Well, What *Do* You Have?

A couple of years ago, a group of local businesses got together and pooled their cash to take out an advertisement.I first saw the ad a few days after Thanksgiving.  It was a short thirty-second thingy where they extolled on the glories of buying local.  The person in the spot went on with the usual line about how “buying local supports the local economy, whereas buying online puts money into the pocket of someone unattached to the area, and thus not likely to help with local concerns, such as providing jobs, taxes, or the like.”

Now, I mention this because of a number of things – namely, the fact that I’ve been trying desperately to locate a few items for school via “local businesses,” and the fact that it’s now Day Four of the USPS’s “Operation: Let’s Keep the Package Location a Secret,” as referenced yesterday.  The whole thing is frustrating and annoying because it’s so friggin’ senseless.  Let me put it this way: I never thought that I’d have to order chalk.

That’s right – chalk.

The combination of those two facts got me thinking last evening, to wit: Why is it so hard nowadays to find what you want locally?  Please spare me the “Walmart” response (that Big Business effectively forced Small Business out of the market), because that only explains things to a point.  In truth, I can walk into my local Walmart and experience the same phenomenon: I can’t find what I want being offered here.  It’s as if I have to order everything.  From shirts to shoes to certain types of food – I have to order it and wait.

I’m not an impatient person (really!), but I am not fixated on immediate gratification.  I don’t mind waiting in line – or for mail, as the case may be.  One can’t have everything that they desire when they want it.  But I don’t understand, in this day and age, why businesses limit themselves to a handful of stock items that often don’t sell, while the items that do sell have to be specially ordered.

I guess my point is that I don’t understand what local businesses are complaining about.  They don’t want to offer what people need, but they’re mad that they go elsewhere to acquire those same products?  I’m all about going local, but seriously – you guys have to meet me part way…


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