Buy American
Post Reply
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
26-06-2012, 01:19 PM
Buy American
It goes like this. Your neighbor builds widgets and he has a good job that pays well with health care. He's not getting rich off the job but has earned a living. Along comes the Chinese widget made cheaper and not as good as the one made here, but it is 3 times cheaper than the one made in America. Your at the local store and see both of them on the shelf. You know your neighbor counts on you buying his widget. But You are a cheap ass bugger and couldn't care less about him and his family. They shut down the widget factory. Your a car sales man and now you have no one to sell your cars to. But you have that cheap ass widget from your local Walmart. This is happening every day in America and the UK. I'm just saying buy American even if it cost a little more you may be saving your own job down the line.

History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a
free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their
political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their
own purpose. ~ Thomas Jefferson
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like N.E.OhioAtheist's post
26-06-2012, 05:25 PM
RE: Buy American
Agreed. It is happening here in Ireland too all the time. Lots of advertisements telling people to 'Buy Irish' If you buy the local product, it keeps the business going, the business then pays wages to local people that then spend that money locally. The money then circulates around the country, supporting more jobs. If you buy, say English, the money goes back to England and ends up supporting jobs there, not here.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Magoo's post
27-06-2012, 03:16 AM
RE: Buy American
Hmm, ahhh... let me think about it.. mmmmmmm... Nope.

I'm buying the product best suited to my needs. If it's quality then I'll buy quality, if it's price I'll buy cheap. Whoever makes it does not bother me.
[economics lesson]Economies are based on efficiency. At least these days anyway. Understand efficiency and you'll understand competition IMO. Its about producing as high of a quality product for as cheap as possible.
I see I am going to have to draw a graph. 1sec.
Okay back. We'll use your widget seeming you brought it up.
The following graph is an efficiency graph. (I think it does have a proper name but for all intense purposes, it's an effeciency graph because that's what it shows).
The blue dot represents American widgets, the green dot represents Chinese widgets.
[Image: fdw0w8.jpg]
Ok, so what the fuck is the point in this graph I hear you ask? To which I would respond wittily there are two a green and a blue one, but that would be a horrible joke so I will just get to my point of all this.
Somewhere along that line, nobody knows for certain is the equilibrium (I was going to put an orange dot to represent that but I forgot so use your imagination). Now, from your example the American went out of business. Why is this? Well, because that equilibrium was closer to the green dot then the blue dot. The market determined that what the market needed was a cheaper widget (at the expense of quality) and so more people brought the green dot as it was closer to the orange dot.
Now, over time markets change and so that orange dot changes along the scale. Some time down the round the market may decide that quality is the better characteristic and so the orange dot moves closer to the blue dot and then the Chinese would go out of business.

This is why Chinese and other "non-American" (quotes for, meaning any country buying home grown products) products put "American" business out of work. Because they produce a product closer to the equilibrium, that orange dot, where the market determines it should be. "American" companies need to change their product rather then waiting for the market to change to suit their product. That is a fundamental failure IMO of a lot of business, especially ones that you often hear complain about Chinese putting them out of business.
Like with this widget, the Chinese put out a cheap one? You put out a cheap one. Don't want to "ruin the brand", seems pretty ruined to me you went belly up.

GM is a good example. Japanese car companies have a superior way of doing business. It's called customer driven rather then... I forget what the other term is.. Where you force products on consumers. GM (I don't know if they've changed since last I read) make cars, they put the factories on fall burst and turn out cars. They then basically cross their fingers and hope people buy their cars. Japanese companies however produce cars based on customer demands. So you go in, buy a car and then they'll send that order to the factory and make you your car. They're not left with all these cars that wont sell because cars are sold before they are made. Porsche do it too. Allows for customization as well.
GM may have changed on that one.

Anyway, so what does allllll this mean for "American jobs". Well you sir are wrong, sort of.
I feel as though I have said what I am about to say somewhere else but whatever.
Imagine 2 countries with 2 products.
Country A and B and product X and Y.
Country A can produce 1X and 2Y for every unit of space.
Country B can produce 2X and 1Y for every unit of space.
Say each country has 1000 units of space.
On top of that each country must produce at least 500 of both X and Y.
In a world with no trading each country must allocate 500 units of space to both X and Y, producing a total of 1500X and 1500Y.
BUT. In a world with trading A can produce 2000Y and B can produce 2000X and both can trade 500 of their produce for 500 of the others product (1500Y and 500X, 1500X and 500Y) now giving a combined total of 2000XY.

So how does this related back to jobs? Well, you are right in the sense he loses his job. But you are wrong in the sense that it costing jobs, at least in the long run its wrong.
Back to the widgets. Your neighbor is bad at producing widgets that a market want. To continue to do so would be a waste of resource. ie: Your neighbor is producing 500X when he should be producing 2000Y.
Its all about allocation of resources, china is good at producing widgets that the market want and so their business prevails. Your neighbor then moves into another area producing something else he is good at producing that the market wants.[/economics lesson]

I hope I got my point across.
tl;dr (too long didn't read), You're wrong, buying American for the sake of buying American does not save jobs. In the short short term maybe, but in the long run you are simply producing 500X when you should be producing 2000Y.

[Image: 3cdac7eec8f6b059070d9df56f50a7ae.jpg]
Now with 40% more awesome.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like earmuffs's post
27-06-2012, 04:15 AM
RE: Buy American
You know how I look at these things?

Free market!

You wanted free market, you hate the word "socialism"? Well, there you have it, this is free market. Enjoy.

On the other side, if you have good marketing and you explain to the people why your product is more expensive than "Made in China", then people will know the difference and those who care about quality and the long-life of their products, will buy more expensive stuff.

There is a cool saying here: "I am not that rich to buy cheap shit all the time". Anyone needs an explanation for this? Smile

But to support my country, I tend to buy Made in Croatia stuff, one of the reasons for that is that we make really high quality stuff, so I can't go wrong with local thingies. Food specially, I avoid any food that comes from China, that shit is just wrong, wrong...

Small, cheap technical stuff, from e-Bay or DealExtreme? Chinese always.

[Image: a6505fe8.jpg]
I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.
-Hunter S. Thompson
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Filox's post
27-06-2012, 11:45 PM
RE: Buy American
earmuffs did a great job laying out the economic case.

It's as simple as this--why do for yourself something that another can do for a lower cost than if you did it yourself? If you are in a position to earn an extra $100 working a couple/few hours extra instead of spending that time mowing your lawn, then you would be foolish not to hire a lawn care service. It works the same with whole countries.

I'm happy to buy products for less regardless of who makes it. Filox presents assumptions that foreign made goods are poor quality--yeah, I don't buy bad products just because they are cheap. I buy products that give me the value I desire at the best possible cost. If I want to buy cheap junk it's because for a particular purchasing decision I've decided the extra costs for durability, reliability, or other characteristics of product quality weren't worth the extra cost.

The OP makes an argument for supporting your own community because those dollars in turn support you. There may be a good reason for buying local. Often times a local company better understands the market they are serving, can be more responsive, or are more willing to be flexible with their customers. Those are product qualities, though, and I would select a company that offered good service regardless if they were local or not.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-06-2012, 01:19 AM (This post was last modified: 28-06-2012 01:33 AM by Filox.)
RE: Buy American
Just a small remark, I do not think that foreign goods are low quality, I am saying that cheap Chinese goods are low quality. There are however good Chinese products, they also have low and high quality merchandise. For example, China makes i7 processors, that is the best computer processor you can buy, and it is made in China. You can buy cheap flashlights (Cree LED) for a few bucks, or you can buy a 40$ flashlight, both from China, both from the same factory. The difference between them is amazing.

But there is also the less known thing about Chinese products... They love to buy companies that are in financial problems, like car companies, high-end hi-fi audio companies and similar. What they do is keep the same quality for about a year and then they start lowering the quality little by little, the inside parts are being replaced and you do not have the same thing anymore. The problem here is that they do not change the name of the company and they don't tell you about this, so you need to know what you are buying and the background of the product. Example for this? Quad, Mission, KEF, Vincent hi-fi companys.

What we can do is educate ourselves, learn a bit about the products we want to buy and then balance the quality-price graph and choose what we want. Sometimes Chinese product is going to be better quality that the one Made in America, and still cheaper.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that most of the Made in USA things contain at least some Made in China parts. As any other country in the world has as well.

I think that the best things to buy locally is food. You do not want food that has to travel around the world before it gets to your local store, do you? Frozen for a few months, in containers... It sounds just wrong.

[Image: a6505fe8.jpg]
I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.
-Hunter S. Thompson
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-06-2012, 10:01 PM
RE: Buy American
Food and other perishable items definitely make a lot of sense to buy local. Many of the arguments against Chinese made products today are the same arguments made against Japanese made products a few decades ago.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes BryanS's post
28-06-2012, 11:41 PM
RE: Buy American
The first concept to consider is "comparative advantage". When countries trade because of comparative advantage both countries are better off. Wealth is created in both countries.

Second is Marginal Utility relative to Price. What your missing is that when you buy the cheaper foreign "good enough" product you have additional money to purchase other products and services, some of those are local. Your "Total Utility from Consumption" is increased.

Third. The US is the 3rd largest exporter in the world. China is #1, Germany #2, Japan #4.
Foreign trade is difficult for people to understand. American manufacturing jobs are not being exported overseas. They are vanishing because of automation. In 1900 98% of people worked to grow food at some capacity. Now it's 2.4%. Where did all these unemployed farm workers go? Manufacturing output had steadily increased while total employment has fallen. Where are all the manufacturing workers going to work?
We will have a 15,000 shortfall of doctors in the next 10 years. The average age of a doc is 55. We just put 30,000,000 people on the insurance rolls. The demand will go even higher for health services.

We need more IT people. Half of Silicon Valley are foreign engineers on H1-B visas.
70% of all scientific patents in the US are currently awarded to foreign nationals living here. Many are students on student visas who will leave and start companies in their home countries.

It's easy to see that the future is quite good for high tech and medical. We have plenty of jobs for the right skills.
The problem is we keep loaning money to people to get History and Philosophy degrees from private schools. They get out with $90,000 in loans and can't find work. Duh! Welcome to OWS.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Thomas's post
29-06-2012, 12:37 AM
RE: Buy American
(28-06-2012 10:01 PM)BryanS Wrote:  Food and other perishable items definitely make a lot of sense to buy local. Many of the arguments against Chinese made products today are the same arguments made against Japanese made products a few decades ago.

Really? I didn't know that about Japanese products. Today if you can get any item that is Made in Japan, you know you have the best possible quality you can buy.

[Image: a6505fe8.jpg]
I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.
-Hunter S. Thompson
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
02-07-2012, 04:50 PM
RE: Buy American
Earmuffs explained this fallacious thought well. The whole Buy American shenanigan is a load of BS built upon inflated hubris.

If you really want to make a positive impact on American economy, you should buy locally as much as you can. This means get the local farmer's goods rather than from companies like Dole or CountryFresh. Buy your sports gear from local shops if you can (I work in the industry so I understand Internet retailers do have really great offers sometimes, can't tell you to pass them up). Buy from your local bakery. You keep the money within the state this way. You also help local business owners thrive and they pay taxes to the state you live in. Great for your local economy.

I laugh at people that put the "Out of a job yet? Keep buying foreign." bumper stickers on cars like the Ford Focus which is built off a MAZDA 3 platform. Same for ignoramuses that put it on Pontiacs and Dodges with Mitsubishi engines. Furthermore, it's laughable because these Japanese car makers have factories right here in America where they employ real American workers. While Ford has factories in Mexico. When it comes to technology, good luck finding something 100% made in America.

Imports help the economy more than it does hurt it. Off-shoring is another story.

“We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.”

-Neil deGrasse Tyson
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes NoahsFarce's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: