I don't pretend to be a sage on this topic, but I already see many downfalls of relying on big business. The major pitfall I see is that the economy lacks diversification. I have always believed that the lifeblood of a town's economy is in its small business. Being a small business means you can react to market conditions a lot faster than say a Nordstroms or Target. If something happens to go real far south for Target, approximately 50,000 people here in Minneapolis will be affected to a certain degree. Some might lose their homes our local welfare system might collapse under the burden of mega layoffs. This in fact affects mortgage companies, banks, which affects the, well, I could go on and on. It spirals downward rather rapidly and all of a sudden you find that your town has no money for fixing the roads and letting the sewer system go without maintanence for just a few days longer.
BUT, there is hope for us all, and it's called resilience. Even with all that's seemingly going on around us, I believe that our situation is not as bleak as it seems. First of all, I'm happy to be alive (that's a whole different story) but also, there seems to be a very optimistic attitude that the economy will rebound and be even stronger sometime in the middle of 2002. This means we all just have to be a little more fiscally conservative than what we're used to. For many, it means eating out one or two fewer times a week, keeping our old jalopy another year, or even unsubscribing to a couple of magazines.
Back to the original point about restaurants cutting down on payroll, like I said before, it was difficult for me to understand how a restaurant could be losing money while the owner drove away in a $50,000 car. I understand now, but I don't UNDERSTAND, and when I say that, I mean that I understand from a pure rational point of view, but not from a ethical or moral point of view. If you do it for the money, then it might be more acceptable for you to have your hours cut. In this case you view yourself as a tiny one person business who is trading services for dollars. But for most line workers in the restaurant industry who have a viable skill which is, IMO, worth a LOT more, it's not a matter of doing it for the money. I think all of us will attest to that.
I'm with you about the need for our high standard of living. Nobody needs any of these things, but the way I see it, it's all about a person's choice. The infrastructure here in America allows us to choose our standard of living, and those who choose to make that solo drive downtown during rush hour give up something which others may cherish. But this, I think, is a result of societal and familial values. We cannot fault him for wanting his privacy, after all, how many family style restaurants do you see out there? I'll order a steak and you'll order chicken and that's it.
Anyway I've wasted enough bandwidth. But I have one last thing to say about the environment. This is one of the words which has been battered and bruised due to the political nature of the beast. Although I'm one of those who enjoys the outdoors, I find it very difficult to get behind any push for so called "environmentalist" agenda. This is because I believe that these are seldom free of self interests and ties to various special interest groups who veil themselves as non-profit organizations but are really just extensions of the corporate umbrella itself.
I've probably made my stance on this topic a little fuzzier. It's probably time to stop now before I become someone I hate.
[ October 06, 2001: Message edited by: kuan ]