Not street names in London, though there is a “Cheapside” in Londons’ financial district.

I just wanted to do an off the cuff reflection on how we use money, a representation of the work we have done, and the resources allowed to us for that work.

This poster is about hardwood floors. It is telling you the same thing that Wal-Mart tells you. You can save money, live outside your means, because you are smart and you have cut-out the middle man! This “discount” store that you are purchasing your new floors from can give you the much lower price than the competitors, because they do not have to pay all those costly Canadian salaries: Instead, they can pay some children pennies in 3rd world countries and have the finished product shipped to your door. The same is true for on-line purchases, except in this case, you the smart consumer have even eliminated the store in your town. Now the company that is bringing you all the luxury you deserve does not even have to locate in your community or contribute to your tax base or labour force. It can just employ other people in other countries and deliever you the DEALS!

I feel like the problem isn’t that hard to understand. IF you have a job, YOU are the Middleman! By cutting out the middleman, you are cutting yourself out of a salary. By purchasing on-line, you are cutting all kinds of job-hours from all over your community. Those job-hours could have been an electrician installing new lights, or book-keeper, or a clerk at the local bank branch. By purchasing from anywhere with a self-checkout, you are destroying the very jobs your teenagers and students may otherwise have had. You are not only depraving them of the ability to fund their own college education, you are also encouraging a life-style of living on credit from before they can drink or drive; also known as our most impressionable years. Entitlement amongst many teenagers seems a mystery–but is it that complicated? If they need a parent to drive them everywhere, as they cannot get their on their own, and they need a parent to pay for everything, because they cannot earn money on their own; are they not learning then that the world does everything for them without having to contribute back? Perhaps if there were more labour jobs for these youth to participate in adult or “real” society, we might breed an understanding amongst our communities children that you cannot get something for nothing.

Concurrently, a dollar spent inside the community becomes another dollar spent inside in the community. When I pay an self-employed plumber to come into my home and fix my toilet, he goes out on a date with his siginificant other and spends that dollar on dinner at a local restaurant. The server who recieves the payment has a job as he/she has a customer. That server now has a tip which he/she can spend on rent, which becomes a local landlords income. Eventually all dollars in a small city like Kamloops will leave, as tax, as credit interest or on vacation; but why throw it away when a slightly more expensive local alternative might exist.

After all, when you spend that dollar at a multi-national, or online, and cut out the middle man, you are cutting out your own job, or those who pay you for yours. This is not complicated economics. Middlemen are not evil, you likely are one-in one way or another.

My last thought on the subject: If I build an apartment building, I would fund the $10 million dollars through a bank. I would then sell the units, to persons with mortgages, whose mortgages on the property would now be double the initial construction price of the building. The whole way through, the bank collects interest, and the whole way through, no one actually has any money.