Posts Tagged ‘imported luxuries’

I read a recent article in the LA Times that commented on the increased trade deficit.  The trade deficit stands at $49 billion in July, the highest since October 2008.  The article said that as our economy has worsened and people’s disposable income decreased, consumers have put off purchases of big items, such as houses and cars.  However, Americans still feel a need to buy products that connote high class and luxury.  So they may instead purchase smaller luxuries, such as ipods, fine imported liquor, or clothing.  Or they may buy a lower-end model of a luxury line of goods that they can no longer afford, as with Mercedes or BMW.

The problem with this tendency is that these kinds of products, unless one is careful, tend to be imports.  Just walk down any shopping area in a Las Vegas casino – what do you see?  Versacci, Gucci, Sharper Image, Apple, William-Sonoma: all that is sold is imports!  I’m quite disgusted with Apple, personally.  They used to make all their products in the US, but now everything they sell is made in China.  A check to Apple is a check to Mr. Zha Bao and Mr. Fu Jin Tao.  I do own an Iphone, since all the smart phones are imported anyway, but I certainly don’t want to buy another one if I don’t need one.  I am not excited about giving Apple any more of my money!  I would never buy an Apple product as a present either.

So how can this pattern of small luxuries being imported and pushing up the trade deficit be improved?  There are a number of ways, one of which I mentioned above.  One way is to buy only what we truly need in electronics, if there are no Made in USA options.  For instance, if your flat screen tv is good for you and works well, don’t rush out and buy that new LED tv just because you want that next new product.  Early adopters are not good for the US economy in this area.  Another avenue is gift-buying.  If something is a gift, you can either give cash or buy something made in USA.  You can always buy something from Etsy.com, if you can’t figure out what to get them that is mass-produced and made in USA.  Finally, there is no necessity to buy imported luxury consumables.  For every French cheese and Italian wine, there is an American counterpart.  There is no need to buy imported fruits and vegetables – domestic versions are all available, at least seasonally.  Ethnic foods are available from American producers also.  You can buy American chocolate, coffee, whiskey, vodka, and even caviar!  (If I hear another person smugly request Grey Goose in their vodka tonic, I’m going to explode!:) )

So keep trying to buy American!  See if you can incorporate some of these strategies in your shopping.  Please comment with any suggestions you may have!


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