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SARS Epidemic Should Force Focus
on American Alternatives

Our Buy American Mention of the Week!
by Roger Simmermaker
May 3, 2003

There's no doubt about it. SARS has arrived. Not so much in America, but very much so in a major way in China. If the epidemic isn't controlled soon, two things are likely to happen. First, prices will rise on many electronics items since most TVs, VCRs, DVD players and car stereos, etc. are made in China. Most toys are made in China too. It's a simple process of supply and demand. Second, if the epidemic persists long enough for warehouse inventories to empty, American consumers will have to go without.

American consumers should take this opportunity to ponder why our great nation, which was founded upon the drive for independence, is no longer an independent nation. Simply put, a nation that cannot supply its own needs has ceased to be truly independent.

It should also cause us to focus on American virtues and values. America was founded upon the desire for self-sufficiency and self-reliance, and buying American is rooted and grounded in these virtues and values. After all, isn't that what we teach our kids and strive for as adults? To be self-reliant and independent? Real Americans don't like to depend on others for what they can accomplish for themselves. And so it is for the American family, so it should also be for the American nation.

The solution to the problem that has arisen out of this unfortunate and frightening virus is right in our own back yard. The solution is to buy American and make it profitable for American businesses to employ their own people to supply the demands of the American market.

This author has said many times that the global economy is unsustainable. A huge global economy made up of hundreds of nations, controlled by an invisible free-market hand, is less stable and much harder to control than individual countries running their own individual economies.

There is no one-size-fits-all set of rules that can work to the benefit of all nations in an international economy. Each nation has its own culture, population, religions, language and identity that make it unique. Each nation is naturally motivated to do what is best for itself first, rather than compromising its own interest for a supposed higher international good.

The unsustainability of a global economy is reinforced by the SARS virus. To a large extent, only China can control the epidemic in its own country. Consequently, America is powerless to supply the wants and needs of its consumers. U.S. buyers won't even go to China to place orders.

America's victory in Iraq may have revived the feelings of freedom in America, but we may soon realize we have lost the freedom to control our own economy and our own destiny. We have lost the freedom to be truly independent. Such a realization may change the modern-day meaning behind celebrating July 4th.

Christmas 2002 was disappointing mostly for just retailers, but Christmas 2003 may be disappointing for retailers and consumers. We may not have the freedom to put what we want under the Christmas tree because many Americans have already lost the freedom to be employed in the jobs of their choosing, which can now be found only in China.

Let's hope it doesn't come to that, and let's hope that this devastating virus is soon brought under full control. In the meantime, let's focus on our own lack of control brought to the forefront through this epidemic. The solution has been with us since the founding of this great nation, and was advocated by all four faces on Mt. Rushmore. The solution is Buy American.


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