Monday, October 24, 2005

Shop locally! (a short rant)

So, we have a PetCo opening up. Time to kill the local pet and feed stores, apparently. First we wiped out the local grocery stores (anybody remember Lindy's, or College Inn Grocery?), we're working on wiping out the local hardware stores and lumber yards, and now—look out, Cold Spot, Alaska Feed and Fuel, Pet Stuff! You're next!

Fairbanks is slowly transforming from a northern frontier town, unique and homey and tourist-friendly, to one big box store consumer outlet looking just like all the other Wal-Martized towns around the country. All the money that would have stayed in town, supporting your neighbors (who supported you) is getting whisked out of town, into the multimillion-dollar wallets of people whose obscene profits are getting subsidized by Bush's tax cuts and the municipalities and boroughs that have to deal with increased traffic and gasoline consumption due to sprawl, subsidized housing for impoverished big-box-store full-time workers, emergency room charges for a workforce without health insurance (and who can't pay for preventative medicine which results in emergency medicine which they can't pay for which leaves the hospital stiffed which leaves the state or feds bailing them out, or reduces the staff or equipment the hospital can afford....), increased cost to local police departments (higher crime in box store parking lots, apparently).

As time goes on, more and more of us will be unable to afford to shop anywhere else, because our town is going to be impoverished by these stores. But that's okay, it's cheaper to shop at a chain.

At first.

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