Originally Posted by Neal Winkler
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.
I haven't read the essay yet, but I will. Thank you.
Meantime, you appear to be suggesting a benign global economy is at work.
And I think you are describing a somewhat utopian view of how things work locally. If you were to visit Midwestern towns w/ empty storefronts, you might have a different view. Some will argue that this situation is the natural result of more efficient agriculture, etc.
In my corner of the world, I know one farmer up the road who now happily runs a golf course on what was hilly pasture, while a neighboring farmer went bankrupt, and another neighbor has added cows, keeps them inside on concrete, brings the feed to them, and by the way, docks their tails. He's doing okay.
Everything changes, but all changes are not desirable. Jobs that provide equal pay do not necessarily provide equal personal satisfaction.
Whenever discussing such matters, I am always reminded of what Robertson Davies, the wonderful Canadian writer said of "economics": "I prefer my astrology without water."