Jan
31

Goodbuy American

It always seemed growing up that most people who talked about only buying ‘American’ products came across as pseudo-macho, slightly simplistic, and unworldly.  You know, the guys that said, “I only drive Ford trucks and I only buy American-made!”  I guess I felt that most of them that I ran into seemed a bit ignorant.  I suppose much of my judgment came from my own bias and my own superiority complex issues, or maybe the people I knew really were a little naive and I just generalized to every person who believed in purchasing American products.

Recently I’ve gained a new perspective on the merits of buying American-made products.  Part of me used to think that there should be competition between countries and that one should buy the best product for the best price.  I still believe in competition and free market, but I believe that purchasing American-made helps keep the U.S. economy strong by keeping the money flowing within our borders.  By micro-sizing my point, it may become more clear as to what I’m trying to get across.  Walmart and small town economies are good example.  If you study how Walmart affects local economies, you’ll likely find that the corporate giant often severely disrupts small town life.  Walmart eats up small businesses and acts as a funnel, sucking the money spent within its walls away from the town and into the corporate pockets.

Strong local, state, and national economies are crucial to growing the middle class and decreasing the divide between social classes.  When a country like the U.S. moves its jobs overseas and allows illegal immigrants to take skilled and unskilled jobs for lower pay, it weakens the economy.  Let’s say that a U.S. citizen construction worker gets paid $20/hr but an illegal immigrant is willing to work the same job for $10/hr.  These are some of the jobs being taken in this country; it’s not just scrubbing toilets like the media wants you to believe…not that scrubbing toilets is any different in this matter.  So, the U.S. citizen has to compete with an individual that would work for much less pay.  It’s the same for jobs being shipped overseas.  A factory worker in this country may get paid $8/hr.  The same job being outsourced may only pay $8/day.  Slave wages in other words.  Can we compete with that?

And before you start to think the liberal way that we’re helping out the poorer countries, please consider the situation more thoroughly.  Ask yourself how a poor economy got that way in the first place.  Ask yourself if it’d really help the poorer economy out by taking money away from the average U.S. citizen or if it’d actually just drive down our economy to a third world level.  Ask yourself who benefits from large corporations paying slave wages.

Why support another country paying slave wages, just so you can have that I-Pod for cheap?  You should support countries that support their citizens.  Once our national economy gets drained away, we’ll be the ones working for low pay…not that most of us aren’t already.  Again I ask, who benefits if every country competes to become better and better slaves?  Not you.  Sorry Mr. Rockefeller, maybe you will…didn’t know you were reading this.

What does it mean to buy American?  It’s not as simple as buying a Ford truck because your tv says to, my friend.  Where did your truck parts originate and where did the raw materials come from that make up those parts?  You sure you know?  And it’s not just one corporation.

What’s the answer to being a smart shopper?  I think it’s good to appreciate local, small business that treat their employees like human beings and not commodities.  I know it’s hard for small business to compete with the giants to supply livable wages, especially with overhead and insurance costs.  All I’m saying is that the more control a large corporation has over economies, the less automony and freedom the individual worker and employer has.  Don’t like Walmart slave labor and questionable connections with the government?  Well, how do you boycott that store if your town’s economy gives you little or no other alternatives.  Sure, you can always shop somewhere else, but with limited choice most people wouldn’t take action and would just be complacent.

So the issue isn’t as cut-and-dry as one would hope.  Just keep in mind what all these economic issues mean for the average American and international worker.  Putting your money in a place that supports the financial freedom of the individual is your best bet.  Remember that you can’t clean your brother’s house if yours is all a mess.  Taking his junk and throwing it in your yard doesn’t do much good overall. 

Buying American doesn’t quite mean what I thought it did, and I’m sure I still have a lot to learn.  Alex Jones says something to the effect that a rising tide raises all ships.  We should focus on improving the economies of all countries but not by sinking the U.S. ship and dividing the crumbs up amongst the serfs…because there are forces in the world that want to say ‘goodbye’ to America.  see: Bilderberg Group

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