Each year, I run a massive trade deficit with Target. I spend a lot there and the Minneapolis-based retailer buys NOTHING from me. It’s unfair. In order keep my money at home, I will henceforth deal only with businesses based in my home state of Virginia. Furthermore, if I do ever go to Target, I’ll set up a system that takes money from me and spends it on things my elected representatives know are good for me. I don’t really object to this tax because, after all, it’s for my own good, enriches my neighbors and ultimately me.
And most importantly, Target is going to be hurt really badly. In fact, the new store the company wants to build near my house–which is really only a way of extracting even more money from my community—might not be built as a result. This will further reduce the drain of wealth on me and my neighbors.
And there are local alternatives, after all. Dollar Tree, which is Virginia-based, sells most of what I need so I can start shopping only there. But thinking about it, that probably isn’t enough it’s based on the other side of the state.
I really want to keep my money in Northern Virginia where I live. There are some farmers’ markets that allow only local growers and at least one or two custom tailors in the area from which I can buy my clothes. Sure, it will cost more but I’ll be getting much better quality in organic produce and custom clothing and supporting local jobs at the same time. WIN!
But, of course, that really doesn’t go far enough either. The farmers mostly live a few counties over and the tailors might well decide to spend their money on a trip to Disney World or maybe even a cruise in the Caribbean on a ship that employs only a handful of Americans. They might even put it into a 401(k) that invests in other countries rather than right here in Northern Virginia.
The real solution, then is that I should make everything myself and grow all of my own food. That way I can REALLY keep my money near home. I think I could probably dig up my backyard to plant potatoes and raise a few chickens in my kitchen. I don’t know how to sew at all but maybe I can buy a sewing machine and learn. After all, I NEED to keep my money at home. That’s what’s most important.
Now there are risks here, of course, but there are ways to mitigate those too. We can increase social spending using some of this new tax money and provide better welfare benefits for everyone. As we know, however, the principle of subsidiarity strongly suggests that we’re best off administering them close to home. Maybe, instead of owning my own house/farm (it’s going to be tough making it on a half-acre but I can manage) I could ask someone else for protection and use of some extra land. He could then run a business that would take a certain share of my crops and sometimes ask me to help out on certain projects like building roads and maybe helping out if another nearby businessperson got into a disagreement with him. Since he’ll probably have more money than I do, maybe he could build a big house. In return, he’d protect me and provide me with food and other resources if I ever hit hard times. Everyone around me could get help from the same person. Maybe he could make an agreement with someone who had an even bigger business and more land elsewhere.
As such, my whole neighborhood could be self-sufficient for almost everything and VERY wealthy as a result. This is such a great idea, I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before.
The only thing I can’t think of is what I should call the system. But, in any case, it’s really awesome. No?
Image credit: Eugene Ivanov