I saw a lot of this kind of thinking a few years about regarding buying local food. After a lot of soul searching, I realized buying local is really overrated… and kind-of stupid. I wrote more about my experience eating local food:
Trading with others is one of the best ways to foster understanding between different cultures. Sometimes we can only get products from foreign parts or the products are just cheaper and better quality. In the end, it’s the customer that loses out big, if they have a fetish for buying local.
Later, I learned some unique views about international trade from the mises.org. I learned about the term “rent seeking”. When the market gets politicized by the buy-local movement, rent seeking behavior and foreign tariffs become the natural outgrowth. Again, the customer ends up paying more for lower quality goods. I guess the thinking is that the customer will be paid with having his heart filled with patriotic joy at being a “good citizen” even if the local products are garbage!
DON’T become a local-buying zealot!