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Global or Local?: Trends in Shopping and Globalization

June 27, 2007

Living in Austin has a lot of benefits. One is the culture of “Keep Austin Weird,” which among other things, advocates supporting local business. From Whole Foods to Austin Java, local business in Austin offers the consumer a diverse, unique, and often of high quality shopping experience. We’ve bought into the ethos; it’s great to eat, shop, and frolic locally.

According to the Globalist, going local is a rising trend that may clip globalization. Stephen Roach points out that globalization has led to a higher standard of living in third world countries, while producing more consumers. India and China’s standards of living have doubled and quadrupled over the past 15 years. However, richer countries like the U.S. aren’t benefiting from increased consumers and globalization, as imagined.

Roach writes: “With labor costs easily accounting for the largest portion of business expenses, this has proved to be a veritable bonanza for the return to capital — pushing the profits share of national income in the major countries of the industrial world to historical highs of 15.6%.” In other words, “An era of localization will have some very different characteristics from recent trends: Wages could go up, and corporate profits could come under pressure.”

Local or global? Do you see these trends as economical delusion or definite possiblity?

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