From Sharon Astyk
June 18, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California
…The mere idea that America could flourish by becoming the best shoppers on the planet and not much more is bizarre, and yet it has held a grip on us for decades. Our job is to consume, while China and other states produce for us. The reality is that an economy based on devouring what other people produce, mine, build and make is ummm…due for a refit.
My suggestion is that we refit it voluntarily, and rapidly. It is time and well past time to begin making things in the United States again. And by making things I do not mean “asphalt paving and cars” – the private car is doomed, and none of us are made much richer by acres of highway, which only increase our dependency on foreign oil and its toxic cognates.
By making things, I mean things we actually need. I’m sure you can think of some – socks and shoes and tools and trains; beer and books and beans and bikes; hoes and hats, fiddles and fishing poles. And on a small scale, keeping fossil fuels to a minimum, near where you live and I do. Because the other choice is this – we become China’s supplier of things they want that we have – food, mostly, since we’re the biggest exporter in the world, and they can’t feed themselves. And we do it on China’s terms, at China’s prices, with all that that implies. There’s a kind of horrible justice there, since we’ve been doing that through globalization to countless poor nations – but there are better things than ironic justice.
Point me to one single piece of evidence that suggests the US will be fine if other nations stop buying our debt, please. Point me to our plan – one that doesn’t involve rapid growth or actual fairies. Otherwise, better get started making something useful.
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