This I Believe

Entered on June 1, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

As a 18 year-old, I am beginning to gain the right to say “remember when” and feel old about reminiscing. My generation has seen the change from small independent businesses to corporations in its full extent. I remember when ice cream was sold at a local store, not 31 Flavors and groceries were bought from markets, not Wal-Mart and Costco. It seems that every town you visit you feel right at home because the stores are all the same. On top of it all, the stores are even designed in the same way, which makes every town practically identical.

Living in a community that is booming in population, obviously leads to more commercialization. I believe that the tone of United States and even my little city of Palm Desert has changed in a negative way because of franchising. First off, fewer products are produced in the United States because of corporations buying in bulk at a cheaper price from other countries, and of course the general public wants the cheapest product. Two problems arise from importing so many products: fewer jobs in the United States and small businesses being run out of town. Less jobs leads to promoting the cheaper product even more so because they cannot afford what small business’ offer. With small businesses disappearing, the uniqueness that created the United States, is lost forever. The identity of individual towns will become fossilized and the only way to differentiate is by sculptures and monuments. How could we ever go backwards by disassembling the franchise monopoly because prices will always be cheaper when corporations import.

I believe if we do not stop the monopoly of corporations now, towns will turn into cities, and urban areas will encompass the entire United States. My favorite site to see is driving in the middle of the wilderness and stopping by a cabin or wooden shop selling home-cooked meals that taste better than any seven-11 processed foods. This is rare sight to see as my now urban city of Palm Desert barely has any of these old fashioned restaurants, there are all chain brands.

We have lost the personalization of having neighborhood markets. Commercialization has truly fossilized and disintegrated the identity of so many small businesses. It’s like a disease spreading from one area to the next and the only immunization is people who take a stand and care about our generations to come. Sadly, the future generations will only read about our quaint community corner markets that we take for granted, in history books. If there lucky they could find a caring sole who remember when and reminisces about the many years previous and great uniqueness of quality not quantity.