Monday, November 08, 2010

How Buying Art and Fine Hand Made Things Can Turn Our Economy Around

The trend to outsource manufacturing to other countries where labor is cheap has been going on for several decades. The United States has been evolving into a “service” economy for some time now to the detriment of our economy.

Studies show that the service sector generates an additional 71 cents of economic activity for every one dollar in sales. But for every dollar of manufactured goods sold to a consumer, another $1.43 is created in sectors outside of manufacturing. Buying American made products fuels our own economy and creates jobs. This includes art, and any other product that is made here in the United States by Americans.

According to federal statistics, just a handful of years ago manufacturing employed 15 million Americans and required another 8 million workers in other sectors as a means of support. That number has decreased since then, a result of outsourcing, and has stripped our country of 2.5 million manufacturing jobs since the recession began.

Government alone has been unable to stop this hemorrhagic catastrophe, because Americans want what they want at a low cost, and outsourcing has become the norm. Homogenization of our society through branding of everything from architecture to restaurants to the packaging of dime store needs, has taken the focus off creativity and the exploration of craftsmanship. If we want to bolster our economy and to it expeditiously, then it will take a grassroots effort, if not a patriotic endeavor to “buy American.” This doesn’t necessarily mean you will pay more for goods, and it may even mean savings through purchasing longevity where the dimension of quality is factored in. Buying American will also have the added benefit of keeping our friends, families and countrymen employed.

The bottom line is buying art, or any fine, hand made items made in the United States supports our economy. Become a choosy consumer and ask questions. Look for quality and imagination and don’t settle for anything less. Holding onto your money and living in fear is not necessarily a wise idea in these trying times.

(c) 2009 - Ruth Mitchell - all rights reserved

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