Sunday, September 18, 2016

Freshly Brewed Paranoia

Last week news broke of the horrific conditions in which dogs were being kept at the San Fernando dog pound. Some dogs were so starved for food that they were eating other dogs. Rightfully, people across T&T were outraged. Because American coffee house chain Starbucks had opened a branch in San Fernando. Foreign imperialists had come to sell us their foreign coffee. At least those dogs at the pound were eating local dogs.

 As any intellectual at UWI, trade union leader or general nutjob will tell you; imperialists love to enslave people by selling them things. In this case, coffee and doughnuts. This is exactly how the Trans-Atlantic slave trade started; white slavers would travel through West Africa armed with Lattes and Frappuccinos, offering them to unsuspecting locals and then ensnaring them in their nets.

Coffee has long been the favourite tool of oppression of imperialists. That’s why next door in the socialist paradise of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez made sure to rid the country of all coffee. As well as other imperialist traps, like basic food supplies, toilet paper, and opposition political parties. In Venezuela, people must wait in long lines for hours in the hope that they might purchase meagre rations using what little money they have. Which is the proper socialist way to live. Unlike the sick imperialist way, which encourages people to happily line up outside stores like zombies to buy products they enjoy, using their disposable income. And even expecting toilet paper in the restrooms.

But slavery and the zombie apocalypse are not the only concerns that right thinking Trinbagonians have over the arrival of foreign food franchises like Starbucks.  “What will happen to our local cultural cuisine?” they ask. Everyone knows Trinbagonians are fiercely loyal to their local food, like roti, callaloo and Kentucky Fried Chicken. There is local coffee in supermarkets via brands such as Hong Wing, Chief Brand Products and others. But sadly, they are surrounded by an electric fence, electrocuting anyone who tries to purchase them.

There is also concern about the exorbitant prices these foreign franchises charge customers. This is the usual mindset of the imperialist; to make as much money as they can from people. Something no local brand would dream of doing. As a true patriot who supports local, if I want to get ripped off paying for useless things, I’ll stick to paying tithes to my pastor, paying my taxes, and playing carnival.

Some imperialists who call themselves economists suggest that these foreign franchises help our economy by creating much needed jobs. Particularly for unskilled workers entering the workforce. They also point out that foreign franchises help those middle class consumers who already have jobs maintain their smug sense of moral superiority when they go to “buy local” at trendy places in Woodbrook, like ‘Upmarket’.

Imperialists also say that it’s wrong to think that foreign franchises are a drain on foreign exchange reserves. That’s because all businesses local or foreign based, need foreign suppliers and hence both use foreign exchange. In fact last year, in an act of transparency or more likely spitefulness, former Central Bank Governor Jwala Rambarran revealed those companies who used the most foreign exchange over the past three years. These included companies most of us use every day like Price Smart, Carib, and National Flour Mills. Ironically, buying a local roti and beer uses up foreign exchange more than anything else.

The real way to earn more foreign exchange, imperialists say, is for local companies to go abroad themselves. Thankfully we have real economists here to dispel these imperialist lies and tell us what we really need to do; chase out all the foreigners and horde all our money, just like Venezuela did. Nothing can go wrong.

Of course, the real reason to hate these foreign franchises is that they are corporations. Everyone knows you can’t trust corporations. The only businesses you should trust are those good old fashioned ones which sell their products as cheap as possible to as few people as possible. That’s how really honest successful businesses work.  That’s why the only people I buy from are my neighbourhood snow cone vendor, a nice lady who sells stale pholourie by the gas station and my neighbour Richard who amazingly keeps finding things that fall off trucks.  

All Trinbagonians should take a stand against rich foreign corporations by denouncing them. Thankfully, we have Facebook to allow us to do that. Who’s with me?

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