Two common complaints about our economy are the number of jobs being sent overseas and the number of cheap goods imported from countries like China. I understand the disappointment in losing jobs to other countries, especially if your job was one of them. I also understand that our stores appear to be overrun with imports.
But this is all our doing. This is what we have asked for. Americans favor cheap goods, so the cheap labor which is abundant overseas is a necessity in order to produce them. That leads to the export of our jobs and the import of the cheap goods. It's simple economics based upon what the consumers want.
Instead of complaining, I'm in favor of creating industries with skilled jobs for our citizens which will support their families better and give them more satisfaction at work. We are a developed country with the capabilities to do so much more than unskilled manufacturing jobs, and it's time we use this fact to our advantage.
But for those who disagree with me, there's something you can do. Stop buying imported goods. Just buy American. I've suggested this to many people before, but have never had any takers. Apparently it would be far too inconvenient to live out their beliefs, and it's easier to complain than take an actual stand. They're not willing to even try it.
Sara Bonjiorni's family tried to live China-free for a year, and learned a lot in the process. It was many times difficult to find things not made in China, and buying goods from other foreign countries was within the rules for her family. So this experiment doesn't exactly follow my suggestion, but it was valuable nonetheless.
I'm in favor of buying American when you can. Of course I want to support American companies that provide jobs here and are adding to our economy. But I'm not going to stop buying imports all together, because the reality is that we're in a global economy and we're not going back to the old way of doing business. If you want to do more to support American companies, take a look at websites like "How Americans Can Buy American" and "Still Made in USA." Making an effort to buy American is a nice thing to do, but accepting that we are part of a global economy and finding new ways to do business are important too.
Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
Have you made an effort to "buy American"?