Reinvesting in the American Dream

Buying decisions in this economy is commonly motivated with an eye toward price, with little concern for the quality of goods and who is making them.American goods are unfortunately less prevalent in the Twenty-First Century, but the need to support American industries is greater now more than ever.We are experiencing structural damages that our financial system has never seen before, and if you think that Obama’s “stimulus” spending is going to solve our problems, then maybe it’s time to re-examine his effectiveness.What we advocate is this: conscientious consumerism.  You don’t have to stop shopping at Wal-Mart. When you’re there just take an extra second to check if what you are looking for is manufactured in America.The product you will find is probably a little nicer than some of the foreign-made alternatives. Why should you buy American and spend more?  For one, when you buy a 98-cent spatula, you’re not really saving money — you are saving what other people are being under-compensated for.If you are really an advocate of “livable wages,” then pay $8 for the stainless steel spatula made in Ohio by a person being well-compensated for their work.The benefits of us coming together and supporting our fellow neighbors are some of the most important things for America’s future.The American manufacturing industry pays highly for unskilled labor.  This is a double negative because it is exactly what has caused manufacturing to move overseas. The most “socially just” thing you can do is support American products and especially domestically — produced goods.This type of habit is like recycling, if everyone does their part it all adds up to make a consequential difference. The quality and durability of the goods which you have in your home and the strength and stability of our economy will save jobs, and create new ones in neighboring states.There has been a growing sentiment that buying local is important. But what is the purpose of buying local? It is to support jobs and industry in our community. We forget sometimes that America is a large community, of which we are all members. These same sentiments should unquestionably apply on a national level.We as Americans have the power to change this economic crisis.We don’t need President Rock Star to spend our great grandchildren’s inheritance — we need to start being smart about how we save and spend money, for it is our strategic cost structure that will give us the advantage in the future.So move around, America! Motion creates emotion! Get out there and act as the responsible Americans that we are privileged to be.Ryan Walker and Rick Valenta are both seniors at UVM.  Ryan is a Business Administration Major and Rick is a Political Science Major. They have been writing for The Cynic since 2008.