Does the market fail to respond to local demand?

Don Boudreaux, at Cafehaye, cites Roger Scruton’s critique of the “globalized form” of the free market. Here’s the quote:

Although I am very much in favor of the free market, I am very suspicious of its globalized form and the way it does not respond to the needs of local communities and local forms of local value. So this is a problem for real conservatism—developing an economic doctrine that doesn’t threaten the local communities on which we all depend.

Don is among the top 5 global defenders of international trade and so his response, as always, is quite good. He focuses on the disruption that new suppliers bring to local communities and points out that there is nothing special about suppliers being foreign: Walmart is able to cause disruption.

But I think—and this is rare—that there is a response to Scruton that he missed. Well, he didn’t exactly miss it – it’s implicit – but I think it should be obvious.

Suppliers, whether domestic or foreign, succeed in any community by providing products and services that people want. Precisely because we in the United States are relatively free to buy goods from other countries, local communities are served good.

As I sit here writing, I’m wearing my ultra shoes where I played pickleball on Saturday morning. I believe they were made in China or Vietnam. As someone from the Monterey community, I find that manufacturers have responded beautifully to my local demand for shoes that help my plantar fasciitis instead of making it worse.

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