Canada & many other countries need far fewer stores

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NorthReport
Canada & many other countries need far fewer stores

Work, work, work. Spend, spend, spend.

That is what it is all about for most people. As soon as one item is paid for then let's buy something else. Savings, what's that?

Do we really need 25 different sizes of TVs? Or 15 kinds of milk? 

We live in a throw away society like never before. 

How many young people even know how to sew on a button, let alone darn a sock. When was the last time any of us darned socks? Got a hole in it, Just throw it away & buy another pair. 

If we are ever going to get serious about global warming we will have to close at least 50%, maybe 75% of the stores we presently have in our society. We have way, way too much junk.

But who would dream of taking that issue on? 

Tommy_Paine

 

We do our grocery shopping at the Stuperstore at Oxford and Gammage here in London.   There is too much choice, and it has an immediate cost.  It costs us time moving around the store; it requires too much decision making, and it makes smart shopping as difficult as possible. 

I'm sure it's a marketing thing. 

But when I suggest to people that there's such a thing as too much choice they get the same look on their face that people get when they look at an E.C. Escher sketch.

 

nussy

Great ideal. Put millions out of work. Spent spend spend equals tax tax tax to pave roads and pay for healthcare. While we are at it turn off our computers so we can lesson our carbon footprint. 

Fotheringay-Phipps

Too much choice? Haha. Hahaha. Hahahahahahaha. Our local Superstore has one insipid brand of marmalade and one that isn't too bad. They sell tea only from the very biggest suppliers. They recently delisted the excellent King Cole packaged by Barbour's in Saint John. And you can't find any brand of puffed wheat. I would say the variety of mass-produced foods available reached a peak somewhere about 1980 and has been in decline ever since as consolidation and takeovers have reduced the number of players in the market. Retailing generally is pretty dire. Downtown Toronto increasingly resembles a large outdoor mall with chain stores and their uninspired offerings squeezing out the funky independents who used to offer real choice. My favourite example of this degeneration is sheet music stores. You used to be able to buy a fairly wide selection of printed music at Ann Foster in Hamilton and Hysen in London. Not any more. They've closed their doors and left both cities underserved. In Toronto, the usually excellent Dave Snider limps along with a greatly reduced stock in their little shop. Only Kitchener still thrives, served by Opus II and Music Plus, and even here I see less on the shelves.

Riddle me this: if we're faced by such a bewilderment of choices, why can't I find a tweed suit anywhere? My God, it's like Leningrad in 1961!

remind remind's picture

How many men, let alone young boys, knew/know how to sew buttons on, let alone darn socks? 1% or 2%, or less like .05??

What a sexist freakin commentary about environmental issues and over consumption ...

 

Having said that, I darned about 20 pairs of socks just a few months back, but not your average get 10 pairs for 5 bucks type of socks...what a waste of time and energy when they can be used as polishing/wiping rags.

Sven Sven's picture

Tommy_Paine wrote:

There is too much choice...

In terms of groceries...or generally?

Webgear

NorthReport wrote:

How many young people even know how to sew on a button, let alone darn a sock. When was the last time any of us darned socks? Got a hole in it, Just throw it away & buy another pair. 

 

I think very few young people can sew or mend personal clothing in today's society, I doubt many could survive days or weeks alone out in the wilderness.

NorthReport

I agree with you Webgear. What a super dependent society we have created. Few can do anything except check out the porn on their computers. Pathetic. 

 

But we really do have as T_P has suggested too much choice. Does everyone need their own personalized car because it's heading in that direction. Maybe we need to start rationing things like cars. Allow people to have their own personal vehicle for 20 years during their lifetime - they get to choose which 20 years so there is still an element of choice involved. Tongue out

Sven Sven's picture

NorthReport wrote:

Do we really need 25 different sizes of TVs? Or 15 kinds of milk?

Do we "need" that kind of choice?

Of course not.

But, who sets the limits...and on what?

There are probably thousands of different wines.  I suppose we could do with two (one red and one white -- or, perhaps that's too much choice?).

Cheeses?  I suppose the varieties are virtually innumerable.  Let's limit the number to, say, three.

Have you walked through several clothing stores lately?  There are probably more styles and varieties of clothing than any other type of product.  I suppose we could limit clothing drastically to a handful of state-approved styles.  My grandpa used to buy one new suit every year -- he'd wear the new suit to church on Sundays and his new suit from the prior year was what he would then wear to school every day.  If it was good enough for grandpa...

Shoes?  All a person really needs is one good pair of sturdy and comfy boots.  The rest is largely superfluous...and wasteful.

Restaurants?  Well, according to the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservice Association, there are 37,874 full-service restaurants -- not to mention 33,175 "limited service" (fast food) restaurants.  You could start with closing all of the fast food joints -- but, then, of the full-service restaurants, there would still be several thousand unique choices.  Cut that down to five.

Furniture?  Well, there must be, just in bedroom sets, at least a thousand different options.  Let's cut that down to, say, three.

Video games?  Shit, let's just get rid of those entirely -- no one actually "needs" any of those.

Lighting?  The choice of lighting options is mind boggling.  Cut the numer to three: one type of celling light, one type of floor lamp, and one type of desk or table lamp.

Watches?  One will do.

Jewelry?  Who needs any jewelry?

Toys?  Play with a ball, kid.

The list of things we could "cut down to size" is endless...so we better get crackin'!!!

Sven Sven's picture

NorthReport wrote:

The answer to who gbts to sets the limits is pretty simple. The climate control scientists should be setting the limits of course. 

Great.  Then every outfit will have a mandatory pocket protector.

NorthReport

The answer to who gets to sets the limits is pretty simple. The climate control scientists should be setting the limits of course, or do you just want to keep on giving future generations the finger. That approach sounds pretty selfish to me, sort of like most of the political leaders who recently attended Copenhagen.

Sven Sven's picture

Oh, and how many friggin' t-shirt designs are there out there?  Conservatively, there must be at least 15,000 different designs.

What's wrong with just wearing a plain white t-shirt?

remind remind's picture

again.... very few "young people" could ever sew or mend personal clothing, it was primarily women and girls who could...

This line of commentary is charging, or attempting to, some failure to society upon women/girls....it seems!

 

Moreover, most adults today could not survive in the wilderness either, let alone youth, so commentary in this vein, is ageist, as well as sexist.

And really so what if they can't?

 

it is no measure of superiority, ethics, morals, or even humanity if they could....or could not.

 

Sven Sven's picture

Bookstores?  There must be 3,000 bookstores in Canada...at least.  Do you know how much energy is wasted heating all of those facilities?  You could probably heat 100,000 apartments with all of the energy burned up just heating bookstores.  Get rid of them all and purchase your books online. 

NorthReport

Webgear can correct me if I'm wrong but people in the military learn how to sew on buttons, shine their shoes, make their beds, some outdoor survival skills, etc. And so they should as should everyone else in society. 

Sven Sven's picture

NorthReport wrote:

...darn a sock...

Speaking of socks...there must be -- at least -- 5,000 varieties of socks...

One good pair of black socks should do the trick for everyone, darn it!

Sven Sven's picture

NorthReport wrote:

...sew on buttons

I'm about the least handy person around...and I can sew on a button.  It's about as difficult as "making" a bowl of cold cereal...

Sven Sven's picture

As this [url=1990">http://www.nytimes.com/1990/12/31/world/soviet-consumer-vigilantes-ferre... article shows[/url], here were some folks who were lucky enough to avoid suffering from "too much choice"...

God, those were the days, no?

Webgear

 

I can sew and mend just about anything. I can also sew either by hand or machine.

Last Christmas I made my wife and kids little change purses made out of leather.

My children (both the girls and boys) will learn how to sew and survive by themselves.

In my view we taught to be dependent on the government for everything.

This is wrong in my opinion, we are taught not to be free or self sustaining in order to be government and corporate slaves.  

Canada has lost its rural connection, at a terrible cost in my view.

 

There was nothing sexist or ageist about my comments.

remind remind's picture

what are outdoor survival skills going to do for people who live and will always live in large cities?

 

They would do better to learn hand to hand combat!

 

Because should there be a catastophe,  they will be dead long before they get to the "wildness" to use their survival skills.

 

 

Webgear

NorthReport wrote:

Webgear can correct me if I'm wrong but people in the military learn how to sew on buttons, shine their shoes, make their beds, some outdoor survival skills, etc. And so they should as should everyone else in society. 

 

The new army can barely shine their boots let alone sew in my most recent experiences.

Outdoor skills are a rarity; most of these kids are glued to their cell phones, I Pods and laptops.

remind remind's picture

Oh yes rural living was oh so fun for women........

 

contrary to what you think webgear, the majority of men on farms and in other rural settings did not know how to sew or darn.

 

get a real picture of what rural living was like, as opposed to  fantasy....

Sven Sven's picture

Webgear wrote:

Outdoor skills are a rarity; most of these kids are glued to their cell phones, I Pods and laptops.

Individual autonomy is largely gone.

Webgear

remind wrote:

what are outdoor survival skills going to do for people who live and will always live in large cities?

They would do better to learn hand to hand combat!

 Because should there be a catastophe,  they will be dead long before they get to the "wildness" to use their survival skills.

 

Outdoor skills would teach them not to panic when the next major ice storm or major black out occur. Look at the recent outrage when the blackouts hit Ontario, it is always rural Canadians that have to save the urban folks.

I believe pistol shooting should occur before hand to hand combat due to the number of innocent people being nearly killed in the GTA and lower BC.

Personally I can not wait for the catastrophe to occur.

 

remind remind's picture

Quote:
Personally I can not wait for the catastrophe to occur.

Actually, I agree with this, though I do not suppose we will win friends and influence enemies by saying so....

NorthReport

Give us a break.

Imagine if we went back to having only one pair of running shoes or sneakers as some prefer to call them. I'm sure the psyche wards would be full of patients tramatized by their lack of choice. Tongue out

Anyway you are losing track of the big picture. We have to reduce not increase our consumption. 

Sven wrote:

As this [url=1990">http://www.nytimes.com/1990/12/31/world/soviet-consumer-vigilantes-ferre... article shows[/url], here were some folks who were lucky enough to avoid suffering from "too much choice"...

God, those were the days, no?

Sven Sven's picture

NorthReport wrote:

Give us a break.

Imagine if we went back to having only one pair of running shoes or sneakers as some prefer to call them. I'm sure the psyche wards would be full of patients tramatized by their lack of choice. Tongue out

Why stop with sneakers?  I have a relatively long list of things that could be "cut down to size"...and that's really just scratching the surface.

But, my biggest question is this: Who would decide the few items that would be available in any particular product category???

Webgear

 

I would like to state that I am referring to my ancestors in regards to sewing.

Sven Sven's picture

Webgear wrote:

Personally I can not wait for the catastrophe to occur.

Yep.  Seeing millions suffer (particularly those in the cities) would be cool.

[IMG]http://i34.tinypic.com/11raq06.gif[/IMG]

remind remind's picture

okay,...

thanks for narrowing your wording webgear, and remember you are only giving/seeing a male account/perception.

Slumberjack

remind wrote:
Oh yes rural living was oh so fun for women contrary to what you think webgear, the majority of men on farms and in other rural settings did not know how to sew or darn.get a real picture of what rural living was like, as opposed to  fantasy....

The thread is vaguely about consumerism and its effects on the environment.  It is even less so about women consigned to farm chores, or darning socks.  Must every topic, thread and forum become a space to ride through on your hobby horse.

Slumberjack

More choice offers the potential of lower prices on any given item.  In terms of food insecurity and the purchase of basic necessities in the capitalist market system, less choice on the shelves often equates to more difficult choices for lower income earners, as in skimping on the purchase of food for the month to pay the rent.  It would mean less generic choices in favour of higher priced brand name items.

Sven Sven's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

More choice offers the potential of lower prices on any given item.

Not more choice, per se.  Lower prices come from competiting providers of similar products...more choice is simply a by-product of that competition.

remind remind's picture

yep, slumberjack, given the male dominance around here, and given the overwhelming male viewpoints occuring, I do not think it too much to state at least 1 woman's opinion in a thread, eh!

 

but apparently even 1 woman's comments are too much for some.. and they have to try and silence that as well, or at the very least try to marginalizne it by the use of "hobby horse".

As well as wrongly, and I word that much more nicely than I should have, infer that I am in  every thread and topic,  stating the same thing over and over, which is just another marginalization/silencing ploy by male supremists, who think they are "clever".

 

When somone starts talking darning socks and sewing, they are talking about things women were consigned to do historically for  a couple thousand years, as if that was all we could do, and now to have it thrown up, that it is a failing that "people" are not doing it, and thus the environment is  doomed because of this "failure" is utter sexist tripe.

 

Just another ploy to obliquely slam women, that men are so used to doing..and apparently think nothing  of doing

 

Amazing really, but thank you for  giving a great example about how male dominated babble is these days, where men cannot even handle 1 woman's voice in a thread,  stating truths about women, without attacking the woman for stating it!!

 

Slumberjack

remind wrote:
Amazing really, but thank you for  giving a great example about how male dominated babble is these days, where men cannot even handle 1 woman's voice in a thread, without attacking it!! 

You're doing the attacking when there's no need for it.  Anyways, with any luck at all someone will notice the flag and be along to sort out what's what in this zoo that you've created here.

NorthReport

We are being suffocated by all the stores around us and the choices within them. Most (80%) of these businesses go under within 5 years so obviously the owners haven't a clue as to what they are doing except for keeping the bankruptcy accountants and lawyers in business.  Most importantly we cannot continue to have this huge abundance of goods everywhere as it is beginning to fry the planet and we won't survive. But who cares about future generations eh!  Just party on.

remind remind's picture

Zoo that I have created?

 

I attacked no one, please do slap up this supposed attack and let's see it!

 

remind remind's picture

I agree with that NR, whole heartedly, but you need to use other examples to get your point across, seriously.

 

 

 

 

Slumberjack

remind wrote:
When somone starts talking darning socks and sewing, they are talking about things women were consigned to do historically for  a couple thousand years, as if that was all we could do, and now to have it thrown up, that it is a failing that "people" are not doing it, and thus the environment is  doomed because of this "failure" is utter sexist tripe. 

Using this limiting standard then to frame allowable discussions, a reference to the nourshing qualities of a glass of milk in a thread about nutrition would be out of bounds from the point of view of historical gender based oppression because the cows might have been milked by women.

Sven Sven's picture

NorthReport wrote:

We are being suffocated by all the stores around us and the choices within them. Most (80%) of these businesses go under within 5 years so obviously the owners haven't a clue as to what they are doing except for keeping the bankruptcy accountants and lawyers in business.  Most importantly we cannot continue to have this huge abundance of goods everywhere as it is beginning to fry the planet and we won't survive. But who cares about future generations eh!  Just party on.

So, who is going to decide what the one pair of footwear we should all be wearing will be?

Slumberjack

Sven wrote:
So, who is going to decide what the one pair of footwear we should all be wearing will be?

Ideally, a committee of podiatrists.

remind remind's picture

Slumberjack wrote:
remind wrote:
When somone starts talking darning socks and sewing, they are talking about things women were consigned to do historically for  a couple thousand years, as if that was all we could do, and now to have it thrown up, that it is a failing that "people" are not doing it, and thus the environment is  doomed because of this "failure" is utter sexist tripe. 

Using this limiting standard then to frame allowable discussions, a reference to the nourshing qualities of a glass of milk in a thread about nutrition would be out of bounds from the point of view of historical gender based oppression because the cows might have been milked by women.

 

Still waiting for the example of a personal attack by me in this thread...

 

Many other examples of rampant consumerism could have been used by NR, but he chose those historically done by women, not men, and it is not wrong of me to indicate such examples have a sex bias, even though "female" was not designated, everyone knows that it is not a job performed by the majority of men, ever!

 

And really how environmentally polluting are socks and the non sewing of buttons, as opposed to plastics let's say?

...so why was that biased type of example of supposed negligence of action used?

 

It weights perceptions against women, and again there is not a damn thing wrong with my pointing that out.

Slumberjack

remind wrote:
Still waiting for the example of a personal attack by me in this thread...

NorthReport wrote:
Do we really need 25 different sizes of TVs? Or 15 kinds of milk? We live in a throw away society like never before. How many young people even know how to sew on a button, let alone darn a sock. When was the last time any of us darned socks? Got a hole in it, Just throw it away & buy another pair.

remind wrote:
How many men, let alone young boys, knew/know how to sew buttons on, let alone darn socks? 1% or 2%, or less like .05?? What a sexist freakin commentary about environmental issues and over consumption ...

NorthReport

 

Tommy_Paine wrote:

 

We do our grocery shopping at the Stuperstore at Oxford and Gammage here in London.   There is too much choice, and it has an immediate cost.  It costs us time moving around the store; it requires too much decision making, and it makes smart shopping as difficult as possible. 

I'm sure it's a marketing thing. 

But when I suggest to people that there's such a thing as too much choice they get the same look on their face that people get when they look at an E.C. Escher sketch.

 

Sven Sven's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

Sven wrote:
So, who is going to decide what the one pair of footwear we should all be wearing will be?

Ideally, a committee of podiatrists.

Here's a [url=">http://www.healthyfeetstore.com/aetrex-mens-ambulator-moc-toe-oxford.htm..."charming shoe boasting polished characteristics" with a "refined look"[/url] that might work for pretty much everyone.

Now that we've settled on the one shoe everyone should wear, what about the one white and the one red wine that we get to "choose" to buy?

NorthReport

Sven you just don't get it. Capitalism has failed us and if we allow it to continue we will all eventually fry. Unfortunately we cannot allow that to happen so capitalism will have to be viciously and severely crushed. We need to put the boots to it ASAP.

Sven Sven's picture

So, capitalism has failed.

Of the long (but only fractional) list of common product categories I listed in my posts above, who is going to decide what severely limited list of items everyone will get to "choose" to wear, walk in, eat, drink, sleep on, watch, tell time with, etc., etc., etc.???

Slumberjack

You're right of course NR.  As it stands now, any tweaking of capitalism along the lines of regulation or limitations inevitably trickles down to the most marginalized among us.  Someone or something has to be impacted and certainly profit margins and market share are typically the last places to feel the effects of harm reductions strategies.  I agree that the sooner big box stores, the towers of finance capitalism, and centers of plutocratic control are reduced to ruins, the better off we'll all be as a result.

sandstone

they don't call them '''chain'' restaurant / stores / etc for nothing....

sandstone

btw sven, can we make that shoe 'one size fits all'?

remind remind's picture

Slumberjack wrote:
remind wrote:
Still waiting for the example of a personal attack by me in this thread...

NorthReport wrote:
Do we really need 25 different sizes of TVs? Or 15 kinds of milk? We live in a throw away society like never before. How many young people even know how to sew on a button, let alone darn a sock. When was the last time any of us darned socks? Got a hole in it, Just throw it away & buy another pair.

remind wrote:
How many men, let alone young boys, knew/know how to sew buttons on, let alone darn socks? 1% or 2%, or less like .05?? What a sexist freakin commentary about environmental issues and over consumption ...

 

Really, you think my indicating sexist commentary in respect to giving gender biased examples of over consumption and alleged resulting environmental catastrophe from it, is a personal attack?

What, you think in this day and age, here at babble I should have been delicately nice about indicating such a blatent, if unconscious, example of skewing optics against women?

 

This happens all the time here, and in society at large and then people wonder why women remain oppressed and blamed for societal ills, especially by those on the right, just as we have for the last 2000 years, at least.

And I am not even going to really go into the reality that violence against women is increasing NOT decreasing, and we certainly do not need to have oblique blame placed upon us for not darning socks, nor teaching the children  how to sew a button on.

 

...after all, had we women done, or kept doing,  our womanly work, there just would not be all these stores out there selling us stuff. And the environment would not be failing.

 

It is oppressive language, and a biased framing of the discussion. Where is the man's responsibility in that framing?

 

As I said it is tacit awareness of woman's work that is being indicated and thus covert blame is ascribed.

 

 

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