By MICHAEL GRAY
If you are like me and have a powerless feeling over the pending financial collapse as well as being exploited by Wall Street and Washington on these huge bailouts.
Take control of the situation and do yourself and your neighbors a big favor. If you want to show Wall Street and the Obama administration that you are sick of the bank bailouts and bonuses, shop in local stores in near your house.
Why? Well what will keep your home value from cratering? A vibrant local economy.
Empty storefronts mean depressed home values. Is it not better to have your local hardware store, which stocks products your community needs specifically versus driving many miles to a Home Depot?
If you think you get more savings at the Big-Box store by purchasing a $5.00 shirt made overseas, then look at where your $5.00 goes.
WalMart will keep $2.50- $3.00 of the purchase price and will ship most of those earnings back to Arkansas.
The remaining balance will go to shipping and trucking companies and other WalMart suppliers with the smallest piece going overseas to China manufacturers.
None of the cash from your purchase has any benefit to your local community with the exception of perhaps 4-to-8 cents sales tax going into your state sales coffers.
Now look at the velocity of your money when you make a purchase at your local retail store.
Your local purchase saved you gas money, saved you from spending additional cash on a lunch or a dinner and you did not have to pay a babysitter.
You buy a shirt for $10.00, $5.00 of which will be the profit to your local merchant.
That $5.00 profit will then allow the merchant to hire your son or daughter to earn money perhaps by cutting the lawn of a local businessperson, who now also has the means also to hire a local person to help stock shelves.
Your local purchases at a Mom & Pop store will not show up in government stats or Wall Street earnings reports, so your are not contributing to the bogus numbers provided by Uncle Sam or allowing bankers to profit from your actions.
Shop In My Back Yard (SIMBY) will also allow you to use your purchasing power to provide your less-fortunate neighbors with greater job security through growing local employment opportunities.
On a macro economic level, local purchases at the dress shop, will spur spending at the local restaurant, deli and car repair shop. Purchases at the WalMart two towns over have little impact for your neighbors.
I cannot think of a better use of your dollars than by allocating 10 percent of your discretionary spending to go to local purchases to start. I would also talk to neighbors about this and even the local business association about organizing a Stay-Near-Home Shopping days to get the word out.
If as a community you get pledges to spend locally, then more storefronts will be occupied with businesses. Don’t just Buy American, Buy (place your town’s name here).
The closer to your front door you spend the better for your largest investment – your home. Do not believe that global trade is a benefit. Local purchases have always been the best economic model. Think globally, but act locally, is an economic model not just an environmental thought.
For more on Wall and Washington and the economy see: http://mgray12.wordpress.com