A friend of mine at the Pentagon has told me about an idea that has been circulating on various email circuits.  She suggested that everyone make the maximum effort to buy for Christmas only goods, products, and services that are either made in America or that directly support the local community.  For example, if a family member goes to a certain barber or hairdresser regularly you can buy a gift certificate for that service, ditto for car services, book certificates for students, etc.   I would leave it to everyone’s imagination and ingenuity for how it all would work locally and how the idea could be expanded.  As I was watching the endlessly repeated commercials on television during a football game this afternoon (alas, the Jints lost) I realized just how few products were made in America and became a bit annoyed at how we have been trapped into supporting foreign manufacturers because we have frequently not been resourceful enough in supporting our own local economies.  As America’s political class really doesn’t begin to understand just how badly many working and middle class Americans are hurting and probably doesn’t care, it would help for all of us who do care to make a conscientious effort to keep at least some portion of holiday spending within our local communities.