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Old 07-15-2008, 07:55 AM   #11
Neal Winkler
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This article came out today which says the same thing that I did in my first post, but only in a much less pithy manner. Check it out, it's a good read...

http://www.mises.org/story/3026

Here's some quotes that say the same thing I did:

"Since the decision to buy locally is essentially the decision to forsake comparative advantage, every unit of agricultural output will be more resource intensive than it would be under specialization, division of labor, and trade."

and

"'Buy local' is, at its logical limit, a prescription for poverty and starvation."
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:25 PM   #12
Allen Yeh
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Often when I get food at the farmers market those items when compared to things I get at any chain supermarket are more expensive, but the quality is also far better, i.e. peaches, cherries, and apples as one example. Other things to which I notice no difference in like broccoli or spinach I opt for the chain supermarket.

I skimmed the article Neal and it smacks of a viewpoint in making sure that anyone who argues with them can't possibly be right. Not my cup of tea.
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:04 AM   #13
Neal Winkler
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I didn't get that vibe, but maybe that's because I already agree with it. Can you show me what you mean?

Also, at the end of the article he agree's that there is one really good reason to buy local, that being quality.

But the overall point of the article is that buying local agriculture, just for the sake of buying local or conserving resources, doesn't achieve it's aims.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:35 AM   #14
Dave Van Skike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neal Winkler View Post
But the overall point of the article is that buying local agriculture, just for the sake of buying local or conserving resources, doesn't achieve it's aims.
that's why it's a philosophical exercise but not realistic exercise..

you can make the same argument about a lot of things...there's rarely just one reason to do something.

decisions in the marketplace are not made with perfect information by perfectly rational actors...
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:50 AM   #15
Neal Winkler
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Quote:
decisions in the marketplace are not made with perfect information by perfectly rational actors
I never thought they (decisions) were.

Homo ecomonicus is a fallacy.

But I'm still not following your critque about this being philosophical and not realistic. What would I realize if I was being "realistic?"
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:53 AM   #16
Dave Van Skike
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Originally Posted by Neal Winkler View Post
What would I realize if I was being "realistic?"

I'm not sure Neal.
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:51 AM   #17
Neal Winkler
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Here's an interesting article on why it isn't always a good idea to buy local:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...-by-miles.html

It's mostly about carbon emissions, but there was a nice point towards the end:

"Anti-poverty groups, however, fear that a return to seasonal, locally sourced produce could end up harming the economies of developing countries. More than one million people in Africa are dependent on the trade supplying fresh fruit and vegetables to Britain."

African's are trying to participate in the international division of labor which would help to bring up their living standards, and our own. However, protectionists are trying to shut them out and keep them down in the depths of poverty.
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Old 07-29-2008, 11:22 AM   #18
Allen Yeh
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Interesting article Neal.

Africa is a whole other can of worms.
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Old 07-29-2008, 11:39 AM   #19
Tom Rawls
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Neal,

Perhaps I misunderstand your position, but the "multiplier effect" of buying local goods has long been cited as a way of building local economies. However sympathetic I am toward poor 3d world communities, I'm at least as sympathetic toward the struggles of my neighboring farmers, equipment dealers, and such in the local economic web.
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:24 PM   #20
Neal Winkler
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Tom, let's say the multiplier is real (I don't believe it is). If I spend $100 dollars on produce from a non-local community then that will generate income for them to return the favor. So long as my community is producing goods that other communities want, it all comes back around anyway.

As to your point about the plight of local farmers, if you don't buy local produce they won't be out of a job, they just won't be farming. What will happen is that the money saved by buying non-local will be spent on something else and create jobs in whatever else instead.

What you have fallen prey to is looking only at what is seen, and not at what is unseen. Bastiat wrote a beautiful essay on this that you should read if you are so inclined.

So, like I said, what you can see is that by buying local produce you are helping make a living for the local farmers. But what you do not see is that if you bought non-local then those farmers would still make a living just not at farming. Therefore, in the end you needn't be concerned about their well-being.
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