Buy American?

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I've got an I18N hat on this week 06-May-1991 1336

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May 7, 1991, 11:05:05 AM5/7/91
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I always love "buy American" campaigns, such as that being conducted in
Taurus vs S&W discussions. Just to give you an idea of how foolish some
of these discussions are:

- The "American" content of a Honda Accord is HIGHER than that of most
Chryslers.

- S&W is a foriegn owned firm

- Taurus has started manufacturing in Florida, though most of their
stuff is still imported

- Springfield Armory uses lots of foreign made parts

- etc.

Its a global economy with global companies. And, if practical
considerations such as the above don't get you.

- "buy American" is bad, or at least not good, economics!

Exports and Imports are a balancing act. When you import something, you
pay for it with *your* currency. Your currency is not good for
anything outside your country EXCEPT buying your country's imports!!!
So, when somebody (say Japan) sells you something they *have* to buy
something from you in return. All buying a foreign made product does is
shift the money around. So, buying a japanese car may put an American
auto worker out of work, but adds jobs at a drug manufacturer. This
certainly doesn't help the auto worker accept that they are losing their
job, but it means an awful lot to the drug workers!

In the case of automobiles, I *want* to send a message to the auto
manufacturers and unions that they are producing junk and I'm not going
to take it anymore. If the Japanese are better at making cars, and we
are better and producing drugs, then let's each do the thing we are best
at! If American auto manufacturers want to change the formula, GREAT.
But, I'm not going to buy an inferior product just so that American
autoworkers can stay amongst the most highly compensated workers in the world,
or auto company execs can continue to pull in big bonuses, or auto
company stockholders can get reliable dividends.

In the case of gun manufacturers I have the same viewpoint, with one
exception...I feel a vested interest in the survival of S&W and Colt and
would prefer to buy their products (note, I don't care about Ruger and
would happily purchase a foreign made product rather than one of Banana
Bill's.) The American manufacturers are producing stuff as good as the
competition, so I have no overwhelming reason to buy the foriegn
product. No, they aren't up to the standards of someone like SIG. But,
they are near the top of the heap of the bulk of foreign competition.
Sure I'll buy foreign, when there is something unique that I want.

Taurus happens to be a standout as well. They are producing quality
well above what one would expect from their bargain prices. And, that's
where people might want to draw the line. If you can afford a Smith
and you want a Smith, but a Smith. If you can't afford it, then Taurus
is a substitute you can make without giving up much (if anything). The
Brazilians will eventually have to import American products to spend
their profits, so somewhere an American will benefit as a result.
.............................................................................

Hal Berenson

Home: 71640...@compuserve.com
Work: bere...@cookie.enet.dec.com

-- Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are my own, not my employer's! If
I happen to communicate with you from work rather than home, its just
for convenience (just like asking for a "daytime phone number") and should
not be construed as representing the views of my employer or its
employees, officers, directors, or stockholders. --

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