Inspirations… It's about time we gave the old 'shopping' category some filling here at 123ish.com. When Black Friday rolled around and kids came in from out of town to visit, your
humble author hit on a swell idea: I'd join the legions of shoppers at Iowa's own Historic
Valley Junction in West Des Moines, with a side agenda of composing a gift inspiration list. Not just any gift list, but one where we veer away from the traditional shopping mall. See, even if you're not close to Valley Junction (you're missing out!) most major cities have a historic Bohemian district filled with local specialty shops. Just map my finds onto your local scene and compare. Or if you're too lazy to venture out to your local shops, fine, we have Amazon links for you couch potatoes too. Just expect that the Amazon link won't be quite the same thing as your quirky small business scene. Anyway, the purpose here is to give inspiration for your holiday shopping. Christmas (or whatever winter holiday you…
Did you know that over
40% of Amazon goods are made in China? Add to that nearly 99% for Alibaba
Group, which itself is the Chinese Amazon, and all
its subsidiaries. To say nothing of the
black market, and the human
rights tragedies going on there, as I've typed madly about before. If you're tired of shopping in other countries for Americans, you should give the entrepreneur makers on Etsy a try. Amazingly enough, even though the US lost a lot of its factory and industrial infrastructure to China, there's still plenty of manufacturing going on at home. That's because the era of the Internet, online shipping, 3D printers, and skilled trades crafters working out of their garage and basement has replaced what we once needed factories to make. Granted, we don't have people at home pumping out their own cars and dishwashers yet. We still have to rely on some commercial scale for now. For the most common goods you'd be buying off the shelf at the mall, you can find somebody who makes it…
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