinker! I don't think the same is true today, but we continue with the hook of bigger is better in our mouth because we are creatures of habit with nary a thought about why we continue to do what we have always done! Hang with me here, there is a point coming.
Today's mom & pop businesses have become more competitive by forming buying groups, just in time inventories or finding a niche market so that the national competition is not the overwhelming competitor it used to be.
As an example, we recently purchased Rubbermaid brackets for wire shelving. Needing quite a few brackets, price was an issue and we shopped several businesses. The exact same item was priced $2 higher at the national chain than it was a local lumber & hardware store. $2 more is hard to believe when the total price was only $4.98.
Time and again, in buying office supplies, food products or home & garden supplies, we have found locally owned businesses near the same price as their national competitor or in many cases priced lower.
So, if you find yourself thinking "Main Street not Wall Street" or bad mouthing corporate America, then pause and ask "where am I spending my hard earned money"? Not only your money, but where does your workplace spend money buying supplies.
If we are to change our country we have to change ourselves. It is truly up to YOU to make a difference. Why not start today by breaking those spending habits and find a locally owned business to support. You will be doing yourself, your community and all of us a favor!
I Luv Local Places is here to make the process of changing those habits easier. Support the businesses you see supporting us, but also support all the locally owned businesses you can find!
By supporting the locally owned merchants of Main Street with your money, you will protest in the most powerful way possible your dissatisfaction with Wall Street!