Regarding "Buy American"

by Chris
(Seattle, WA)

America's economy was founded on Capitalism and its ability to amass wealth quickly. The paradox with the "buy American" movement is that it the concept behind it is entirely un-American when one understands its premise. Capitalism thrives on competition and specialization. Without it, it dies. So, to argue that one should "buy American" simply because it is American is to say, "disregard quality and be patriotic by supporting your local economy". In reality, the very concept erodes the economy because it undermines competition which undermines quality and eventually drives the market into a downward spiral (General Motors 1970's oil crisis, General Motors 2008 bubble crisis, and so on). If you want to represent the economy well when purchasing, purchase because you believe the product is worth what is being asked for it, rather than via the "rally around the flag effect" method. If America cannot produce a product that competes with the Chinese version for the same price or visa-versa then let it figure out how to do so rather than sustaining the production of a less than quality product via the "buy American" movement. GM still hasn't caught up to Japan even after Japan initiated Voluntary Export Restrictions (VER) at the United States' request. Instead of taking the 5 years offered by the Japanese to catch up, U.S. car makers raised the prices of their cars simply because the Japanese counterparts became more expensive because supply dropped due to the VER's. In the 1970's the U.S. had its chance to retool to become competitive. Now, decades later, they still do not have it together because of the "buy American" advertising program. Be good to the economy and yourself. Buy based on value, not origin.

See: http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2007/02/art3full.pdf

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Feb 19, 2015
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cheap goods NEW
by: big carmine

If foreign employees had to pay the same level of income tax as in America then wages there would have to be much higher. Product prices would be closer to matching and quality would have to be equal or better or your competition would gain an edge in the market.
Some day far in the future Africa will one day become the last pool for untapped unskilled labor. Manufacturing will relocate there. To manufacture cheap goods one needs ready and cheap resources.China has already offered to build and maintain roads and other public works in Africa in exchange for future contracts in raw materials. Our corporate giants seem focused on their bonuses and retirement packages . Just my opinion.

Feb 19, 2015
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cheap goods NEW
by: big carmine

If foreign employees had to pay the same level of income tax as in America then wages there would have to be much higher. Product prices would be closer to matching and quality would have to be equal or better or your competition would gain an edge in the market.
Some day far in the future Africa will one day become the last pool for untapped unskilled labor. Manufacturing will relocate there. To manufacture cheap goods one needs ready and cheap resources.China has already offered to build and maintain roads and other public works in Africa in exchange for future contracts in raw materials. Our corporate giants seem focused on their bonuses and retirement packages . Just my opinion.

Dec 06, 2014
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The American way NEW
by: Anonymous

Guys, please don't forget that here in America we have a standard of living that is much higher than most of the rest of the world. It is impossible for USA companies to compete with the manufacturers in China because the labor is so cheap there and their standard of living is on average much lower.

If you base your purchasing purely on the "deal" then you are creating liquidity in the market and over time the American standard of living will get worse and the Chinese will get better. My point is that if you want to continue to make American wages then you should buy American whenever practical.

Aug 11, 2014
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Corp Greed NEW
by: Paul

I worked for an all American company that was homegrown for 26 years. Employees had an hourly wage around $20.00 per hour and included full Health (family plan), dental, and Vision care and retirement program. The company was bought by another corporation and the workers were told labor cost were to too high, the plant was closed, and production was moved to MO. The MO. workers were paid less than $6.00 per hour, basic health insurance was made available for a single @ $30.00 per week, no vision, dental, or retirement plan. A 401K plan was made available for all employees allowing them to put up 15%of their earning towards their retirement, LOL.
As a member of management in the original company, I was well aware that our labor cost were just under 7% of the total product cost. By the way, The quality of the product suffered do to an inexperience production team, the product was redesigned with cost cuts in materials, but there were no price reductions to customers after the changes. Greed at the expense of employees is well practiced in the states.

Aug 06, 2014
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foreign or American NEW
by: sandy mclardy

We should boycott, punish and fight against slave labor, period. But if a company is playing by the rules why should we punish them? For their skin color? Nationality? I'm just saying (as Jody would say;)
The trouble I have is trying to compare apples for apples. Is the chines company cheaper because they cheat the workers or just because they have a different model? Amazon has a very different model than say your local hardware store etc. I don't think this is an easy question but I hope we can overcome our consumerism if and when we see others being abused. Finally, I love America but I love Spain, England, South Africa etc. We are them. Tribalism will help no one. We aught to know this. Cheers, adios, peace

Mar 22, 2014
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D american way NEW
by: enginear

OORAH for Jodi's example- an american giving back to americans. thats CITIZENSHIP IN ACTION.

a citizens example - works to learn it,use it to create good for self and others,share the skills with like minded people,use its benefits to help us take care of loved ones, build it into a first-class performing tool, and pass it on to others.
Lessons for us all to follow- a good job and very well done.

if that happened at our corporate levels we WOULD BE buying american because all the bEst products WOULD BE AMERICAN MADE.

Mar 22, 2014
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Buy good capitalist stuff- thats american way NEW
by: EnginEar

buying an american made product that lines the pockets of the 'manager' who will sacrifice the quality of his product for his personal profits, is not an american way of honest capitalism. no wonder americans think they are being hoodwinked. its a corruption of a good citizenship intention by a crooked operator who steals the results for himself, and doesnt pass along benefits to the product user or its maker. when american firms can continue to engineer highly cost-effective products that can perform in a competitive market, then we will see a storm of american products bought by americans. stop screwing the buyer to line the pockets of the stockholder and the buyer will buy whats smart for him to buy- companies owned by employees are most interested in tracking the market of their product because that keeps them in a job. a blind shareholder who makes company-governing decisions to take $ away from needed competitive development and mfg advancements is NOT working for the future of the company, he is working to butcher it for the highest price he can put in his pocket and screw the other guys- dont care about them. butcher the goose and the golden eggs are no more. many good firms make great products in USA and they sell well. Camry is USA built, great quality, and a huge seller in USA. too bad shivyfurdfooyat couldnt see beyond the next months balance sheet to build it with their name on it. oorah for quality and american honesty, poorah for thievery in corporate boardrooms. I want best price and best performance, thats what all american buyers want -its a core concept of capitalism. why are asian mfg. smart enough to come to USA and use USA workers to build things USA buyers will gladly pay for when USA corporate managers WONT do it? greed. greed-greed-and more GREED.I wont pay for more greed for them, been their believing fool long enough.

Feb 14, 2014
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Buy American NEW
by: Anonymous

Wow I was considering buying the eastwood machine until now I guess I will save more money and keep with Miller your right. I don't shop at wal-mart and I think we should buy american if you don't well I guess you can't gripe about your job going to china because that's where there all heading.

Feb 07, 2014
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The piece left out NEW
by: Brad

Some of the comments here are rather disappointing. Rambling on about the greedy corporations or the why should I care if I can get it cheaper somewhere else. The piece that gets left out is the fact the US manufacturers can't compete one to one with a Chinese company that pays their worker a few dollars a day to put their products together. We can't have it both ways. We can either decide to pay more for a product built here, supporting the good paying jobs that produce it. Or we can buy a product that may or may not work as well from overseas because it's cheap, and stand by and mindlessly wonder why our economy struggles.

Jan 10, 2014
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Smart Shopper NEW
by: Alex

I am not brain washed into buying here or there. I make wise buying decisions based on quality and price. Why would I buy North American for the sake of doing so. If my North American brother does not care about the quality he puts into a product I should buy, why should I care then to buy from him.

Dec 06, 2013
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Corporations NEW
by: John at the Falls

I to fought with my Economics instructor back in '83 when he said that manufacturing was an insignificant part of the whole overall equation.

It may be a small part but it is the whole driving force in an economy supporting all the retail and every other job.

It was like saying the seed is not important to the tree because it is so small.

The big lie --> Corporations need to stop saying they have to offshore to compete. They do it to pay higher dividends. Period! The purpose of a corporation is to pay dividends on the investment. Inconveniently for the corporation, they have to provide a product. What a bothersome expense. A corporation is also a Government concession that also limits liability which is also major expense for a corporation. With the burden of liability removed, the corporation can do stupid things like sell the dirt out from under their feet or do unethical crap like manipulating the market with blackouts.

I have a fine Name Brand Chinese made welder and it uses Lincoln drive rollers and other Lincoln parts. What is going on with Lincoln?

One of my questions was, Do I buy an American brand and pay 50 percent more to support the stockholders or do I invest that extra money into my own US based business.

When my business is up and running strong, then I will invest in Miller machinery.

Dec 06, 2013
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Wow, what a sad state of affairs NEW
by: Armen

I really can't believe what I'm reading here. These comments that are comparing the US automotive industry failures to the welding industry are ridiculous. We have two primary manufacturers who up until recently made all of their welders in the good 'ol USA. These are products that feed our ever shrinking industrial base with the finest machinery to get the job done. These machines work for years flawlessly to put bread on the table for average working man who owns a business as well as large manufacturing. As pointed out by others these two giants in the welding industry provide thousands of jobs either directly or indirectly to families in this country. I'm not even counting the thousands of jobs that come from the supplier side.

We don't have an issue (yet) with American welder manufacturing, the products produced are fantastic. Why not support Manufacturing that actually supports this country and the people who live here. Instead I'm reading these comments about GM and other American manufacturers who did fail the country. Please don't bring down those companies who are actually doing a good job. Yes the equipment costs more, stop being cheap penny pinchers, your only cutting the throat of your children. The economy IS global and my friends that IS a problem.

The point of others would have some validity if the American welding manufacturers were producing inferior products. They aren't, and by supporting the Chinese products your short sided logic will eventually force US made products to be made over seas. What's the big deal right? So let's think about this for a minute. Would it be fair to say most Weldors are employed by US manufacturing, I'd say most likely. What happens when using the cheaper is better logic is used here. Lets see the vast majority of manufacturing packs up and leaves for China. After all guys cheaper is better, oh wait you mean that doesn't apply when you lose your job.........?

Just think you'll be able to buy a Chinese made Lincoln or Miller welder for half of what they currently sell for. Oh but you'll be on welfare like the rest of the country. Now suddenly a half price welder seems too expensive when you have no money.

Sure guys that buy American is a stupid idea, and yes I went to college and got a business degree. I fought with my economics teacher the whole time as he spewed the fundamentals of what has destroyed this country. Hell I was I stupid college kid, and I knew better. I live by my word and support businesses that support this country, at least I can sleep at night.

Nov 25, 2013
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buy american NEW
by: john d

Hi guys, well here in Australia we have the same motto...we even run TV adds for buy Australian. My opinion is that moneys hard enough to ern as it is without spending it twice. My new mig welder is brilliant (unimig180) its as strong as an oxen and its made in Italy!!! I don't give a rats ahole where its from as long as the quality is there first then price comes second. The best welders we make over here are the ones wearing the mask!!!! Australia has a huge manufacturing background, welding,fabrication,engeneering...etc as does the USA we all have our strengths and I'm sure we do our best also. Hey if you are all so hell bent on buying American why do most Americans eat Chinese food lol lol Coz its cheap and its nice. Same reason for buying the cheap welder. Cheers guys, I'd.

Aug 31, 2013
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I love blue and red NEW
by: Baltimore plate cutter nonymous

If Lincoln and Miller would remember the average joe,and not concentrate on industrial and wealthy hobbyists,they could sell more machines,and hopefully expand the number of skilled metalworkers in the USA.

Jul 15, 2013
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Redneck NEW
by: Anonymous

WOW, "Your a redneck if you believe in buy American". How many years of economic depression does it take for "Non rednecks" need before they realize their buy cheap and disregard where it is from economic policy is a fallacy. A fallacy taught to every collage student, some students know what to take in and others repeat everything they heard in class and regurgitate it as fact. The fact is it's a global economy and has been ever since man has had the ability to ship and trade. There it is the key word TRADE. I don't have time or the space in this little comment to explain all the benefits of buying from your own economy are, but telling someone they are small minded or a "redneck" for supporting American jobs is in itself ignorant. Easy way to prove this is to let us all know what you do for a living and I will make sure no one in America buys or does business with you and we will see how long you feed your family. Ever wonder why your kids can't find work? That's right, its a "GLOBAL economy", Welfare can feed them.
Nothing wrong with buying American. It gives your fiends, family and neighbors a job, who in turn will support you. It all works until gov restriction and legislation destroys capitalism.
Thank you
P.S. good luck finding the welder that works for you. Just don't insult others for their decision or place of origin.

Jan 11, 2013
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Thats a redneck catch phrase NEW
by: Anonymous

"buy Americans" is a catch phrase popular with rednecks. Why ? because thats all they revolve around. In this time of global economy, buy from whoever got the better product with the less dough-bigger bang for your bucks. Not all Americans are created equal, the majority arent so bright.

Jan 06, 2012
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Enterprise vs. "Capitalism" NEW
by: Anonymous

Capitalism is a vaguely defined concept.
I prefer the term, Free Enterprise.

Defending the concept of Capitalism today is more a defense of Corporatism and Corporate influence in our Government.

Someone takes raw materials and makes something of value. That is enterprise. That is what built this country. Enterprise and freedom from Government interference.

The purpose of a corporate structure is to pay dividends to the stockholders. A wise corporation will just fleece the sheep but in todays environment the corporations skin the sheep and move their capital on to the next victim. This is not enterprising nor is it free when coupled with purchased Government influence.

If the Occupy Wall Streeters had an education in economics, they could have actually spurred some constructive debate but instead are acting like a bunch of ignorant whiners and complainers.

JTH

Jan 06, 2012
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Well Said! NEW
by: Anonymous

I agree heartily! I've been saying this for years, if all other things are equal, my first choice is always to buy American, but I won't support shoddy goods and services simply because they originate in this country.

I notice that you don't go into what "made in America" actually means in this global economy. Harley-Davidsons contain about 25% Japanese-made parts, and Toyota and Honda build their biggest sellers in the US. My last GM vehicle was made in Canada, is that more "American" than a Honda made in Marysville, Ohio? Makes it more difficult to support the "be American, buy American" mentality.

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