There use to be a time when there was no need to campaign for “buy American”. Buying American made products was the norm especially in the 1950’s when our country was strong pre and post war. But those times are gone and the reality is they will probably never return – at least not with the gusto in the past. Whatever happened to the times when Jack’s great-grandpa drove a Buick so his grandpa drove a Buick prompting Jack’s dad to drive a Buick? Oh ya, Jack drives a Mitsubishi.
Around the early 1950’s Toyota started post war auto manufacturing and their first cars were based on American design as far as power-trains went. By the 60’s Toyota started selling cars in America that were smaller and cheaper and virtually maintenance free for years, which meant big pocket book savings for purchase, fuel and repair costs. We all know a ’55 Chevrolet was built tough and today, 55 years later, a junker can be found, remarkably with little major rust. But after about the 70’s, when auto manufacturers couldn’t compete with their current production methods, things got tighter. Steel panels got thinner, interior chrome and padding got replaced with plastic, and by the 80’s with the fuel crisis those monster 400hp engines got weakened to about 100hp with no better fuel economy. Eventually leading American auto makers to mimic foreign automakers.
Surprisingly, President Obama has signed a deal with India to sell the country some 40 aircraft creating 55,000 jobs and helping a struggling airline business. There are other companies bidding as well such as Caterpillar and GE. This is good business I hope for America. But current stateside business need to follow suit and sell more American made products and/or discount the ones they sell.
While flipping through my junk mail and tossing out the ads (in our recycling box) I came across a Menard’s ad that stated they are having a Made in the USA sale. Are these prices really reduced for our own good or are they marked up and then reduced, who knows? What I do know however, is that advertising targets the consumer and tries to persuade them what they should buy. If you as a consumer decide it’s time to buy a warming stove for that cold mudroom most likely you will not spend half a day wasting precious fuel driving around town for the best deal. You are more likely to look at advertisements that came in the mail or just go online.
So what can we, as Americans, do for our country as JFK so eloquently put it? Encourage local business’s to advertise American made products. If advertising did not work, companies would not spend millions a year for such a service. Your local Chamber of Commerce is full of business owners and you, yes little ol’ you can be a member and have your voice heard. Tell them to advertise more American made products. And when they do, you have the pride in knowing you have just saved American jobs.
The reality is we will never fully recover consumerism of the 1950’s and companies will have to continue to sell cheaper foreign made products to be competitive, but when you buy that foreign drapery rod for 10 bucks instead of the American made one for 15 bucks be sure to inspect the quality of it. Like American consumerism of the 50’s, foreign made products no longer reflect the outstanding, long-lasting service life of the 1970 Toyota Celica, they are all made cheaply anymore. If you wish to buy American but are unsure where or what to buy there are several sites targeted for such Americans such as http://buyamerican.com/index.html