Buy American

A good friend recently took me task for a “Buy American” video I posted on FB, along with my comment: “If it says, “Made in China,” I don’t buy it; if it is made outside of the USA, I think twice about buying it.”

First, let me beg the pardon of both Canada and Mexico.  I do appreciate that you don’t always like us Yanks – and you do have really good reasons (mostly, Mexico for the drug business) – but I am including you in “Buy American”.  While I can’t think of anything Mexican that I have purchased, the car I drive was made in Toronto.

Second, the video, and the comment that I posted, were aimed at Americans (specifically now, those living here in the USA).  I was pointing a finger at the conspicuous consumerism of my native land; the obsession with stuff – the more the better, and the cheaper the better.  Wherever they are made, this is the land of toys, as far as consumption is concerned.

However, this is not how she saw it.  Her rebuttal started with, “Typical American…,” and went downhill from there.  She has always been fiercely Norwegian, and as far as I can tell, with good reason.  I recently read what Norway is doing with their oil revenues.  As Americans are mortgaging the future of our children in our race to spend money we don’t have, Norway has created a fund and is running a surplus.  The USA: $7 Trillion in debt.  Norway: $828 Billion surplus.

Before any Euro-phobes decry the high taxes in Europe, how is that Americans are so foolish with the “extra” money that we aren’t paying in taxes?  Logic tells me that our lower tax rate ought to be building a surplus, not a hole I believe we can never, um, spend our way out of.

Add to that the money we are spending against the eventuality of military action by the PRC (having grown up during the Cold War, it will ALWAYS be Red China to me), and it is completely unconscionable to fund their economic growth by buying their products.  Economic justification was behind the military action of Hitler, Stalin, and Hito; considering how much we owe Beijing, why is it we are surprised they are building a much stronger navy than they’ve ever had before?  Rockets to the moon, anyone?  Yeah, they are late to that party, but we have squandered any advantage we might have had.

My Norwegian friend gave me a reality check; I do, most sincerely apologize for my heavy hand.  I have the utmost respect for Norway.  I never set out to bash Norwegians.  I was trying to call attention to the typical American, ego-centric, “your life revolves around me” mentality.  A mentality I am trying to distance myself from.  Mea culpa.

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