This Labor Day makes me think of the workers who help me get everything I have. The food in my kitchen, the tv in my living room, or the car in my lot. I thought, “Many of my dollars are paying people outside of my community, and so taking jobs and money from the people in my community. The right thing to do is buy goods that support my local economy” And then I realized that I cannot do this. My stuff didn’t come from one company, although there is only one company name stamped on the label. Many hands from all over the world contributed to each of those things, from their inception in creative minds in one country, to their manufacture in another that used supplier parts from still other countries. But I can still make a right decision given this.
Making a right decision requires us to ask WHY it was the right thing to do
The supply chain is too diverse. And some out-of-state/country companies have invested in the people around me to make their product, like the Honda plant just outside of my city. What can I do? I can become more aware about where my stuff comes from, so that I know why I’m making the decisions that I am. I should require a company be able to tell me where their product comes from. This way, I’m accountable for my actions.
Consumer accountability is empowering and it respects the laborer
Accountability gives our lives meaning. Without this, we are just consumers, and we cease to become members of a community. As society becomes more complex, we must keep this power, because otherwise we are losing our freedom of choice and our connection to other people. And I don’t think anyone of us wants that.