Monday, March 13, 2017

The Problem with Buy American

Now this a piece that backs up what I have been writing for years. CNN The Problem with Buy American  See the comments in MP Unions for my usual story line, here are a few...
"Well I think this is correct... " Americans have been shopping ... anti-union " Now why is this from your perspective?

My 2002 Suburban came from the Janesville WI plant. My 2010 Mustang was built in Flat Rock Michigan. And both were designed and marketed in the USA.

Now I could have bought "more reliable", more fashionable, better performing, etc product, but I thought it was important to pay a little more and support American workers. I seem to be in the minority of American consumers... Why is that?

In full disclosure: my FJR 1300 is a Yamaha... Harley does not make a sport touring bike. :-)" G2A

"Why do you want to blame the companies and give us American consumers a free pass?

The same person who complains about Walmart or the company that off shores jobs is often driving a vehicle made over seas or made in a right to work state. (ie weaker union shop) And almost all products have a "Made in ???" sticker, yet we keep buying foreign product.

And as for vehicles, we have this excellent resource... " G2A


Anonymous said...

The problem with buying American is that as a policy it can have it's problem if at some point, you want to sell American.

The downside of protectionism is basically, a lower level of economic activity, and a lower standard of living. Protectionism is wasteful. But are those things necessarily a compelling argument against the policy? Would you prefer in the "Leave it Beaver" world? A world without computers, without cellphones, a world where your TV was grainy, without color, and had only four channels? A world where your car was in the shop a lot. A world where you have a decent standard of living but many others lived in poverty unimaginable by today's standards? That's really the choice Donald Trump would like to offer you. He can't really because the laws of economics are just too inexorable but you take that choice if you could?


jerrye92002 said...

The problem with buy American is that American government makes it too difficult. I still say that American businesses can compete with anybody, except for being hampered unnecessarily and excessively by our own government.

John said...

And the Liberals promise that you can buy products and services from low cost countries while keeping your high paying jobs... What is your point?

Read the link... Our wages being 5 times higher does cause problems. But keep up the rah rah go America cheering...

jerrye92002 said...

OK, I read the link. It does not explain WHY something can be made in China and shipped here for half the cost. The reason, IMHO, has everything to do with the government regulations on businesses here. We tax the labor, we tax the capital, we tax the profit, we enforce union and workplace regulations that are largely unnecessary, so how can the price NOT be too high. Yes, the cost of labor is lower in China, but on most manufactured products that's less than 1/3 of the price, and with capital equipment (allowed in a capitalist economy), that advantage disappears.

John said...

Well in bulk... Shipping is nearly free.

And trust me, China taxes are very high also. I am amazed how expensive products and services are over there. They have been paying for all those high speed rail, dams, and other infrastructure projects.

The reality is that our standard of living is great compared to the normal worker bees over there, and that is because we earn more. Now if we all want to live like they do in China... Maybe then our costs will drop.

Anonymous said...

The problem with buy American is that American government makes it too difficul

It's not so much what the government does do as it is what the government doesn't do. In America, employers pay health care and retirement costs for their employees, and that's a huge competitive disadvantage for American business in the global marketplace.

"And the Liberals promise that you can buy products and services from low cost countries while keeping your high paying jobs... What is your point?"

I used to pride myself on my ability to understand different arguments and points of view, but that's changing, and I find I am not nearly so smug, at least in my own estimation. I don't, for example, understand how news can be both fake and true at the same time. I certainly understand the arguments against protectionism. I even agree with them, to some extent. The problem is that Republicans no longer seem to agree with them. It's now the leader of the Republican Party who seems to object to the importation of goods made by low-paid foreign workers. Donald Trump has stolen our lunch on this issue.


John said...

My point is the same as always. Liberals are hypocrites and irrational with regard to this topic.

- They say they are pro-Union, pro-Higher Pay for American workers, pro-Taxes, pro-Social programs, etc. And yet their personal buying decisions show them to be as greedy and self centered as the most aggressive business person who they say is evil for trying to avoid high costs and high taxes.

- They want the lowest costs and the highest pay... And they seem to want someone else to make up the difference...

So I guess I would prefer a world where citizens lived their life in alignment with their stated values. If all the folks who say they support American workers and unions had actually supported American workers... We would not be considering protectionist concepts.

And the Liberals who say they support higher wages should be excited for Trump's more protectionist and anti-illegal worker stances. And yet I don't hear them cheering him on.

jerrye92002 said...

I will say again that it is not possible for a liberal to be a hypocrite. To be a hypocrite means that you live in a way which belies your stated values and principles. Since liberals have no firmly established principles they cannot very well violate them. It is not even possible to call them irrational. It is simply a matter of, to quote the old movie line, "I reject your reality and substitute my own." They believe, as I so often saw Obama do, say that "we" should do some wonderful thing and then simply assume that reality will conform to their wishes. I think most conservatives are created when they realize that such magic rarely happens.

John said...

Oh come now, they often espouse strong beliefs that go something like this:

- we should have relatively open borders so the world's needy can come here

- the new and existing unsuccessful people should be given money, food, housing, healthcare, etc at someone else's expense

- the government should force employers to pay more no matter how many people are un or underemployed

- pretty much everything should be regulated regardless of the cost, because bad things happening occasionally is unacceptable

- government personnel and politicians are public servants who will strive to do things very efficiently and effectively, and will say no to more money if they don't need it.

Of course then they will buy a car from South Korea or Japan to avoid the US costs that they helped to institutionalize.

jerrye92002 said...

Beliefs, yes, but absolutely no consistent principles are involved. For example, everybody should have free food, health care, etc. UNTIL we ask a liberal to pay for it, at which point the "belief" collapses. They believe everybody should make $15/hour (now $17/hour in MN), until somebody asks why not $150/hour, at which point whatever liberal "principle" involved suddenly does not apply. Liberals have that amazing ability to hold two completely contradictory "beliefs" in their heads at the same time. An example to clarify: We should pay everybody $15/hour, and no unemployment or price increases will result.

jerrye92002 said...

"Magical thinking" is the phrase I was looking for.

John said...

I guess I don't see it as anymore magical than the Conservatives insisting that...
- cutting tax rates generates more revenues
- charity can be counted on to take care of the poor adequately
- pure capitalism will fix everything
- etc

jerrye92002 said...

What you call magic seems remarkably real:
--cutting taxes DOES generate more government revenues. It increases economic activity and decreases the incentive to avoid taxes through "loopholes." See JFK, Reagan

--charity can take care of the poor adequately if we talk only about those few who are actually poor through misfortune. Charity is not a way of life as welfare has become, and thus is far, far cheaper. And how much more could charity do with that $1Trillion that government now extracts and "wastes" on its version of "charity"?

--I don't think anybody believes that anymore. Our period of unbridled capitalism did wonders, but we now have a "mixed economy." The only question is how far down the "index of economic freedom" do we choose to slide before we say "enough"?