Allow me to be blunt.
America's standard of living is falling because we ignore the power behind buying American.
Americans are working longer hours for less because we ignore the power behind buying American.
America's manufacturing strength is on the decline because we ignore the power behind buying American.
America's unemployment and underemployment is skyrocketing because we ignore the power behind buying American.
Social Security, national defense, education, and adequate national infrastructure goes begging for lack of funds because we ignore the power behind buying American.
There are, of course, other factors involved in our domestic failings, but ignoring the fact that we could make better consumer choices to remedy the unfunded desires of "We the People" for our nation cannot go unaddressed.
What are we missing out on as a nation and individually when we don't Buy American when we have the opportunity?
More American jobs, more national wealth, more economic independence, higher wages for American consumers, a well-funded national treasury, and a more prosperous America.
How is all of the above possible? For starters, we have to realize that only American workers pay taxes to America. Workers in foreign countries don't pay taxes to America. They don't pay taxes to Social Security, Medicare, national defense, education, or interest on the national debt. Also, American companies pay about twice as many taxes to the U.S Treasury compared to foreign-owned companies - even those producing in the USA.
What does that mean? It means we can literally double the amount of money we send to the U'S Treasury without spending an extra dime, using the money we are already spending.
Have you heard various politicians talk about saving Social Security? The only way to do that is buy American, support workers that pay taxes to America, and make outsourcing less attractive.
Here's the deal on saving Social Security: Let's say you make $40,000 a year. Fifteen percent of your income goes into Social Security (7 ? percent paid by you and 7 ? paid by your employer). Let's say, because of low demand for American products, American jobs are outsourced to China. The laid off American worker stops paying his or her 7 ? percent into Social Security. The employer stops paying into Social Security as well since the jobs are now overseas and they aren't required to pay into Social Security taxes in China.
If 100,000 American jobs are outsourced to China (which is easily realized since there are 100,000 Chinese making toys for export to America alone), the Social Security Trust Fund loses $600 Million dollars ($40,000.00 x 15% = $6,000.00). And $6,000.00 x 100,000 jobs = $600 Million less for the Social Security Trust Fund. And that is only based on the outsourcing of 100,000 jobs, which is just the tip of the iceberg.
So how do we save Social Security? Tax every outsourced job. Stop allowing companies who outsource to foreign countries to escape paying into Social Security. Anything less is a blatant subsidy for imported goods.
If we bought American, we would create demand for domestic goods. Companies would respond to supply and demand and source from their American factories. More American workers would be employed. The unemployment rate would go down. More Americans would be paying taxes for to support the things that 'We the People" have demanded from the use of our tax dollars.
And what do our tax dollars support that are important to the American people? According to Business Week magazine, at least three-fourths of all consumer spending goes toward Social Security, Medicare, education, parks, roads & bridges, farm subsidies, military spending, and payments toward the national debt. If we want to save and secure funding for these things that "We the people" have demanded from our tax dollars, then we need to buy American-made products (from the only workers who pay taxes to America) from American-owned companies (which typically pay twice as many taxes and foreign-owned-companies).
Everything I wear every day is made in the USA. If I can do it, you can do it. And I use the money that I am already spending anyway in most cases - not by spending more. Supposedly "cheaper" imports don't always result in cheaper prices for the consumer.
Case in point: When I hear Levi's was closing their last U.S. factory, I went to the store to buy the "last" of the American-made Levi's. What I found was that the Levi's jeans made in America and the ones made in Bangladesh, were the same exact price. So supposedly "cheaper" imports don't result into a cheaper price for American consumers. In short, free trade is a fraud since the assumed promise of cheaper prices for consumers through free trade with lower-wage countries doesn't hold water.
President William McKinley, who had a few things to say about the word "cheap." He said, "I do not prize the word 'cheap.' It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. Cheap prices make for cheap goods; cheap goods make for cheap men; and cheap men make for a cheap country!"
Wage growth happens when we stop competing directly with third world, hell-hole countries and impose what Teddy Roosevelt would call an "equalizing tariff" on imported goods. President Theodore Roosevelt once commented that tariffs "must never be reduced below the point that will cover the difference between the labor cost here and abroad. The well-being of the wage-worker is a prime consideration of our entire policy of economic legislation."
We need to realize that buying supposedly "cheap" imports gets us nowhere, except excessive debt, massive trade deficits, a far-too-empty national treasury, an excessive loss of American jobs, a depleted tax base, and a tendency to put former breadwinners in unemployment lines where they can no longer win any bread for their families.
Republican presidential candidate John Kasich said the following in one the GOP debates: "And when we think about our country and the big issues that we face in this country; creating jobs, making sure people can keep their jobs, the need for rising wages..."
We need to not only create jobs, but also realize we wouldn't have so much pressure to create so many if we didn't allow our existing ones to be destroyed. Kasich is right. We need to keep and create jobs.
The answer to America's economic problems is right under our nose - right in our own back yards. The answer is to Buy American and end the elusive and financially devastating attractiveness of supposedly cheaper imports. We must Buy American while there is still American left to buy. Visit www.howtobuyamerican.com to learn how. The website www.buydirectusa.com is also a great resource.