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Should We Really Buy American?
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Should We Really Buy American?

As our country struggles with a double-digit unemployment rate we start to look at all the jobs we have lost to overseas manufacturing. Recently, ABC News with Diane Sawyer filmed a series, Made in America, that raises the question of whether consumers could help our struggling economy by buying American made products.

The ABC series follows several families as they remove all imported products from their homes. What they found was surprising as several of the participants had nothing left. Products like toasters, coffeemakers and most other electronics were all made overseas and many of the outcast items were American brand products made in other countries. Trying to replace the removed products with American made items was challenging.

It appears that most Americans don’t seem concerned about buying American made products with most of those being middle class. The middle class would benefit the most by buying American thus, putting more Americans to work. Yet we still ponder the question, should we buy American.

From my point of view, buying American has many advantages. American workers are losing their jobs or seeing lower wages because of outsourcing to other countries. Corporations are moving jobs to other countries to gain access to inexpensive labor and lower tax liabilities. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that if more people bought American products, more jobs would open? Once Americans start buying American products the demand for them will increase; raising product demand, more factories open producing more jobs. Manufacturers benefit from the increased demand for products and job fields with higher pay open. Rising profits for American based companies will help keep the US economy healthy and thriving.

We have roughly 112 million households in the United States. If each household bought just 5 American made products each month, think of how many jobs might open or how many raises granted to American workers. While finding American made products is challenging it’s not impossible. You can find everything from American made flags to American made furniture.

Start by inspecting every package to see where the products are made. Many times you will find American companies with overseas production. Maybe it’s possible to buy from an American company that doesn’t make their products overseas.

Americans are losing jobs while exploitation of disadvantaged countries is common. When we buy from corporations who engage in deindustrialization, we are adding to the problems created by this practice. Everyone could help by not supporting multinational companies and buy American made products; or could we?

Those opposed to the buy American movement claim it would be disruptive to the US economy by buying only American made products. Maybe, it’s disruptive to the company’s overseas affiliates? It’s true, customers want to pay less for goods when possible and companies seek cheaper labor in 3rd world countries where labor is less than in the United States.

We have a global economy with our companies outsourcing their manufacturing to other countries. By moving our manufacturing back home, those less advantaged countries would suffer. I have to ask, isn’t more important that we take care of our citizens first?

Again, the question, should we really buy American?

Street Talk

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