I know I tend to come across all sunshine and light, but, I’ve got to confess, this week’s news that Jeff Bezos is about to become the world’s first trillionaire by capitalizing off a global pandemic inspired more than a few choice words from this granola goddess. The same day this news broke, we were also informed that workers at Amazon’s Canadian warehouses have been notified that the company is going to roll back their wages. That’s right, while the boss man hoards unprecedented sums, those workers who are literally risking their lives to fill our orders, are having their wages docked. And this, my friends, is the epitome of everything that is wrong in our world – untold greed fulfilled at the expense of others, unwittingly supported by consumers.
Also while Mr. B is pocketing his thousandth billion, more and more people everywhere all over this world are struggling just to get by. Some have homes, but can’t pay the bills. Some have no homes at all. Others cannot feed their families. Covid-19 took a lot of folk who were already living on the edge, and made their lives even more precarious. My point? How can one man own a trillion dollars when life is so painfully unaffordable for so very many? How can this be considered okay in any universe or belief system? Why has Mr. Bezos and his excessively wealthy ilk not been heavily taxed to cover the shortfalls of all governments who routinely declare a lack of funds for housing, healthcare, social services and education? And why, oh why, do we consumers hand over our hard earned cash to those who need it least?
Depressed yet? Seething at the injustice? The good news is that we, as individuals, and as a community can actually do something to fix this problem. What? Me? I’m just one person! Yes, you (and me). Remember, pretty much every massive change has started with one person (Rosa Parks, Greta Thunberg, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr…). When Rosa sat down at the front of the bus, she could not imagine that resting her weary feet would lead to nationwide actions to end segregation. When Greta sat in front of parliament with her now famous SKOLSTREJK FÖR KLIMATET sign, she hardly thought that millions of others would join her. You get the picture. We all have the power to create change.
The only reason Jeff Bezos is about to become a trillionaire is because we give him our money. Every time we shop at Amazon or Wholefoods (to name just a few of his income streams), we continue to line his bulging pockets. Today I am challenging each of you to boycott these mega businesses. See something you like on Amazon? Take a few minutes to find a local or independent business that offers the same item, then buy from them. Looking for some delicious health food item? Purchase it from either the manufacturer or a small independent store. And always, but, always, buy your books from independent bookstores! It is a small gesture, but a powerful one.
It is not news that we are living through some wildly precarious times. It is also a time of change and renewal. Covid-19 is giving us the opportunity to stop, take a breath, and decide what we want our world to look like when we come out the other side. We have a choice. We can create a future that celebrates community and diversity, or we can have a future that is corporate and oppressive (because, let’s face it, the billionaire bosses make their money by oppressing their workers). If you love your local small, independent businesses who readily contribute to their community, provide good employment, and offer a unique variety of products, you need to make a concerted effort to make sure they survive through this pandemic. That means diverting anything you would normally spend on Amazon to a local business.
These businesses listed are owned by members of our Victoria BC community. They are small businesses that depend on our purchases to pay their bills, to stay afloat. These are my friends. Please support them.
Food & Beverage:
I know I am probably missing many wonderful small businesses, so please let me know of any business that I should add to the list.
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- Tags: buy local, Conscious Consumers, Ethical Shopping, independent businesses, Local Business, Local Food, Small Business, Social Justice, support local