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Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

I am a self proclaimed coffee addict and Executive Director of a non profit missions agency working primarily in the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Ensenada. I've been married for over 30 years to Chelle, and we have one grown son, Joseph, a graduate of Auburn University in Alabama.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Costco Syndrome... Is America's addiction to more changing us forever?

Something has gone seriously wrong in the world.

It hit me the other day as I was being tortured by my monthly pilgrimage to the America's modern day mecca.  That place where all men cringe because they know there is no chance they are going to return home without being at least $100.00 poorer.

Yes, I went to Costco.  Home of biggest memory foam mattresses in America and an almost fatal disease that has infected all our land.

I call it the Costco Syndrome.

If you are like me, you grew up in a fairly modest home where you kept everything you owned at, or in your house.

The garage was used primarily for stuff you used outside the home, like lawnmowers, tools, and fishing poles.  Oh yeah, you put your car there too, and maybe even a boat.

But then along came what we now call the big box retailers.  Price Club, Sam’s Club and of course, the ubiquitous Costco.

And once that happened, America was changed forever.  No longer did we shop for what we needed today or even tomorrow.  Instead we found ourselves shopping for next month, and the month after that.

How else to explain buying a years supply of pancake mix or a box of cereal that could feed a small country?

This is how the big box mindset has impacted our lives.

No longer content to buy a four pack of toilet paper, we’ve made a decision that we need to have somewhere between 30 and 48 rolls of that soft Charmin stuff on hand everyday.  The problem is that we have to put those rolls somewhere.

So we started using our closets for storage instead of clothes.  Once those closets were no longer big enough, considering we were also storing a year’s supply of Kleenex, paper towels and dishwashing liquid, we had to buy bigger homes.

But then one day those bigger homes, the ones with 27 bathrooms to hold all that extra toilet paper and their three car garages, were no longer big enough, so we started renting storage units.  Are you getting this?  We rented off site storage units where we could put the stuff of our lives, so we could buy more and bigger stuff from the Costco/Sam’s Club cabal that cluttered our homes even more to be prepared for next month.

Before we knew it we were buying olive oil in gallon jugs, pumpkin pies the size of Texas, toothpaste in the convenient 20 pack and enough frozen tequila lime chicken wings to feed a small country for a month.

And all of that has come at a price that is continuing to impact us every day of our lives.

Maxed out credit lines, overstuffed closets and expanding waistlines can all be traced back to the Costco Syndrome and our need to be prepared not just for tomorrow, but infinity and beyond.

Hey, I could be wrong, but think about it next week as you are waiting in line for the greatest hot dog and soda deal in the country at $1.50.

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Comments on "The Costco Syndrome... Is America's addiction to more changing us forever?"


Blogger dmarks said ... (5:26 AM) : 

I read that a Costco is coming to my area, perhaps into a failed outlet mall. I thought this might be a bad thing, from a workers rights point of view, as Costco workers are often bullied into joining and coughing over $$$ to unions against their will.

But then I realized that Michigan is likely going to be right-to-work by the end of the week, which will protect these Costco workers. So now I am in favor of it.

Otherwise, Costco to me has been one of those distant things, a regional chain, that I only read about in the news. Like Waffle House and Jack in the Box.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (3:39 PM) : 

Actually Dmarks most of the people I know are pretty happy with their Costco wages...

Should be a net plus...


Blogger dmarks said ... (6:20 PM) : 

I wasn't talking about the wages. I was talking about Costco bullying people (through an agreement with the unions) into giving money to an outside organization that has nothing to do with their ability to do their job.

The workers won in Michigan: right to work passed. Costco workers have this choice, if in Michigan.


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