This past weekend, Paula, the baby and I took a roadtrip from Austin to Dallas along Interstate-35. Along that drive I was struck by the number of chain and franchise restaurants that lined the highway. Where were the local businesses? Why wasn’t there a better mix of both local and national dining options?
I was just turning this question over when the baby started fussing. Then the fussing turned into crying and suddenly, at 70 mph, we have to make a decision. Here, in this moment in an otherwise strange land, being surrounded by familiar names and brands was a welcome relief. Each billboard containing a recognizable logo provided an option we were familiar with; we knew about the type of food, the price, and whether it was counter service or a sit down restaurant. For us travelers rushing through, this comfort and convenience weighed more heavily in our decision making than a sense of place (this exit or that exit is pretty anonymous) or relationships (chances are, we will never see these people again). Thus, a passing-through economy is very different from a place-based economy. A quick decision economy is very different from a slow and deliberate economy.
All this in mind, a few nights ago I saw this highlight film from the Slow Money Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Now while I wasn’t able to make the trip, I found it hopeful that there is so much interest in the values talked about in this blog. Of particular interest is this idea of how do we slow money down, keep it as close to local people and as many people as possible and how can we spend and invest with our values to create the kind of world we want to see.