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What Does Made In America Mean?

Updated on January 26, 2014

Just the Facts

The 2012 Consumer Reports Reliability Survey For Automobiles was recently released, and the Top Eight Autos were as follows:

1. Scion

2. Toyota

3. Lexus

4. Mazda

5. Subaru

6. Honda

7. Acura

8. Audi

The Top Five Most Fuel Efficient Cars for 2013 are as follows:

1. TOYOTA PRIUS $24,000

2. HONDA CIVIC HYBRID $24,050

3. LEXUS CT 200h $29,120

4. HONDA INSIGHT $18,350

5. TOYOTA CAMRY HYBRID $25,900

Now, please, check my facts, because it is possible I’m not reading this information correctly, but it seems to me….and I realize my eyesight is not that reliable….but it seems to me that there are no United States car manufacturers in either list! Am I correct or am I correct?

Made in America
Made in America | Source

A Little History If You Don’t Mind

There was a day, and it was not that long ago since I remember it, when cars built in the United States dominated the auto industry. In fact, I remember during the early 70’s, a good friend of mine bought a Toyota and received a fair amount of grief from people because he had not bought an American product.

Fast forward to 2012, and six of the top ten selling vehicles in the United States were manufactured in Japan, a rather remarkable statistic considering the continued economic problems in Japan due to last year’s tsunami. Of the four American vehicles in the top ten, three are pickup trucks, with the venerable Ford F-Series leading the way for what seems like forever.

The top selling passenger car in the United States? The Toyota Camry, and the only U.S. passenger car in the top ten is the Ford Fusion.

We have come a long way since those days in the 70’s when buying American stood for something.

Ford does know how to build a truck!
Ford does know how to build a truck! | Source

Buying American

I have written often about the economic problems in the United States. I have chastised corporations for shipping jobs overseas, and I have chastised corporations for hoarding profits and locking out workers who wanted higher wages. I have even chastised the U.S. buying public for not comprehending that every time we do not buy local we are hurting our economy. Corporations like WalMart, once built upon the slogan “Made In America” have piled up profits based on Chinese rip-off products that line their store shelves, and the American public rushes to those stores to buy cheap, despite the poor quality of those products.

Regarding American-made automobiles, however, I am about to do a reversal in my stance, for how can we blame the American people for buying Japanese autos when they are obviously superior products?

Year after year the Japanese auto manufacturers produce the most fuel-efficient cars on the road. Year after year they produce the most reliable cars on the road. If that is the case, and it is, then how in the world can we expect those buyers, who have limited incomes, to purchase anything but the best car for their dollar?

National pride only goes so far when disposable income is shrinking for the average American consumer. National pride, when compared to putting food on the table for your family, does not compare well at all.

Bulldozing Detroit

Here Is an Idea

If you want the American consumer to buy American, then produce quality products that are competitive with foreign products! I really hate to be accused of oversimplifying a complex problem, but this seems rather logical and obvious to me. If Ford and GM cannot compete against the Japanese automakers, they only have themselves to blame for the situation.

Ford and GM have the technology and workforce to produce autos every bit as good as the Japanese lineup. They have the ability to produce a fuel-efficient car that can blow the Toyota Prius out of the water. They have the ability to produce vehicles that are every bit as reliable as those made in Japan.

Just do it!

Crying in Their Soup

In 2008, after auto sales had dropped 37% in the United States, the Big Three of American car manufacturers asked the United States Government for a $34 billion bailout to avoid bankruptcy. In 2009 Congress awarded $24.9 billion in support.

I have so many objections to that bailout that I don’t even know where to start. These were the same Big Three companies who ignored, for decades, the global movement towards fuel-efficient automobiles, and chose instead to continue making dinosaurs for a public that was totally disinterested in paleontology. These were the same Big Three companies who continually ordered recalls during the 2000’s because of shabby and inferior craftsmanship and design.

Then, when sales plummeted faster than a cow pie in the south forty, they cried for help and needed Uncle Sam to help them, using as their argument that if they filed for bankruptcy it would cost five million workers their jobs!

Can you say “gag me with a spoon?”

Small businesses are disappearing
Small businesses are disappearing

Time for a Reality Check

I sat politely and respectfully while President Obama, at the Democratic National Convention, said that many of our former manufacturing jobs are gone forever, that they have been sent overseas and they are never coming back.

I sat politely and respectfully one evening while I watched on the news as bulldozers leveled neighborhoods in Detroit because manufacturing workers had left town, never to return.

I sat politely and respectfully as I read on the internet that my government had awarded the fat cats of the Big Three over twenty-four billion dollars of our tax money, in essence for not doing their damn job.

Well, I’m tired of being polite and I’m weary of being respectful.

Make a quality product and I guarantee you that the United States consumer will buy it, but that quality product better be competitive in both craftsmanship and price. If you can’t make a quality product, then pull up your big boy pants and don’t come running to the American consumer to finance your ineptitude through bailouts.

Here are a couple things to consider…..

Toyota last year opened their Blue Springs, Mississippi plant, and in the first year produced 100,000 Toyota Corollas and employed 2000 local workers.

Nissan has managed their Canton, Mississippi plant now for five years. During that time they have produced five different vehicles, including the Nissan Altima, for a total of 1.3 million vehicles, and employed 4000 local workers.

What kind of car do you own?

See results

Bottom Line

Businessmen love the bottom line, don’t they? So do politicians for that matter, although their bottom line seems to shift according to the spin they put on it and the campaign contributions they have received. Eww, did I just write that?

So here it is, as clearly as I can write it. I believe there is a mutual responsibility shared by the American consumer and the American corporations. I believe that we, the people, have a responsibility to our nation to buy locally whenever possible. I believe that corporations have a responsibility to produce quality products at affordable prices. If those products are not produced then all bets are off and the American public is no longer responsible to buy American.

I love this country; I love what we stand for and I love what we can be in the future. It is my duty, as a tax-paying, flag-waving member of this society, to speak out when I think this nation is headed down the wrong path, and I firmly believe we have strayed from the path we should be on.

Let’s hope we can once again find that path before it grows over with weeds and becomes forever hidden from view.

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Well you got my dander up. Didn't realize that no American cars in top ten. I am feeling self-righteous today as we have two American cars. I know how shoddy products are in the store..and just check the label..well you know the answer to that. I really enjoyed reading this..actually did not enjoy hearing all this stuff as it just reinforces what all of us know. I am sharing on facebook to get the word out a little. Very well written as always Bill...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Carol; interestingly, the most reliable poll is one that Americans take.....the Japanese cars are the ones the public feels are most reliable. Obviously, the American public has very little faith in American cars. What a turnaround! Anyway, I appreciate you as always and I want to see a new hub from you.

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 4 years ago from New York City

      I own a Nissan Altima Bill, and me and my wife are about to sell it to a friend in need of a car really bad, and for 100 dollars, does that count for anything (:

      I guess it does when you think about all the monies being spent all these years by politicians and the likes and so frivolously (Forget about the American people's over spending right, like you said here), but who knows where its all leading us American people to, maybe off to Jupiter or Saturn LOL. (maybe I should buy a Saturn next off of my hubpages Millions I'm earning today, LOL more like hubpages 50's every 2 months Hah!)

      I loved your hub here bro, as you always do, you pinned the tail on the donkey when it comes to the American experience, the state of the economy, but this time you threw it into a sort of Automotive political spin bonanza of astronomical repercussions if none of us Brain washed, programmed, hypnotized, mind controlled zombies don't ever awaken out of our deep slumber.

      Awesome hub, love the stats, the factoids about American, compared to foreign cars, and political mambo jumbo towards the end. Nicely written too Bill Bravo! Thumbs up and out!

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 4 years ago from Pune, India

      Great information, thank you for sharing it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You know what, Mike? I would be happy if every American bought American-made cars, but why should they? If the businesses don't care enough to make quality products then I don't care enough to buy them. When they want to live up to their social contract then I'll be glad to praise them openly.

      Hey, buddy, I like the idea about buying a Saturn. LOL Too funny!

      Thank you my friend; I hope you have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jainismus, thank you very much for the visit.

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 4 years ago from New York City

      Wow Bill I didn't even realize it was Friday, I got caught up by all the Hurricane Jet lag I guess, Hehe!

      Thanks for the mention on the weekend thingy, & once again awesome hub and this time I'll state the fact that I'm sharing it, so many others can follow my lead and do the same for you bro.

      This hub deserves to be shared all across the web, because it's so true bro.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....Mike, thank you and now that you know it is Friday attack that bad boy with gusto! :)

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Great information Bill. Citizens of every country have the responsibility to support their local products and to keep their economy going. Thanks for sharing, and I share too!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I believe that to be true, Michelle! If you can't support your own country then what kind of citizen would you be?

      Thank you and have a great weekend.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      There should be a viting button for "important" I would have pressed that several tines. Up and interesting and extremely important! Thank you Bill for making it real

    • brblog profile image

      Bruce 4 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Billy,

      Just so you know where I am coming from, I have not owned an American made car (that means the Big 3) since I inherited a Chrysler from my parents back in college – what a piece of junk that was. I was constantly at the repair shop to the point where it wasn’t worth the trouble any more. I gave it back to them and bought a Honda. That being said, if I was in the market for a car today, I would look at an “American – Big 3” car as an option. I think they have improved a lot and are right on the heels of the leaders. But what is an American made car? Got me thinking . . . see farther below.

      But first, I took a look at some other surveys and reports – most list the same Japanese / Korean cars you mentioned with a few German ones thrown in for good measure (but not always in the same order). Some, however do list some American made cars as well. Edmunds does a study of total value, by class, (cost, mileage, performance, reliability, etc.) and there are some Big 3 models in there.

      Here’s the thing – what is American made mean anymore? Some of the most hi-tech and “green” factories in the world are right here in America. Yes, they might make Japanese brand cars but if they are locally made then those jobs are here. Car companies are global entities, GM makes cars in China, so does Japan. Parts come from all over the place. In America, the auto industry has shifted from being concentrated in the Detroit area to being all over the midwest and southeast. I know that having a corporate headquarters in your country (such as Toyota in Japan) reaps great benefits for that country but we should not shortchange the benefits of manufacturing locally even if the owner lives far away.

      So is buying a Subaru, assembled in Lafayette, Indiana in a super high-tech factory, touted as carbon neutral, an American made car? I found a website where you can plug in your car and find out how much of it is made in the USA. An Outback from Lafayette is 50% American, a Ford Fiesta is 0% American, a Toyota Camry is 80% American, a Chevy Volt is 40% American and a Nissan Altima is 60% American . . . and the list goes on.

      So there you have – food for thought . . .

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randi, thank you my friend! It is an important issue no doubt; my main problem is bailing corporations out; it seems to me that they have a responsibility to provide quality products if we are encouraged to buy them.

      Have a great weekend!

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Hi billy,

      This is where I probaby have a tendency to "tick-off" many people, but I have to call it as I see it. I think the number one reason as to why we no longer compete as a leader in the Auto Industry is the UAW.

      We cannot expect to be able to sell a product at a competitve market price.

      The typical UAW worker earned between $71 and $76 an hour in 2006. This amount is triple the earnings of the typical worker in the private sector and $25 to $30 an hour more than American workers at Japanese auto plants. The average UAW member earns over $130,000 a year in wages and benefits.

      The bottom line is that we falsely stimulted our economy by paying skilled wages for a un-skilled job.

      My sister works for a Honda plant, she makes almost $20 an hour. She has sick day, paid vacations, a great health care plan and a yearly bonus based upon attendence and performance.

      THAT is where GM, Ford and Chrysler need to be in order for America to once again become a leader, and it woud BOOM our economy by opening up more very good jobs, instead of a few great jobs (UAW).

      I'm not sure if I explained myself very well, but that is the jest of it.

      Once again, you manage to install another hub that is informative and enjoyable to read.

      Up and interesting.

      Chris

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brblog, great comment and I understand completely where you are coming from, and I agree with what you are saying. This is such a global society now, that it is an oversimplification to say "made in America." My main issue is in bailing out companies that make inferior products. If Ford can make a quality pickup, and they can, then they can make a quality passenger car that rivals any of the "foreign" made cars. I think there is a major difference in the philosophies of foreign car makers as opposed to American car makers, and it shows in the product made.

      Anyway, I appreciate your food for thought and agree with most of it.

      Have a great weekend!

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Bill, Here's the lowdown, American car companies rarely produce many of their automobiles in the United States! There are still a few factories around, but most have traveled to Mexico to open manufacturing facilities, while the Japanese and Korean manufacturers have come to the United States. Honda has several facilities in the United States, Toyota has the Alabama factory, as well as Georgetown, Kentucky (Camrys and Avalons) and a Southern Indiana facility (Tundras), Hyundai has a factory in Alabama, and so does Nissan. At one time, The Freemont, California factory produced the Toyota Corolla and Geo Metro, and even the Toyota Matrix and Pontiac Vibe, but troubles for GM created some obvious problems. If you start checking around, you'll find that some of the American "manufacturers" are even going to China for some of their manufacturing facilities.

      American labor is still there, it's just being utilized by foreign companies! Why? Because American manufacturers got greedy. They figured they'd build a car to last only as long as it took to get paid for, and then the public would have to buy another. Overseas competition decided to build vehicles that would last instead. Plus, the GM problems with diesel vehicles, the "J" and "K" cars, and a few other jokes in the 80's did the job in turning away those that had been loyal to them for years. Ford did well with the Taurus in the 90's, but that was because they were selling them at reduced prices to rental agencies who filled their fleets with them.

      As cars grew more expensive, leasing stepped into the picture. The amount a person pays during lease depends on the estimated value of the vehicle at lease end. The Japanese vehicles, holding their value much greater because of the quality levels at that time, out sold the American vehicles because of the higher lease costs because of a much lower estimated lease end value. So, American manufacturing cut its own throat by building substandard quality vehicles. Things are going the opposite direction somewhat, as things are beginning to even out somewhat, but it will be a long time before they're even in the minds of those that got stuck in the past. Sorry for the ramble... you just went to a topic I'm very familiar with here. Great job, my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Chris, in a rare moment that should go down in history, I agree with what you are saying. :) Not because it was you that said it, but because of the subject....unions. I am a huge union supporter, but I cannot support wages like those that you mentioned. They are uncalled for and unrealistic, and believe me, that is quite a concession coming from me regarding unions. We are in total agreement on this one my friend.

      Thank you for a great comment.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rich, I appreciate the ramble. I am fully aware that American cars are rarely made in America, and I agree with everything you said. The American car companies did indeed cut their own throat. My biggest problem is in them needing to be bailed out for poor management decisions.

      You can ramble anytime you want on my site; I respect your opinions as they are always backed by passion and intelligence.

      Thank you buddy and have a great weekend.

      bill

    • profile image

      kelleyward 4 years ago

      Hi Bill! Growing up my parents never bought a foreign car. However, they have over the past 10 years and so have I. But I agree with what you said here. We need to quit sending all our jobs to foreign lands. We have people here that need to work and we are shortchanging them by sending these jobs elsewhere. voted up and awesome! Kelley

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Growing up my Dad actually worked for GM and their dealerships. So we always had an American made (GM) car. That said he has been unemployed now for about 3 years off and on and unable to find employment through GM and is quite bitter about this and I truly don't blame him. When we were looking at larger cars when I was pregnant and we ended up buying a Jeep (still American), but still couldn't bring myself to buy GM made, because of my dad's situation. You again speak the truth Bill and very much agree with the overall sentiment of your article!! Have of course voted and shared all over!!

    • CHRIS57 profile image

      CHRIS57 4 years ago from Northern Germany

      I can assure you, in Germany the lastest US reliability survey resulted in may questionsmarks and the immediate urge to struggle back to the top. Apparently Porsche dropped from #2 to #27, that is kind of strange for a year to year change.

      Anyhow, the same survey in Germany looks completely different. Only in subcompact and compact class non domestic brands (not Japanese) are at the top. All other classes don´t let a Japanese car get higher than #5.

      That survey is compiled by the German Automobile Club ADAC. Membership in that club includes free of charge road side assistance. All trouble problems are recorded anonymous and unbiased, only car type, mileage, cause of problem, age of car.

      German luxury car makers are plain scared of that survey and each of them has established individual roadside service organization. With the goal to have their cars remobilized before any of the Autoclub service assistants show up.

      Go for quality :-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kelley! This is not just about the car makers, as I'm sure you know. This reaches to every nook and cranny of the American economy, and it needs to stop. :) Have a great weekend my good friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I wonder how many Americans there are with stories like your dad's? Hundreds of thousands, if not millions. The American worker is the loser in this economic game, and I refuse to listen to the arguments that those jobs are gone forever and we need to retrain our workers. Fact is the government and the businesses gave up on the American worker and sold them down the river.

      I get a little worked up about this subject. :) Thank you my dear and have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Chris, great addition to this discussion. I remember the day, not that long ago, when BMW and Mercedes-Benz were THE names in quality. Now they are battling for their lives against Infiniti, Acura, and Lexus. The Japanese figured this game out long before the other manufacturers....quality plus pricing will win every time.

      That was interesting about Porsche and I did not know that; I read somewhere that they are going to make the 911 with an automatic transmission....is nothing sacred any longer? :)

      Thank you!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      We have strayed from the right path for decades and it is about time that we get on the bandwagon and fight for what we know how to do. You want to make more money? Than damn it, EARN IT!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb.....LMAO! Why didn't I write that? Oh, you made my day with that summary. Thank you my friend and I'll see you by the lake on Sunday.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I hate to be a conspiracy freak, but doesn't it seem like this stuff happens on purpose? I mean, they can't be that stupid, allowing a ginormous industry to fall to pieces by accident. I don't know. Anyway, I lived in Pittsburgh for a while and bought a Subaru. I tried to find an American version that would handle the icy hills and included top-notch safety features. Didn't find it. Great hub as always! Keepin' us on our toes!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, I have to keep myself from thinking conspiracy or I'll go nuts, because there is certainly food for thought in that department. Maybe they are really that dumb; how they could not see the switch to better fuel economy is beyond me. Anyway, I'm glad you got a Subaru because they are great all-weather cars. Thank you my friend, and have a great weekend.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      America is a very wealthy country and can afford not to buy American products.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rasta, the country may be wealthy but my neighborhood and friends are not. :) thank you!

    • Dancing Water profile image

      Dancing Water 4 years ago

      My understanding is that the U.S. auto industry paid back the bailout money from Uncle Sam. I understand your reasoning and logic, Bill, but I am grateful that the U.S. auto industry was saved, and I think they may have learned their lesson. Time will tell.. Not meaning to make excuses, but the oil companies might have exerted some influence on the auto industry with its substandard gas guzzlers. Further, many Americans have an obsession with the concept of ,"The bigger, the better."

      My former husband bought me a brand new Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo in 1997, and she has been an amazing vehicle for me, braving the snow and ice in western Montana with minimal upkeep. thank God. Her engine is designed to last up to 300,000 miles, and for me, she's a keeper.

      Thank you for a great, provocative hub that has struck a nerve!

      Cheers,

      Reba

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      This is a eye opening article Bill, The facts are there and this country needs to take a good hard look at the issues you mentioned and make the changes.

    • Michael Tully profile image

      Michael Tully 4 years ago

      Bill, I agree with your fundamental premise. As a confirmed, unashamed, and incorrigible free-market libertarian, I'd go even further to say that the government has no business bailing out ANY company, at ANY time, for ANY reason. A free market will reward any company for its prudent business decisions and its quality of production. And, of course, a free market will punish stupidity and sloth. This is as it should be. Now, if we could only get the government back to its fundamental raison d'etre and get it to quit meddling with the free markets...but that's another soapbox for another day ;-)

      Outstanding article, as usual, my friend. Voted up & across.

    • heavenleigh707 profile image

      Heaven L Burkes 4 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      Very interesting - and I seem to be drawn to articles about automobiles lately! Thank you for laying out the facts, Jack! (I mean BillyBuc).

      Yes, I hope that path is found too! Voting up and voted "one of each." I have the Dodge Caravan 2002 - and my husband has the Nissan Pathfinder.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Well researched Bill. We have this false entity in the US called "Buy America. Corporations get a tax break for stamping their product made in America. But, it's all lies. The products are still being manufacturered overseas and all it takes to qualify for the tax break is the assembly of one component. I worked for a company that had everything made overseas and connected one cable here in the US to qualify for the tax break. Disclosure is what is lacking. That and transparency. We have to stop being fooled and you have made a huge contribution towards that end in this hub. Great job!

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Bill: My car is American but my mom's is German. I hear you, but the first thing the American car manufacturers scream is UNIONS! They put the blame there. I don't know if there are unions or not in Japan. But, they seem to produce quality cars and pay their employees a decent living wage. Why we can't do that in this country is beyond me also. The problem in America is everyone looks everywhere and to everyone to blame. We don't just bite the bullet and fix and correct things. Everyone in business is out for themselves. There is no cohesiveness, no community like there is in Japan. Our attitude as a nation has to change before our manufacturing of quality goods will happen. Thanks for your enlightening hub!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Reba, thank you for weighing in on this. I love to stir the pot and see what is cooking. Yes, the car companies did pay back the bailout monies, but the Consumer Review poll reflected car buyers in the U.S. who have lost faith in U.S. car products, and one of the reasons is the bailout. I hope they learned their lesson, too, because there is no reason why they cannot produce superior products. Regarding the oil companies, that influence needs to end, and I blame the government for allowing it, and the ever-present greed in the country for profiting from it.

      Thank you my friend and have a great weekend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, this is just the tip of the iceberg, as you well know. As long as greed runs unabated in this country we are going to see the term "Made in America" mean very little. I love the comments on this hub; very intelligent responses. Thank you buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael, I'm in your corner 100% on this one; the government really needs to leave the free enterprise system alone....only if there is obvious collusion should the government ever get involved. I believe in the free enterprise system and always have.

      Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leigh, it's nice to see you again, and thank you for weighing in on this issue. I hope you have a wonderful weekend my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, hi my friend, and thank you! I just want the playing field even and honest. I understand the free enterprise system; I was a business owner. But I ran an honest business with honest advertising, and I respected my customers. I don't see that today and I'm tired of it....as you can probably tell. :)

      Have a great weekend Linda; I'm off to read your new hub now.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzette, I could not agree more! This nation lacks cohesiveness from the top to the bottom; there seems to be a great lack of national pride, and it's like an infection that won't go away. I love writing these hubs because I always feel better from the comments, which let me know there are others who feel the same way.

      Thank you Suzette and have a great weekend!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 4 years ago

      Wow, Billybuc, tell us what you really think. Seriously, I wish I had written this hub because you expressed my feelings exactly. Can we really say that we drive a foreign car when it is made here in America? I’d rather drive a Toyota made in this country than a Ford made in China, which is about to happen. I am now driving my first Toyota, a 2010 Prius, and couldn’t be happier.

      I have to agree with some of the other readers, too. When a union gets so powerful that a company has to pay a laborer three times the salary of a college professor with a doctorate or two, there’s bound to be trouble in paradise. A lot of the old guard who were making that kind of wages have now retired, but their kids can't take their places because the factories shut down for cheaper labor overseas.

      I try to stick with American-made whenever I can. I have a closet full of cheap foreign-made shoes that I can't wear, so I now try to buy only American-made shoes. They cost more but they are worth it in quality and fit. I just wish I could say that about cars.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, there were a number of great points made in comments. I agree about the unions, and I am a strong union advocate, but those wages are ridiculous. I have had this discussion many times. We send our kids to school to be educated for life, and yet pay school teachers less than a union grocery checker. If someone can explain the logic in that I would love to hear it!

      Thank you as always and I'm happy that you bought a Toyota Prius; great cars, great craftsmanship, very reliable and fuel efficient. Why wouldn't you buy one? :0

      Thank you my friend and have a great weekend.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Very good hub Bill. You make very valid points. For several years we bought Fords...but we got tired of having to replace the cars every few years. We switched to Toyota Corollas and are able to get great gas mileage and 250,000+ miles. I would gladly buy American, but our big 3 need to make fuel-efficient compact cars that fit into our frugal lifestyles, not gas-guzzling mini-vans. I was completely against the bail-out myself, but don't get me started on that.....

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      mpropp, thank you! I'm actually against any government bailout of a business, mainly because I don't think that is the job of government, and there is so much corruption with special interest groups that it appears to me the tax payer once again is funding corruption. Anyway, I'm trying to relax and I don't wan to get upset again, so I'll just wish you a wonderful weekend.

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      Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Hi bill, I own a Corvette, it was made in the U.S.A. but it is kind of old. Made in the year 2001. It runs well, but I do need to take better care of it. There are 3 pine trees by our house, soooo..... I am going to clean it, and buy a cover for it. Those needles are horrible.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michele, those needles are death to a car finish. Wise move buying a cover for it.

      Thank you for the visit and have a great weekend!

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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I agree that we need to support goods made in our country but I really don't want to buy an inferior product just because it is made in US. I will add that our Toyota was made in a factory in the US. Thought provoking hub as usual!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, that's why I added the two factories in Mississippi. Yes, made in the U.S., by American workers, but....and I think this is very important....made by a company that believes in quality craftsmanship.

      I will still buy local when I am presented with a quality product, but all bets are off if the businesses can't hold up their end of the bargain.

      Thank you my friend, and have a great weekend.

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Billy, a brilliant write, and so many insightful comments, we have the same problems here in Britain. However, I agree with rcrumple, the Japanese are very pragmatic when it comes to making money, the names may sound foreign, but the companies are building in America and bringing work where it is profitable, and if that means the US or UK, then so be it. I do get your point about tax payers money going toward propping up large manufacturers.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Jo, thanks for dropping by.

      I have no problem with foreign car makers doing their thing in this country. They hired American workers and they take the profits back to Japan or wherever. Perfect deal as far as I'm concerned. They deserve the profits because companies like Toyota and Nissan have built quality cars for over 100 years, and their corporate philosophy is to build the best product possible. If the Big 3 in the U.S. had that corporate philosophy they wouldn't need almost five billion dollars to stay afloat. :)

      Thanks, as always, for the visit, and I hope you have a great weekend in the UK!

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      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Well bill....I own a Pontiac Vibe and I absolutely LOVE her. She's my favorite car ever. However, I didn't know how to answer your question, because although one would quickly think, "Ah an American made car,".......the motor for the Vibe is made by Toyota.....go figure.

      I will often drive 40 miles, just to shop at a "UNIQUE" store called "Made in America," which of course I needn't describe. The selections are limited....of course, but I do it just because I get nauseous and angry reading labels of foreign lands ...EVERYWHERE we may choose to shop!!

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      Ka'imi'loa 4 years ago from Tucson, AZ.

      Wow, nowadays you don't really give all this much thought just as long as you can affordably get from point A to point B without breaking the monthly budget at the pump. The illusion of American pride built anything is long gone. America once did strive in making the top of the line products, but all that waved bye bye the minute business shook hands with those that can mass produce at half the cost. Emerson, Zenith, were once television that were number one sellers, and Merle Haggard said it best when he sang, "I wish a Ford and a Chevy would last ten years like they should"!

      Perhaps someday we'll (America), get back on top of our game and bring on home again. Until then, Shoyu goes good with rice!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, I try to limit my label reading because I get so upset. Bev doesn't like shopping with me; of course, she is the food cop and takes the fun out of grocery shopping for me. LOL We make a great pair!

      I have heard of the Vibe; I actually write car articles for SEO work, and I knew that Toyota made that engine...it is a convoluted mess regarding the "made in America" tag.

      Thank you buddy; have a great weekend!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Benisan....LOL...it's good to have you back. That's the best laugh I have had today. I don't know why this bothers me so much, other than the fact that I'm tired of the U.S. acting like a second tier nation. There is no reason for us to be in the economic situation we are currently in, and that's what really bothers me.

      Anyway, thank you Sir; I appreciate you stopping by.

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I did a lot of research before buying my new car. The toyota camry was heads above the rest, in gas mileage and upkeep. There was a time when i would only buy American, but the big three refused to build fuel efficent cars, now they are paying the price. BTW, Toyota hires millions of Americans while Ford is building plants in China. I want to buy American and hopefully they will see the light..Great hub..Thank you..

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I understand completely, and I will go back to buying American-made cars as soon as I see one that is affordable, reliable, and fuel-efficient....and not before.

      Thank you dear friend; have a great weekend.

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      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. I am with the school who believes a new world economy is coming. Different from what you and I are use to.

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      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      If only locally made products were as good as foreign made ones and could compete in price as well, all of us would certainly patronize them. I could say the same for some products in my country. It is just a question of setting the priorities right.

      A vital issue touched here, Bill.

      Votes up and sharing.

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      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      One American car, one Japanese pick-up truck. Coming from the 50s and 60s my husband is a Ford and Chevy man from way back....had them all his life...but here we are with a Chrysler van and a Nissan pick-up truck. Our relatives and friends are still in shock! LARRY owns a Nissan? Unbelievable. However, Larry didn't need a full size pickup but still wanted a truck. The Nissan was the only reasonably priced, small pickup truck we could find and it is a lovely truck (if I can call a truck lovely). Its time America's companies took back the pride they had and started making things America can be proud of and stood on their own two feet (without loans)....maybe then we'll see more Made in America and more people can buy Made in America.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, I believe you might be right; it may not happen in our lifetime, but it will happen. Thank you Sir!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, yes, I believe this is an issue most countries can relate to, and it is a serious issue for economies. Thank you my friend; I wish you peace and happiness always.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, on the subject of pickups.....I owned a Ford Ranger for twelve years....absolutely loved it! Great truck, good gas mileage, dependable....and then Ford discontinued them in the U.S. last year. Sigh! My next pickup will be a foreign product. I have no words, other than what I said in this hub.

      Thank you my friend; I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

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      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      As you state, it is a double-edged sword so to speak. Consumers want to purchase an automobile with optimal fuel efficiency and yet those seem to be produced overseas. My Dad always bought American made vehicles but I must admit, I have purchased foreign made vehicles because of their efficiency and price.

      I was fixing our water softener the other day and found a little ceramic statue. When I brought it up and washed it off, the bottom of the statue stated it was "Made In America." This peaked our interest and is a nod to your hub. It's rarity was due to so few items being American made.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie, it is rare indeed! That saddens me on many levels.....I remember as a kid, if you wanted tools or appliances you went to Sears...no questions asked, because they were the best and they were an American company. How many times can you remember that happening in the last twenty years?

      Thanks as always my dear friend; tell your mom I said hello please.

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      Steel Engineer 4 years ago from Kiev, Ukraine

      Another way to promote American cars is sabotage. In the 90's, the U.S. auto industry could not compete with Japanese production processes and their super-dedication to work and professionalism. So, America placed high import duties which eventually required the Japanese to build a production/assembly plant in the U.S.

      The Americans tried to learn the Japanese processes... and the American workers built worse vehicles. That leveled the playing field a bit.

      The real difference came when Obama bought GM. After closing dealerships owned by major Republican donors (I'm not for either party, just opposed to cronyism), a major quake and tsunami hit in just the right place to flood the great majority of parts manufacturing plants supplying Toyota.

      GM did not improve because of new ownership (gov't is super inefficient, after all). It improved because Toyota production plummeted.

      For those who do not yet know that world super powers can create hurricanes, tsunamis, and megaquakes, do a little research on "plate tectonic weapons" and "HAARP".

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Steel, I appreciate you weighing in on the discussion. I have very little love for government, and no matter who is leading the government, there is interference with the market on a scale we cannot imagine. You have made some great points.

      Thank you!

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      My parents always bought GM cars and they had good experiences with them. Now, we have both foreign and American. You have convinced me to consider buying American next time we need a new car, but hopefully we won't have to buy one for the next 5+ years.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, I'm still waiting to be convinced myself; we drive a Honda right now, and my trust level will have to rise before I buy from the Big 3 again. :) Thank you and I hope you are having a great weekend.

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      MizBejabbers 4 years ago

      Billlybuc, I hope GM is making better cars. I have owned a many of them in my life, and I've never gotten more than 85,000 on a GM engine even with faithful oil changes. My first husband always drove Fords and despite the Found On Road Dead joke, we had pretty good luck with them, except for one Thunderbird. But come to think of it, he traded every couple of years, so we never had the chance to test their longevity.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, I have very little faith in GM right now; I will gladly switch to American companies when their reputation improves. Thank you my friend and I send you happy thoughts for your week.

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, it's a crying shame that we no longer put out a quality product. You don't know how many people I know buy Japanese cars because they last longer than today's Chevys, Fords and Pontiacs. In fact, when I bought my PT Cruiser in 2005 (the first NEW car I'd bought since 1985) my insurance company informed me it was made in Mexico! What?? And here I thought Chrysler was an American manufacturer! The fact is, many of our cars are now 'assembled' in America. Big difference!

      There was an article in the Orlando Sentinel a few months back (why do I feel as if I've already told you this story?) about a couple who was building a home on the beach and wanted the entire home to consist of American made products. To their dismay, and mine, they found that their is not one single screw, nail or light bulb in Home Depot or Lowes that is American made! I was shocked! And so were they. They were forced to special order every blessed nail that went into the construction of the home, which drove their budget sky high. What is up with that??????

      Maybe we should go back to horse and buggy, but will the government hone in on that, too?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, you did not tell me that story, and even I am shocked at that news. A nail? We can't make nails in the U.S. any longer? What, it ruins the profit margin so the nail manufacturing companies are only making a billion dollars a year? I'm shaking my head and getting upset all over again.

      It is madness and it will continue, and I refuse to accept the rationale that all manufacturing has to be done in another country. I will keep buying American when I can, but I insist that they make a good product or all bets are off.

      Thank you my dear; have a wonderful weekend.

      love you,

      bill

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