You can’t turn on the radio for five minutes these days without someone hyping something – anything – made in America. There are American sheets, made of American cotton. Then there are pillows made by American hands. Oh, and the cotton for these items is grown right here on American soil. And then there’s American snore-spray. Okay, whatever. But any way you look at it — it’s become downright popular to buy and hire American.
Quite a change, isn’t it?
Now if the folks on Madison Avenue are having their accounts hype a product made in the USA there must be a valid reason. Perhaps it’s because Americans are getting sick and tired of buying Chinese junk. It was one thing when items from China were cheap – but now much of that” junk” is getting downright expensive. It would be lovely to think that was the reason buying American has become a sweeping trend, but perhaps there’s more to it.
In April, President Trump signed an executive order to “Buy American and Hire American.” The EO, found here, is as long as your arm but doesn’t really apply to the consumer marketplace writ large. It essentially pertains to government buying – not the everyday items you purchase at your local retailer or from Amazon Prime.
Nevertheless, a new brand of patriotism is sweeping across the country like the white tornado of which Mr. Clean spoke (but I’m dating myself here). And isn’t it about time? This country consumes more of just about everything made worldwide. American purchasing power is one of our great resources, and yet we’ve let that slip thru our fingers like butter on a hot summer day in Arizona. We’ve taken our greenbacks and spread them across the globe and consequently made other countries very wealthy.
And just how has that been working out for us?
Now, however, it seems we’ve come home – home to our roots where items are made with old-fashioned Yankee ingenuity and American pride.
Think about it for a moment: Who made the first transistor, or swivel chair or atom-smasher? That would be an American. An American. And an American. Karl Benz of Germany may take credit for making the first car but who invented the assembly line to make it affordable? Why that would be Ransom Eli Olds (an American), and it would take none other than Henry Ford (another American) to fire up that assembly line with American workers on December 1, 1913. For a complete list of badass American inventions that changed history, you can go to Mashable and read to your heart’s content.
Americans aren’t just fiercely independent, we are smart as hell. We are a picky bunch too. When we buy something, we like to have it work, not break after one use. And as a people, we aren’t terribly excited about putting things together when the directions are in a form of Chinese that resembles Swahili. One wonders how many marriages have been on the verge of break-up over those three illustrious words – some assembly required — because they’ve been container shipped half-way across the globe.
The point is that Donald Trump has made it popular and acceptable again to buy and hire American. And from coast to coast the citizenry is grooving on it. Well, except for those on the left who call themselves The Resistance.
Let’s take for example Carl Tannenbaum’s comments on CNBC. Tannenbaum is the chief economist at Northern Trust and safe to say, not a fan of the buy American craze:
“Buy American” has a certain ring to it, and will no doubt win over some of the electorate. But policymakers need to recognize this simple slogan obscures the more complicated realities of global sourcing, a system from which the United States benefits greatly. What might sound best on Twitter may not be the soundest approach.
What do you want to bet Mr. Tannenbaum drives a Mercedes? Sure, there’s a global economy. Americans get that. And certainly, we sell plenty of our “stuff” overseas. But is there anything wrong with buying consumables made in the USA by people who live in the USA? There is also an intangible in buying American that we cannot discount – it’s called pride.
Who doesn’t have pride in something they make with their own hands? I have a friend who spends hours woodworking. Could I buy an Adirondack chair made in China? Certainly. But when I sit in one made by him there’s a certain intangible to it. He made it from scratch, for me, with his own brain and brawn. That, fellow Americans, is something of which to be proud.
So, this Fourth of July as you chow down on your hot dog (made in America) or hamburger (made and invented in America) and watch the fireworks (probably made in China – but hey they invented the darn things) — take pride that you again live in a country that makes, sells and invents things that millions the world over would love to get their hands on. But for you and me – it’s simply Made in America.
Now that’s something worth celebrating this Independence Day.
Great site for those who wish to Buy American: http://allamericanreviews.com/