The “Press This” feature doesn’t seem to create abstracts, so here’s the gist:
It’s a call to patronize local businesses, especially for the upcoming holiday season. Since I wrote big long comments over at madtante’s post, I figured it was only fair to pay this forward, and more so because I rather agree with the sentiment.
It is difficult to strike a balance. I like do-it-yourself projects, which does bring me back to big box stores with manufacturing abroad. But I have been thinking more about thrift stores and the like– sometimes these are the only places where I will find precisely what I need, and something of quality that was donated because it is in an outdated style or color.
Currently, I am trying to find a local bike repair shop that I can afford. My sister had recommended one that unfortunately has closed its doors. I got Cimmy a bike at a consignment shop run by some church congregation friends, but finding something for myself will take more time. But a good local shop, I think, will be willing to work with “fixer-uppers” and will make that a part of their business. (One of my happier success stories was going to a local vacuum and sewing machine store to get a part to fix a better-made vacuum cleaner that is still running well for me.)
I think part of the solution is spending locally for service, but for those of us struggling financially, I think part of the solution is using more of what we’ve got. Repairing “junk” and “thrift” may be more worthwhile, I think, than buying something made of poor materials overseas– something of crappy quality because the manufacturer or distributor is offsetting shipping costs. (Shipping from China *is* expensive, in some ways, for distributors.)
The other problem, which is another post entirely– is that some services, more government-related, need some efficiency. I think I’ve said that Cimmy found it easier to buy eyeglasses from China than wait for the state to provide her with eyeglasses, and at higher cost.