Out of a Job Yet? Keep Voting for Job Killers!Written by Thomas Berry | | firstname.lastname@example.org
“Out of a job yet? Keep buying foreign!” warns a bumper sticker that can be seen fairly often here in Toledo. Signs urging people to boycott big-name importers are also commonplace, and on occasion pickets can be seen at their driveways. None of this is surprising, given Toledo’s long and rich heritage as a bastion of unionism.
With all respect for what unions have accomplished, and for those who think this way, this is nothing but sloganeering. Slogans are nice for distilling deeply felt emotions to a handful of words, but they are useless for solving problems like real or alleged loss of American jobs due to imports.
Unless you’re dealing with relatively simple products, the origin of a given item is often not as simple as “buy American.” For example, cars built in America by American companies very often use imported components and assemblies, and foreign manufacturers build cars in America, thereby creating jobs here. For that matter, look at the hundreds of thousands of American jobs grown from imports, be it retail jobs or the longshoremen, truckers and railroaders who handle all those containers of imported goods that too often go back empty.
As unfortunate as our trade imbalance is, it’s the logical consequence of being largely uncompetitive in a global economy. Job loss is not due to imports; rather, much American labor has priced itself off the market, and many American employers also face punitive taxes and stifling over-regulation. With such obstacles, often imposed with government favor, these companies and their jobs stand little chance against far less expensive foreign competition. If the cost of doing business is prohibitively high, then of course businesses will shop for cheaper alternatives. Otherwise, they must either raise prices to cover costs, which makes them even less competitive, or simply close the doors.
Be that as it may: If you really believe that we should all buy only American products, then I have a really radical suggestion for you. If you’ve been blessed with a high-paying, benefit-laden job, then I celebrate with you your good fortune. But I want you to have the liberty to help others – with absolutely no forced redistribution such as the Obamacrats advocate – and I challenge you to exercise that liberty.
After all, thanks to the manifold blessings of Obamanomics, people are in hard times. Cash is scarce. Unemployment, bankruptcies and foreclosures remain high. Add to that the random elements of bad health, bad personal decisions and bad luck, and people can’t afford more expensive shopping alternatives. Unfortunately, much American-made merchandise is going to be more expensive than cheap, allegedly job-killing imports. Never mind Wal-Mart – it’s no coincidence that dollar stores are also booming, because that’s all a lot of people can afford.
So here’s my idea. Instead of merely demanding that those less fortunate than you do business in keeping with your standards, how about you doing something instead to make that choice more available to others? Instead of wasting money on signs, stickers and slogans, how about helping those who can’t afford your choices of merchants? Perhaps you could start a fund to help them afford to buy all-American. Just an idea for practicing what you preach.
Also, if my buying imports concerns you, then, please, show me what stand you have taken on the far more critical issue of tyranny versus liberty. Don’t complain about me not buying American and then habitually vote for the same politicians whose incompetence, greed and corruption led to the economic fiasco we now face. It’s one thing to build straw men about trade imbalances and jobs shipped overseas. It’s quite another to face the hard facts that many in the “buy-American” crowd ignore concerning their party of choice and the reality in which many of us live.
With union support, the progressive Democrats have chased American jobs away through higher costs, increased regulation, and interference in the marketplace. A friend asked last year, “We voted Democrat, so where are all the jobs?” His candidates sucked hundreds of billions of dollars out of the public sector, “reformed” health care, and refused to resolve the Bush tax cuts; the only real job creation was in government as bureaucracy expanded or overseas as private sector employers had to outsource or close.
Businesses create jobs when the government gets out of the way and stops devouring capital. That was how unemployment was kept at historically low levels – under five percent! – prior to this recession, and that’s a step out of our trade imbalance. Yet the unions want you to keep voting Democrat, even though progressive Democrats are proven job killers. Out of a job yet? Vote Democrat.
Thomas Berry, for the Children of Liberty, http://www.meetup.com/The-children-of-liberty/