Re: Advantages of local food systems

One needs to be aware of the source of energy and wealth one uses to
"spread" this wealth and pattern of use associated (cyclical,
consumptive, addictive, builds infrastructure).

> Date:          Fri, 31 Jan 97 9:43:44 EST
> To:            <SANET-MG@ces.ncsu.edu>
> From:          <WLockeretz@infonet.tufts.edu> (Willie Lockeretz)
> Subject:       Advantages of local food systems

> Andy Fisher lists among the advantages of a community food system the 
> "recycling of local dollars into local economies." This point has been made 
> often, for example to support local currency schemes. 
> However, I question whether recycling money locally is necessarily an 
> admirable thing. Clearly, it serves the self-interest of the local residents 
> (i.e., when your local economy thrives, you benefit economically too). But is 
> that a justification for preferentially spending your money locally? (Here I 
> am not dealing with the other arguments offered on behalf of community-
> oriented economic systems, such as better chances for controlling how things 
> are produced.) Suppose your local economy is already doing well -- your 
> community is downright rich. Couldn't one argue that it is better to target 
> your spending to places that need it more because of poverty, unemployement, 
> and so forth? These could be elsewhere in the country, or -- dare I say it? --
> in another country. (Granted, existing mechanisms of international trade 
> typically siphon off most of the benefits that you hoped would go to the 
> people who need them the most, but alternatives such as Fair Trade could deal 
> with this problem.)
> In short, is "let's look after our own" a morally valid principle for making 
> spending choices if one is concerned with issues of economic justice and such?
> William Lockeretz
> Tufts University