Buy American, Buy Minnesotan, Buy Locally

One issue that came out of my last post is the fact that a buy American theme could be considered equivalent to a Marxist view of how the economy should operate. I am not a communist, but I don’t dispute the idea. I also am not saying a strong Chinese or Mexican economy is bad for America. On the contrary, the world as a whole benefits regardless of who profits.

But, I am not willing to buy a pair of jeans that I think are poor quality just because they are made in America, over another pair. Likewise, I am going to continue to be an individual and choose the items I like. I’m not going to buy a pair of Jeans made in America if they are high quality but fit me poorly. Individuality is important, and freedom of choice is important. You and I have the right to make our own choices.

The intention is that if we buy locally, in the end the cost to us is cheaper at least in terms of community good. For example, if I buy yogurt, I can buy Dannon, a French company, or Old Home, a Minnesota company. My preference is Old Home, and generally I am willing to spend the extra few cents per ounce to buy it over other yogurts, see that pesky individuality.

When I choose Old Home, produced and headquartered in Saint Paul, a portion of that sale goes to support workers in that plant who live in the Twin Cities. Those workers in turn use their money to buy food at say Cub, who buys produce from the farms in Farmington and who employs a husband and wife in our neighborhood. Then the neighbors buy pizza at Ted’s Pizza (a great locally owned pizza place in Farmington) and both the couple working at cub and Ted pay Farmington, Minnesota and federal taxes.

Then the cycle continues again whether you look at where the tax money goes or when the income Ted makes goes to sponsoring Farmington High School sports who buy other local products.

I am not blind to understanding that portions of everything goes out of our community, out of our state and out of our country, but I can see that if enough of us make a concerted effort to buy locally we improve our local economy, which improves our state’s economy and ultimately our nation’s economy. It is common-sense.