STAFF EDITORIAL: Buying domestic can help fragile economy

America is arguably in a recession. With consumer confidence down and the unemployment rate at 6.5 percent, we’re in trouble.

Is the West, as an economic powerhouse, being pushed aside for up-and-coming nations such as India and China?

Sam Walton was a pioneer in the growth of discount stores. As we all know, his first Wal-Mart store in Arkansas has since multiplied into thousands across the world.

Walton was an innovative and shrewd businessman who effectively utilized computerized databases before any other store chain.

In 1985, Walton orchestrated the "Buy American" campaign throughout his many stores. He cited his concern over a rising trade deficit, loss of hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs to companies overseas and dedication to supporting American manufacturing as reasons for the initiative.

While Walton was alive, this was Wal-Mart’s policy. Things are different now. America is different now.

Wal-Mart is full of the cheapest merchandise money can buy. The consumer’s dollar goes far there, and for many working families, Wal-Mart is the only place where they can get everything they need to survive.

And this is why America’s economy is tanking.

Wal-Mart is not the devil, contrary to many people’s beliefs. The attitude of making purchases without a conscious thought process is the culprit.

When choosing a babysitter, one wouldn’t base the decision solely on what they charge per hour. If the cheapest babysitter was known to beat her own child, then the one that had a better reputation and charged a little extra per hour would be the better choice.

The same is the case when choosing products. Many American products cost a little more, or may carry the reputation of questionable quality, but you know it will most likely be "sweatshop free," and you will be contributing to the sustainment of the country in which you live.

Globalism and international trade has resulted in a "race to the bottom" for many developing nations. That is to say, the nations where labor is utilized loosen their regulations and standards to help companies compete in the marketplace.

America’s hunger for disposable and cheap everything has been contributed to our own economy’s instability. It has dismantled our manufacturing sector and is now creeping into the technology sector like a cancer.

Think about where your dollar is going every time you make a purchase. Emphasis on "the bottom line" will ultimately leave us at the bottom.

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