Buying local is sustainable

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Sustainability can and does describe economic and business values as well [CASHING IN ON GREEN, JANUARY].

Even though much of the media report how great the Oregon economy is, the truth, according to government statistics, is that Oregon’s unemployment is still in the 10 highest of the 50 states. Also, the statistics show that wages are only increasing for the top one-fifth of Oregonians.

Combine that with the declining buying power of the dollar and the lower four-fifths have lost money. In addition, when there is inflation (which is primarily an increase in oil and property values), it is small business that absorbs that cost. The point of all this is that if the middle class is the growth engine of free-market economy and it is shrinking, the economy will suffer. Effective sustainability in business must include the growth of disposable income for the middle class.

Our local government provides nothing more than lip service, if that, to this concern. Buying local is only one solution to the declining middle class. A balance between local and non-local commerce is an important goal for a sustainable economy. Without economic sustainability, environmental sustainability is more of a nuisance than an attainable goal.

John Amundsen
Southwest Office Supply and Interiors
Portland

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