This morning, while I was grinding my blend of French, Colombian and Italian coffee beans, it occurred to me that I could be doing harm to the coffee shop and diner businesses in my neighborhood by making my own coffee at home. Might I have a responsibility and obligation to consume their product, either within their premises or brought right to my door by one of their speedy, undocumented-alien delivery men?
I also wondered whether still using my old, reliable German-brand coffee grinder, manufactured in China, might be an unpatriotic betrayal of American kitchen-appliance makers by choosing not to buy their Chinese-made grinder.
As I poured some house-brand almond milk into my homemade granola, I thought about the depressed demand and earnings on the higher-priced product manufacturers that I wasn’t patronizing, their resulting order and production declines, and the backlogged inventories and possible layoffs at their factories.
How much of this country’s economy am I personally destroying by my consumption preferences? I honestly never intended to do so much harm.