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 21 - 30 of 38

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Anonymous

This is quaint advice if you live in any kind of rural area/small town in a state without a big population center.

In this case, you'll have no choice but to shop non-local, and most of those doobs are so backward, they embrace the clearing of a forest for Kohl's, Michael's and Dress Barn. They'll count it as progress as the natural habitats and wetlands slowly die.

In these places, the city council members welcome Wal Fart with open arms, giving them tax breaks while paving golden roads to their doorsteps.

The local family owned hardware store? He gets jack for tax breaks and is shut down within weeks because the townspeople don't want to shell out $.05 extra for some batteries.

The populace has been nicely converted and the corporate take over of our country complete. Vote With Your Dollar is an empty free-market capitalist platitude in a country where there is nothing but monopolies of corporate conglomerates. A person in a small town only has Wal Fart and can't go to the local store because it's already been run out of town.

And that was on purpose. We happen to have a system where profits for shareholders are king. That's what we have to vote to change and vote with a REAL vote this time.

I know in the urban centers around the country and in the brainwashed mass media, there's a local craze on. But those are the converted. We need to change the corporate laws so environmental costs are not externalized and these companies that drain wetlands to pour asphalt be charged for the habitats they destroy.

Anonymous

This is quaint advice if you live in any kind of rural area/small town in a state without a big population center.

In this case, you'll have no choice but to shop non-local, and most of those doobs are so backward, they embrace the clearing of a forest for Kohl's, Michael's and Dress Barn. They'll count it as progress as the natural habitats and wetlands slowly die.

In these places, the city council members welcome Wal Fart with open arms, giving them tax breaks while paving golden roads to their doorsteps.

The local family owned hardware store? He gets jack for tax breaks and is shut down within weeks because the townspeople don't want to shell out $.05 extra for some batteries.

The populace has been nicely converted and the corporate take over of our country complete. Vote With Your Dollar is an empty free-market capitalist platitude in a country where there is nothing but monopolies of corporate conglomerates. A person in a small town only has Wal Fart and can't go to the local store because it's already been run out of town.

And that was on purpose. We happen to have a system where profits for shareholders are king. That's what we have to vote to change and vote with a REAL vote this time.

I know in the urban centers around the country and in the brainwashed mass media, there's a local craze on. But those are the converted. We need to change the corporate laws so environmental costs are not externalized and these companies that drain wetlands to pour asphalt be charged for the habitats they destroy.

ken vallario

both is the answer, when you figure out how to change laws to represent the people, then believe me, people will line up to hear it...in the mean time, i have very rarely been to a town, and i've been to a variety of types of american towns and cities, where there aren't a few locally owned businesses...for instance, diners instead of mcdonald's, local appliance stores and mechanics instead of best buy and jiffy lube...the 'vote with your dollar' is not 'the' solution, it is an action, in a culture where meaningful action is very difficult to come by...
the more able you are to describe a meaningful set of actions, the more you can represent the difference between knowledge and wisdom...

ken vallario

both is the answer, when you figure out how to change laws to represent the people, then believe me, people will line up to hear it...in the mean time, i have very rarely been to a town, and i've been to a variety of types of american towns and cities, where there aren't a few locally owned businesses...for instance, diners instead of mcdonald's, local appliance stores and mechanics instead of best buy and jiffy lube...the 'vote with your dollar' is not 'the' solution, it is an action, in a culture where meaningful action is very difficult to come by...
the more able you are to describe a meaningful set of actions, the more you can represent the difference between knowledge and wisdom...

FH

This is a good point. I also reject the notion that everyone has the ability to vote with their dollars. If you can, you should. If you have the means to get to, and buy products at, independent stores, do it. However, some people, whether due to economic or geographic circumstances, cannot vote with their dollars. Imagine a resident in a poor community, who has no car and cannot drive 10 miles to the nearest Whole Foods. One grocery store exists in this community, and they only sell GMO produce. This person also has a family to support. Even if they are opposed to GMOs, they have neither the access to, or money for, non-GMO food.

FH

This is a good point. I also reject the notion that everyone has the ability to vote with their dollars. If you can, you should. If you have the means to get to, and buy products at, independent stores, do it. However, some people, whether due to economic or geographic circumstances, cannot vote with their dollars. Imagine a resident in a poor community, who has no car and cannot drive 10 miles to the nearest Whole Foods. One grocery store exists in this community, and they only sell GMO produce. This person also has a family to support. Even if they are opposed to GMOs, they have neither the access to, or money for, non-GMO food.

Anonymous

well, excellent idea, will certainly open my eyes to more local shops for other random stuff and colthes... hmm £30 a month :) if i don't need it though i don't buy it, i don't go out shopping for clothes etc willy nilly, guess i'm still stuck back in the place where money is scarce and the money we have goes on food and shelter.

buy local is better e.g.

tesco's (corporation)
Basis VALUE Potatoes are £8.40 per 25kg
King Edward Potatoes are £18.70 per 25kg
Free range Eggs are £6.81 for 30 eggs

Local Farm Shop
locally grown Lincolnshire King Edward Potatoes are £4.50 per 25kg
Free range eggs are £3.15 for 30 eggs

it's taken us a while to realise this - but this article give further inspiration to the fight against corporate enslavement... thanks

Anonymous

well, excellent idea, will certainly open my eyes to more local shops for other random stuff and colthes... hmm £30 a month :) if i don't need it though i don't buy it, i don't go out shopping for clothes etc willy nilly, guess i'm still stuck back in the place where money is scarce and the money we have goes on food and shelter.

buy local is better e.g.

tesco's (corporation)
Basis VALUE Potatoes are £8.40 per 25kg
King Edward Potatoes are £18.70 per 25kg
Free range Eggs are £6.81 for 30 eggs

Local Farm Shop
locally grown Lincolnshire King Edward Potatoes are £4.50 per 25kg
Free range eggs are £3.15 for 30 eggs

it's taken us a while to realise this - but this article give further inspiration to the fight against corporate enslavement... thanks

McLarry

On a somewhat related topic, I've noticed a few local businesses trying to do away with accepting credit cards. Granted this is an infinitely number of businesses, but it's still noticeable. I recall the day when the trend was to stop accepting personal checks due to fraud, bouncing, etc.... Surprisingly, the businesses I mentioned are now moving back to cash and checks only.
The most recent occurance of this was the guy who cuts my hair who asked if next time I could pay with cash or a check and that he was going to do away with his credit card machine within the next 60 days. He indicated that the response has genuinely been positive from most of his clientelle with the exception of a couple old, rich birds who told him that it would be an inconvienence to have to get cash or write a check. These are the same women who shop all day living off the spoils of their rich husbands who don't want to be inconvienenced with the thought of holding a pen in their hands for a few seconds.
The hair cut guy's explanation was that he was paying out a fortune just to use the credit card machine in addition to the fees tacked onto each transaction he made. As a small business owner and sole employee that charge was now putting him out of business. He did mention that quite a few of his clients no longer possesed credit cards or if they did, they didn't want to use them due to increased interest rates. Myself-I had to opt out of my one credit card when the large (TARP money recipient) bank I had been a member of for over 20 years jacked my interest rate from 9% to 33%. Although a bit of a hassle at first, I don't mind as it's putting my spending in check having to withdraw cash or carry my checkbook around if I want to purchase anything. My savings account is now starting to actually increase, rather than the opposite.

Great article and idea BTW.

McLarry

On a somewhat related topic, I've noticed a few local businesses trying to do away with accepting credit cards. Granted this is an infinitely number of businesses, but it's still noticeable. I recall the day when the trend was to stop accepting personal checks due to fraud, bouncing, etc.... Surprisingly, the businesses I mentioned are now moving back to cash and checks only.
The most recent occurance of this was the guy who cuts my hair who asked if next time I could pay with cash or a check and that he was going to do away with his credit card machine within the next 60 days. He indicated that the response has genuinely been positive from most of his clientelle with the exception of a couple old, rich birds who told him that it would be an inconvienence to have to get cash or write a check. These are the same women who shop all day living off the spoils of their rich husbands who don't want to be inconvienenced with the thought of holding a pen in their hands for a few seconds.
The hair cut guy's explanation was that he was paying out a fortune just to use the credit card machine in addition to the fees tacked onto each transaction he made. As a small business owner and sole employee that charge was now putting him out of business. He did mention that quite a few of his clients no longer possesed credit cards or if they did, they didn't want to use them due to increased interest rates. Myself-I had to opt out of my one credit card when the large (TARP money recipient) bank I had been a member of for over 20 years jacked my interest rate from 9% to 33%. Although a bit of a hassle at first, I don't mind as it's putting my spending in check having to withdraw cash or carry my checkbook around if I want to purchase anything. My savings account is now starting to actually increase, rather than the opposite.

Great article and idea BTW.

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