I’ll take responsibility for changing the course of the conversation

But I’ll question whether I actually ever told someone they should feel badly for shopping there. What I was trying to do, was to show that there are implications for the purchase decisions we make. A lot of folks don’t think about it, and only look to the best price for some product they want. That’s not good or bad; it’s merely human behavior. Path of least resistance. I was trying to broaden the scope to show that there are other issues involved, and those additional issues can, and have, and may continue to cost us money. Those costs are harder to see, but they’re there. Once folks have that information, then they can make educated decisions about where to shop, and what the results or implications will be or will likely be.

As for whether that conversation is appropriate on this list, well, maybe there would be some disagreement on that point. I think of it in terms of being somewhat parallel to the benefits/drawbacks of using credit cards. Sure, the credit card is easy, convenient, and popular. But we’re all here because we’ve each started to learn that there are multiple disadvantages to relying on them as a purchasing tool. Some folks never get into trouble with them. Some folks get into a lot of trouble with them. Many are in between. But no one, looking at the numbers, can say there’s no cost. DR, bless him, gave us those numbers and helped us see “the big picture” when folks use them. Similarly, some folks do all their shopping at big-box stores like Walmart, and never think twice about the implications. I’m saying that there are implications, to them and to their families and their communities. I’m also reminding folks that there are alternatives, which may have dramatically different implications. What any given person does with that information is ultimately up to them. But at least now they know.

Maybe I came on too strongly. Some folks in towns where these box stores have devastated the local economy, would say I haven’t been strong enough. I was trying to chart a middle-of-the-road approach. If I failed in that, then my apologies.