I hate shopping at Walmart, I really do. I will usually do anything that I can to avoid going to Walmart. I actually enjoy grocery shopping most of the time. My wife sent me grocery shopping the other night by myself and I treated it as a challenge. I did not buy something because the price was cheaper, I looked at the cost per ounce, or per pound, or per unit (you have to keep on eye on these things, they try to trick you). I bought a 20 pound bag of rice, something I never thought I would be proud of, but I am.
I believe in the free market, I believe that capitalism unfettered by regulation has the ability to regulate itself. So when people tell me that I need to shop at the local store because it supports local business the first question I usually have is “how much is this going to cost me?” When you ask me which comes first my ideals or my wallet, many times my wallet wins. Now as a Jesus follower I know that I should not make money an idol, but does that apply to where I buy my nacho chips?
So I was filling up my 1996 Camry the other day (I have been driving it for 13 years, 250,000 on it. May I drive it until my retirement) and as soon as I get in the car from filling up for $2.40 a gallon I am faced my radio tells me that I shouldn’t feel good about it. The oil industry is warning me that we can’t let the price of oil slip too far or it will effect their ability to produce oil. Auggghhhh!
So consumer self and social awareness self got into a very brief fight, and consumer self won. Since I am from Wyoming (an oil producing state) I know that my consumer self just put itself at odds with my native land. However I know that there are several hundred thousand people (not millions, may it never be) in the state of Wyoming that are very happy to be paying around $2.00 a gallon, oh the internal conflict they must feel.
I love small businesses, and I love my native land so of course I don’t want to see jobs lost and businesses closing down. I am trying to remember my college macro-economics course, but doesn’t unfettered capitalism allow for these things to correct themselves? I look forward to being corrected by those that read this blog. Meanwhile, here is some thoughts by Ron Swanson