A corporate takeover of our communities

Credit%3A+Lucy+Knowles%2FThe+Foothill+Dragon+Press

Credit: Lucy Knowles/The Foothill Dragon Press

Zach Plahn

Credit: Lucy Knowles/The Foothill Dragon Press
The consumerist attitude encouraged by the Collection destroys the community that the shopping center was created for. Credit: Lucy Knowles/The Foothill Dragon Press

As the massive neon lights burn just off the interstate, and the countless cars pull in and out of the money-consuming machine, cities like Oxnard and Ventura are threatened by the corporate monster that is The Collection.

Propelled to instant popularity by its chain stores and restaurants which, to name a few, include Yogurtland, Target, and Whole Foods, The Collection is held together by it’s cornerstone Century Theatre. Filled with zero locally owned businesses, The Collection is a corporate city dropped right in the middle of our community.

Sub-city is the perfect way to describe it. The moment you step foot inside the boundaries of The Collection, you have exited Oxnard’s city limits. With speakers playing more ads than they do music, it’s own streets, it’s own geographical enormity, and it’s own corporate culture, The Collection is practically a different city.

It isn’t Oxnard. It isn’t Ventura. It is The Collection.

In this city, there are no mayors, just business executives. There aren’t any elections and money does the talking for everyone. There is no character or sense of community.

No money is recycled back into our community to create a healthy and self-sustaining economy. Any money spent by the baited patrons of The Collection is consumed in the bottomless stomach of corporate America. The Collection is it’s own city designed to run it’s own agenda of draining as much of the economy as it can from the surrounding area for the benefit of itself and itself alone.

Who can blame anyone for not loving it, though? There’s a two-story H&M, a diverse food selection, and the leather chairs at the movie theatre actually lean back! For being a city designed to cater to all the needs of its customers in order to take their money, The Collection is good at what it does.

Despite it’s luxurious temptations and glamorous style, The Collection is the epitome of American consumerism and the downfall of strong communities. The Collection isn’t  forcing us to spend our money there. That’s our choice. We can either support our local economy, or throw our money into the faces of people who will send it to who knows where.

America has proved itself to be a culture that loves to spend money, one of mass consumerism that shows no signs of failing. So if we are going to spend our money, let’s spend it in a way that benefits those around us. Don’t spend it all in street malls filled with selfish interests and money- mongering corporations.

Give back to our community, its homegrown businesses, and local enterprises. Grow our community by investing not only in its economy, but in the people who sustain and cultivate it as well.

 

What do you think?