A Trip to the Chocolate Factory

You may have noticed I missed a couple of weeks posting to my blog. We have had visitors for the last two weeks and I have neglected the blog.

My daughter was up from Toronto York University visiting and we went to visit the Hershey Chocolate Shoppe in Smiths Falls. The factory shoppe is a chocolate lovers dream come true and the prices are better than retail and they throw in a free chocolate bar or two with every purchase.

However, the Hershey Chocolate Factory is closing while Hershey is opening a new plant in Mexico.

This is just another example of how the capitalist market works. But sometimes we forget that it works that way because we let it and we let it because we have lost our sense of community. We would rather buy cheaper chocolates than provide jobs for our neighbours. Not all of our money goes to low wages, of course. Besides high profits, much of it is paid to high paid advertising gurus to convince us to buy products in the first place.

Communities across North America complain about the impact Wal-Mart will have on their local businesses . If local people care about their local businesses all they have to do is continue to shop at them. So why do we not do that. Why do we all flock to the huge Wal-Mart instead. Why do we watch local clothing and shoe factories close while we buy cheap goods from abroad. Are we that greedy. Do we just not care.

Much more than money and jobs is at stake here. If we rebuilt our sense of community I have no doubt that the results would astound us, mental health problems would decline, crime rates and vandalism would decline, quality of life would improve and everyone would be happier and feel more secure.

We can start by saying “hi” to our neighbours next time we walk down the street. If indeed we do walk down the street and not drive to the corner store, if we have one. But that is another whole column.

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