Why are Crunchy ‘Progressives’ So Prejudiced Against Non-local Folk?

by Don Boudreaux on August 28, 2010

in Civil Society, Complexity & Emergence, Everyday Life, Food and Drink, Myths and Fallacies, Seen and Unseen, Standard of Living, The Economy, Trade

Here’s a letter to the New York Times:

David Sassoon of Harlemville, NY, is a locavore because, in his words, he’s “interested in restoring community through the act of eating, rather than swallowing the cold logic of global economics” (Letters, Aug. 28).

I wonder if Mr. Sassoon’s refusal to “swallow the cold logic of global economics” goes beyond his dietary choices.  Does he promote community by wearing only clothes made from locally grown fibers and woven at local mills?  When he is ill, does he stick to his principle of not swallowing the cold logic of global economics by refusing also to swallow any pharmaceuticals not made locally?  Does he drive a locally manufactured automobile?  Is the furniture in his home and office made only of materials found in or near Harlemville?  And are the novels he reads, the musical composition he listens to, and the movies he watches only those that are produced locally?

Of course not.  But he needn’t berate himself.

A beautiful consequence of the so-called “cold logic of global economics” it that it knits people from around the world into a kind of community – into a worldwide web of peaceful and productive mutual dependence.  Commerce over large geographic areas undermines the nativism and insularity – and poverty – that result when people live in local communities with little or no contact with outsiders.

Donald J. Boudreaux


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