Friday, August 4, 2006

The dying squawk of the Thunderbird

[If you haven't heard that the Thunderbird Coffee House is closing, read about it here.]

Its sad, whats happening to Jon Hart and his Thunderbird Coffee House. Unfortunately, I think its a sign of the times.

In an age where less than half of Americans vote in a national election, people seem to prefer voting with their dollars. They vote for giant Ultra-Marts and Starbucks, chain stores you can find in increasingly every town in
America. How can local businesses compete?

What bothers me is that a smart, resourceful business owner like Hart a man who cares about Jackson and provides a venue for the youth of the city to get together and have fun is forced to close his doors. While the Citizen Patriot's story was short on details, I get the impression that business owners who try to survive downtown are having a rough time of it, especially considering all the recent closings. And that just shouldnt be.

So I guess Ill vote with my money, too.

For instance, you wont catch me in a Starbucks. They dont need my money, not when local businesses are hurting. It's a philosophy of mine to support the locals first, and worry about price, convenience, etc. second. On my Route trip, it was a great pleasure to actually see America, not visit the franchise version.

But Im afraid someday Ill have no choice a time when the whole country is shopping at Wal-Mart, drinking coffee from Starbucks, and eating dinner under the Golden Arches. We may become like Soviet Russia, where citizens had few choices when shopping for their needs.

Welcome to the U.S.S.A.

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