It seems that we often snicker at the uneducated or ill-informed who refuse to buy a Japanese car, Korean appliance, or Chinese widget.
But consider the “buy local” movement. Isn’t that the exact same concept on steroids? If “buy American” is an error-filled notion, “buy local” seems much much worse.
I was considering this after reading about some recent stories about so-called “cash mobs.” Apparently the idea is to get everyone whipped into a “buy local” frenzy spending money locally (define ‘local’ as you wish) in one day that they might otherwise have not.
My first thought is that this is somewhat like the cash-for-clunkers program that really just moved many purchasing decisions from the future to the near future. But after more consideration it seems more like a natural outgrowth of the mindset of ‘buying local.’ And I suspect that some people are over-spending/consuming out of some belief that it’s good intrinsically. That we can somehow spend or consume our way into prosperity, locally or otherwise.
‘Cash Mob’ Events Seek to Help Small Businesses – WSJ.com: At 6:30 p.m. last Tuesday, Michelle Murrain showed up at a downtown Oakland, Calif., street corner to meet with 15 strangers who had organized themselves over Facebook. Many showed up with $20 bills. Their mission was to descend on Marion & Rose’s Workshop, a gifts boutique, to spend money. Ms. Murrain and her compatriots are among hundreds of devotees of the “cash mob,” a new social-networking-and-shopping movement aimed at increasing sales at selected small businesses. Similar cash mobs have materialized in more than 20 cities from Norman, Okla., to Muskegon, Mich., most arranged by individuals who establish followings on Facebook and Twitter. The cash-mob organizers don’t get any benefit in return.