We live in a consumer society. One based on acquisition. On materialistic, acquisitional consumerism, where so very great a portion of most people's self-regard is at least informed by purchasing something. Endlessly.
Over the past twenty years, Downtown Hamilton has been on an ever-downward spiral. All of the above factored into its decline, but I've left out what probably accounted for much of this: Hamilton City Council took its eye off the ball.