I went to the new Costco on Tuesday evening. There seemed to be hundreds if not thousands of people there. The store wasn’t open for business. Instead it was a community celebration where Costco was feeding the masses plates of food rather than the usual something or other skewered on a tooth pick. Of course I did not partake.
My first impression was of the lights on the ceiling. The photo above is of a found photo, not the Costco in Warrenton, but it left me with the same impression. It reminded me of the lights inside the foundry of my home town. I got somewhat a maudlin feeling when I realized that the fathers of my generation worked in foundries under lights like that where they produced steel and machinery that was not only used for the US infrastructure but for export. However, now the fathers of the new generation work under these lights in a big box store selling stuff that was made in Korea.
Don’t get me wrong. I am a member of Costco, and I realize what this store has done for the local economy, be it all the temporary construction jobs, or the permanent positions with fair wages and benefits. I know of their philanthropy with local charities. Costco is a vital part of our present economy here on the coast. They are now probably well within the top ten employers in the county. They pay employees that probably spend money in a business that supports your family.
I used to rant on this blog about my anti development sentiments. I even did so recently deeming Warrenton as Whorenton for encouraging these sorts of big businesses to come to town, but as Bill Clinton learned early in his presidential tenure, “It’s the Economy, Stupid.” Costco is making a difference in the local economy and if our economy doesn’t grow it probably we probably won’t thrive as a population.
I’ve seen this in nature as well. Take a bee colony for instance. If there aren’t enough bees in the hive the colony will die. If there isn’t enough nectar the bees will starve. If things are good where there are a lot of bees and a lot of nectar the colony will divide, grow and become productive in other ways.
Ideally I’d love to live somewhere where there are no buildings other than barns that have a foot print of no more than 3000 square feet. I’d love to live where people turn their lights off when they go to sleep at night. Sadly a place with those desirable things probably couldn’t support me economically. Those are places where you are born into an industry. You don’t just go there and start working.
I suppose that I benefit by living here and I’ll have to accept the grotesque consumerism and all the future landfill I see occupying the shelves of the new Costco. People want what they want regardless of my opinion of what is ideal.