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1 Decatur Deb  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 7:18:06am

Off to WallyWorld to hoard tube socks and hollow point ammo.

2 Destro  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 7:32:43am

re: #1 Decatur Deb

The unintended consequence of their victories through the 1970s and beyond was the total destruction of local economic networks, that is, Main Streets and downtowns, in effect destroying many of their own livelihoods. Wasn’t that a bargain, though?


Believe it or not George Romero’s ‘Dawn Of the Dead’, which was centered on a shopping mall (something new in the 70s) was a reflection of this consumer economy that seemed to cannibalize itself.

3 Aligarr  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 8:27:59am

Spot on Babushka , remember those bumper stickers way back when ? ’ Buy American the Job You Save May Be Your Own ’ . Now you’ll have a hard time doing that even if you want to , but you still can to a degree if you really want too .
New bumper sticker - Buy American and You Just May Get Your Job Back .
Most Union Websites , provide lists of Companies , Brands and Lines that are 100% American Made . Sometimes that can be hard to determine , the myth about determining that by Bar Code , is just that , a myth …you can’t .

4 Eclectic Cyborg  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 8:48:10am

re: #3 Aligarr

Spot on Babushka , remember those bumper stickers way back when ? ’ Buy American the Job You Save May Be Your Own ’ . Now you’ll have a hard time doing that even if you want to , but you still can to a degree if you really want too .
New bumper sticker - Buy American and You Just May Get Your Job Back .
Most Union Websites , provide lists of Companies , Brands and Lines that are 100% American Made . Sometimes that can be hard to determine , the myth about determining that by Bar Code , is just that , a myth …you can’t .

No I think the new Bumper sticker should be: “Buy American - If you can afford it”

5 Dr Lizardo  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 9:49:00am

re: #2 Destro

The unintended consequence of their victories through the 1970s and beyond was the total destruction of local economic networks, that is, Main Streets and downtowns, in effect destroying many of their own livelihoods. Wasn’t that a bargain, though?

Believe it or not George Romero’s ‘Dawn Of the Dead’, which was centered on a shopping mall (something new in the 70s) was a reflection of this consumer economy that seemed to cannibalize itself.

“Dawn of the Dead” was very much a satire of rampant consumerism. For me, the greatest humor is that the zombies converge on a shopping mall - not that they’d necessarily know that prey could be found there, but as almost a vestigal memory, and a perfect expression of mindless behavior.

6 Romantic Heretic  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 10:34:00am

re: #4 Eclectic Cyborg

No I think the new Bumper sticker should be: “Buy American - If you can afford it”

My understanding is that labor is not a huge portion of the cost of manufactured goods. So offshoring jobs was more about increasing profits than making cheaper goods. Price remained the same, but profits were increased.

Unfortunately that meant that consumers, whose were now unemployed or with jobs that paid a great deal less, became highly dependent on credit to continue consuming. It is, I believe, one of the main causes of the increase in indebtedness since 1980. But now, that credit is starting to run out.

And, for the most part, where goods were manufactured, the workers weren’t paid enough to buy the goods they made. These goods had to be shipped to the West in order to make a profit. That market, as I pointed out, is in trouble.

Also, as mentioned in the article, the giant chains business model was highly dependent on cheap fuel. Both for delivering goods down the supply chain and for its customers to get to the stores. From my observations, WalMart is entirely a rural and suburban phenomena. Now that shipping goods to stores and driving to stores to get stuff is a lot more expensive than it was, this model is starting to break down.

Ultimately, I believe the blame can be placed at the foot of the economic system called globalism. As my favorite author points out, globalism resembles European feudalism. It is an abstract system unconnected to geography and the people that inhabit that geography. The system’s only goal is the continuation of the system. What happens to countries or people is of no concern to it. To the people who exist in this system the only goal is to increase their personal wealth and power, and they don’t care about nations or people either.

Not that I’m against global trade but the current system, like European feudalism, is in many ways a destructive system, not a constructive one. Until that changes, we’re in trouble.

7 Destro  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 10:56:31am

re: #6 Romantic Heretic

I agree with everything you said.

One of the things overlooked is that the cost of making an item has become so low that the big corporations don’t have to worry about Henry Ford’s philosophy that his workers should be paid enough of a salary to afford his car.

When goods cost pennies to make per unit the corporations don’t really care how many people are unemployed and become working poor with less income then their parent’s generation. Sort of like how in the Matrix the architect told Neo “There are levels of survival we are prepared to accept”. People can’t afford to but a 6 pack of cotton socks? How about we sell them in packs of 5? then 4? then 2 then we sell the people one sock at time. The profit margin is still high because of low labor costs overseas so the manufacturers are disconnected by the plight of the consumer.


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