Without mentioning names, I went to buy a shirt about a week ago and stopped in at a big discount store. After looking at several shirts I found one that I liked, and the price was right… but the country was not. The shirt was made in a Pacific Rim country, so in keeping with my “Buy American” whenever possible, it went back on the shelf. A couple of days later I was at the mall and looked in on one of the better-known men’s stores. Lo and behold, there was a shirt that looked just like the one at the discount store. Checking the price, which was almost four times the discount store’s price, the next thing was to find out where it was made. Do you want to guess where it was made? The same country, probably by the same person, as the discount store.
Let’s take a hard look at products made in another country. There’s one reason, in my not-so-humble opinion, as to why this or that product is made overseas. Greed is my answer. Joe Blow owns a company that makes widgets, and making them in the United States cost him $5.00 and nets him 50 cents for each one made and sold. A foreign company offers to make the same product and it would only cost him $4.00, and he would net $1.50 on each one. If he has stockholders in the company, he explains to them that he could stick with the 50 cents net profit and that they would share the $1.00 on each one. They, being also greedy, go for the deal, and thus another company leaves the United States, possibly never to return. Perhaps, and it’s a long shot — if enough of us refuse to buy foreign-made goods we could get more things made in America, huh?
Just in the course of one’s daily life, and it can be said without fear of contradiction, there is almost nothing that is made in this country. The light bulb that you turn on, the coffee maker that makes your morning brew, perhaps even some of the food you have for breakfast. You put on your clothes, get into your car and drive to whatever sort of work it is that you do. Chances are the job you have is either directly or indirectly connected to a foreign country. It takes sharp eyes and determination to find the product you’re looking for, with a “Made In The USA” label… but it can be done. Some of the long-standing American brands, like Levi’s, Apple, and Jeep are either made in another country or they’re OWNED by another country. It is distressing, to say the least, to have to look long and hard to find something made here. It can be done and, as a matter of fact, there is a Made In America festival in Philadelphia that, this year is on August 31 and September 1. There is a Made In America store, which can be found online.
Certainly, there is an argument to be made, greed-wise, for products made in other countries… but you won’t get it here. For many years, as has been pointed out, China has been undercutting us and getting our products made over there. They have also been stealing our “intellectual ideas” and marketing them, again undercutting our prices. Now, we have a man in the White House that knows how business works, and is doing something about it. Oh, before you forget, Russia also has been yanking our chain. Both of them are experts in “reverse engineering” and creating clones of our products in months, that took us years. The strong stance taken by the United States may eventually see us back in the driver’s seat in manufacturing…and perhaps all of it made in America.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about Socialism. Some call it Democratic Socialism, some call it Communism Light. No matter what you call it, that system of government doesn’t work. It never has, and it never will. By the way, you may think that this is a foreign product and, to a large degree it is, but even though it may have started over there, our politicians have refined it through the years. You could, honestly, say that this form was Made In America, because of the fervency it instills in the various people running for President. They extoll its virtues without mentioning the drawbacks. They tell you about all the freebies without even so much as a “hello” to the manner in which it will be paid. The Soviet Union, when it was still operating as such, is said to have killed 100 million people, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Socialism has been practiced in this country, sometimes on a smaller scale so it doesn’t make the evening news. A Dearborn, Michigan, Panera owner tried Socialism in his restaurant… and eventually abandoned the experiment because it was ‘community-owned’. That means people paid for a product, but instead of it being a set price, you pay what you are able to pay. The result: some people paid their fair share while others enjoyed a “free lunch.” That, folks, is EXACTLY how Socialism works, and there will always be people that will game the system… and make you pay for it.
Parting shot: Capitalism works. Socialism and Communism do not… ever.