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#Letter2thaEditor: Our "Super-Sized" World by Elvis Rogers

Our "Super-Sized" World by Elvis Rogers

Wal-Mart has been in the news a lot lately both on the local and national levels. That's nothing new. They are always in the news somewhere at any given time. A lot of people don't realize the size and scope of the brand. "Wally World" employs (full-time) more than 7 times the population of Iceland. If Wal-Mart were a country their economy would be the 23rd largest in the world (bigger than Sweden). All the Wal-Mart parking lots combined would cover a space the size of Tampa Florida and they are the subject of a law suit every 2 hours on average. Oh, one more thing......1/3 of the U.S. population visits there each week. Why do we allow such a large, powerful force in our midst? That's simple, it's because we created it, we asked for it, we craved it. Gen. Patton said it best in Feb. 1944. "Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser". We love the fastest runner, the best athlete, the toughest boxer and we love the biggest most mega-sized, super-duper things we can lay claim to. Our desires as consumers are no exception. That's why our burgers just keep getting bigger, our trucks get longer, and we pull off the interstate to see "The World's Biggest Ball Of Twine". Anything that has the tag "first" or "most" or "all-time" draws our attention and admiration. We even acknowledge and remember people for doing bad things as long as it's the "worst ever". So I said all that to get to this: Sometimes as we travel through life we start to back-pedal a bit. We start thinking about the good ole' days and how wonderful those times were. Those were the times when you had to go to a separate place for each of the things you needed to buy. The local grocer was so cheerful and friendly. The man at the hardware store was so helpful and knowledgeable and the guy at the garage was honest and worried about your safety. Things were different then. Everybody was happy. We all just got along. So, why can't everything just go back to being mom and pop again? That too is very simple. It's because we don't really want it to be that way again. In the back of our minds we know that it wasn't reality, it was an "Ozzie and Harriet" episode. We all have what is known as flashbulb memory. These are memories that sometimes flash across our minds much like flash photos and we reshape these memories to fit our present narrative. This happens especially if the memory is sufficiently charged with emotion and meaning to make it seem like a reality. In short, we retreat in our minds to a safe place. I hear people say disparaging thing about the mega-stores and express a desire for everyone to shop local, shop with "mom and pop" but that attitude usually begins and ends with general merchandise stores. The same attitude usually does not extend to where they make their major purchases such as their home mortgage company, their auto purchase, their vacation choices. No, we make the major purchases with the "Wally World" versions of their particular industry. You can draw a bigger crowd to a circus than to a zoo so we can't pretend we're just going to see the animals Some day patterns and wants will change but it will happen slowly and through the dynamics of the free market at work. Some day we may want something different but until that day arrives just "super-size" me!

What’s your thoughts?


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