Al's Views, Personal Thoughts


COME, LET US ELIMINATE
THE MIDDLEMAN
[MIDDLE CLASS]

September 08, 2002

Greetings fellow travelers;

Have you ever considered what it is that actually keeps our economy up and running and people out of the poor house, working and making money? While I am positively certain that there is a long list of detailed, complex reasons that economists can give, I believe that common sense will suffice.

First, it is certain that the most basic reason why our system works is NEED.

As long as everyone needs something they do not have, they will continue to turn to others to buy it. Need a new car because your old one stopped running? You will certainly walk on down to your local car dealership and buy it. Need a new refrigerator because your present one is acting more like an oven? It's almost certain that the family will be visiting fast food haunts until you take the time to jaunt on down to your local appliance store to buy a new one. Or, maybe, instead of buying a new one, you might opt to have a local repairman stroll on over to check the old one out.

Second, a good majority of us must participate in the purchase of new, MADE-IN-AMERICA stuff (as close to home as possible) in order for our own dollars to sustain our own jobs. It is absolutely certain that the farther from home we go to buy new stuff, the less chance there is for any of that money to return to our own community so others can buy new stuff from our employers--whether it be hard goods or services.

For example, if everyone in your community purchased cars from dealers two states away via the Internet, do you have any idea what would happen to those dealerships in your own backyard? Well, they won't be there in due time. Okay! So what does that have to do with you? To bad for them, right? Well, most of us realize that what it would mean is that those few hundred employees will no longer be working at that dealership. Older Americans who had a decent job will likely have to settle for one that pays less, which means they will have less to spend in your own community. If you are an accountant, this might mean the loss of a large client or two. If you are the local grocer, it will mean the purchase of less and less food--or, perhaps, it will mean that your former buyers will be faced with going to cut-rate, low-cost grocery stores.

What this is leading to is a brief recitation of a visit I made to a local buying co-op where all your purchases, if you choose to belong, will be made with manufacturers and no middlemen. According to the salesman who managed our group, you can save 60% or more by doing so.

At the end of the session they broke us up into small groups consisting of husband and wives and individuals. This was certainly meant to avoid group decisions that might go against their chance of closing multiple sales. When the nice director of this relatively new midwest business asked me if I intended to join the co-op, I found myself saying, "No!" "Why?" he asked.

"I'm sure you realize that if everyone in a community were to join your co-op, NO ONE WOULD EVENTUALLY HAVE A JOB."

He said he understood, but no everyone they approach will join them, so such a state of affairs won't happen. According to him, their firm can expect a closing rate of approximately 20%, or one out of every five who they run through the sales program.

I'll tell you what I think, which I did not share with him. What this means is that 20% of my community's citizenry will choose not to contribute to their own community. This means that 20% of my fellow travelers will rely on the other 80% of us to sustain this community. What it really translates to is GREED--not smart buying habits.

In closing, allow me to ask you this one, single question. Please ponder it a bit and answer it if you can--or if you dare. As you may or may not know, there are only so many dollars in circulation at any one time. The FED prints only so much at any one time. With so much of our hard-earned money going out of this country by way of incoming imported goods--goods manufactured by the hands of foreigners, not Americans, doesn't that mean less and less money for ALL OF US IN THE U.S.A. to operate on? What do you think has to happen in a situation like this? What are the signs to look for in your own community?

Allow me to show you some of the signs I have witnessed in my own community. Tell me if any of this looks familiar to you...

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The pictures above, as well as the following, were taken in one relatively small end of town within an hour and a half on a Saturday afternoon. Although the quality of the pictures leaves a lot to be desired, I'm sure you get the idea. I ask you, do you see the same thing happening in your own town, village, or city?
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Allan B. Colombo

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