The U.S. is being infiltrated by illegals, sold to foreign powers, and abandoned by its government. But are Americans enabling the dissolution of our economy and country as well by continuing to buy foreign goods?
America literally is being sold out from underneath Americans. According to the 2008 Economic Report of the President: "The United States is both the single leading recipient and leading source of foreign direct investment in the world. In 2006, total cumulative FDI in the United States was almost $1.8 trillion, 15 percent of the world total." In 2006, foreign-owned assets in the U.S. totaled roughly $16 trillion.
And where does all that foreign investment go?
As Paul Craig Roberts, who once was the assistant secretary of treasury under President Ronald Reagan and associate editor of The Wall Street Journal, wrote seven years ago: "Very little of the foreign money flowing into the United States is for the purpose of building Toyota and BMW plants. Eighty percent to 85 percent of direct investment by foreigners in the U.S. economy goes into mergers and acquisitions. In 2000, 97 percent of direct investment by foreigners went for the purchase of existing U.S. assets." And those assets include U.S. government securities and liabilities, including our national debt, which is mounting into the teens of trillions.
We all know China serves as an example of this vicious cycle. American companies, from agribusinesses to Wal-Mart, have proliferated markets with so many "Made in China" labels that our nation has one big tag dangling from the toe of Florida — "Sold to China." And do the Chinese mind their material and monetary dominance over America? Of course not. In turn, they take the money that we pay them for their goods and invest (lend) it back to us via our government as one of the groups of "foreign investors" in our national debt. And why? Lately, the reason has been so Congress can bail out more American industries and deepen our bondage (and ownership) to countries such as China.
In the same 2002 column, Roberts eerily predicted: "The United States is on its way to becoming a country whose corporations are foreign-owned and foreign-based. The United States will decline as a consumer market, as there will be no high-productivity jobs to support consumer demand. The United States is importing a new population that will help it on its way to Third World-ism. Every year, millions of poor and uneducated immigrants, both legal and illegal, pour into the United States from alien lands. … Today, 20 percent of the U.S. population is foreign-born or children of foreign born. This massive influx drives up the demand for income-support programs, while driving down the taxable wages in retail- and service-sector jobs, where Americans are forced to seek employment as higher-paying automotive, electronic, textile and manufacturing jobs leave the country. The United States is still a superpower, but it is a country with very little, if any, control over its future and its destiny, a country whose time is running out."
It’s time to realize that we’re all together in this boat called America, that the boat is sinking, and that government is not our salvation. Our hope is not in Congress or even a political-messianic deliverance through the presidency. The only economic stimulus plan they should be preparing is the one that rewards manufacturers and consumers who promote and purchase American-made products and services. Our government doesn’t need to dole out more bailouts and drown us deeper in debt. We don’t need more bad trade agreements, such as NAFTA, or to provide tax relief incentives for corporations that are outsourcing. We need fair trade, not free trade. And we need a fair tax, not a flowering system of taxes.
Let’s be honest. Justifications abound for purchasing foreign goods, and many of them make perfect sense. Reasons range from price to quality, but, as we have with gas prices, maybe we will continue to enable foreign dominance in commerce and beyond by paying the prices and not coming up with alternatives. We say we can’t afford to buy American, but maybe it’s time to say we can’t afford not to. By supporting our homeland, we not only are investing in America and boosting the economy but also are helping to reverse staggering unemployment rates and keeping companies from going under. We all can do our part to bail the water out of our sinking ship by buying American goods and services.
But be careful with labels, as there’s an obvious difference between "Made in USA" and "Assembled in USA." And some labels lie, so do your homework. Take some time to understand what it means for a business to comply with the "Made in USA" standards (www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/adv/bus03.shtm). And check reputable consumer Web sites, such as MadeInUSAForever.com and StillMadeInUSA.com, to search for domestically manufactured goods and services.
The good news is that, according to a Gallup Poll, 72 percent of Americans today are more concerned with the geographical origins of products they purchase, and 50 percent even are willing to pay more for American-made products. For many, "Made in USA" labels represent an increased concern for work and environmental conditions, quality and consumer safety. Buying American is also a way to rekindle patriotism.
If you’re old enough, you’ll remember when "Made in USA" was a badge of honor. Well, I’m proposing a buyers’ revolution in which we all economically win that medal of valor. If the government isn’t going to help us by securing our borders, reducing outsourcing, or ceasing debt caused by bogus bailouts and out-of-control spending, then we the people have got to take back the financial future of our country. The buck stops here — in America. One resolution we all should make in 2009: Buy "Made in USA." Don’t just go green; spend green — in homemade products and services. If just half the country followed suit, our downturned economy would turn around in half the time.