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Bill O'Reilly maintains lame excuse for not buying American
Our Buy American Mention of the Week!
by Roger Simmermaker
July 15, 2009

Bill O'Reilly has done it again! In a past column, I wrote about O'Reilly's May 22nd mailbag segment where he claimed his "Bold and Fresh" shirts were made in Central America because "We cannot get the volume of shirts we need in America, sadly."

I blew the lid off this false claim in that column naming only a few of the many American suppliers which have many thousands of shirts in supply just waiting for large orders. One such supplier is Union Marketing Ideas, which supplies all of the American-made, union-made "Buy American!" shirts available in my USA Shop. And they're actually less expensive than O'Reilly's Central America-sourced shirts.

On the June 23rd mailbag segment O'Reilly gave the same lame excuse for not buying American. I'm compelled to write about this issue again because it's one thing to say something, find out later it isn't true, and correct yourself in another segment. But it's another thing to know that what you're saying isn't true and keep repeating it anyway.

I also wanted to address the emails I've received telling me I left out the fact that proceeds from O'Reilly's sales go to charity. Some opined that if Bill-O had sourced his shirts from America, he would have to pay more and there would be less money left over to donate to charity. Still others say that unions are to blame and that corporations can't contribute to charity if they have to pay for things like middle-class wages, health care and pensions for their workers.

With that kind of logic, we should immediately move all manufacturing offshore so Corporate America can pay lower wages and fewer benefits to supposedly have more money left over for charity. Maybe if more Americans were actually working and making a living wage they would need less "charity" and would be less likely to wind up at food banks and soup kitchens.

I wonder how many Americans would be willing to take a pay cut so their employer could pay them less and have more money left over for charity. But we forget that we Americans can only be as affluent as consumers as we are wage earners.

Lowering the wages of American workers can only be a positive for our economy if prices fall faster than wages. We need to be putting upward pressure on wages so we can be more affluent as consumers. A policy that pins its hopes on prices falling faster than wages for prosperity to materialize is a policy that is aiming in the wrong direction.

The point is this: We can have a policy in America that provides good jobs at good wages and allows the ability to give to charity is well. America's corporations, even the ones that employ Americans, routinely donate to charity.

Unions are big givers to charity as well. In fact, Guide Dogs of America was founded over 60 years ago by Joseph Jones, Sr. with the help of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM&AW). This can be verified on the Guide Dogs of America website here.

The assertion that unions are the root problem of our jobs going overseas is as false as O'Reilly's claims that he can't get a sufficient amount of shirts sourced from America. The fact that my American-made, union-made Buy American! shirts are less expensive than O'Reilly's Central America shirts are should serve as sufficient proof. Without unions, there would be few if any well-organized groups to insist we put upward pressure on wages which also raises our American standard of living.

As long as O'Reilly maintains his lame excuse for not buying American, a cause he claims support, I'll continue to convince others to support the Buy American cause as I have now for over 15 years.

If you'd like to tell Bill O'Reilly your opinion on this issue, you can email him at

Roger Simmermaker is the author of How Americans Can Buy American: The Power of Consumer Patriotism. He also writes "Buy American Mention of the Week" articles for his website and is a member of the Machinists Union and National Writers Union. Roger has been a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC, has been quoted in the USA Today, Wall Street Journal and US News & World Report among many other publications, and is now a weekly contributor to WorldNetDaily.

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