The thing I love about Costco is getting dangerously close to the reason why I hate Walmart. The two things separating those two corporations that have kept me in the Costco supporter camp have been that they sell high quality products (many manufactured in the USA) and that they take reasonably good care of their employees. The more I see them selling high end stuff that traditionally has been available only through small retailers, the less I feel good about buying from them. Small retail shops are the foundation of the American dream. Not so long ago, a guy who wanted to escape a lifetime of working for The Man could decide he was willing to work a little harder in exchange for financial independence, and most of the time, he had a decent chance of succeeding. As his business grew, he found a need to hire help. This was the sort of "job creation" that true free enterprise provided, and it's the reason people used to be able to find entry level jobs so much more easily. The more markets today's giant retailers get into, the less opportunity there is for small businesses, and the fewer opportunities for non-professional people to go to work there are. More and more, it looks like the days of the great American entrepreneur are over. That's not a good thing, unless you delight in the prospect of corporate overlords deciding the fate of our children. In my opinion, the government needs to step in and limit the number of different types of products retailers can sell. Of course, those making the laws are profiting hugely from allowing the current trends to continue, so it seems unlikely they will be interested in changing much. Ah, well. Might as well go drown my sorrows in some Kirkland brand booze and mixed nuts while I watch my Samsung TV that I bought at Costco.