Buying American Un-American?

A protest in Utah against Wal-Mart
A protest in Utah against Wal-Mart (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Buying American Un-American?


No, it’s not. Buying American is patriotic, puts jobs here and honors the strong work ethic that Americans have always practiced. But Jonathan Hoenig says that buying American is Un-American. Read below for the exact quote. This is what passes for intelligent analysis on a news show?


Up is down. Black is white. What is this? If you say it long enough and often enough, does stupidity and simple nonsense become persuasive?


Oh, I get the message. What Hoenig is saying is that free market fundamentalism is the actual real American belief system and all this patriotic stuff is on a lower intellectual and thought level. I get it.


Buy American is a business ethics idea, the idea that by rewarding your fellow countrymen for their efforts you build a better nation. Free market fundamentalism is a quasi-religious movement that says we will all be happy and prosperous once we stop trying to do the right thing and chase the money.

Well, I’m not ready to give up doing the right thing. So, I’ll buy American.


James Pilant


Why does Fox “news” hate Americans? During their Saturday “business block,” Cashin’ In guest host Eric Bolling and most of his panel did their best to do an infomercial for Walmart — and to trash the protesters who have been out there demanding higher wages for their workers. And if that wasn’t bad enough, their regular, libertarian wingnut Jonathan Hoenig called the very notion of companies like Walmart buying made in America products “un-American.”


I’m not going to transcribe all of this mess, but here’s some of the worst of it, where they were blaming the protesters for Walmart deciding to expand into China, and attacking labor unions, which is their favorite sport along with attacking poor people on Faux “news” on Saturday mornings. …


(The relevant remarks below)


HOENIG: I’m actually against that Eric. I think this whole notion of buy American is actually un-American. American companies should buy the lowest quality product… excuse me, the lowest price product at the highest possible quality. If they happen to be made overseas, that’s even better. It allows Americans to save money and those resources to be more deployed, and more profitable in productive ways.

From around the web.

From the web site, Buy American Challenge.

Josh Miller’s new documentary is an inspirational reminder that the words “Made in USA” still matter. While Americans from Main Street to the halls of Congress struggle to cope with our sputtering economy, Miller reminds us that the answer to reclaiming a prosperous future may lie in the long-forgotten rallying cry to “Buy American.”

As Miller demonstrates in his month-long trek across the United States, a sure-fire way to create American jobs is to stimulate demand for American-made products. While conventional wisdom once told us the jobs that left our shores would never return, as is so often the case, that conventional wisdom is now being turned on its head.


The film shows that in many industries, companies that stuck to their American-made roots are now thriving, while firms that made the decision to off-shore are realizing the advantages of sourcing from low-wage countries like China are being eaten up by rapidly increasing wages in those countries. Once you consider the other disadvantages of off-shoring, such as increased shipping costs, higher inventory costs, and extended time to get products to market, in many industries the benefits of overseas production are now being outweighed by the costs. As a consequence, America may be primed for a serious jobs recovery.


In the film, Michael Araten, CEO of the toy company K’Nex, whom Miller interviews, makes the most compelling case that the U.S. is poised for job creation in the manufacturing sector and that the Buy American Movement can help facilitate it. “What I see happening is that consumers care more and more where stuff is made; businesses react to consumers,” explains Araten. “As demand picks up for [American-made products], then [businesses] will find more ways to [fill that demand].”



Dylan Ratigan Challenges The Current Beltway Definition Of “Free Market”

Dylan Ratigan has a interesting essay in the Huffington Post. As is usual with his writing, the indignation boils over. I find this very pleasing. My indignation boils over from time to time. I have long been struck by the beltway commentator constant refrain, “free market.” It is used over and over as a cure for every economic malady. I can’t help but believe they don’t know the subject. Little industrial or financial business in the United States can be considered free market in any traditional sense: Our agricultural products are heavily subsidized; our financial industry is favored by a host of friendly laws as well as being able to borrow money from the Federal Reserve at zero percent interest.

What’s free market about any of that?

Here’s a quote from Ratigan’s essay –
Here we find ourselves today in a similar situation, where six industries have a stranglehold over Washington. And the draining of our current and future wealth will only continue as both the media and the political class not only tolerates but spreads the phrase “free market” when the reality doesn’t match the rhetoric.

Our politicians continue to take money from massive corporations to subsidize them in a rigged marketplace that only cares about protecting the incumbent structure. At the same time, the American people are drowning in a red sea of debt caused by perpetuating banking, health care, energy and defense systems that are expensive, ineffective and protected from competition.

So I have a challenge for those so-called free market Republicans who rode a wave of voter discontent into Washington. I challenge you to end massive corporate subsidies. To end tax loopholes. And to end rigged trade with China and release the true power of free markets.

This can no longer be simply a talking point to win votes. Because this broken system is not only costing American jobs… it’s costing us the very prosperity and freedoms that this country was founded on.

If we actually had an intelligent discussion about the economic future of this nation, the great mass of citizens would benefit. The kind of “single phrase” thinking currently in vogue only benefits the status quo. We can’t begin to address these issues until the appearance of intelligent thought is replaced by the real thing.

Fewer slogans, more thinking.

James Pilant