Aside from the tender moments (yuck) we spent deciding on our purchase, then hated the fact that we only bought motorcycles instead of a car (i mean who likes to be seen like a fool bringing boxes of gorceries on a bike? o.O), Sani did mention something profounding; "You know when i go to these stores, i always feel guilty that i spend my money to these giant capitalists instead of the impoverished sellers in a traditional market?".. i didnt really have a good answer, so i agreed and say; "Well,, yeah,, uh-huh"
But now that i think of it, it's interesting to write about this.. Read on..
Sometimes when we read books that write about the condescending nature of globalization and how capitalist pigs are ruining micro economy, we don't really relate to our very lives. I can't speak on behalf of you guys, but for me when i read this i just usually nod and that's it, in 5 minutes i'll forget all about this tragedy..
Today i did relate. Which is why i cared enough to write about it, tommorow hopefully i'll do something about it. I bet a lot of you are never striked with that thought. Its a common consumer behaviour for us to be lured by sized, luxury, and moderned things. We don't need to be ashamed, i think it's a human nature. Ask people in marketing and they'll tell you i'm correct in some ways. Big supermarkets, like the one we went to today, superindo, is quite booming. The whole idea of a one-stop shop where you can get anything and everything yet you do it in a more "consumer-friendly" manner is booming. I did a little observation and i found that in this city the rate of a sepermarket or a mini market is quite rapid; Indo Maret, i think still affiliated with Super Indo, is sprouting in every corner of the city. Circle K, a 24-hour minimart franchise, opens 4-5 retails in one single city block (true story, the block near Galeria Mall, Yogyakarta, Indonesia). Amazing? Maybe. Economical growth? Most likely.
Don't get me wrong, i am being a bit hypocritical on this, but at least i admit it. I go to these shops. I like going to these shops. Why? They're clean, they have what i look for in all sizes and brands, and they offer competitive pricing. Its so practical. But now i'd like to think; how many people think alike? A lot, my guess is. I'm no brains in economy, actually quite stupid in it. But i think in the whole idea of supply-demand doctrine, if many shops alike are sprouting, it means that they calculated their chance of survival and sustainability, that means there are buyers. Under the same doctrine, i conclude that the amount of shops is proportional to the growth of consumers or at least potential consumers. Scary!
Why scary? Indonesia is not a modern country yet. We're going under this phase i'd like to call transition. Economists would call it growth. Government people would call it development. Whatever. Thing is, when consumers have started to move on, some merchants have not. This is why there is a disparity in the micro economy; that sellers are loosing their buyers. And they lost their buyers to those who have bigger money, bigger capital to start their bussiness, to make a huge market enterprise that attracts the consumers. These people are called capitalists.
I have the slightest idea whether there have been traditional markets being victimised, but i'd like to think maybe so in the coming years.
Can we do something about it? I don't know. Maybe not. But hey, i think awarenesss is a start.
Have a good one people, cheers :)