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What are the hiccups with this idea of Americans buying products that are only made in the USA?

Updated on June 6, 2017

As long as we continue to functioni under a pure capitalist system, the need to justify our actions will always be overshadowed by our wish to gain profit.

Some believe that by buying products that are made in the USA will help stimulate the economy while keeping the dollar re-circulating longer within the country. Although it is not a bad idea to have Americans invest in American products; to have actually exercised this strategy fully would have developed tensions that could lead to policy change or even sanctions between USA and some foreign countries.

The core problem of today’s society begins with globalization. Although globalization may be viewed as a good idea, under a pure capitalist system it doesn’t work. Globalization opens the door for all countries to trade freely in these forums known as MASDAQ, NYSE or FOREX EXCHANGE.

It is undoubtedly forecasted by some Americans that if most of them where to purchase products that were made in the USA it would have helped revolutionize the American manufacturing industry. Which mean more American manufactures would have find it in their interest to move their line of production in the US to avoid being sanctioned. This assumption is obviously base on the statistic that Americans consume more than the rest of the world and by that any discouragement to buy foreign made products is a counter act to minimize foreign import.

Although the above reasoni is satisfactory to some; the truth dictates that the gravitation towards buying American made products have not completely taken flight since “The Nation’s international trade deficit, goods and services have increased to $40.4 billion in March from $39.4 billion (revised) in February, as imports increased more than exports. (May 12, 2010)”. This tells us; while we may be good at talking the talk, walking it is a whole different ball game.

You can’t eliminate competition out of trades by taking a patriotic approach in buying American made products. People need to have choices so that they make intelligent decisions; taking a patriotic approach can only leave the patriot with fewer options, making them vulnerable to monopoly.

The American business can move their lines of production into other countries as they wish, but the transportation fees and taxes that the US Government will charge may offset the anticipated profit for that company. Given that the American government is less likely to discourage the transfer of American jobs overseas for the simple fact that our economic system is considered a free market. Where the ability to move production to a different region can be viewed as a comparative advantage between the producer and the entrepreneur, it doesn’t help the people if they have to buy this product at an inflated price while their jobs get shipped overseas.

Inflation is destroying the dollar and therefore making tradeoff between US and other industrialized countries economically disadvantageous year after year.

There is however a fundamental error in thinking that there is such a thing as the American economy, and that this economy function independently from all other economies. Even though we may not have implied that the American economy is independent, but to have actually kept trying to isolate Americans from buying foreign good is an informed consent that proves our intent is to minimize foreign market from our economic system. The reason is understood, but the means by which we go about doing it may seems as a discouragement to a free market system. Unless of-course we don't believe in a free market system.

This would have been an excellent idea had we not been introduced with globalization. To imply sanctions on foreign made products signified that we can manage without them. Meanwhile, the recent free trade agreement dictates otherwise. The free market system has long opened all barricades for any country to trade as they please. This way of limiting trades on foreign import although it may be beneficial for some American businesses, to some extent can restrict a business long term growth. In that sense, there is a comparative advantage that is underlined here, and to understand this point we can read the next paragraph.

As an American businessman if profit encourages us to expand our business into a foreign country as a mean to increase on sales; having some of our products manufactured in that country would have discouraged some Americans to buy that product simply because they were not made in the USA. This is obviously not a reasonable way to conduct trades, especially if the profit that is generated from those sells is being channeled into the American economy.

In fact, this is what Globalization is about; Globalization discourages regulation on trades whether it be labor or goods. But the problem arises when labor has been transferred into a different region, looking for cheapest cost of production under the Capitalistic System, while profit is socialized and the American Economy doesn't benefit from it. That is the main problem when it comes to outsourcing jobs. This is why the American people oppose it, because if distribution of labor takes a Capitalistic approach why not profit. Another word, why must profit be socialized?

The absolute advantage is one in which the American entrepreneur cut cost by moving his industry to a foreign country where the cost of production may be cheaper. He sells the same products that are manufactured in foreign countries to the American Public at a price that is way above the equilibrium price when compare to some other countries. He does that because he calculates the price elasticity of demand for that same product and realizes that Americans are more likely to pay more for it. Meanwhile he makes a greater profit selling the same product in India for less. His profit is greater in India because he has a larger market to sale to. This condition is what we would consider to be an absolute advantage.

Americans buying foreign goods is not the problem, what we would like to see though is for America to consume less and produce more, and there is nothing wrong with that; for that idea depends on cost over quality - not restriction. While saying that, I think it is fair to say that some foreign countries could have experienced more growth had they not been exploited and intimidated by shark investors who are overwhelmingly expanded with economic power.

The next argument implies that for the American to buy only products that were made in the USA, if successful will eventually reduce the competitive level, and thereby lower the quality of the American made products. In this situation, it is easier to think that if American manufactures don’t have to compete against foreign goods than the competition will only be among American manufactures. This is why during the Toyota uncontrolled acceleration problem found in the Prius, Toyota blamed the American manufacturing line; claiming that those models were made in America.

Competition promotes quality, which means if Joery motorcycles and Tom’s are the only manufactures in the United States that Americans are forced to buy from, those two manufactures will have no incentive to improve quality if their motorcycles are selling because consumer's choices are limited. If anything they’ll just copy the new motorcycles design from the Japanese, modify it a bit and have Americans buy it. After all, Americans won’t buy the Japanese’s motorcycles if they were not made in America. You see the problem with this concept; it is an idea that welcome patent infringement for the benefit of profit due to a limitation place on trade.

Whereas competition promotes creativity, it can also discourage good ideas from being part of the norm. If an idea does not project the most return on investment no matter how it would enhance our lives it is viewed in this society as a bad idea. Consequently, further projections of our lives lie on which idea will consume the most capital. Whether or not this idea will come with suffering for some is not the concern of the inventor or the investor; it is only interest that matter from that point. We ought to promote for Americans to buy foreign and domestic goods; for the next idea that can enhance our lives could be the result of the foreign inventor.

The idea is not to run away from completion, but to allow completion to make us into better inventors and wiser consumers. It is through competition that new ideas are developed. In that sense competition is not the problem, but greed the true cause of most economic failure. On a different note, if we are calling for Americans to buy only goods that are made in America we should also think of what would have happened to America if most foreign countries were to stop buying products that were made in America just because American manufactures produce them. Being that America also benefit from export, one would think that any idea as such would be unreasonable, but it is not what some Americans think.

We thought the final provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) contribute significantly to agriculture, a sector that United States agriculture dominates. Are they not the biggest exporters of food, a need that is essential for human existence? For those who promote that Americans should buy American made products only, I'm not sure it’s a good idea because it brings to mind a double standard?

For argument sake let say the stock market crashes like it did in 1929 - the result of-course would have been another great depression. And even if all American products where made right here in America the outcome would still be the same. We would still experience a depression. Being that we need an influx of money to enter our borders so that our economy stay floating, trade is not an option for us but instead a necessity condition for growth.

We should also remember that goods and services are not sold at true value in America. We live under an inflated economic system, and therefore our costs of production is also inflated. This is one of the reasons why some corporations finds it in their interest to offer cheap labor abroad. Since inflation is already high, in order for some corporations to satisfy their stock holders they find it necessary to impose low wages on their workers.

Although some can argue that exploitation is not the reason why the rich continue getting richer; one thing that is indisputable is that exploitation is the byproduct of capitalism. Which mean they would be no reason for corporations to exploit workers if the capitalist system didn’t provide a need for them to engage in such behavior? As we have seen, it is the advantage to compete for investors that has necessitated the possibility to exploit workers.

In the film “the corporation” directed and produced by Mark Achbar, Noam Chomsky linguistic professor of MIT stated “Corporations were given the right of an immortal person but a special kind of person. A person who has no moral conscience, these are special kinds of persons which are designed by law to be concern only for their stockholders not the stakeholders.” He continues to say that “they concerns only for the short term profits of their stockholders who are very highly concentrated.”

As we have seen in the past, when a fine is given to a corporation because of a violation, if that fine is too minimal to create an effect that fine somehow becomes part of the cost of operation. When that happens our lives and the environment is at stake; for the need to justify our actions will always be overshadowed by our wish to gain profit even when what is just can be achieve without us longing for profit.

For example, the need to sale drinking water that is provided to us by nature becomes costly due to a need to make profit. These are the result of an extreme capitalist system because under such system even the air we breathe will at some point becomes privatized.

We are one people sharing one planet living under one sky. Environmental problems have no boundaries, the cause may be different but the effect is imprinted; for what is effecting people in china will eventually effects those in India and subsequently people in the USA. Environmental concerns are the world problem not individual country's worry.

We live in a world that is profit driven and the process of reducing cost to maximize profit has left the world population with a tumor where if no real action is taken to revert this condition will develop into a cancer. Like The great historian Howard Zinn once said "you can't be neutral on a moving train" well, in this analogy the economy is the moving train, and the resistance for us to take appropriate action to minimize the negative effects that are caused by greed if nothing is done will left us neutralized.


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    • Coolbreezing profile image

      James Dubreze 7 years ago from New York, New York

      Hi! Med

      That's right Med in the long run the profit holders will end up hurting themselves. You have already seen the result of companies that people thought were too big to fail. Companies like Bear Stearns, Freddi MAC, Fannie Mae, AIG - the list goes on.

      To prevent future failures, some have suggested that the Government should prevent companies from getting that big -

      One would think that any company that is too big to fail is a company that has monopolized it's market and therefor the government roll in this matter would be to prevent any company from establishing a monopoly, but that's not happening.

      We have seen and witnessed that when too much money is concentrated among one group of people - that within itself is another form of monopoly - because if they were to combine their resources, they can very much cause the market to crash by steering events which will intern cause price fluctuation. The beneficiaries will of course be those who are in control of that market.

      For example what had happened with the oil prices that were skyrocketing can happen again if those who are in control of that market combine their resources.

      If Tom, Bob, John and Kith are the main suppliers of potatoes - if together they choose to maximize their profit - they can then keep most of the potatoes in stock as a mean to create a greater demand.

      Economic studies teaches us when goods and services are scares that scarcity elevate demand which then cause prices to rise.

      It is from this concept that we conclude that it is in public interest that government find it necessary to reduce partnership from forming between those big corporations who are in control of a particular market.

      It is always in the best interest of the public when wealth are evenly distributed. Although this barely happen does not mean it's impossible. It is better that we have 25% of the population that are wealthy than 5% - Where as 25% most wealthiest people is likely to create 25% more jobs 5% leave us with less job creation.

      However, the truth is under the pure capitalist system competition is more sever which of course forces partnership to form so that those companies that are weaker function under the umbrella of those companies that are stronger -

      Another definition for a pure capitalist system is survival of the fittest - we might as well accept that meaning because that's exactly what it is.

      The Colonial's policies were to divide and conquer so that they have control over those they govern - so why can we the people and the government that serves us apply the same principal as a mean to minimize monopoly from forming.

      The country will be more economically stable and balanced when wealth is distributed among different members of our society. That is to say to live under an economic system where the population of people comprised at least 45% middle class. This idea is only a dream for those who think that the pure capitalist system is the only way -

    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 7 years ago from Michigan

      This has been enlightening. It took some thought though. Why buy American when you already have the American profit holder and his profit in your pocket. However, it has to change on both sides as the average citizen is the one that suffers and in the long run, so will they. True, we are not making enough money, neither are the foreigners (even less than American from what I hear); unless you are one of the profitholders and/or one who has a very prestigious job/income. There are already foreigners beginning to plant their feet on American soil to increase their profits and level of 'posh' living, while many of us are 'barely making the rent/or mortgage (many have lost their homes).

    • Coolbreezing profile image

      James Dubreze 7 years ago from New York, New York

      Hey! LeanMam keep leaning on the right side - I agreed with you totally.

      In regard to guest comment - I partially disagreed and you'll see why later. It is understood that you're the guest here and we'll treat you like one but at least we hope that your statement was not a guessing one.


      "The national economy in the United States is TANKING. How can you "buy American" when all the manufacturing jobs are disappearing overseas and to Mexico?"

      So now the question becomes - what constitute an American business in today's age. Is it the location of the manufacture or is it shareholders?

      Let's say we pick manufacture - what does that do for us?

      foreigners are getting paid penny on the dollar to mass produce and there are many small manufactures like that we can manipulate to boost production. Are those manufactures threaten the American way of life or is the middleman.

      It is not the factory that advertised you the $3.00 product for $50.00 it is the middleman. It is the middleman that is traded in the stock market not the factory. So now whose your daddy?

      Your daddy can very well be an American - in fact many of them are Americans. Your daddy is the one guy or the group of guys whom together owns more than 50% of the company.

      The idea that American jobs are dissipating is not the cause of the foreigner but instead the profit holders.

      The foreigners are trying to survive just like the Americans - the only exception here is that we not fortunate enough to get a decent pay for what we do.

      You asked what can American sell to other countries - Americans are already selling a lot to other countries - just look up a foreign company that is doing well and do a research on their stockholders and you'll begin to see that there are a lot of rich Americans who owns great amount of shares whether it be foreign or domestic -

      Ask them why they don't buy American? - My friend those folks don't believe in countries - the world is their country?

    • profile image

      Guest 7 years ago

      I'm going to tell you something you may not understand. The national economy in the United States is TANKING. How can you "buy American" when all the manufactoring jobs are disappearing overseas and to Mexico? Factories are laying off, and closing down EVERYDAY. Americans are out of work in numbers hovering close to the those of the Great Depression. (And durning that time, millions of Americans STARVED to DEATH.)

      I would like to ask you this... What can we sell to other countries? We just aren't manufactoring that much anymore. Is it food? That can't last forever! Food banks in this country are rationing out what little they have to ever increasing numbers. How can this country continue to feed the world with so many hungry at home?

      Not only is the American economy in trouble, so is the economy of other "powerful" countries! Look at the money markets recently, and you will see the Euro is in trouble.

      Natural and manmade disasters are plaging the entire planet. And disaster = $. Both needed and doled out. And where does it come from? It's just paper and ink, or a few strokes on a keyboard. Fiat.

      The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. With more being manipulated than just the oil, gold, and silver markets. Be aware.

    • LeanMan profile image

      Tony 7 years ago from At the Gemba

      The world is now one huge market place, if you want people to buy your products they have to be what people want at the right price.. It is not enough for American companies to try to rely on patriotism to sell their products, they have to find ways to reduce costs and improve their products if they want to compete..

      Large businesses that outsource their production overseas whilst still claiming to be American will eventually come unstuck as prices rise and the cost savings that they gained are eroded, then we will see competitors to these companies from china setting up on american soil to produce, much like the japanese automotive industry. Sell cheap goods to gain market share then build close to the consumer to gain more market and lower costs, whilst your local competitor has lost share and has reduced capacity and finances to fight back!