That's according to Nancy French in this article from Good Magazine.
French starts out by explaining how her kids earn money each week by doing chores, then divide up the money into three jars (God, Save, and Spend). The "spend" jar gets toted to Wal-Mart where the kids are free to buy all the junk $1.99 can afford them.
The interesting part of French's column comes when she describes Wal-Mart shoppers with (more liberal) "statement-making" shoppers.
You see, Blue Staters don't just want to buy a product, they want their product to Mean Something, whether it's African tribal art, a high-energy protein bar, or scented candles. Every product is manufactured, packaged, and marketed to feed the desire for significance.
Urban Outfitters, for example, reveals eclectic style; Williams-Sonoma illustrates a sophisticated domesticity, and IKEA (admittedly affordable, but 300 miles from my house) demonstrates the urban need for maximizing space. Everthing related to these stores exude hipness—their décor, products, and even shopping bags emit a certain je ne sais quoi which simply does not accompany translucent Wal-Mart bags with yellow happy faces on the front. Blue State shopping, you see, is more than just acquiring items. It Makes a Statement, it Reflects Personal Style, it Helps Save the Planet.
I found French's article via this post at Pandagon. With a title like Getting Right with God by Buying Cheap, Tasteless Crap, who can go wrong? Well, Amanda managed to use this article to take pointless swipes at (who else?) conservatives.
In fact, 99% of wingnuttery is based on cheap appeals to sanctimonious swipes at the “liberal elite” and cheap nostalgia for more patriarchal times. This article is a classic example, even though she wants to have it both ways—both try to guilt-trip people about not buying Wal-Mart’s cheap crap while claiming that shopping at IKEA is somehow based in some deep liberal killjoywhatthefuckever.
It's a strange indictment, considering there's nothing in French's article about guilting anybody into buying anything. In fact, that was sort of French's point: conservatives make their statements not by buying a $6 organic latte or making anyone else feel bad about buying a $6 organic latte, but by giving the money to charity where it will be used to help people.
I understand Amanda's determination to brand conservatives as sanctimonious killjoys, but it's a tough sell since religious people are happier.
Cross-posted at Common Sense Political Thought.