BIG BUSINESS

Big Business Has No Community Or Country Loyalty – So Buy Local

“Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains”.

While lumping all merchants together is certainly not entirely accurate, the quote from Thomas Jefferson certainly rings true for ‘big business’.

In fact, today it is more true than ever. With seemingly few exceptions, over the decades, grocers and merchants have been gobbled up by increasingly mammoth sized corporations who have no loyalty to your neighborhood or community, or even any nation or country.

Here’s why it matters…


 
The function (purpose) of ‘big business’ (in general) does not require that they hold loyalty to you, your neighborhood, community, or country.

For example, a company’s corporate center may be located in Dublin for tax purposes, their retail centers in the United States for Sales, and their manufacturing in China for labor cost benefits.

Western manufacturing is only a shell of what it used to be, and western countries have become entirely reliant upon the ‘cheap goods’ from ‘third-world’ or ‘developing’ nations.

For the mega-corp, it’s all about the stock price – and it’s NOT about you or me, or the so called ‘quality’ of their products (with some exceptions – as there always are).

While you might benefit if the mega-corp stock price goes up (if you are invested in the company’s stock while engaging in the stock market), you are benefiting at the loss of other things. The loss of your neighborhood and locally owned grocer, hardware store, retail store, etc.. The loss of your country’s manufacturing sector. The loss of your national identity.

In a world of global mega-corps, you might say that one’s risks have increased due to one’s dependence upon the complicated, intertwined, and geographically distant systems which bring nearly every parcel of food to your table and nearly all of the products that you buy.

Part of preparedness is minimizing one’s risks. And to support the mega-corps who have no loyalty or concern for you and your community is to support the ever increasing risks of your own dependency upon their products – they are your lifeline…

Instead, and whenever possible, you might consider supporting your own community. A community of self-sustaining local businesses who provide food and other essential products, is a community that will stand a chance to survive and thrive in a post-collapse world where the supply chains and dependencies of the mega-corps have broken down.

Not everyone has a choice to ‘buy local’ because in many areas of the country there is no more ‘local’. But if you look for it, you might be surprised what you find.

I hope you have not misunderstood the message… I am not anti-capitalist. I am an independent thinker who in this case believes that it is better for a community to support ‘local’ (or as close that you can come to local) rather than to spend your money at the ‘mega-corp’.

When you buy local, the money and profits will stay closer to home (and community). When you buy ‘mega-corp’, the money and profits will go far away (with the exception of the payroll for those who work there – the same as local business).

When you buy local, you are supporting the notion of a self-sustaining community and are minimizing the systemic risks within an uncertain global world.

Unfortunately today’s overburdening governmental regulations are a great hindrance to many small businesses. I have a conspiratorial viewpoint on this which stems from the FACT that our representatives are beholden to their money-masters, the lobbyists of big-business who use them to minimize competition and to maximize their own gains. This is true at the national level and the state level (although varies by state).

I have a pessimistic view that it’s ‘too far gone’ to change the way it is, without suffering through a great collapse (which I do believe is coming). Only then will we be forced to survive the way we once did – by our own self reliance and community support.

Similar Posts

CHOOSE AN ALIAS NAME
Affirm you're human... not a Bot
68 Comments
Sort by Oldest First
Sort by Newest First Sort by Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I always try to support my small town local stores.

If they don’t have what I’m looking for, I say, “If you had ____________ I wouldn’t have to go all the way into bigger town’s Walmart, Kroger, Lowes, etc to get it. I really want to keep my business local.”

Even our little $Store will try to stock something if enough ask for it.

Just be consistent in speaking up. The money also talks too.

I also thank them when they save me the trip to bigger towns.

See if they will order what you want by the case. 2 or three items by the case can help you both.. You have to ask and plan ahead.. I used to have a place, to do this for me.

Sadly, we must be efficient. One of my criteria for a rural retreat is to be within 15 miles of a Walmart preferably in a town of less than 10,000. Reading about other nations collapses, that would reduce the need to go to a big and dangerous city.

I used to buy boating equipment at a marine store called Al’s Boater Supply. He was having a hard time competing against a new and growing nemesis called West Marine (now the worlds largest marine retailer in the world) Al complained to me that he could afford to buy 10 life jackets at a time and West Marine could afford to but 10,000 at a time. With the price they got for bulk purchasing against what Al paid they could sell them for cheaper than Al could buy them. Very sad but they did force him out of business.

There are a few small stores that we frequent. If they don’t have something, in most cases they can special order it for you. Only in rare cases where I need it right away do I end up at a large chain store. Yes I know sometimes I pay a little more, and unless there is a huge price difference, I don’t mind. I had heard that a Walmart went into a small area and drove all the small businesses out, when they had no more competition, they rose their prices. So I will do my best to support small local businesses.

True, so true, and wouldn’t things be great if we could change the course of the river: But we can’t, and it is far too late into the night to concern ourselves with buying local. Just look for the best deals, anywhere we can find them and keep on prepping. In another time, another place, we could change the outcome, but not now. Prep on!

Although there is a Walmart not too far away, I stopped at the nearest local Hardware Store when I needed a new garden hose. I thought, what the heck I’ll pay a couple of bucks more, but I’ll shop local.
The hose was defective, but when I brought it back, the owner told me “No Refunds”. He said he wasn’t Walmart, who could afford to make refunds.
Oh well, back to Walmart!

I am not trying to come off as a big defender of Walmart, but–
Walmart never “drove off small businesses”.
The people who stopped shopping at the small businesses and flocked to Walmart did.

Thank You Tango. I have had that same conversation with many people that complained that Walmart put the mom and pops stores out of business. You may pay a little more at the local store but as was said 100% of the money stays in the community that way. Unfortunately way to many people can’t see past their wallet to what happens when they switch loyalty. They don’t have the mental capacity to figure out that they are better off in the long run doing this. It is the same as the people that complain that every thing comes from China. if people made an effort to only buy American made there would be more things made in America. It is called supply and demand. If no one bought the china product the stores would stop stocking it.

That’s because Chinamart lured the public in with great prices…until all competition was bankrupt.
Then they raised prices even above former competitions’ prices and said…screw you!

I have a Dollar General, Priceless IGA, Aldi’s, and Piggly-Wiggly that all beat Chinamart’s prices on groceries.

I try to stay out of Wal Mart. The ones near me are dirty (even though they’re not very old) and often out of stock of even simple items. (I’m sure part of this is the JIT mentality. Wal Mart goes waaaaay overboard with the JIT mindset) Their bathrooms often make port-a-pottys seem clean and fresh (Their customer base contributes greatly to this).

While not everything can be sourced local or at mom and pop store’s. I find vegetable’s ,fruit, Plants and tree’s honey Auto repair handy man work can be. A lot of national chains are local franchise’s and do support community projects. Big box stores that have no local tie’s are the one to avoid.

I also prefer to buy locally whenever possible. I also think that those who have prepared the most will become the future suppliers as the barter system develops after the collapse. My advice to the those future suppliers would be not to expose your primary location, by having a centrally located spot to barter within a given area, unless you have adequate security measures in place.

Most people will not have transportation to go a significant distance after the collapse. If the powers that be come up with a scheme to provide bus transportation for shopping, I WILL NOT!! That will most likely be a set up for disaster for the individuals!!!

Those with craft skills may have already planned ahead and stocked up on enough raw materials to sustain a decent living after the collapse at least for a while.

Candle making, hair cutting, animal hide tanning, splitting wood, food canning supplies are just a few of the bartering skills and items that will be of value. I’m sure others will have some ideas that are specific their area.

Prepare!!

Ask the people who got on buses after hurricane Sandy. They were told they were going to hotels to get reaquainted with hot showers. They ended up in tent cities with armed guards.

Not sure, but I thought I saw on news videos, that those tent cities not only had armed guards, but very high strong wire fences with razor wire at top? I did see those images / video on t.v. news, for after some disaster, and it made me think that folks were in internment camps.

Interesting that everyone seems to beat up Wally World. Even more surprising that Amazon.com has surpassed Wally in total sales and total profit. Of course poor old Wally forecasted a 12% reduction in profit for next year (a ploy to screw the employees and suppliers IMHO). Makes me wonder exactly how lazy we have become to do all of our shopping online, get it shipped to our door and become more of a “couch potato”? At least with Wally ya have to get off the couch, drive, walk a mile through the parking lot, search for 3 hours to find a can of beans, and venture home.

Personally I semi-agree with tango. Hate to say it, but I work my butt off for each dime I make, and if I can get it 20-30% cheaper at Wally, sorry all, but guess what? And yes I guess I’m one of those azzhole capitalist that thinks of only money, so be it. I do believe that there is a balance of course, but like Coronado I have been burned a few times by the locals and I pulled all of the personal and company business from them (after talking “politely” with them of course).

With all that said, I do hit the Farmers Markets religiously. And yes probably pay a little more, but at least a tomato taste like a tomato and not a chunk of celery. Same with meat, I only buy from a local ranch. and yes it’s actually cheaper than Wally, go figure????

NRP

NRP, I’d like some longer explanations from you!
As a capitalist, do you believe in monopolies?
Do you believe that it is acceptable that a mega-corp like Walmart can dictate terms to Congress?
Should mega-business leaders like Jeffrey Immelt of GE sit on Presidential boards and “advise” the President on certain global/national issues?
For me, these are some of the contemporary problems that we are facing in America as the mega-corps get more and more power.

@ Lynn
My statement of me being a capitalist means that after I work for 40-60 hours a week, pay the socialist taxes, conform to the communist laws, adhere to the liberal media/brain-washing, and all of the corruption of ALL (rep, lib, Ind, Tea, ALL) that are in the political arena. I will spend my remaining dollar as wisely as I can, whether it be Wally or Local, Yes I believe that capitalist are in it for the money, as I HAVE to spend my money the same way.

Do I like it or find it legal for the “criminals” to “own” the government, NO, not at all, I think it’s contemptible, will it ever change…NO! But I will I spend my hard earned cash as best as I can and get the best “bang for the buck”? You can bet on that and win every time. That’s is what I consider myself a capitalist, because I spend what little I have wisely.

NRP

Okay, NRP, what you said is what I wrestle with (probably many others reading do too).

You said, “I will spend my remaining dollar as wisely as I can..”

This is where principles and ethics come into play. Do we save a bit of cash by going on-the-cheap, knowing that some of these businesses/mega-corps use a portion of that cash towards agendas that we do not believe in?

Walmart is one of the mega-corporations but we know there are many of them — they use corporate funds to push agendas that manipulate us.

Do you use boycotting practices when a business/mega-corp goes against one of your principles or belief system?

This whole consumer economics issue is much larger than buying local vs buying on-the-cheap. I think some of us have severed consumer ties with businesses that have taken their businesses one step too far (think how Starbucks is anti-gun/pro gun control).

Just wanted to know if you are a blind consumer or someone who uses your consumer power to drive a message. We are led to believe that Progressives/far-lefties are very successful in changing business practices through their very vocal boycotts. This may be true, but it may be part of a plan that was arranged by the Matrix to APPEAR so.

@ Lynn

You make a good point of “principles and ethics” fortunately or unfortunately, as some may see it, it seems that (and here is where I get myself into trouble) my little voice “seems” to make little or no difference when speaking to Wally World or Congress. Allow me to elaborate. In my day back in California I did the “hippy thing” going to protest and marches trying to save the world and the baby seal lions. It got me tear gassed twice and almost arrested (I actually out-ran the cops) several times. And guess what, it made NO difference at all. Now please don’t misunderstand me, I feel that the “groups” and those in the “power” do an interesting job of influencing others. Take Al Sharples or Eric Holder for example, those two can incite a riot in 3 seconds flat using HATE and racism. Take a look at the leaders of “Black Lives Matter” They also can influence the people to murder and kill at a whim. Are they ethical? Is killing White Police Officer by a black OK? While a white kills a black another reason for all the hate, Black Lives Matter, and gun control?

So, with that in mind, do I spend that little dollar at Wally (or wherever) and use the savings to the advantage I see fit, or do I give it to mom-pop costing much more and they can use the way they see fit? (and yes I do also shop at Mom-Pop when I can) Interesting dilemma huh? Personally I take that dollar I save and join the NRA, the local Gun-Club, and donate to areas I see fit such as the local Food-Bank and yes even to a local church even though I’m Buddhist. Will that help? I have no idea, but I see it as something that I can do. Will I boycott Wally and not shop there? Probably not. Will I boycott Star-Bucks, well if I drank coffee I might.

Again back to the ethics, yes I have severed with some companies that cheat or lie to me or my company, both local and mega. Will I continue to do business with Mr. Mega AND Local? Of course I will. Can the “people” change the way Mega influences our government, no, never going to happen as long as they can underprice everyone else. Sorry, just the fact.

Personally I guess if I need a “Label” than I’m an “informed blind consumer”, which uses my money as well as I can the way I feel needed.

NRP

@NRP
Thanks SOOO much for the long explanation of where you stand. I can’t really disagree with your points. At times I have vacillated between using the large ‘box stores’ and steering clear of them. I tend to only go to Walmart for a few items that our supermarket doesn’t carry or has priced too high.

Got to think on this subject some more. (Maybe Ken would do a post on this subject of consumerism). I just read that Walgreens and Rite Aide are merging. Between that merger and CVS, they will now represent more than 50% of our national pharmacies. Monopolies don’t seem to worry the gub’ment anymore but this isn’t much different than the ‘too big to fail’ financial institutes.

Thanks again, my friend.

Where I live, there are 2 small chain supermarkets. Both are headquartered out of state. There are 4 Walmarts within a reasonable driving distance. They are all strategically located to grab traffic that is coming from 4 different highway systems. Walmart — the mega-corporation — and the 2 different supermarket chains have used their large corporate staff talents to determine best prices/deals and where to locate their stores to achieve the most profitable outcomes. Each of them have destroyed all of the mom and pop shops. Now the Walmarts have been out-competing against the 2 small chain supermarkets and are up against the CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aids. Guess which corporation(s) will ultimately win?

The mega-corporations, like Walmart, Microsoft, Google, The Fed, and Facebook, are destroying anything in its way. Not long ago, monopolies were considered dangerous…but no more. They reign and have exclusive rights. They, TPTB, are setting the terms of conditions and agenda for America.

This used to be known as the Walmarting-of-America. Now, we know it as Fascism in America. They run our NGOs, our Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches, our local, regional, and state governments, and they run our economy. They now run the media. Soon, they will control all of the internet.

I have listened to many a story from my grandparents on how they lived during the Depression. I have heard many tales from my mother who was born in 1930 — she remembers some of those hard times of ‘frugal living.’ Nothing that they experienced will come close to what our future brings.

@ Lynn
I agree with you 1,000%, the depression was nada compared to what is heading our way, I have a very bad “gut” feeling about the future of these great United States. I used to say if the US economy collapsed the world economy would collapse, I don’t think that is the case anymore. Every power country in the world is moving away from the “all powerful US dollar”. Just food for thought.
FYI, Food will be the money of the future. 7+ billion sheeple in the world will need to eat.
NRP

Food on a pantry shelf is mighty nice looking. An online bank statement doesn’t do anything anymore. Too bad we can’t convince everyone of this.

@ Lynn
You, my friend, hit it right on the head. That poor looking 401 I have is really looking sick LOLOL, and I wanted to ask, what bank balance? you mean the one in RED all of the time? HAHAHAHA

I agree that Pantry and Cold Cellar (Bunker) sure looks nice. I would rather have a 100 #10 cans of Augason and 500 Ball Jars full than a huge bank balance, any day of the week. Money will be (already is) worthless.

NRP

Our regular checking account is nothing more than a temporary holding pot to pay the monthly utility bills, taxes, etc. We only keep in what will go out quickly. I don’t even trust our small bank very much

Still trying to figure out if I should be a blind consumer or someone who uses your consumer power to drive a message. I used to always be the latter but it appears that businesses and politicians really don’t give a dang. I feel as though I/we are being forced into blind consumption since all of the large businesses and mega-corps are marching to the same beat.

It’s all so frustrating and confusing. What happened to the simple life?!?

@ Lynn, again
Honestly Lynn, you have to look out for Number One. Yes you must keep a conscience, and yes you need to do what “feels” right for the country, but and that’s a heck of a HUGE BUT you must lookout for yourself first and foremost.
JMHO
NRP

And the bigger problem is that the USA isn’t producing food like we used to. Beautiful farms have been bull-dozed and turned into “developments”, or growing corn for ethanol. I had a conversation with a 80+ yr old man who was proud of buying out the farmers so he could build housing developments. He’s dying rich and there’s no land to produce “groceries” anymore.

Kroger couldn’t compete on price with Wal-Mart (in some cases). They are trying a different approach now: Specialty items, (Have always had) better produce, far fewer out of stock items, much cleaner stores, more than one open checkout lane, not leaving grocery carts all over the parking lot, etc.

Wal Mart’s price advantage is often eaten up by the farther drive, traffic congestion, and likelyhood of being out of stock on a desired item.

We try to buy local what we can. I ordered a case of 60 boxes of snap lids for canning locally & I got a nice discount. We buy our rolled oat in 10kg bags in the city from a small nursery/ garden decor/ bulk food place because we can’t get it locally in that size. We buy 3-4 bags @ a time. Our local hardware store is up for sale but no buyers yet. They carry lots of things that the box store doesn’t & will order in parts for most small motor items such as lawn mowers, snow machines etc.

My concern is if we put the small guys out of business then we will have to travel to the city for a bolt or qt. of milk & that could make everything very expensive to add the gas for a 140 m. round trip even if you can get the gas. A lot of our seniors don’t even own a car.

This ties in with the last 2 posts by Ken. They don’t care about the food you eat. Big Pharma is there to give you a pill when what you eat and drink makes you sick and diseased. They are sending the food overseas to be processed? REALLY?! How can that be cheaper? IT’S ALL ABOUT CONTROL! IT’S A BIG CHESS GAME FOLKS.PROBLEM IS THE CLUELESS SHEEP ARE PLAYING CHECKERS. YOU CAN PUT A FORK IN ANYONE UNDER 40. THEY ARE DONE! THEY ARE FROGS IN A SOON TO BE BOILING POT.
MOST OF US HERE ARE OLDER. WE PREPARE BECAUSE WE KNOW WE SHOULD. OUR COUNSEL FALLS ON DEAF EARS FOR THE MOST PART. THESE ELITES CAN’T WAIT FOR US OLDER PEOPLE TO DIE OFF. IF THEY CAN SPEED IT UP THEY WILL. WE ARE THE LAST THREADS TRYING TO HOLD TOGETHER OUR ONCE GREAT NATION…
I OFTEN WONDER ABOUT THE EVERYDAY ROMAN IN THE LAST DAYS OF THAT EMPIRE. I BET THEY FELT LIKE WE DO SEEING THEIR CULTURE BEING DESTROYED BY THEIR LEADERS AND WILLING MINIONS.
MY HOPE FOR ME AND FOR ALL OF YOU IS THAT WE DIE WITH DIGNITY WHEN THEY COME FOR US AS THEY MUST TO COMPLETE THEIR PLANS.
MY PRAYER WILL BE THAT I LIVE THOSE FINAL MINUTES WELL…

I make the distinction between corporate and privately owned forms of business, not between local and global. Corporations are evil by virtue of the requirement that their charter demands that they make money regardless of all ethical or moral, and now legal (VW) considerations. They also embrace fascism and have literally taken over our government. Privately owned companies are less likely to do so.

I would make the distinction between corporate and public companies. There are many family and privately owned businesses that are corporations due to their tax structure.

But they are not subject to the demands of investors.

It seems to me that the best case scenario is locally placed or owned regional retail chains that have exposure to other competition for pricing but also have some volume purchasing power. The local grocer has no competition and he gouges for staple products like milk. I can drive 50 miles to a SAMS and get milk for a week and almost save enough to pay for the gas, Of course I pick up a whole lot of other items in bulk when there. The local farm supply/sporting goods store, on the other hand, has a regional footprint, but competes very well with the big national stores on hardware, tools, and sporting goods.

Too Late, Big BOX companies have put out several locally owned business out of business in my area. Only choice is Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes Home improvement, and Dollar stores. These stores corner the market and drove out the small independent owners to bankruptcy.

They did not drive anyone out of business. The people that switched their loyalty from small businesses that had been in the community for years to save a couple of dollars by buying at the big box stores are the ones that put them out of business. People voted with their wallet against local economy.

This article is an example of us being caught between a hard place and a rock. I mean I’d like to support local businesses but many times I can’t afford to. While we grow most of our own vegetables and make all of our own bread and raise chickens for our eggs, and subscribe to other avenues of local procurement, we still occasionally have to buy items like meat, cheese and miscellaneous stuff from various other stores… some are big box and some are not. I will not pay $5 or $6 more for a DeWalt battery just because it is sold at a locally owned hardware store when I can buy the same battery cheaper at Lowe’s. We try to support local merchants when we can but by and large big stores like Lowe’s, Sam’s, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s generally offer more of the stuff we want and in some cases, Whole Foods is cheaper than local grocery stores. There are two locally owned grocery stores here that occasionally have sales on stuff like whole Ribeye racks for $75.00 or double Boston Butt packs for .99 a pound to attract business. Whenever that happens we buy multiple packs of each and can and freeze a lot of meat, and usually buy several other items while we are there, just to support their business. On the other hand, Sam’s is the only place where I can buy brand name cheese in big blocks with such a large variety cheap, and it’s the only place where I can buy stuff by the case like paper towels and toilet paper. Years ago, I was jerked around by Sears when I was purchasing a washer and dryer. I wound up cancelling the order and went to a locally owned appliance store and picked up a set of more expensive Maytags but it was worth it in the end. I wound up buying all my appliances from that local store. (believe it or not a lot of it has to do with the hired help.) I seldom go to WalMart personally, but it’s probably for a different reason than most of you. Several years ago it dawned on me that every time I went to WalMart I was pissed when I left and the aggravation stayed with me for several hours afterwards. It’s all about the hired help! I don’t patronize places where the hired help pisses me off. At first, I thought it was just me, but after talking about it with several friends I figured out it’s not just me. It’s so bad in some WalMarts that all I have to do is walk in and look around and I get pissed so I stopped going. Wife goes to WalMart so I have to accompany her but most times I sit in the truck and twiddle my thumbs. I suppose I’ll stop doing that when some hyper paranoid cop or sheriff’s deputy tazes my ass for sitting in my truck looking… Read more »

When we moved to our current location we brought our patio with us. 10 by 10 feet of 1 ft. square pavers. I paid 97 cents apiece for them at the big box in So Cal. I wanted to leave them for the next tenant but my wife said no. I said they’ll cost more to move than they are worth. We put them on the truck and moved them. Long story short the local hardware store had the same pavers at $2.70 each. Definitely cheaper by far at the big box but here is the catch the hardware store is part of a large nationwide change. Same pavers much cheaper at other hardware stores with the same chain. They were the only game in town so we had to pay what they wanted or drive 90 miles. Then my wife wrote the big box and told them what was happening. A year later they were breaking ground and now the hardware store is not the only game in town.

I buy at the store that has the product I want and/or the best price.

I company may indeed move their corporate office to Dublin. Why? Because our government has become anti-business. Should that corporation Stay in the U.S. if the anti-capitalist government increases taxes and regulations with the intent of driving business away? I do not like that our federal and state governments are driving business and jobs away but it’s difficult to blame the corporations for making that decision. That giant sucking sound is our jobs being driven away by liberal politicians and labor unions.

Walmart saves Americans billions and billions every year. I look for three things when I move into a new city: The Library, the schools and Walmart.

Back in the olden days when I was in college I remember a class that describes capitalism as when someone makes a product that sells for $99.00 it is reasonable to assume that he paid $33.00 for materials, $33.00 for labor and it’s associated costs and made a profit of $33.00. Now if he can pay $10.00 for materials overseas, $10.00 for labor, $10.00 for shipping it in and sell it for $89.00 the buyers think they are getting a great deal. The capitalist is now making $59.00 instead od $33.00. My question is who is getting the better deal? And certainly this is an oversimplification. Please remember that we have a slowly shrinking customer base form loss of jobs.

All in all Costco is where I prefer to shop as they do pay there employees a living wage. Wally world all to often relies on the state to pick up on the medical benefits for their employees. I’m not sure of how many other state benefits are given to people making less than a living wage. I’m presuming many of them also qualify for food-stamps or EBT cards

If what you said was true I would be in total agreement. But in fact it’s not true. Everyone buys from the same place. Your locally owned store buys the same things Walmart does. It costs exactly the same to make them. But a small store needs to make more profit so they charge more. Walmart has a profit margin between 3%-8% while your local mom and pop store has a profit margin between 10%-20%. So when you buy something for $100 at your local store that might cost $89 at Walmart the difference is the profit to the store. The product they are selling was still made in China no matter who sells it.

You have bought that left wing myth about Walmart employees being subsidized by the taxpayer. Did it occur to you that if those employees were worth more that they would be paid more or work where they could be paid more? It is more likely that the exact opposite of that left wing propaganda is the truth. That is if there were no Walmart these people would be 100% supported by the tax payers. Simple solution: Replace welfare with workfare where everyone must work 40 hours a week, paid minimum wage and pay taxes.

We have found that for our shopping preps, (normal food BTW) between Costco (high quality of products and VERY customer oriented) and Wal-Mart, we generally get what we need the least expensively. However, we find the coupon sales at out local small chains are fantastic. So we hit both regularly, and stick with them, because it works for our needs.
I would much rather have sufficient food and supplies on hand and LESS money “in the bank” (don’t like Cypriot haircuts-never have never will) so we can live with our corporate buying decisions and sleep well at night.

I’m 68 and proud to say that I’ve never set foot in a walmart, My dad use to say the big box stores were driving the little guy out and they did to his small business. So flame away.

We have to drive 45 miles to town. Town has a Safeway, a Big R (ranch supply) and a Walmart.

If we want anything else, we have to drive 150 miles each way…needless to say, when we do, we take the king cab full bed pick up with the camper shell and buy everything we could possibly have put on the list, and several of most items at that. The trip ends up taking all day…but it doesn’t happen often.

When we built our place on the mountain in the middle of BFE, we tried very hard to buy locally. To do so would have cost us over 40% more than dragging the trailer behind the pickup and buying as much as we could carry in any one trip.

Better to make the lists, plan ahead, and go the distance. Exhausting yes, but the savings can be anywhere from 20-40% and sometimes more. Usually, we ask neighbors and friends if they need anything or need to go with, then we can split the cost of gas as well. Team work. Works OK. Not much room for politics when living a truly rural lifestyle.

BFE ??

BFE Butt F**k Egypt. (It means out in the middle of nowhere far away from civilization.)

@ Chuck Findlay
Actually that not “butt” it’s “bum” 🙂

I shop Amazon a lot because it’s where I can find what I want. Many times Wally World and Mom & Pop stores just don’t have a lot of items I want. I also shop Wally World and local stores if they have what I need.

Where do I find Berkey or Katadyn water filters, Amazon is where. Where do I find a durable get home pack…Amazon. Yea there a few local backpack outlets but they sell the wrong ones, they are too big / heavy, poor quality so I go where people are able to fit my needs.

By the way Wally World is local, they give a lot of local people a job and that keeps money in the local economy.

I have tried to go to a local business and have them order things for me and they won’t do it or they say they don’t buy from that supplier.. If they won’t do it Amazon will allow me to order a large or small amount without hassle. A Mom & Pop store should be the go-to place for special orders if they want to survive.

The one way a local business can thrive is in the service end of business. Local contractors are almost always preferred by customers over big business.

They say they don’t buy from that supplier is heard all to often. What isn’t heard is that frequently the buyer doesn’t have enough need for the product to meet the sellers minimum purchase requirements.
Wally world came into our town over the protests of the local merchants. The merchants had a lawyer that was filing papers to keep them out. It can be done. A number of localities have done so. In our particular instance the lawyer missed the deadline by filing a day late. Wally world is here and three local grocery stores are now closed. One of those stores was in the county and in an area that could be described as a food desert. No affordable shopping in a reasonable distance. It was partially supported by another store in town and under the same banner (now closed also). Now we have literally tons of food available in town, none to speak of out of town out of town and an overall reduction in quality. Wonder how that lawyer missed the deadline? Hmmmmm, maybe a payoff? Nah big business wouldn’t stoop to that would they?
I guess most of my complaints about Chinese imports is that they have such a poor quality of materials. Labor is also dirt cheap. When we were traveling in Mexico we heard one local lament that they were losing jobs to China as the cost of labor was one third of what it was in Mexico. This was in the late 90s and the minimum wage in Mexico at the time was about 75 cents an hour.

sorry about the BFE. Our whole COUNTY has more elk than people, and my community is made up of 31 people! LOL

Same here,except we have 18 people. Sounds like you’re right over the hill from me in the SLV.

@ Pioneer Woman
Let me know if your community needs to make that 32… HAHAHAHA I have got to get out of here in the next 2 years…
NRP

actually there is one in west ny state its called wegmans they get most of there foods from the surrounding area the have there own organic farms tyhey even get there meat from the same area
as far as other businesses go yeah your right

Boy oh boy Ken – fine article – good discussion. And as a small & local businessman, I couldn’t agree more. You said, “…I have a pessimistic view that it’s ‘too far gone’ to change the way it is, without suffering through a great collapse..” and that too, I must be forced to admit is all too true. Hell, look at what we all are doing just reading this very webpage!!! I’d hazard a bet that virtually 99.9% of us are using some techno piece of Chinese junk to do so. I work on all forms of electronics – marine, aviation, general transportation (car/truck…), residential and commercial computer/servers…. you name it. And opening the ‘boxes’ up, it looks like the UN in them.

Wal-Mart comments – I agree with all of you in that that one corporation has done more to destroy American business(es) than most any other.

So? Yeah, we all should support local businesses whenever, wherever, however we can.

Now the contrary part. How? Sure, some Mom and Pop veggie stand, some local service company (like my own), what little remains of American factory output…… all those are dandy. But the big money, the real influence is not going happen. Simple as that. It’s like trying to stop a tsunami with a tea strainer. And that is what we all are facing.

My solution? Learn all I can about how it all works. Everything. For when it is all cut off – all that imported junk we now suck into this country. Really look at each item we use each day. See what is made of, how it is put together, what could be done to improve them; and most importantly, figure out, ask the question, “if I had to make this from scratch, how would I?”. Then, when in our infinite spare time – try doing so here and there. In short, be personally creative and functionally aware. Be ready to actually ‘do it’.

Great comment. Thanks. I like your analogy, and agree entirely. We cannot stop it, which is why we prepare. In the mean time, seeking out and supporting what little there is with regards to community and local business – will help during ‘post-collapse’ – by having established a relationship and knowledge of what is out there in one’s own area…

Ken,sorry about the off topic rant here yesterday…i had an altercation with a couple non producing zeros at the local gas station earlier.They were OFFENDED by my IMPEACH OBAMA sticker.So much so that they threatened to kill me.Now I take any threat seriously.even from a couple of pony tailed obama sheep.I have acquired particular skills as an independent contractor many years ago.Push come to shove I would of ended them both with my bare hands.

Point is these walking bags of fertilizer have become brazen in their belief they can say or do anything.On the way home all I could think about was my wife if something had happened to me.(GETTING HURT AND GOING TO JAIL)

THE POSTS YOU PUT UP ABOUT OUR FOOD IS SO IMPORTANT!I TALK TO PEOPLE ALL THE TIME BUT IT SEEMS TO FALL ON DEAF EARS.EITHER THEY DON’T GET IT OR THEY DON’T CARE.I GROW A LOT AND I BUY FROM OUR LOCAL FARMERS.I’M GOING TO START RAISING FISH TO HELP SUPPLEMENT OUR FOOD TOO.PREPPING HELPS ME KEEP SOME OF MY DEMONS AT BAY…THANKS

@steelheart, While it is challenging to remain calm under such circumstances that happened to you recently, think about today’s justice system and how you could become royally screwed if you fall for their antagonizing BS. Instead, use it as motivation to prepare for what may come… collapse. When people go ape-$hit during so called ‘good times’, just imagine how bad it will be post-collapse… 😉

Steelheart, I think Ken is right about today’s justice system. There will be too many liberals sitting in the jury box.

I am always sure to read your comments. The latest one from you that I copied and pasted was about your success with Fortex variety green beans. Trying to follow everyone’s advice and grow more of my own food. I’m sure there are many here that profit from your experience and that of the many others who are so good to share and encourage us to prep! Thank you all.

I shop most my groceries local. In a small town of 900, they provide most my needs, and since one of the grocery stores and gas station are co-ops, I get credit refunds for getting my supplies there, and senior discounts to boot. Their prices are most the time better than the big chain stores. The big national stores don’t offer this in the next big city of 7,000 and it costs me a lot more for gas to get there. I only go to the big national stores much further away to get a couple hundred pounds of dog food, doctor appmts, and lumber supplies.

I also use a small local bank who never asks for my deposit slip for ID to cash checks and charges no fees for checking like big banks. Once I did use a big bank and they were awful. Never again.

We always try to buy local. I actually got my job because of buying local. Le me explain, I wanted a part time job. My hubby needed 2 bales of wheat straw. We were in town but drove to a local land scape supplier.( instead of Home Depot) While there I noticed a sign : driver wanted. This is one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. By the way, the mulches ects are made local.
If I may add, buy hand made crafts from neighbors. There are lots of local sites on Face Book, for hand made local items. The problem is that we have to get over the Wal Mart prices. Yes you can buy a quilt at WM for $30.00, but it will fall apart. Buying from local crafters is another way to keep money local and get well made items.

@ John….we are probably neighbors!

@NRP more good folks always welcome, quite a bit of land for sale!

@ Pioneer Woman
Thanks, but I’m not sure about living in Egypt, HAHAHAHA
NRP

@NRP not truly Egypt….Rural, mountain Colorado. Million dollar views every day….short growing season unless you greenhouse!

@ Pioneer Woman
Well I’m just down the highway a little, in the Four Corners, I just gave up on CO’s high taxes after 10 years in DRO
NRP

I am not sure why I stopped shopping at W/Mart. Think it was the customers we have had an influx of where we reside. I never purchased a lot most for the cats and dogs, then the cost of the food and quality(china crap). That I went to the higher end stores to purchase food that was not corn or corn based. In the last year I have been in the W/mart maybe 2 times, and the last time to buy material but I had to drive over 30 miles from where we live.
Food shopping is at Winco/Food Maxx/Costco/restaurant supply outlet, fresh fruit and vege’s at the local family orchard. Another long trip but worth it, the food tastes like it should and not cardboard.

Only time I am in a Target store is for the dog strips(chicky chews) for 2 large fur kids otherwise I do not go into that store they made me angry.

We use to shop at the base commissary but that is over 3 hours drive now and I do not save any money, not like we use to.

I occasionally buy some items from a Walmart, or Lowes, but try strongly to limit such purchases. If the difference is minor, a few dollars, I will support local stores, everytime. The biggest problem I see coming is more jobs are leaving, and there will be less ‘income’, or money floating around by all, and small stores will be having a very hard time of it.

I grow most of what we eat, and all of our herbs, both medicinal and for seasoning, with minor exceptions… cinnamon, etc. I have enough Amaranth seed to seed 4 counties built up now, and vegetable seeds for years. If an attack isn’t nuclear, or crisis isn’t nuclear, there will at least be food… might get boring, but it’s stored. Tons of canned foods, canning ability, and plenty of milk stored… Just added a 3rd freezer, so hopefully, summer bounty can be held till I can get to it. Might not make if long, long term, but good for a year perhaps… with the exception of stored gasoline.