What values are shaping your holiday choices this year?

 Gifts for the holidays
T
his week we’re talking about value priorities in tough economic times and how they influence decisions about what, where and for whom to buy gifts. Your comments illuminate how complex these value-laden decisions are.
    Stephanie reminds us that “shopping local” means different things to different people in different locations: “When the question of supporting local businesses comes up, I always wonder what local businesses are being referred to. Are the overpriced downtown shops considered local businesses? Or, maybe it is the local drycleaner, shoe repair, nail salon, fast food restaurant and gas station.”
    Moreover, many people don’t have the option to decide where to shop. Some must shop where they live, like it or not. As Stephanie says: “In Detroit, we have to support one another economically, emotionally and physically. Many poor and lower-middle class people cannot afford to travel to mega malls in suburbs to purchase clothing and food. Many of us have no choice other than to shop at the corner store with peeling paint and cracked floors, checking expiration dates, smelling meat and produce for freshness, thankful that we have the money to feed our family one more day.”
    Our discussion of the tragic trampling death of a Wal-Mart employee led to various reactions:
    Eoghan writes: “Yes, the stampede and crushing of a human was caused by false scarcity created by the vendor. However, it is the PEOPLE that crushed that poor person that are to blame.”
    Ms Aquino-Hughes agrees with Eoghan, adding: “This is the ugly American that the World loves to hate. The sale price of a TV or Computer has more value than a human life.”
    Here’s more. Reportedly, two people were shot and killed inside a retail store in California on Black Friday. Speculation was the shooting was due to a dispute over merchandise.
    We can chalk these incidents up to consumerism run rampant, but I still wonder why it’s happening now. I think the economic collapse has put people in a desperate situation. It’s more than consumerism – or less. Maybe it’s just about survival. Some people, for example, buy goods at door buster prices so that they can resell them later, eking out a living from day to day.

    What do you think?
    How are you making decisions in these difficult economic times?
    What values shape your decisions?

    Voice your views!
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