Is The Time Right For Economic Patriotism? Should We Really buy American?

Congress is considering legislation that would heavily tax bonuses paid to executives by companies that are receiving government assistance. But a lot of Americans wonder: Why don't these executives do what's right for the country and just give back the bonus money?

Meanwhile, President Obama is asking private investors to step forward to purchase devalued mortgage-backed securities to help clean up the toxic assets clogging credit.

And U.S. automakers want Americans to buy domestic cars to help save their industry.

But do such appeals for economic patriotism make sense? It may sound cold, but most economists say the capitalist system works best when individuals act in their own economic self interest — and not try to take patriotism into account.

So far, consumers appear to be doing just that, at least as in terms of auto sales, according to Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist for The Economic Outlook Group, a forecasting firm.

"I haven't seen any evidence in the data to suggest Americans are making an overt effort to buy American," he said.

That's because "it's hard to know how much of any product is really made in the United States," Baumohl said. "These days, 'Buy American' is more of a slogan than anything meaningful."............................................
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102434118

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We should buy American, when it's the best value for the dollar. If we buy American-made products that are a poor value, all we are doing is subsidizing the companies that accept sub-par workmanship.

When we moved to Toledo 6 years ago, we brought two Hondas along with us. The quality of the vehicles made by the Big 3 pushed me to Honda in the mid 90's. I did always make certain the car was made in the US, but bought Hondas. Now there's a Toledo made Jeep, and a Ford sedan in my garage. I'll have no problem with buying from a domestic maker in the future, as long as the quality continues to be world class.

Economic Patriotism best starts when you SAVE AMERICAN. Wake me up when people really believe in saving money, and practice it as religiously as a moral people should.

with fiat soon to own %35 of chrysler, the concept of buying 100% american products is growing less and less possible. while a great idea in spirit (supporting our fellow americans) i agree that we need to be more focused on saving and planning for the future

there is no such thing as a 100% american made car. they all ship out parts elsewhere.

I found it quite hard to buy American, when the majority of goods sold is made in India, Asia, and so forth. Sure we have some car manufactures here that do produce autos, trucks and such. However try to actually find other American made items such as clothing, small appliances, toys and etc. Nearly impossible. The best thing that can be done is for our country to stop aiding businesses that want to move across seas or out-source. Bring back the tariffs on things made across seas, including items from American companies who choose to settle abroad because its cheaper and more profitable once the items reach the United States.

Mary Brandeberry

This is an interesting read on the "buy American" concept. Especially note--the part on the founding fathers & how some rich elites of the day (John Hancock, George Washington, et. al.) got richer off of secretly ignoring the "buy America" sentiments.

http://laborstrategies.blogs.com/global_labor_strategies/2009/03/buy-ame...

Pink Slip

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