Jobs – Does It Matter Where Products Are Made

For years now we’ve heard so many say all kinds of things about the evils of buying foreign made products.  Doesn’t it seem like just about everyone gets some part that makes up something, built somewhere else.  And whenever I research something that I knew was an American brand when I grew up, it’s now foreign owned or built elsewhere.  But I think we’re missing the point.

Why does it matter then?  Is it because of product quality?  No, that’s been overcome.  Is it about making the item cheaper, so the retail price is more attractive to buyers?  Yes, that’s definitely a consideration.  Is it about the country, place, or conditions where the item is built?  Maybe for some, but not many.  Is it about what it’s doing to us here in the U.S. as related to our manufacturing economy?  Yes, but who understands that?  Or is it about the jobs we see leave and not come back, which makes us want to blame someone?  Yes, but that certainly doesn’t stop us from shopping for the best deal, over and over again.

So what do we do, stop buying products that are a good value?  No way that’s going to happen, because we all struggle to get the most for our dollar, no matter what we spend it on.  Isn’t our role to make the best lifestyle we can from the things that we buy?  Sounds kind of dumb to purposely hurt ourselves so we can try to change the world we live in.  No, this is a bigger problem other than you and me, and needs to be treated as such.

We could go back to the old ways our economy operated in, which was to have a tariff to all goods coming in from outside the U.S.  Sounds simply, but there is one large problem in doing that, most U.S. companies today rely on international goods, meaning we would hurt the same companies we are trying to help.

On top of this, it’s no secret that a good part of our national debt is financed by other countries.  If that’s not scary enough, most large companies today, are so diluted by foreign investors, funding partners, or are so multi-national that it’s impossible to operate any other way.

All this sounds like we can’t change, but that’s wrong.  Business in general lives to make a profit, and anything that drives them to do it, makes for a change.  Take renewable energy for example.  Here we are trying to give all kinds of business incentives to move in new directions.  No, this is not an overnight thing.  So face it, business directional change can take years, and we may be in for a long wait.

Okay, so how do we do that?  Well, it’s already started, whether you want to call it big government, or something else, it’s simply a way to give manufacturers financial incentives through tax breaks and such, to get them to build the products here in the U.S.  A good idea on paper, but it gets messy at further inspection, because now the same company may have moved customer service or some other part of their company to outside the U.S., so we’re right back where we started when it comes to jobs.

So what do we do, because I’m lost on this one?  It seems there is a cause and effect on everything we try.  Anyone got any brilliant ideas?

Meanwhile, like you, I’m going to continue to buy products that have good quality and are available at an affordable price!