Cheap Becomes Expensive.

It is very easy to be tempted to shop according only to price, but in fact not many people do. Very few of us trek from one budget supermarket to another, comparing prices and only coming home with the cheapest options. We may be attracted to a particular shop by a special offer, but then we fill our trolleys in that same shop with less attention to price. This is our nature. What is less logical is the lack of attention we pay to the origin of our purchases.
As we all know, ‘foreign’ goods are often cheaper than their Finnish counterparts. Tomatoes from Spain, despite the fact that they have been delivered from over 3,000km away, are cheaper than those from Närpes. Clothes which have been made in the Far East are cheaper than Finnish equivalents, and shoes from Italy have more attractive price tags than Finnish ones. However, the question is: How long can we sustain this situation?

If too many of us choose Spanish tomatoes, eventually the Närpes growers will go bankrupt and join the unemployment line. There are now very few Finnish clothes makers, shoe-makers etc. Virtually every toy we buy for our kids comes from China. Our Nokia phone probably was not made in Finland, and I think it safe to say that every electronic device in your house was not made in Finland. What happens when we choose cheap? A lot of the time we are happily giving our money away to developing countries; which is very nice of us and I’m sure that some of the citizens of those countries are very happy about it 🙂

There are two important points wrapped up in this little problem. Firstly, all other things being equal, the closer to home that the goods we buy are actually produced, the less smelly diesel fuel will be needed to transport them. This will make for cleaner air, and as my family and I are obliged to breath on a pretty regular basis, I am very much in favour of this! Secondly, if we buy locally produced goods, it is most likely that the money we pay will also get spent locally, and our own economy will be all the healthier for it.

My final point in this short article is this – it is better to give your money to an Oy (Ltd) type company than an Oyj (Plc) type one. The principle is simple, especially if the company is a locally-based one. A local company with its roots in the area is again more likely to re-circulate your hard-earned cash in your home town. The shareholders of a larger public company may be from all over the world, and that is where part of your cash is going to go.

So, it makes a lot of sense to buy locally produced goods whenever possible. Let’s keep the air clean and our money local!

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