It's been said before: the U.S. economy is faltering. What hasn't been addressed is that the ultimate solution — and the source of the original problems — lies with the consumer. If that sounds ridiculous, please read on.
The problem originated back in the 1960s, when manufacturers pressured the U.S. government to allow them to "outsource" employment and manufacture to other countries out of sheer greed. Example: An American manufacturer chose to open a plant in a foreign country — China, India and Mexico come to mind. Why? Because a manufactured device that costs $20 in equipment and $20 in U.S. labor and sells for $60 — a 33 percent profit — could be produced elsewhere for $20 in equipment (or less, if the manufacturer used local parts) but only $10 in labor, and still sells for $60 — a 50 percent profit.
Primitive foreign countries frequently do not have a minimum wage standard, so the labor is probably less expensive. Result: The manufacturer makes a bigger profit, but it costs American jobs. This is the problem at the national level.
Secondly, as the jobs were lost and the American consumer felt the "pinch," they purchased products that were less expensive and inferior. And that resulted in more American jobs lost. The foreign-produced product did not last as long as the same, higher-quality product produced in America under stricter production codes, and so the consumer was forced to buy a new one sooner. And spend more money.
Example: I have a toasted, refrigerator and microwave oven produced in America. Each is more than 20 years old and still operates perfectly. I know people who bought foreign-made brands and they ultimately failed after just three or four years, forcing them to buy new ones — again, foreign-made. That just compounded the problem.
I'm not complaining of products produced in advanced countries, such as Japan, where quality is stressed, but only those countries whose standards are not up to par. Nor am I referring to foods. Only manufactured items.
The solutions are on three levels: national, state and local. First, Congress should rescind permission to American manufacturers to "outsource" production. A device purchased and used in America needs to be produced in America. Not in China, India, Mexico, etc. That will force manufacturers to keep production and jobs in America. Contact your congressman and make this demand. They're supposed to represent you, not the manufacturers.
Second, contact your local legislators and make the same demand. They represent you, the American consumer, not the companies. Have them urge the state of California (or wherever you call home) to provide incentives to companies to remain in California and provide California jobs.
Third, contact your local city council and have them act to provide incentives to the local consumer to abide by this policy — and that does not include food purchases. The local government, in turn, can turn to your local chamber of commerce for cooperation.
Fourth, when you, the local consumer, go into a local store to make a purchase, examine the item. If it says "Made in U.S.A.," feel free to purchase it. If, on the other hand, it says "Made in China" (or India or Mexico...) don't purchase it. Take it to the service counter and tell the store manager why you won't purchase it. Urge them to contact their home office and pass on the information.
If enough consumers followed this procedure, the local distributor would stop purchasing foreign-made products and, hopefully, purchase only American-made products. If the distributor stops purchasing them, the manufacturer will get the message and stop the "outsourcing," restoring U.S. production and employment.
The result: More and better American-made manufactured items and more American jobs. You, the consumer, have the ultimate control over this situation and you need to exercise it. Make this statement: "I, the American consumer, will purchase only American-made products, not foreign-made, and support the American way of life."
If consumers or American companies will not cooperate, form a tariff on the imported product and put the reserve into the unemployment fund to help American employees who've lost their jobs due to cuts.
One more piece of advice for you, the consumer: As much as possible, purchase everything in your own community, not adjoining ones. Keep revenue and jobs in your community. Don't give away revenue and, potentially, jobs to surrounding communities who don't help yours.