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Buying American: Is it Time to Stop Supporting the Red

Chinese and Help Build Up the U.S. Economy?

You've probably seen the bumper sticker that says, "Out of a job yet? Keep Buying Foreign". We think there's a lot to that sentiment, so we encourage everyone to buy American-made products whenever possible and to let your retailers know that you want to buy American goods. Some retailers already are advertising products as being "Made in America", or made in your own home state, so please let those retailers know you support them in that effort.

To us, it's pretty clear: Buying American means you're supporting businesses who have kept their jobs in the United States and you are encouraging the creation of new jobs here in America, not abroad. The opposite is true when you buy a product that says "Made in China", for example. When you buy a foreign-made good, you're telling the manufacturer that they made the right choice in having moved American jobs to China, Mexico, Korea, Vietnam, etc. to make that product. And while you may not have been affected personally by those jobs leaving the country, just keep this in mind: while today it may have been your neighbor's job that got sent abroad, tomorrow it could be yours.

(image from

And speaking of China, can someone tell us why so many so-called American capitalists are building up the economy of Communist China instead of our own economy? It reminds us of a story we once heard, quoting former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev as having said, "A capitalist is someone who will sell us the rope to hang him with."

It seems to us that what too many American companies are doing right now in Red China is proving Khrushchev's point: these companies are so anxious to make a quick buck and to make this quarter's financial statements look good, they'll forego the long-term economic interests of the United States until it's too late. But by then, they'll have made their millions, so they probably won't care anyway.

Of course, what today's "overseas investors" are doing is even worse than what Khrushchev stated. Those companies aren't just selling our goods to the Chinese, they're expanding the Red Chinese economy by investing billions of dollars in China and constructing high-tech manufacturing facilities there.

Which leads us to another reason for buying American-made goods, especially if it's an American company: you're generating profits for companies who will re-invest those dollars here in America and thereby build up the US economy. (Unless the company is managed by Mitt Romney's Bain Capital firm, in which case they're probably itching for the chance to move more factories and jobs overseas. But that's a story for another day.)

Now, don't take this as meaning we're against international trade or against our foreign friends who are building facilities, creating jobs, and paying taxes here in America. Quite the contrary. There is a lot of benefit to international trade, not the least of which is reducing tensions between countries who are trading partners. Which is why we also believe that if you can't buy a product from an American company made by Americans, then buying from a foreign firm who makes the product here in the United States is an acceptable, though less desirable, alternative.

From a public policy perspective, however, what we are against is any tax treatment that rewards American companies for moving US jobs overseas. The tax code should be structured with disincentives for sending American jobs abroad, not incentives. Why the Republican-led House of Representatives hasn't moved to end this misguided tax policy is beyond us. Although we're pretty sure the firms that are benefiting from those tax breaks are funding the Republicans, so maybe it shouldn't surprise us after all.

But, getting back to what all of us can do day-to-day to help support American companies and American-made products, we know it's not always easy to figure out where a product is made, even when you take the time to do the research. There are a number of websites that promote American-made goods and we're in the process of reviewing them to see which ones we could recommend to you. If you have used any of these sites, or if you have any favorite American companies or products you would like to share, please forward your recommendations to us. Just drop us a note through the "Contact Us" link on the website; we'll incorporate your thoughts in future articles.

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