23rd Sep 2010, 11:03
In the end, money talks, and whatever company can create the cheapest products - and often the best value products will trump cozy feelings about "supporting the local community". The US at one time had that position because we had a sea of poor European immigrants that flooded our factories and were willing to stamp together egg beaters and nick-knacks for peanuts and sell them cheaper than anyone else. After WW2, we had the unique position of having all of our factories and cities intact, while much of Europe and Japan were laid in ruin... thus we made the world's goods when nobody else could.
So yes - the US enjoyed an almost unnaturally ideal economic environment until the rest of the world caught up. Yes - perhaps back in the day "things were better"... which I would beg to differ because only a select demographic population of the US enjoyed the immense economic benefits of the day.
But getting back to what I previously mentioned, we as Americans claim that we pledge our full devotion to the free market system. As such, corporate profits are key and crucial, thus the reason factory jobs were slowly migrated overseas in the desire of companies to increase their profits. This is no accident. The cost of labor became too costly in the US, and therefore cheaper countries with cheaper labor became more favorable places to produce manufactured goods.
Do I support my local community? Sure. I buy most of the light bulbs, batteries, loose hardware, and lamp cords at the local hardware store. If there's an American made version of something at a good value, I tend to buy those. But most people clearly vote with their wallets and gravitate towards whatever costs less.
As far as the comment about being "squashed into little cars", well the Ford Fiesta, which is classed as a small compact car actually has more interior space and legroom than a 1985 Ford Taurus. Car companies have gotten really good at making small cars feel roomy inside. People are always amazed when they ride in our Prius, because it really feels like a full size car. Times change.
23rd Sep 2010, 12:16
Yes, you supported local business, American cars, etc. etc. What did you get for all the money you dumped into trying to do the right thing? You got greedy businesses that willingly sent their labor overseas and to Mexico and Canada so they could cut costs. You can't even call most major companies for support without hooking up to someone in India these days. It is hardly the choice of the average consumer as to where the goods they buy are produced. Even cars that are supposedly domestic are riddled with foreign parts and are assembled in foreign plants. Was that my idea? Heck no.
I wish things would have stayed built in the U.S. and we could have stayed a viable super power economically. Business leaders have been very shortsighted for decades with their cost cutting and outsourcing and it is finally come back around to bite all of us.
Americans have become accustomed to living the good life. It was a facade that was dragged along for decades by borrowing from other countries. We produce so little in the U.S. anymore that we no longer have a manufacturing base to provide us with a strong economy. Now that things have failed we can only look at the unbelievably large debts we owe.
How will we ever get out of this mess? Well, the days of "the good life" won't be returning, that's for sure. We are all going to have to learn to live with less and just be happy with the simpler things in life and not all of the materialistic things we've become so used to having. Trouble is, the scaling back by the average consumer continues to cut away at the bottom line of the business trying to sell their goods. It is an ever spiralling downward slide. Yep, we are in a heck of a place right now.
I think we should hire out our services instead of funneling $billions into foreign countries that need new politics and such. Our military is our only remaining strength so why not capitalize on it? Does the Mid East give out free oil to those who need it? We continue to donate so much. When has any one country given us anything?
Anyway, this is for a different forum.
Go Toyota! They are so much better than anything American!