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Sunday in the Park - Small Town Shopping

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Small Town Shopping

(A discussion of a solution to the horrible small town shopping faced everywhere across the US)

Living in a small town can be amazing. Everybody knows everybody and there is a sense of family throughout the whole community. As Phil Soreide says, "Life in a small town in more on a human scale." People tend to be born here and live here all of their lives. They are great places to live and raise a family, with little crime or even influence from the outside world. Especially now, they are relatively cheap when it comes to housing as compared to bigger cities. (Weston) Those people that live in these places wouldn't trade it for the world. However, with this there come some disadvantages too. There are fewer jobs and opportunities and for some, it is impossible to live here for that very reason. There are few places of entertainment and the people living here have to rely on themselves for fun. Then comes the most glaring and obvious setback, shopping. There are shops and stores, however most are small and have a monopoly over the product they are supplying. They set prices where they want and generally don't have what the consumer is looking for. To get what people absolutely want, they have to go to a bigger city, sometimes as much as 2 ½ hours away. Whenever a bigger store tries to move in, the little shop owners go crazy and expel it. This is bad for the community who relies on products that the bigger stores have and the little stores don't. Joseph Mankiewicz said it best when he said, "The name of the town isn't important. Its only that its 28 minutes from the big city. Twenty three if you catch the morning express. Its on a river and its got houses and stores and churches. And a main street. Nothing fancy like Broadway or Market, just plain Broadway. Drug, dry goods, shoes. Those horrible little chain stores that breed like rabbits". So, what is the solution to all of this? It is simple, threaten the shop owners. These owners aren't evil or maniacal, but they simply don't get it. A clothing store should carry the most popular brands, but most in small towns don't. They carry what they decide, not what the public wants. A grocery store should have all the food one can get in big towns, but instead they have what the owner decides. The movie theater should have the newest movies, yet they have what the owner decides. We are currently at the mercy of the small group of stores owners in each community. Therefore, the simple solution is that each town proposes an ultimatum to the store owners, either they supply what the public wants or the public will allow the bigger stores to come in to their communities.

To people in a small town, shopping is a very important thing. It isn't taken for granted here like it is in places such as New York and L.A. People in small town USA need the products to survive that simply aren't offered in small stores in small towns. So what are we to do? The answer is simple, yet it really hasn't been done before. The answer is to present an ultimatum to the small town store owners; either start selling the products that the public wants or be forced out by the big business of Wal-Mart and others like it. This may seem harsh, but what else are we



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