Baxley: The intersection of good and evil holiday spending

Nov. 28, 2012 @ 01:16 PM

There was a lot of debate earlier in the week concerning the merits of Cyber Monday.

For the most part, the annual sales event is perceived as being nothing but harmful to the local economy.

 I, for one, don’t feel this is such a cut-and-dry matter.   

It seems that the vast majority of holiday purchases made this year — no matter where they’re actually made — are set to benefit Rutherford County in a very practical way.  

Regardless of where a shopper decides to buy that new game console, tablet computer or LED television, the device will eventually wind up plugged in a local electrical socket. 

Put simply, the increased consumption of native electricity on an ongoing basis could be more advantageous to the local economy than the increased sale of electronic devices over a seasonal period.

Meanwhile, if Walmart is able to successfully push state legislatures to collect tax on items sold through Amazon and other major online retailers, local economies across the nation could experience more immediate gains from increased internet spending in the near-future. 

I guess my biggest issue with the online vs physical retailer conversation is that the tone often reduces the matter to an exaggerated struggle between “good” and “evil” spending.  

A couple of hours before I sat down to write this column, I stopped by a local restaurant during the evening rush.  

While I was standing in line, I noticed the manager barking demands and being generally disrespectful toward his employees. At not fault of their own, the workers were visibly struggling to maintain the frantic clip at which they were receiving orders. They didn’t deserve to be reprimanded and humiliated in front of a line of strangers. 

We tend to treat any establishment that operates within county-lines as doing the community a tremendous favor, and I think that mentality is occasionally misguided. 

If presented with the option, I would have just ordered my burger online last night.