Buy American part 1
BAC updates: the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) certainly has its ups and downs, but you’d think that the “Buy American” clause wouldn’t be one of the more controversial elements.
Well, turns out that it’s actually “protectionism” (or worse!) to take steps to assist your nation’s struggling economy. At least that was Canada’s beef, and they yelled loud and long until the US finally gave in (as the government seems to do too frequently with anyone who yells loud enough and long enough, whether their arguments actually have merits or not).
Oh, I could go on and on, but I have a number of things to get to. For better or worse, I have to go and dot the Ts and cross the Is on my political stance… so it may be a while before I get to this site again! Click here for more information on the Buy American clause.
Are you a patriot?
Are you in favor of the free market?
It may be that saying yes to one means saying no to the other.
If you are simply a thrifty consumer, you want the best deal. You want to pay as little as possible for the goods and services that you need and desire. Sometimes that means shopping online. Certain products are particularly American, although you may not realize this at first glance. Consider these 2 examples, gift baskets and wigs. Especially American are gourmet gift baskets – this is not something you find elsewhere in the world as easily as you find them in the US. It is certainly the easiest way to decide; you know what you need, you look at the options, and you make your decision based upon how little it costs you, never realizing the American-ness of the product. Also take wigs as another example. Although wigs are popular everywhere, certain brands are very American. If you are a fashion conscious female, you may wish to search for a store offering a Raquel Welch wigs sale. Free markets create opportunities like RW wigs that are affordable and very American. Whether it comes from one country or another doesn’t enter into the decision, but if you do your market research, you will confirm that these are among set of the most American products.
That mirrors the corporate approach. If you are a company, you don’t really care in which country you are manufacturing, distributing, and marketing your product…except to the extent that you need to know the applicable language, laws, and particular motivations of the buyers. All you really need to know is where you can have these things done with the least expense, or the most favorable conditions (of which expense is usually the main consideration).
If you are purely a patriot (and I mean that only in terms of buying products at this point), you will only buy products that support your own country, bolster your own economy, and put your fellow countrymen to work — regardless of price. You want your money to stay within our borders, you want your community to be responsible for its own economic health.
Therefore, as a patriot, you cannot wholeheartedly support the freedom of markets. You must be willing to pay more than the bottom line, both as a consumer and as a company.
Or, on the other hand, you must admit that patriotism is not of overriding importance and resign yourself to buying and selling outside your borders.
There is a middle ground, which we will explore in the next section.