The Post-Postmodernism Issue

Vote With Your Dollar

Make a small but significant mark on the economy.
Duthie Books in Vancouver closing down
Photo by TheSundayBest via Flickr

What you buy matters. Every time you bypass a local boutique to shop at a big-box store, it makes a small but significant mark on the economy. It's a vote with your dollar, so why support a system that amounts to a kind of economic feudalism? When you buy local, the ripple effect spreads from cash registers right to your street: 68% of what you spend in an independently owned local store returns to the community through taxes and payroll. With a national chain, only 43% stays in town.

You can shift the balance of economic power with every purchase you make - a point the grassroots 3/50 Project aims to prove. Launched by a Minnesota-based retail consultant and propagated by business owners around the globe through word-of-mouth and flyering, the 3/50 Project makes it easy for you to step outside the corporate-controlled system and take matters into your own hands. With a goal of keeping local economies alive, the call to action is simple: Choose three local businesses you can't bear to see go under. Spend $50 a month between the three and help keep their doors open. Signing on to the 3/50 Project might be a small step, but revolution is built from the ground up. It's a straightforward, earnest approach to changing the world, the can-do hallmark of doing business in the altermodern era.

Where do you vote with your dollar? How do you support the independent shops in your community? What else can we do to prevent the big box stores from taking over?

Jennifer Croll

38 comments on the article “Vote With Your Dollar”

Displaying 1 - 10 of 38

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Cath

I don't buy a lot of new stuff but food is a biggie! I eat as much as possible within my 160km diet. Lamb, beef, olive oil, flour, oats, baking powder, tea and macadamias are from local independent producers. Fruit and veg are eaten in season. If something isn't available locally I buy Australian made and owned.

Cath

I don't buy a lot of new stuff but food is a biggie! I eat as much as possible within my 160km diet. Lamb, beef, olive oil, flour, oats, baking powder, tea and macadamias are from local independent producers. Fruit and veg are eaten in season. If something isn't available locally I buy Australian made and owned.

Kurt Hilton

Its to late to do this in my community of Mississauga, just outside of Toronto. Here the fields have been replaced by row upon row of subdivisions and the local business has been effectively replaced by big box stores. It is now extremely difficult to buy anything not from a big-box store save for a hot-dog stand.

Kurt Hilton

Its to late to do this in my community of Mississauga, just outside of Toronto. Here the fields have been replaced by row upon row of subdivisions and the local business has been effectively replaced by big box stores. It is now extremely difficult to buy anything not from a big-box store save for a hot-dog stand.

Red Fox

Voting with dollars is not a viable system of ethical behavior. People should be learning to be ethical beyond there interaction with the marketplace. Spending money at a local level to stimulate the economy is redundant and obtuse, consumption is consumption. What people should be doing is taking back their political rights and demanding more public investments and things that benefit the citizenry first. The reason private big box stores have already taken over, is because the private sphere has expanded while the public sphere has shrunk. In the public sphere we have rights, but in the private sphere we have no control over what occurs. You can go anywhere in the world and see a thriving local community has invested itself in public ideas like parks, libraries, streetscapes, and it works. Here people are mis-informed that spending personal money is the democratic way and avoiding the political struggle all together is the dominant doxa. Business is not the way to a healthier society, economics is not an ethical system, and failing to rid oneself of this view only compounds the vast illusion we inhabit. It is high time we looked to an alternative future without market economies that exploit people and the natural world.

Red Fox

Voting with dollars is not a viable system of ethical behavior. People should be learning to be ethical beyond there interaction with the marketplace. Spending money at a local level to stimulate the economy is redundant and obtuse, consumption is consumption. What people should be doing is taking back their political rights and demanding more public investments and things that benefit the citizenry first. The reason private big box stores have already taken over, is because the private sphere has expanded while the public sphere has shrunk. In the public sphere we have rights, but in the private sphere we have no control over what occurs. You can go anywhere in the world and see a thriving local community has invested itself in public ideas like parks, libraries, streetscapes, and it works. Here people are mis-informed that spending personal money is the democratic way and avoiding the political struggle all together is the dominant doxa. Business is not the way to a healthier society, economics is not an ethical system, and failing to rid oneself of this view only compounds the vast illusion we inhabit. It is high time we looked to an alternative future without market economies that exploit people and the natural world.

Anonymous

i completely agree, but in the meantime, while we're still basing our lives off consumption, we might as well consume locally to benefit locally.

Anonymous

i completely agree, but in the meantime, while we're still basing our lives off consumption, we might as well consume locally to benefit locally.

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