Buy smart: buyAmerican

We used to have to worry about the damage terrorists could cause to our country, but now most of us are worried about the damage we’ve done to ourselves. Our economy is in shambles, and the eyes of blame are looking straight in the mirror. America did this to itself through shady business practices and attempting to support a standard of living that we did not have the strength for. So now what?

What do we do when the president goes on national television and declares a national economic crisis? Most Americans have done very little. Many have cut their spending habits because they fear their income might disappear. Others have taken all of their money out of banks and shoved it under the mattress. These are things that we do to save our own backs. We expect our nation’s leaders to solve the problem, which they are attempting to do. Whether you agree with what our government has done to fix the economy or not, our government is trying to fix the economy.

Many citizens are content to leave their future in the hands of the government, but others want to help fix the problem. Many people are looking for a way to be a part of the solution in their everyday lives. They don’t want to run for public office but they do want to give back to America what America has given to them. What can we do to help the American economy? Buy American!

I’m sure many of you saw that coming. Buying American products helps bolster the American economy in many different ways, but a simple explanation is that it keeps American money in America.

Some may feel this is an outdated solution to a global problem. I remember listening to my grandfather say something to the effect of “It’s patriotic to buy American.” There is a popular bumper sticker that reads “Buy American” in almost every gas station. General Motors ex-President Charles Wilson once said, “What’s good for General Motors is good for America.” His quote may sound like a robber-baron greedily attempting to grab more sales, but it’s actually true. It’s true, when CEO’s are honest and when that money is being spread to the factory workers.

With the current wave of “green jobs” on the horizon it is increasingly important we make those “green jobs” available with American businesses. Currently, the majority of wind turbines in use in America are produced in foreign countries. Our current president is aware of this and has included massive funding for American eco-companies in the recent stimulus packages.

Most of us have no plans of operating a wind power company in the future so we can’t buy American wind turbines, but we can buy American clothes, paper, cars, etc.

It is nearly impossible to completely weed out all foreign products from your life so don’t even attempt to. I ask that you focus on large or habitual purchases. It will take a bit of research, but one of the easiest ways to find out if a company is American or not is to go to their company website or use Wikipedia. It is also important that you buy not just from an American company but you must be sure that the company produces the product completely in America. Some companies are American based but have their production facilities in other countries.

Fear is what weakened us after 9/11. The terrorists did very little damage to our national security, but they did cripple our society with fear. We now have a fear of ourselves. Many people are afraid to leave their money in banks. They are scared to pursue higher education because of the costs. Some people are scared to even buy anything at all. Our American economy is resilient. This is a great nation with a flexible system that if repaired correctly will be stronger than it ever has before. We have to have the courage to keep living our lives. We shouldn’t act to this crisis with debilitating reclusiveness, but we must step forward with a new sense of responsibility and wisdom. The two things every American can do to help our economy right now is to buy American, and buy responsibly.

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