The events of the last year have been shocking and upsetting to myself and many others around the world. The response to the Covid Pandemic has devastated economies, impacted elections, and resulted in the imposition of censorship, heavy-handed government mandates, and lockdowns that many of us did not believe could be possible in the Western world.
Many of the ill-effects we are seeing today are the result of poor decisions made by our society, over the last several decades, that have granted power and fortune to a few at the expense of the many. We have traded our livelihoods and freedom for convenience and lower prices. We have looked away while people in other countries have worked in deplorable conditions to produce our next gadget, or our next pair of shoes. We have hollowed out our families, communities, and economic base because we neglect the good of others to satiate our own desires. We have also granted more and more power to our politicians to the point that they now blatantly rule over us with little pretense to democracy.
The drive to embrace Globalism has left us weaker and with less control over our lives. We have settled into a way of life that strips value from our local communities and sends it off to enrich companies that are headquartered in 'tech hubs' or 'finance hubs' in the US and around the World. While this has been ongoing for several decades, it is not too late to change our course. In this and upcoming posts, I would like to suggest a few ways that we can begin to take back control and rebuild our local communities as we enter into this new era of history. Today we will focus on making positive changes by buying as local as we can and selling as globally as we are able.
Telling people that they need to 'buy local' is clearly not new, but I believe it is an important part of reversing the trends that have strip-mined our communities. Our purpose in buying local should be to spend our money as close to our home as possible so that it can benefit our neighbors, our community, and ultimately ourselves and our families. As shown in this economic assessment from the University of Michigan, buying local introduces money into the local economy that would have been lost if that purchase had been made from a company in another city, state, or country. Instead of sending your money to another location to enrich another community you should make as many of your purchases locally as you can so that your community will receive the benefit.
If you do decide to start buying local you may quickly find that it is not an easy task. Because of our constant connection to the Internet and the massive economies of scale that are available to big business it has become extremely convenient and cheap to do most of our shopping online. The result of this 'global buying' is that we have eroded the local marketplace and outsourced the production of goods to other countries that do not grant their workers the same rights and privileges that we do at home. This has quickly brought us to a point where it is nearly impossible to buy some things locally because they simply aren't available anymore. In light of this, I propose the following tips on how to 'buy local' even when that may seem impossible.
Tips for Buying as Local as Possible
- Purchase from a locally owned business whenever possible. This should start with local family owned businesses but could also include locally owned franchise businesses.
- If no locally owned option is available try to purchase from a physical location of a company that is headquartered in your closest city or your state.
- If none of the previous options are available and you must purchase from a large, out of state company then purchase from the physical location that is closest to your community. This will help to encourage employment opportunities in your area.
- If you must purchase an item from the Internet try to purchase from a small seller. This could be a small business that has created an online purchase option or it could be a 3rd party seller on sites like Amazon, Ebay, or Etsy.
After shifting as much of our buying as we can to local options the next step should be to sell our products or services as globally as we are able. In the same way that the Internet allows us to have products delivered to our door from halfway around the globe it can also be utilized to promote and sell our products and services to customers across the country or around the world. When combined with our decision to buy locally, selling globally allows us to pull money in from other parts of the world and then spend it in our own communities. This reverses the flow of commerce that has taken hold over the last several decades. Instead of earning our money locally and then sending it to large companies for products made in other countries we are now capturing money from other parts of the world and then spending it locally to empower and enrich the communities in which we live.
One positive aspect of 2020 was the speed with which companies embraced remote working options and working from home. Thanks to the new opportunities to work from home it is now much easier to relocate to a smaller community and still maintain full time corporate employment. There are many quality of life benefits to making a move like this but for our discussion today the focus is that you can capture revenue from a larger city and then turn around and spend it in your small local community where it will have a larger impact.
This may not be possible for everyone, and obviously we will need some businesses that cater specifically to our local community, but I believe that no matter what you sell there may be a way to sell it, or an offshoot of it, to a larger audience over the Internet. This is a large topic, and I plan to address it in more detail in later articles but, for now, begin thinking about how you could sell your existing products or services to a more global audience so that you can bring in wealth to your local community.
The problems that we face are significant, and it is easy to believe that small scale actions won't make a difference; so why even try. At times like these it is important to remember that every epic journey begins with a single step, and by taking these first steps we can begin a movement to take back our economy and rebuild our local communities.
I hope something I have said today will resonate with you and help you to take the some kind of action to start buying locally and selling globally. In my next article I plan to discuss ways that we can decentralize our technology to combat censorship and empower others to improve their lives and the lives of those around them. If you are interested in being notified when I post a new article please hit the button below to sign up for our email list. Thank you for reading.
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