Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Beauty of Capitalism

The other day, i shared with y'all, a few of my thoughts and ambitions concerning where the products that i buy are produced.  If you missed it, you can read it here.  In response to that post, a reader, named Tracee, posted this:

"I really don't want to offend you here, but do you realize that it is American corporations that are sending those items to China to have them manufactured? The Chinese aren't dreaming this stuff up on their own! American Corporations can no longer afford to manufacture here because the labor and benefits cost do not make it cost effective for them to make any money...and that's all they care about. Money. It all comes down to money, money, money.


China gets a bad rap. Yes, there are sweat shops, child laborers, long hours and poor wages. If we want to protest that? I'm right there with you. I'm all for buying U.S. made. Just follow the chain on the products that come out of China and they will lead you right back to the good old US of A."


I appreciate Tracee's comment, and i'm certainly not offended by discussion.  :)  Here's my response:

This is the beauty of capitalism.  

Capitalism is the democratic system of economics.  

What i mean, is that every time any consumer (person who buys things) makes a purchase, she also places her vote.  She places her stamp of approval on that product and the way in which the corporation who supplied that product chose to produce it, whether she knows it or not.

Now, if i, the consumer, make my choices on what to buy, only by what i think is pretty and who has the best price, then i send a message:  "I don't care how you do this.  I'm just happy i don't have to pay much for it."

If i, the consumer, decide that my vote counts (and it does), and i decide that i want my vote to benefit my country, my fellow Americans, me, then i can send a message that i am willing to search out and pay more for products made by my countrymen, because it matters to me that my dollars, however few, eventually support business practices that cause Americans to be employed, money to be spent in America, and perhaps, more businesses to be founded in America.  

And that is what i want to do.  That is what i want to influence others to do.

Because no matter what a company does to make so they can "afford" to manufacture their products, i.e., contract Chinese sweat shops to produce their products, instead of hiring free Americans at an honest wage, they can't afford anyone to make their products, if we, the consumers, don't BUY their products.

What i mean is, if Americans won't buy Chinese-made products, then no one can make money in America, by contracting their work to China.

In a more direct response to you, Tracee, i think that maybe in my original post, i wasn't clear about part of my heart on this subject.  I want Americans to flourish.  I know that policies in the States, specifically particular areas of the States, make it extremely difficult for corporations to make money.  There are completely unreasonable rules in place.  But if going to China were not an option, then perhaps these corporations, and our politicians, would put more effort into making things work right, here, in our country.  Americans need work.  Especially now.  And the situation is endlessly complicated.  This is just the part i think that every American can take to change the tide.  I just want to send a message.  And hope it catches on.  For corporations, it's all about the money; that's why for consumers, it has to be about something else.  Let's use OUR money, to influence THEIR money, so that something besides the money, matters to them too.

And thank you so much for your comment.  I really do appreciate it.

4 comments:

  1. I certainly do not pretend to know it all. It's all too complicated for my little brain to take it all in. lol. I can tell you that I live in a part of the country where unions are very prevalent. Where I grew up and lived for most of my life? Unions? What are they?

    I am shocked by the power these unions have over not only private industry but over govermental employers. Now, I know on a very basic level that unions are to protect the workers and make sure everyone is paid a fair wage and gets fair benefits. However, if you look at what these union workers are making compared to non union workers? Holy Crapola! That's why employers are going bankrupt! Unions go so far in negotiations with companies that they insist they be allowed to review the company's books! Do what?

    None of this just makes any sense to me. I think I'll just crawl back under my rock and remain ignorant all the rest of my days.

    I will disclose to you in all fairness, that in 2002 my husband and I spent a month in China adopting our daughter. We saw poor. We saw rich. Wow.

    I will also tell you that my husband is employed by a local plastics manufacturer. What? A company that hasn't outsourced their production? I know! I have a lot of respect for this man. They produce plastic patio furniture, those suction cups with hooks you put on your windows, and various other little doo-dads. The employees have not unionized. He pays those people very fair wages and gives them very generous health benefits. As part of management, my husband gets four very nice bonuses every year. We are blessed.

    We are also fortunate enough to have a year round farmers market and that is where I do 80% of my grocery shopping. We no longer purchase processed food. If I can't make something with 4-5 ingredients, we don't eat it. We try to eat as clean as possible.

    Sorry to ramble. Please post pics of your ducks!! Am I wrong but aren't you around Huntsville TX?

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  2. Hi None,
    Great comment!
    I think unions are now legalized Mafia intent on ruining the American economy, that many people seem to have some perverted religious loyalty to. Waytogo for the changes your family has made! You are supporting your country in a wonderful way!
    Will you share with us the name of the company your husband works for?
    About the ducks, I'm having some new internet issues that are nearly fixed, and then i will shower you with adorable ducky pics.
    Huntsville......yes, i am 30 ish or so minutes from Huntsville. How'd you know?

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  3. From reading your blog, I was able to deduce you were in East Texas. I was born in Houston and raised in Austin. I went to college at Sam Houston State. I just loved Huntsville! My grandmother lived in Madisonville and I loved being close to her.

    My hubs words for Adams Manufacturing. It's located in Portersville, PA. I was a military contractor until I became disabled a few years ago.

    I love getting ideas from others on how we can save money and eat better. I just recently started making all of our breads and I'm loving it! I put a pork roast in the oven last night and this morning I made our hamburger buns from scratch and we've been eating pulled pork sandwiches all day.

    I'll stop now...

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What do you think about that?