Walmart in Beijing
from galaygobi at Flickr's Creative Commons
I read an interesting thread over on Mr. Money Mustache's forums the other day, debating the merits of supporting small businesses versus saving money. The debate is framed as such: some people purchase in a utilitarian way by shopping for the things they want at the places that offer the best price or value, and some people purchase in conscientious way by supporting local, small, or moral businesses. All of us probably do some mix of both, but the dichotomy is useful for understanding different approaches to what we do with our dollars. Are we more concerned with finding the best value for our dollar, or some different kind of value? And which approach is better for us personally, and as a society?