Is it possible to endorse Capitalism and American Jobs at the same time?
It doesn’t matter if you’re a Keynesian, Austrian, Traditional, Game-Theory, or whatever type of economist, we all agree that Adam Smith’s idea of specialization and division of labour is extraordinarily more efficient than individuals producing their own goods/services. After all, the entire world economy is based on this very notion that geographic locations have specialized resources, and that trade is the key to economic prosperity. With the number one topic of political campaigns being jobs and the economy, I wonder why more Americans don’t bring their own actions to the forefront of their mind.
Let me explain…
We as a people claim to want American job growth, especially in the manufacturing industry, but you will find that the majority of our daily products are manufactured overseas. From clothing, to automobiles, to the keyboard I’m typing on, there are few reasons to pay the unnecessarily high costs for a majority of American-made products. This is a result of economic evolution – our mixed-market economy shifting away from laissez-faire and inching closer to a planned socialist economy. I assert that if the regulatory environment in this country does not change, we will never be competitive in the global market again.
It’s no secret that outsourcing had dislocated many American jobs, but why do the multinational companies take all of the heat? Is capitalism not a profit-driven ideology reliant on competitive endeavors and the sheer ability of individuals to fulfill the needs of their peers? Since when is making products affordable to produce and sell not well-motivated? I say if you want to get mad at somebody, hold your legislators accountable. Price ceilings, price floors, tariffs, quotas, subsidies, oversight, wage controls, where does it stop? When can the producers of our time once again breath, and re-ignite the embers of American prosperity? Will we ever be able to return to a time where families can live comfortable on the wages of one parent? Can we ever anticipate a day where the prices at the grocery store will be less than the day before?
I wish I knew.
One thing I do know is that if you want to change the world, it has to start with you. That being said, you have the choice to be a conscious consumer. If you want to see American jobs return to our shores, there are two solutions: First, demand lower regulations and less interference by our legislators. Second, give an extra thought in regards to whom you give your money to. If you can, buy American. In my opinion, there are some amazing companies here in the lower 48 who produce products of excellent quality at competitive pricing. I rest easier at night when I know that my hard earned money is being circulated in the business cycle of American companies, with American entrepreneurs who look at the challenge of operating a business in the economy and say “bring it on”. We cannot expect to see any significant change in the decline of American manufacturing jobs if we do not support American manufacturers. This isn’t a battle we have to lose – American ingenuity has brought us up from nothing, and I have faith that it has not left our nature.
So long as we retain the desire to succeed and stay true to the philosophy that we must never loot, we must succeed within the boundaries of natural law, we can once again have the greatest economy in the world.
I’m not saying don’t purchase products from overseas. I’m simply saying don’t claim to support American jobs during election season, and then do nothing about it.