-Hannah Mead, MCPP intern, 2008
Channel 4 WDIV Detroit reports on a new bumper sticker campaign prompting people to “Buy American Products: They’re Better and Safer.”
1. If American products were, in fact, better, we consumers would purchase them. As it turns out, however, foreign cars (at least in my experience) are markedly more reliable. Maybe American companies should focus on making not-crappy cars instead of trying to guilt people into buying subpar vehicles.
2. Toyota employs over 35,000 Americans (2007 figure), and this number is growing rapidly. Furthermore, MSNBC/ForbesAutos report that some “foreign” cars have more parts manufactured in the U.S. than “American” cars. It just goes to show that this is a global economy. It wouldn’t make any sense for Washingtonians to boycott Idaho potatoes, and it doesn’t make sense for Americans to boycott foreign goods. Consumers buy the best and cheapest products, regardless of origin, and producers make what they’re best at making, regardless of their products’ destinations; international economic cooperation is a good thing. And yes, my dad’s job was outsourced.
3. Trade sanctions are a favorite foreign policy tool we use to “punish” other nations. (We won’t get into the fact that this alleged middle ground between words and war has the effectiveness of the former and the destructiveness of the latter: Sanctions strengthen dictators’ grips on their people and primarily harm the innocents and the poor in the target nation.) It doesn’t make any sense to voluntarily sanction ourselves from global trade, either in one industry or across-the-board.