12/13/2009—Want to see well-paying jobs, good benefits, widespread access to healthcare? Tired of Democratic Party politicians who promise these things and then get in bed with corporate America? Try buying an American car.
I am really tired of seeing so-called progressives berate Washington and then drive off in a Toyota or Honda. Sure, some of these cars are assembled in the US. And some American cars are actually manufactured elsewhere. But generally there is substantially less American content in foreign cars, even those assembled here. And those cars, because they are built with non-union labor, pay much less well than the union jobs at Ford, GM and Chrysler.
As Alan Tonelson argues in the January 2010 Harper’s, you can’t have prosperity in America without a healthy manufacturing sector. While there are good reasons why the government should not legislate buy American requirements, we consumers can simply buy American and help return prosperity to our country.
The love affair with foreign products is in large part snobbishness. It is true that the cheapest cars are foreign. So, there you get a pass. But, as the new Chevrolet ads point out, in the mid market, American cars are just as reliable, get just as good mileage and cost the same. And they pay good wages and grant decent benefits.
People ask all the time, how can we have a decent economy without the ruthlessness of capitalism? Start by being not quite such a ruthless consumer. Do for manufacturing what so many environmentalists do for food: buy local.