Saturday, June 26, 2010

Voting with our wallet

My lovely wife and I had a talk last night about the state of the world. It's frustrating to be unable to do very much about the big picture. On the upside, at least we aren't responsible for the things corporations and government have been doing. It's not like we have a functional representative republic. We might on paper, but if you read Machiavelli, you'll understand what's going on. He said the way to conquer is to keep the outward signs of the old government but change how things are really run. The people will take comfort in the appearance and ignore the reality. Seems like that's what we have here.

But I digress down a side path that leads to broken pavement and brambles.

My wife and I have done what we can to reduce our fossil fuel use. As a side note, we've greatly reduced our carbon footprint, if you believe in that sort of thing being necessary.

Our banking is done at the local Credit Union. It's one thing that can be done if you don't like the bank bailouts. One of my main reasons for switching to local banking years ago is that they have physical offices that I can walk into. It makes a big difference. It's much easier to talk to local people face to face. My odd ball financial situation doesn't fit into the standard forms. I also like dealing local as I'm too big to throw out of an office.

We are excited about a new local farmer's market. I'm going to do as much as my shopping there as possible. Food is life. Why entrust that to a mega-corp that has no greater concern than the bottom line? The farmer's market is local people. My money will stay in the local community instead of going to some faceless corporation. Just as important is the forming of relationships with the people who produce food.

Our financial clout is very limited. To a large corporation, it's almost nothing. However, to small businesses, it's significant. Of course, as more an more of use go small and local, it adds up. Eventually, those mega-corps with tight government connections get hit where it hurts -the bottom line.

It's almost impossible to do everything local. Even I sometimes am reduced to shopping at the local big box store. You do what you can. Only God is perfect.


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