Smith: Think globally; shop locallyby Jeff Smith on Nov. 23, 2007, under Edge, Opinion
Consumerism is the one thing that can’t be outsourced
Unless you have just sunk into your Bark-a-lounger and put your feet up to ease the swelling from a double shift in the retail wars, or you are scanning the editorial page on the off chance you’ll find a few kernels of moral coaching from a lay preacher with two millenniums’ experience in Christmas shopping before you hit the bricks on this most propitious day of those shopping days remaining before that Day of Days:
Get up off your butt and get to spending.
This is the biggest retail trade day in the American year. And no, I am not being jingoistic.
You can tot up the trade statistics for Cinco de Mayo, Simón Bolivar’s birthday or the drop of the puck on the first day of hockey season, and all others combined will not match your old-fashioned Yanqui Xmas.
And however repellent the X in Xmas may be, however you yearn for the bygone era of putting away the pumpkins and the cornucopia, the matching buckles on pilgrim hats and shoes, before you haul out the red and green of traditional Christmas decorations, know this one thing about today’s retail rodeo in honor of Chuy’s birthday:
It means money to make the rent and put food in the fridge for most of the wage slaves working for mom and pop stores from Caribou to Key West to Calexico.
The American economy depends on a free-spending Christmas to emerge from one year and embark upon the next with a happy heart and a firm tread, so rise, Lazarus, and do your part to keep Tucson green. After all, if all politics is (are?) local, the lesson was learned from retail trade.
All shopping should be, if it isn’t already, local.
Get away from that keyboard and computer monitor, avoid or evade anywhere that ends its name with a “mart” and get thee behind me, eBay.
Get up, get the car keys and get out in the sweet-scented autumn air with the smoke of mesquite and the sap of maple trees.
Go to Southgate, Amphi Plaza, Casas Adobes – any of those pioneering shopping centers that can qualify for the National Register of Historic Places – and give them a little injection of capital.
Your money can be methadone for heroic soldiers in the Hundred Years’ War of Falling Profits. Mom and Pop need your help. Hell, they wouldn’t be called Mom and Pop if they didn’t have kids, and now their kids have kids and perhaps another generation, and every mother’s son among them wants a bike.
Today’s slothful Santa spends his entire Christmas budget on Internet sales, which only accidentally enrich our local economy.
We live today in an utterly inside-out economy. Thanks to practically criminal, virtually immoral greed, and with the aid and abetment of our national government, American corporations have outsourced their parts and supplies, fired their domestic labor force and replaced it with little brown fingers in an archipelago of offshore sweatshops.
And the entire sellout is made possible by many marriages of political convenience and a handful of multinational trade treaties that enrich such a comparative few one can count them on one’s fingers and toes.
I urge you, as we all commence another shopping season, to remember the true meaning of Christmas, and then put it out of your mind and concentrate on keeping your children spoiled and your local retail stores solvent.
First, buy American. Then buy those American goods in Tucson, or at least Arizona – OK, Southwest – stores. Is that too much to ask? Too much to remember?
Tighten your focus down from the global to the local.
Jeffyboy might could get along with a puppy, as long as nobody would be offended if he named it Booger. He may be reached at (520) 455-5667 or firstname.lastname@example.org.