“Who gets the risks? The risks are given to the consumer, the unsuspecting consumer and the poor work force. And who gets the benefits? The benefits are only for the corporations, for the money makers.” ~Cesar Chavez, American Activist
Today I had to willingly enter “the evil empire," also known as “the house that Sam Walton built” or Wal-Mart for those of you who were not following along. I absolutely abhor that place but in the economy of today I have reached the point where, as a single mother, I can no longer afford to shop at the local grocery. I may hate Wal-Mart but they will take over the world one day with their discount prices. Still, food prices have risen substantially over the last month and the sticker shock that I experienced at the check-out was the icing on my cranky consumer cake.
It began with having to enter the store on a Saturday to begin with. A reminder: I live in Redneck Hell, USA. On Saturday all the folks from the country pile their fifteen children into their old beat up pick up trucks and come to the “city” to shop for the week at Wal-Mart and there I was in the midst of them. Dang it. With too many people to dodge in the aisles and inflated prices my mood was bound to get worse.
Riddle me this: When Saturday is the largest shopping day of the week in this region why would you only have 4 of 16 check-out lanes open … two of those express lanes. Yeah – there’s logic for you. And, of course, I got in line behind the one old bat purchasing way too much cat food among her myriad of purchases. Not only that – she wrote a check. A check! Who writes checks anymore? Did she have the attendant use the handy-dandy check printer? No. She stood their and slowly … oh so slowly filled out her stupid little check. Guess what though – that wasn’t it. Oh no. Not at all. She had to read over her receipt and go through all her bags before she left the lane – itemizing everything line by line. Cranky. I was cranky and, based on the final amount of my own receipt, I am likely to be a pretty cranky consumer for quite some time.