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In which I continue to provide feeble rationalizations for my consumer decisions...

Here's the thing about Starbucks: they're really not evil. They don't put other "mom-and-pop" coffee joints out of business. In fact, I read this case study that said the addition of a Starbucks to a local market will frequently increase the specialty-coffee consumer base so much that new independent stores are able to open and thrive. Apparently Starbucks is so good at increasing the "coffee awareness" and demand for high-end coffee that other stores are able to feed off of those increases.

See? They aren't really bad.

Unless, of course, you think that having a large market of people who think paying $5 per cup of joe is perfectly acceptable is "bad." But honestly, who would say that? I mean what else are we going to do with all that disposable income? Help alleviate poverty? Support the arts? Lobby for social reform? Seriously, who does that?

Okay, Iím feeling worse than ever.

Although I bet a nice non-fat vanilla latte would help soothe my aching conscience.