Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Thoughts on the Economy

Ever since the housing bubble burst I've been thinking a lot, A LOT, about the economic foundations that currently exist in the United States. Where once, just a few decades ago, we had a strong middle class rooted in manufacturing and production, family run farms, and small shops owned by individual merchants. Now instead of Barnett's Bootery we've got Famous Footwear and Pay Less. Instead of Abels Dairy we've got Country Charm milk trucked in from Massachusetts. Instead of steel forged in Beaver Falls rebuilding a bridge in Pittsburgh we've got government subsidized steel shipped over from China. The disconnect is easy to see here. Chains replacing small businesses, local family farms squeezed out by Uber-Agra, and trade agreements that employ backwards troll logic to curry favor with an oppressive foreign government.
This is not an American protectionist rant. What I'm trying to get at here is that the local has been discarded for the global. I don't want to eat a 3,000 mile salad or drink a 700 mile glass of milk. I don't want cookie cutter strip malls stretching as far as the eye can see. And I definitely don't want to drive across a bridge re-enforced with Chinese steel.
But and still, the world does not turn on what I want. And I have to bear in mind that I do have control over how I spend my money, what I choose to buy and from whom. Not that I buy much. I'm ridiculously frugal, probably to a fault. Being so heavily influenced by my depression-era grandparents, how could I be any other way?
The economic road ahead is uncertain, and the best I can do is plan my garden for the spring. I look forward to enjoying a ten foot salad. Oh! And MK's colleague is raising chickens, so we've got fresh eggs coming our way soon too. I've never gutted and plucked a chicken, but I have a pheasant and a turkey, so it can't be that different, right?

1 comment:

drollgirl said...

right on. this is all so true. i think a lot of folks are figuring this stuff out and trying to buy more locally. a friend of mine just turned her front yard into yuge vegetable and fruit garden. i'd like to do the same, but i rent from a crazy woman who would never allow it.

and thank you for visiting my blog! i'll be checking yours out a lot!!!