EDITORIAL: Strict domestic consumer practices one way to rebuild troubled economy

Editorial Board

Recent reports from the American auto industry are grim at best. Regardless of what caused this situation, the outcome will likely be detrimental to the careers of many Americans.

While the Big Three of the auto industry, Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors, gallivant about the Capitol on their panhandling expeditions, some consideration should be made to what “buying American” means anymore.

Outsourced labor is old news and it’s no surprise, thanks to Clinton’s North American Free Trade Agreement, that our home-slice transportation gurus have come up with some creative locations to set up shop. Take a look at minivans: we love them for their versatility, and we hate them because we have to be seen driving them.

Regardless of their social standing, America’s perennial family trucksters are examples of the who’s-scratching -who’s-back game on the car-building scene. Honda Odysseys, as well as Toyota Siennas, are assembled at wholesome, apple pie-loving factories here in America.

No surprise, as Japanese companies have been building cars stateside since the ’80s.

What might be surprising is that the Chrysler and Ford minivans, when Ford still made minivans, were put together by our hockey-loving neighbors to the north.

Now we don’t expect anyone here to care where those dopey, rolling jellybeans are produced, but this does give some insight regarding the state of our union. In light of Detroit’s recent cash flow problems, let’s take a moment to reflect upon whom our automakers actually support.

Granted, there are plenty of Fords and Chryslers built in the United States, and good chunks of the Odyssey’s and Sienna’s price tags do find their way into Japanese bank accounts.

Even though Honda and Toyota customers ultimately pad the wallets of Japanese executives instead of American ones, these customers are purchasing a good fabricated by those we need to be looking out for: the good old-fashioned American blue-collar workers.

If the concern is regarding these American industrial workers, shouldn’t we be more careful about buying things that were built by Americans? This goes beyond cars, and into just about everything we buy.

As the economy becomes more global, whatever label is glued to an item needs to be overlooked, and much greater attention must be paid to the country of origin of the item in question.

Given the choice between supporting a domestic organization that employs foreign labor, versus an overseas outfit that assembles in America, perhaps we should look to the ones that feed our workers.