The big box stores are really jarring to me. A cacophony of nonsense will be propagated in the coming months that the new big box store in Palmer Alaska is a good thing.
Defying the simple concept of cash flow, there are people who will try to convince us that throwing even more money at "Fred Meyer" will help us somehow. They ignore that "Fred Meyer" is here to profit, to take money from the community.
The real Fred Meyer died years ago, by the way. His name is now the name of a corporation, so let's not forget that.
Before we go on, let me be clear. I am not completely against Fred Meyer, or other box stores. I am against some of their business practices.
More specifically, I am against their lack of doing business locally.
They certainly rake in the dough at Freddie's. My question is this: Why aren't they selling more local products?
Seriously, these big boxes take a lot from our community. They should be obligated to redirect their expenditures to local companies. Instead, they artificially affect the local economy, buying slave-made products for pennies on the dollar, and undermining local people from providing for themselves.
This disparity games the free market.
Opponents to this will certainly fall back on circular logic. They will say that the local industry doesn't produce those products. But local business people have to follow human rights laws that don't exist in the third world. They have to function in the US economy, under US and Alaska law. It's a fallacious argument. Shallow and dismissive.
Our local economy should benefit from the spending of Fred Meyer and other big box stores. It should be a reciprocal relationship, and it's not.
And it's not, because if it were, then Fred Meyer would have to compete in a truly free market, alongside our neighbors who have dared to live the American Dream. But Fred Meyer is able to sell it's wares in our town, and use that profit elsewhere in the world to leverage local industry out of the equation.
It's a bad deal, folks.
What can we do about it?
Some might say we should not shop there. That's not the solution. In fact, the solution is just the opposite. Shop there. Ask for local products. Ask for them by name. Ask to speak to the manager, go to the grand opening and bring it up to the people who work there. Talk to them about how Fred Meyer might be able to reinvest their expenditures with our community by purchasing local products from local companies.
This will drive the price of those local products down, and build up the industry our State so desperately needs. This will invigorate our economy. Locally-owned retailers would benefit.
The cash will flow. The currency will circulate, and recirculate.
"Fred Meyer" is asking for our business. Is it too much for us to ask the same?