America has been good to you; please be good back! When possible, please buy 'American'
Encourage and Educate Americans to Purchase Products 'Made in the USA'. Sadly, American consumers are motivated by one criteria when making a purchase; the retail price. It is crucial to note, that all purchases have both a retail price and social price. You may be saving a few dollars by buying the cheaper product but please consider the social implications. Every dollar spent in our economy has a multiplier affect. That dollar goes into someone else's pocket, is spent, and so on. If that dollar is spent overseas, the multiplier affect dies immediately. Often Americans define domestic products, especially automobiles, as being inferior. Perception doesn't equal reality. Morgan Stanley's report on perceived car quality highlights the barriers that domestic auto manufacturers need to overcome. Generally, US consumers felt that the Big 3 offered an inferior quality while Asian and European manufacturers were superior. As supported by JD Powers, the gap between Asian and US auto makers was minimal while European autos offer inferior quality. For example, brands whose perceived quality exceeded actual quality were Land Rover (75%), VW (58%), Volvo (36%), Mercedes Benz (34%), Audi (26%), and BMW (12%). Sadly, every one of these manufactures increased market share in the US over the past decade. Are we nuts?!?! It is actually patriotic to buy American. In terms of purchase power, we enjoy the highest standard of living in the world. If we wish to enjoy these lifestyles, we must keep stability within our economy. Shipping it overseas hurts workers, your neighbors, and eventually, you.
Address the economic, social, and political hardships due to imbalanced trade.Jobs
There is no question that the USA has lost millions of jobs to overseas (the precise number has never been determined but is debated hotly). Many of the jobs are lost forever and for good reasons. Our standard of living will not allow us to compete with China and other developing nations who pay their workers pennies an hour. Yet within the developed world, particularly western Europe and Japan, the USA can provide a manufacturing solution that is very competitive. It is crucial that foreign companies invest much more aggressively in America so that jobs can be created. For instance, when Ford builds a car in Europe; it designs, engineers, manufactures, and markets its product using European labor. When Audi (and numerous other auto manufacturers) sells a car in America, virtually all of the direct and indirect labor is done in Europe. We must find a more equitable balance.
Forty years ago, General Motors was the largest employer in the USA. Those jobs provided not only excellent wages but health benefits, paid vacations and a generous retirement package. Now the largest employer in America is Wal-Mart. This is not meant to be critical of Wal-Mart (nor is GM the best business model), but their wage and benefit package can't compare to GM's or virtually any other company that is a manufacturing facility. The social implications are enormous. It often means a wage that is not 'livable' and a lack of benefits such as appropriate health coverage for one's family. We all know that housing and health care are fundamental to a stable society. Sadly, much of our service sector economy provides little comfort or security to their employees.
Although this figure is debated hotly, approximately 60% of our homeless population works. The cycle of poverty will simply continue to revolve. Remember, we ALL pay for the members of our society who can't contribute.
Often our foreign policy is not motivated by what is right. The USA relies on many countries to provide crucial natural resources (oil) or to support our deficit spending via the purchase of treasury notes. For example, China is not criticized aggressively for its lack of human rights (especially Tibet) or the void of democratic principles. Since China controls over a TRILLION dollars in US Treasury Notes, they can impose considerable influence over our fiscal; and therefore, our foreign policies. By having balanced trade, we won't have to tread so lightly with our trading partners.
Recognize and Support 'Made in America' CompaniesThankfully, there are still companies in the USA who continue to manufacture here. As consumers, we have great leverage in the market place. Since the second largest purchase (next to a home) is an automobile, ask where the product is made. Try to purchase an auto from either an American manufacturer or one who has built plants within the US. Please note that US companies still provide considerable more jobs per auto than foreign manufactures; even those with plants in America (www.levelfieldinstitute.com). It isn't just where an auto is assembled, one must also consider who designed, engineered, and provided the parts.
25 top American companies who swim against the 'move to China' tide.
Moderate the Trade DeficitSince 1988, our trade deficit has continued to grow dramatically. This has been caused by two reasons; American companies moving overseas for cheaper manufacturing platforms, and from American consumers who fail to recognize the source of a product or service. Each decade the gap becomes more and more pronounced. In 1988, the deficit was $118 billion dollars. Within ten years that number ballooned to $230 billion; a 95% increase. By 2008, the deficit was $816 billion dollars (www.census.gov); a whopping increase of 355%; or 3-1/2 times. This imbalance simply can't continue.
The current recession has been the worst in 70 years. Over 15,000,000 Americans are out of work and the economists are calling for a 'jobless recovery'. For the sake of comparison, our trade deficits are 4-5 % of our economy while this horrific recession has caused our economy to shrink by 2% (www.bea.gov) . In other words, if we could transfer just 2% of our purchases towards items made or provided in the US, this recession could be overcome.
More importantly, we must help moderate this trade deficit. In our present economic state, the equivalent of 5% of our economic output is being sent overseas. As trillions of dollars leave our shores, our control of the dollar is quickly eroded. If the dollar is undermined, the future of the WORLD's economy is at stake. If the US goes down with the collapse of the dollar, the world will come with it. It is not just patriotic to buy American, it is also wise and prudent for our economic future.
Up to date statistics on our trade deficit, please see www.americaneconomicalert.org for an up-to-the-second figure.
For a country by country breakdown of trade deficits with the USA, www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c0015.html.
Create more 'Mr. Tickeys'As a child, Mr. Tickey was my neighbor. Jimmy Tickey, his son, was my best friend. Mr. Tickey was my first baseball coach. He was a genuine, caring man that every neighborhood needed.
Mr. Tickey came from modest stock. With second generation Irish roots, he lived a very common lifestyle that was offered in the 60's. Having minimal opportunities for advanced education, Mr. Tickey worked at one of the local factories that provided a good wage. More importantly, he was able to move his family to a middle class community, purchase a home, provide good schooling for his kids (including a four year university) and watched his family flourish. In other words, his lifestyle was the classic American dream of upward mobility to the middle class.
There are still countless Mr. Tickeys today. Sadly, the opportunities for those with modest skills have depreciated greatly. Manufacturing jobs have evaporated and have been replaced by lower paying, service oriented ones. More importantly, that upward mobility that every American craves has been lost. The implications are enormous. We now have a new economic class; 'the working poor'. Years ago, we described a job as 'working for a living'. Ironically, now there are millions of jobs that you can't live from. Families are living paycheck to paycheck, aren't able to buy a home and therefore, develop roots, are unable to save for their children's future, and become economically stagnant.
Manufacturing offers an outlet from this plight. More manufacturing jobs means better middle class opportunities.
Amer1ca One is a non-profit organization with a singular goal; to encourage and support domestic production and consumption. This objective is two fold; to educate and influence consumers to the need to consider and buy American, and to recognize and support businesses who continue to manufacture their products domestically.
Very simply, you make your money in America, we ask that you spend it on America.
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