Dollar Store is Not For You

7 Jun
If more proof is needed that everything is stacked against the poor and under classes in this country consider:

 Dollar stores, the real kind where everything sells for ONE DOLLAR, not the others with Dollar on the sign but prices like Walmart, are never located within reach of lower class neighborhoods! That is a sorry fact in all the areas I’m familiar with.

Check around where you live and see if this is not so.  Remember, we’re talking about stores where every item is one dollar or less.
Why is this, do you suppose? Well, maybe it’s because the poor don’t have many dollars to spend? But, aha,  the middle classes still have a few so that’s where the stores are. The poor use food stamps at much higher priced outlets, so in effect the government is subsidizing Kroger and Walmart and over-priced neighborhood shops. That’s not the sort of economy shopping the poor desperately need.
The irony of this is apparent.  A system that in a real sense prevents the underprivileged from being in close proximity to possible remedy of their status is devastatingly cynical.
Unfortunately, far from being a wilful design this situation is simply the norm.  The investments go where the possibilities are greatest.
I live on the West Coast of Florida. Shopping in an actual ONE DOLLAR, dollar store near me, I recently purchased the following:
1. Electric Toothbrush. Battery operated. Equal to one I own which cost about twenty dollars.
2. Stainless Steel two blade pocket knife w/ corkscrew, nail file and bottle opener. Elsewhere:
    Seven to twelve dollars.
3. Two foot extension device for picking up objects remotely. Elsewhere: four to fifteen dollars.
I gleefully parted with a buck for each of those treasures.
All of these items originated in Asia. They were transported somehow to a port in British Columbia, Canada. Thence by some, unfathomable to me route, made their way to sunny Florida. In all these thousands of miles of freighted travel they gained not one cent in price! Still a buck.
Customers I’ve observed in these stores don’t appear to be shopping there as a last resort. All those I’ve seen appear to be folks who one would not be surprised to accost in any major shopping mall. The demographic of the store locations is heavily tilted to the middle part of the economic spectrum and away from the needy lower part. This results in mostly middle income patronage of these shops for the bargain prices.
I’m reminded of this quote by historian Brooks Adams:
 “All civilization is centralization. All centralization is economy. Under economical centralization, Asia is cheaper than Europe. The world tends toward economic centralization. Therefore Asia tends to survive and Europe to fail.”
and this too,
“Ultimately, that is why we were in Vietnam”
Gore Vidal
Again, the irony.  Even with Asia cranking out goods that could improve the lives of the poorest among us, our system works to keep them from the very assistance this affordable largesse could provide. If Brooks Adams were writing that quote today, America would likely be cited for tending towards failure along with Europe. The die is cast?

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