Recirculating vs. Extractive

As I walked into my local mall this morning, I found myself wondering where the money goes.

In my local village, if I spend money at the local pub, or the butchers, or the shop, I have a reasonable idea where the money goes. I know the people. I get to hear how they’re doing. They are part of my world. I have a sense of the rhythm. It’s a recirculating economy.

In the mall, it’s different. Major names run from a head office somewhere, with local shops run by managers, not owners. Profits go to places I don’t know, to people I don’t know, and to shareholders in the most tax efficient way. I have no sense of belonging. it’s an extractive economy.

With things being tough in retail. I find myself making much more conscious choices. At one end, local and those such as I mentioned yesterday – people who I feel connected to. At the other, things I can’t get locally or from people I feel connected to, and easy to get, efficiently from Amazon.

I find little attraction in going to shops when there’s no local content – I’d rather avoid the discomfort of the facemask, the sense of low level threat, and the expensive parking.

I’m noticing my balance of spending changing – more local and known, spending more buying less of better; less commodity, but bought for convenience and reduction of travel and hassle.

When times are challenging, I want to have a sense of the contribution I’m making to those around me, and where my money goes.

Community matters.

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