Stuck in the middle

I refer to the article by Jason Urbach “Is buying local really lekker” (9 December 2011, page 6 and 7) wherein he speaks only negatively on the topic.

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Whilst he alerts us to the possible ills of buying locally produced goods, I can’t help but feel he has taken an overly dramatic and biased view on the subject.

He uses an extreme example of a locally produced car engine at 10 times the price of an imported one to illustrate his point, which is not helpful. I wonder whether this price variance is reasonably indicative of actual price differences in reality?

What he doesn’t include or mention in his article is the effect of foreign subsidies on the price of imported goods and the artificiality this causes, not to mention the unsustainability thereof. As a free market agent I hope he rejects subsidies that can only encourage inefficient production practices.

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I am undecided on this particular topic, however I am a firm believer that everything in life requires a balance. The practical and reasonable answer lies somewhere in the middle of two extremes. Whilst I respect his learned opinion, he has presented an extreme view based on his belief of what is right.

As a reader it would be of benefit if a more balanced opinion be given in matters such as these and perhaps the other side of the argument should also be given, if possible, by FW.

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