As more and more of the major newscasts talk about increases in "online shopping," we need to look into the future to see what impacts that may have on our communities.
Many of these transactions are with computer-based companies that hold no inventory, pay very little taxes and may be located anywhere in the world. None of the profits from these types of transactions will ever benefit you or your community.
We'll never find a way to develop and maintain the high level of infrastructure that we all seem to think is our right.
It's great to find that 'deal' but eventually, if we take enough money out of the local economy, we will be paying it back at tax time to just keep the wheels turning.
I think computers are an excellent way to see what kind of products are out there, but I would encourage people to keep their money in the community and shop locally.
If you can't find a product locally, ask merchants if they can bring it in for you. Very often you will find out that these products have been tried and rejected because they are not good value or do not perform as advertised.
There is a certain joy in walking through the stores at this time of year. I think a person who deserves a present this year also deserves more than the pausing of your game of Angry Birds to click on a trinket for them.
Get out there and shop locally, it's one of life's adventures.
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