Letter At Length

Investing in local business is wise

In my Feb. 26 letter to the editor, "Don't Criticize Climate Science," I ranted about Michael Barone's and Rich Lowry's discredit of climate science. I was in the middle of reading renowned NASA Climate Scientist Jim Hansen's new book, "Storms of My Grandchildren," and was feeling a more than a tad angry about how much big industry and big business wield so much money-laden influence in so many nooks of our society, including the casting of doubt on the very real issue of human-induced climate change.

In my ranting I failed to mention how much I appreciate local business and local industry. Besides providing local employment, locally manufactured and grown products that are sold locally provide a great economic multiplier to the Valley. Also, the social, economic and environmental feedback loops are more direct.

Local business owners pay careful attention to the impact that they have on the community and the environment. This is usually because they are genuinely caring people; but also they know that if they miss the mark and fail to treat their employees well or pollute or ravage the environment, their local community will no longer do business with them. This is the way it should be.

By contrast, big business is usually about the No. 1, bottom line: profit. We, me included, are often too invested in the bottom line of our own individual earnings or the apparent lowest cost for a product and choose to ignore or deny the negative social and environmental consequences of distant, profit-only-driven ownership.

I have lived in the Rogue Valley for more than 26-years and, in my many encounters with the vast majority of local businesses, I experience thoughtful people who deeply care about how they impact the community and environment that they live in.

Bottom line: I choose to invest my money in local business.

Jim McGinnis


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