‘Afternoon Fitties! It’s a beautiful almost-fall day here in New England. ::deeply inhaling::

Ahhhh. I’m not a summer girl. I hate the sun, roasting cars, sweat… I’m more a mild temperature fan. I love the falls here. They are glorious.  Comfortable temps, blue skies, gentle breeze and dying bugs. That’s all I ask for. I’m simple

I’ve mentioned previously my love for Target workout wear. Specifically, I love the Poise shoes because they are light, inexpensive, durable, cute and really ideal for my Zumba teaching.  I’ve logged a lot of hours in those puppies and they’ve treated me well.

I’m due for another pair soon and was all set to head down to Target when I heard an interview from Rob DeMartini, the President and CEO of New Balance.  Unlike almost every other shoe manufacturer, New Balance still makes shoes in the US. Speficially, New Balance makes shoes in Massachusetts in Maine. For those of you in California, those are the little bitty states all the way on the other side of the country. 😉  I still have a hard time figuring out which little bitty state is which. At least I can find New Hampshire now.

So who cares where the shoes are made as long as they are cheap and they are good? Well, my neighbors in Massachusetts and Maine might care. Where I buy my shoes might make the difference between a job and no job for a New Balance employee right here where I live. On one hand, the more money I save by buying cheap foreign-made shoes frees up money I can spend supporting other local businesses.  On the other hand, foreign countries subsidize their industries and manipulate currency to make their goods more competitive with US goods. And overseas workers make less than US workers so the cost of the foreign goods is lower.

So I guess it comes down to competing values. Do I want foreign workers to be able to feed their families or my neighbors in New England to feed their families? Do I want cheap shoes so I can afford an extra coffee at Starbucks and a manicure from time to time or do I want to pay a little more for shoes and support enterprise here? On the other hand (how many hands do I have going right now?), Target is a US company and they employ people all over the US, including right here in my town. When I shop at Target, even when I buy foreign-made goods, I am supporting local families.

I probably would go for the cheap and easy solution if the economy wasn’t so crappy. But now I’m thinking a little bit more about what my purchase means.

I really don’t know what to do. What are your thoughts?