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? Or not? Boy this is a loaded question today as we watch the word “patriot” get twisted all which was, particularly if you are a GOP / Trump supporter.
Are you in favor of the free market? Sometimes I think this depends if it is advantageous to you or not.
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, so you think at first glance. But consider these 2 examples, gift baskets and wigs. Are gourmet gift baskets especially American? Some would say YES..this is not something you find elsewhere in the world as easily as you find them in the US. However, most of the actual gift baskets are not made in the US although many of the products that do fill them are made here. Oops!
Take wigs as another example. Although wigs are popular everywhere, we tend to think certain brands are very American. If you are a fashion conscious female, you may wish to search for a wig store that is offering a Raquel Welch wigs sale. Free markets create opportunities to purchase RW wigs that are affordable and the brand, Raquel Welch seems very American, unless you look deeper and see where most affordable wigs are made. Hint: it’s not in the US!.
It seems that the more you look into the origins of a product, the more you realize how many product are not made in the US. For example, one of my dear friends owns a business that sells at home private sti test kits for use in the privacy of your home. These tests are manufactured in Asia, because they are the lowest cost provider. But because such a test is reliant on biotech expertise, the process can be hugely expensive in western countries. Also, rigorous standards require strict oversight of the manufacturing process, which is why many US companies have set up labs and research facilities overseas. Some would say this one good example where everyone benefits from this kind of high tech out sourcing.
One could drink alcoholic products that are produced in the US. Although if you want to get really picky , the cans, the bottles would also have to be sourced in the US and that might not be aways true. But alcohol is one of those product which is produced locally in the US as well as imported from overseas. Do you drink only USA patriotic alcohol? Do you really care? This is an example of a market place where the product can be pleasurable and also cause lots of harm. Did you know that Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is one of the most common and destructive medical disorders in the United States and the world? Phamacutical companies have stepped right up to deal with the results over excessive drinking that has probably been around since humans first figured out how to make an intoxicating beverage. But the advances in this area have accelerated in the past 50 years with the development of anti alcohol medicine often referred to as anticraving therapy medications. FDA approved medications such as Disulfiram, Naltrexone and Acamprosate have been around for awhile. But now a number of medications are being utilized “off-label” to also treat those who desire to cut down or totally stop drinking. These off-label prescription drugs range from Topiramate (an anticonvulsant medication), Zonisamide (an antiepileptic closely related to topiramate), Gabapentin, (anticonvulsant) Nalmefene, Baclofen (a GABAB receptor agonist), and muscle relaxers, Varenicline (Chantix), an anti-smoking drug, Ondansetron (Zofran), an anti-nausea drug, GHB (sodium oxybate- Xyrem), to the Chinese herb/isoflavone, Kudzu.
How many patriots here in the US are worrying about wether the beer or hard liquor they are drinking is made in the US? Not many even if you are a true patriot, whatever that means in our highly toxic, politicized country.
Most big international company, you don’t really care in which country they are distributing & marketing their products except to the extent that they need to know the applicable language, laws, and particular motivations of the buyers. Where they are manufacturing is more focused since they’ll want to keep costs really low. The US does not offer the lowest cost or the most favorable conditions (of which expense is usually the main consideration) for most international companies which is why many companies have their manufacturing plants elsewhere. Does this make them less patriotic. Both political parties have pushed for American made goods. Trump’s slogan Make America Great Again sounded great to many folks, but most businesses looked at their bottom line and did not move their operations back to the US.
I think that there are some folks who will make a strong effort to buy only US made products. But you must admit that patriotism is not of overriding importance for most folks.
Is there is a middle ground? We will explore that topic in the next section.