With the holiday shopping season approaching, make sure that your shopping list won’t inadvertently send your money overseas. For every dollar that you’ll spend on products about 50% will go directly to the manufacturer. Most Americans will buy Christmas presents that were made in China and so that’s where our U.S. dollars will go, and we’ll never get it back because China doesn’t buy U.S. exports.
Our country was almost completely self sufficient until about 1970 and our ancestors had festive holiday parties and gift exchanges without buying anything from overseas. The exception to that were tea and spices which came from tropical regions near the earth’s equator. Wealthy families had imports such as blue and white Chinese porcelain dishware, mahogany from Africa, pigeon blood rubies from Burma, and original paintings from Paris. However, rich people were a very small minority in the colonies and so their bad shopping habits bled the colonial economy only a little.
If you absolutely need Italian shoes then buy them from an independent Italian immigrant here on U.S. soil. A handmade custom pair of shoes here in America probably cost less than the mass produced designer stuff at high end department stores.
Modern Americans who attended elementary school here on American soil know that the original Thirteen Colonies on the east coast were finely subdivided into quaint villages that were self sufficient. They had a local pastor who provided political leadership, farmers, carpenters, a glassblower, candle maker, butter churner, blacksmith, an innkeeper with a tavern/saloon, and if they had money then they had a village shoe and boot maker. Nearly everything else was handmade at home, and the family furniture and silverware were passed down through the generations.
As hard as it was to make things they did it anyway. Families and church members worked together to spin yarn, make clothes and wool blankets, can fruit, make barrels of apple cider, make soap, throw pottery on a wheel, build chairs, hunt for wild turkeys, etc. I’m not suggesting that contemporary America should revert back to early colonial living but we could at least try to be self sufficient again, and with the automated assembly line equipment that’s available the overhead costs should be manageable. It’s true that machines took jobs away from employees but it’s better to have that problem than to send all of our money overseas to other countries.
There is a common myth that the American economy was built entirely on industrialization and that’s not true. The first factory was in Jamestown, Virginia, and it made glass household products such as bottles, dishware and windows. It failed within two years and it took the colonists twelve years to try again. The colonies were controlled by Britain. They had export businesses selling raw natural resources such as lumber to companies in Europe, but the whole system was owned and operated by the British and they kept all of the profits. The British didn’t even want to pay for labor: They began shipping West African and Irish slaves to the colonies during the 1600’s. The Africans were shipped south and the Irish were shipped north. The British established plantations in the south to grow cash crops and then their need for more slaves became insatiable.