Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Buying American Products

Okay, this one is sure to ruffle a few feathers but I had better get it out there because it’s how I feel and, after all, this is a rant blog. I remember back when it was cool to buy American. I remember when folks cared if their neighbors stayed in business. I remember when the thought of buying a Honda or Toyota over something American-made was frowned upon. And I’m only thirty-six.

I’ve heard all the arguments possible over the years, and to me none hold very much water. Does a Toyota plant here in the U.S. create some jobs? Yea. Do Toyota dealerships create jobs? Sure. Do you think that Japan doesn’t get a lot of money from selling their cars here? You bet they do.

Oh, and before you start telling me that most of the parts on American cars are outsourced, let me just inform you that I know this. I know that Canada, Mexico and China are making parts like mad for American vehicles. Not much I can do about that. It’s the principle of it. I’m not saying that Hondas and Toyotas or any other Japanese-made automobiles are trash, either. I know they are good vehicles. But I also know they aren’t American companies, and I like to support my country when possible.

If you think that Honda, a Japanese auto-maker, is simply going to let us set up a plant here, hire our own folks and sell their cars while all the profit stays here, you have another thing coming. The money is going to Japan, one way or another. There isn’t a chance in hell that the guys in Japan don’t know where each and every car went, and what it sold for.

Now, I don’t have a degree in business and I was never any good at economics, but I know that Chrysler, Ford and Chevrolet offer comparable cars at comparable prices to the Japanese auto-makers. I can already hear you saying, “I had a Ford this or a Dodge that and the thing kept breaking down! The parts were trash!” Maybe that’s because everyone is sending their money overseas while the Big Three flounder, trying desperately do make sales. I’m just saying.

Folks will do anything at all today in order to save a few dollars, up to and including putting their own neighbors out of business so that they can get three more miles to the gallon or buy an item at the Wal-Mart for a few pennies less, which also carries almost nothing American-made. It’s the sign of the times. Me, me, me.

My favorites are the elderly men with “I remember Pearl Harbor” or some similar sticker on the bumper of their entry-level Japanese car. Did I miss something? Do they really think all the money they spent on the car went to a dealership in Ohio? They couldn’t have ponied up and purchased American, just for the principle of it? Mind-boggling.

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