Tuesday, January 4

I had a humorous, friendly exchange with a vendor at our neighborhood flea market this fall. My friend was perusing a decorative fabric which promoted "buying local" on it. During the bargaining I noticed the seller had a accent that sounded a little... international.
"So where are you from?" I asked. "England," she replied. "We can't buy from you," I said, "since you're not local!"
"I'm not for sale," she replied.
"Everyone's for sale."

Anyway, here's a brief explanation on why the economics (and the implied morality) of the buy local movement is fundamentally flawed.

Full disclosure: I sometimes enjoy locally sourced foods and goods, but recognize it's a shopping choice, not a moral one, as the authors put it. Some of the gifts I gave at Christmas were locally made, but then I took them to California so I don't know what that means as for "local-ness." One was a book buy a guy who lives in my city, but I don't know where the printing was done. And yes it's a true story above.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:07 AM

    I disagree with your assessment to blow off the buy local values with one link...

    There are additional factors not commented on, and others that are poorly commented on. The community trust element is complete rubbish, we all know that prejudice remains even in globalised systems, such as the difference between items manufactured in Germany and items manufactured in China.
    Additionally buying locally creates local memes and enhances accountability, especially in industries where there is great distance between purchases (white goods), or ongoing costs/relationships occur (maintenance).
    I hope you do not dismiss this as lightly as the link you've provided does.