Do you complain about free trade and shop at Wal-Mart, Target, etc.?
As a transplant to Western New York, my impression that WNY is a hotbed of anti-free-trade sentiment.
NAFTA is a dirty word in these parts.
Certainly, trade was a hot button issue in the 26th Congressional race last fall.
Yet, every time I drive past Wal-Mart or Target, or any of the other Big Boxes in Batavia, the parking lots are full.
I wonder how many people realize that Wal-Mart and its ilk are a bigger cause of good paying manufacturing jobs in the USA being shipped overseas than NAFTA?
Black and Decker, for example, started a process of closing factories in the U.S. in 2002 that lead over the next 24 months of 4,000 jobs lost. The tool maker was pressured by Home Depot and Lowes to lower prices and that could only happen by shifting manufacturing overseas. In 1990, Levi owned several factories in the U.S., which produced about 90 percent of the product sold under the brand. In an effort to meet the demands of Wal-Mart and Target for ever lower prices, Levi eventually shuttered all of it's U.S. plants and now out sources all of its manufacturing overseas. Twenty-five thousand people lost their jobs.
If you're anti-immigration, the next time you step into Wal-Mart, consider than some 40,000 jobs have been lost in Latin America since the mid-1990s as clothes making was shifted from those countries to China.
We all love low prices, but those prices come at a price (and Wal-Mart doesn't always have the lowest prices in town -- sometimes, the locally owned retailers meet or beat those prices).
I'm not sure we can reconcile being anti-free trade, and even anti-immigration, and do the majority of our shopping at big box stores.
Buying local keeps more local jobs in the local community and helps grow the local economy. In current conditions, the big boxes can be unavoidable at times, but they should be a last resort.