Are Foreign Made Goods Here To Stay?
You may remember that in the ’70s and ’80s the hue and cry was “Made in America” and “buy American.” In the 1950s my dad spent a lot of time on union picket lines. The shift from unionization coupled with the loss of manufacturing in the U.S. has certainly contributed to the global shift to overseas manufacturing. And now, workers are slowing but surely getting free agent status in the U.S.
Michigan’s “Right to Work” law is a case in point.
At the same time, Apple Computer has announced that it’s bringing back plants to the U.S. for putting together their Mac’s and other electronic items. But, Apple is an isolated case since it can afford to pay its workers a living wage and benefits without unionization.
The question is: If large companies can pay their workers minimum wage and not have to worry about union benefits or a living wage, will companies come back to our shores?
There’s also other evidence in the global shift in how we do business as it relates to manufacturing and advertising. For example, you’ll notice that our local radio stations in Seattle and their radio talk show hosts are pushing foreign cars and beds made by foreign workers. These same talk show hosts claim that they all personally own these foreign cars and foreign beds. In fact, they claim that these non-American made consumer items are parked in their garages and bedrooms.
Well, my dear old dad who worked tirelessly for a living wage and benefits by spending time on a union picket line is probably rolling over in his grave.
There’s no doubt that a majority of the media is now totally mute on the subject of “Buy American” as it appears that much of their income comes from foreign made goods and services. After all, why should they discuss the subject of American workers and “Buy American” when they would be shooting themselves in the foot financially?
If my dad were alive today, I’d have to tell him “welcome to the new economic reality and the free market. It’s here to stay! Get over it!”