Over the recent Holiday while shopping, it occurred to me to start looking at product labels on items that were not food related. I have no idea what prompted this, it certainly was not a conscious effort, but somehow I began looking at the manufacturers information on things like toasters, clothing and electronic equipment. It is no great revelation that many of the products we have on the shelves in the U.S. are foreign made, after all, it has become a global economy in the last decade or so. What was surprising was the amazingly small percentage of U.S. made items. It would not be a stretch to estimate the imports at 75% or greater.
As the U.S. economy recently has taken a major hit, all the media outlets attributed the loss on the housing market, predatory lending, a dying automotive industry and a number of other factors. The downward spiral in American manufacturing was barely commented upon, giving the impression that the topic had little significance in out current financial dilemma. Anyone who has traveled the Midwest "Rustbelt" realizes the importance of manufacturing to the U.S. economy, so why can’t all of those so-called economic guru’s?
Buying American products does not mean one needs approach consumerism with an Archie Bunker mentality, it is the simple application of common sense to ensure every dollar spent has a maximum impact on the U.S. economy. These does not mean throwing money away on a product of poor quality just because it is made in The United States. It is when there are no distinguishable differences in quality or price,taking the American made product. The few pennies more you may pay in retail price has ramifications in the strength and future of our nation, from both an economic perspective as well as other areas of our culture.
If viewed from the proper perspective, each dollar spent on a product made in the USA will be recirculated countless times within our economy. It moves from the consumer’s hands to the retailer, from there through a distributor including transportation companies, to the manufacturer. The manufacturer in turn buys materials to make the product, pays employees wages, taxes, rent, equipment costs and insurances. The employees of the manufacturer in turn pay taxes, rent, food etc. and the cycle continues indefinitely. That is, until the dollar goes to a foreign country to enrich their economy, through the purchase of one of their products.
This view is not to be intended as a case for global economic isolationism, rather as a case for purchasing American products when feasible. If we collectively as a nation cannot protect our own best interests and those of our citizens, who will?