There is a renewed call to “Buy American.” Is this xenophobic, altruistic or impossible?
Decades ago, when an American made item was manufactured with components created in the United States that was easier. It is a different world now and using materials from your local area is more of a challenge, especially if you want to be competitive. I know when I make jewelry, I buy from an American company from the beads and some findings are not from the United States or North America.
When was the last time you bought an electronic item that was made solely in the United States from American made parts? Coffee and tea drinkers, those wonderful beverages that are made with fruits of the Earth are not necessarily grown here.
What can you buy that is made in America with American parts? There are plenty of items but you have to seek them out. A couple of product lines that come to mind for me are from companies that make camping goods and leather items. If you are looking for a quality leather bag that is made in the USA and will last a long time, then look for Duluth Pack or J.W. Hulme Co.
Buying products that are made in your own country is not showing that you are afraid of outsiders, but you are supporting your own. Case in point if you have a choice to buy something at a comparable price, or even a little more from a company that is in your neighborhood but factoring in that you could walk to the store, instead of drive, the price would be about the same… wouldn’t you want to support the neighborhood business? [Spending a little more for a local product, is subjective to your budget, comfort level and taste.]
So, if you consider the US as your neighborhood then you have an opportunity to buy something that is just as great. The problem is that smaller companies don’t always have an opportunity to have competitive prices and if something costs more, even if you don’t have to go to get it, then you might go with another brand that you are more familiar with because of advertising. Smaller places have to build up their clientele with word of mouth, happenstance and quality. Larger companies may not always have the best product, but they may have more control fo the advertising dollar
It’s not xenophobic to want to spend your money in your own country, it just takes a bit of research to find things that are made in the USA. Unlike ages past when Buy American was a catch phrase and didn’t require extensive research or effort on the consumers part, now in order to buy American you need to do some work. Then if you like the product, tell others. Sometimes getting the cheapest item, isn’t the best deal. Not all products made in America are great.
Buying locally (or nationally) is always good, because it shows that you have pride in what your fellow citizens can create. This doesn’t mean that you can only buy products made in your country, state or city, but when you do it helps the economy.