Thursday, January 29, 2009

"Buy American" - It Makes Good Sense

President Obama is putting America's neck on the line with a 0.9-trillion dollar stimulus budget. Emphasis solidly on "stimulus." This is, as it has to be to do any good, an artificial, emergency economy built upon his country's normal economy. That's the very reason he wants that stimulus spending to be channeled into buying American products.

This isn't about "free trade" as the Harper-Ignatieff government might claim in screaming "protectionism." This is about national recovery, saving America's economy.

What are we doing? We'll be doling out bags of deficit bucks to let provincees, cities and reasonably well-to-do taxpayers buy crap from China or wherever they can get it cheapest. We're the dummies, not Obama.

When working class taxpayers take their meagre saving, they'll spend it buying Indian textiles, or Chinese toasters or Indonesian television sets. Now just how stupid are we to set up a programme like that?

So Obama should tell Harper and the rest of the planet that he's sticking by his guns and he'll decide how his deficit bucks will be spent and it has nothing to do with protectionism or trade agreements. He's right. We should wake up and realize that.


Beijing York said...

US progressives have been far more critical of off-shoring jobs than Canadians. It's a very smart move on Obama's part. As an old-school anti-globalization partisan, I only see good things with this decision.

penlan said...

Our Lib & Con leaders continue to live in the dark ages on this matter. Ideals above common sense, as usual. Aaaaargh! I'm so damn frustrated.

Canadian Hegemon said...

This is protectionism. Any form of subsidy or incentive to buy local is a form of protectionism.

Now, for some industries it might be a prudent policy. For instance, if you wish to maintain a local critical industry such as agriculture you may have to employ some form of protectionism. However, for most other industries protectionism will only hurt you in the long run.

For example; the steel industry. Say for instance that the U.S. bans purchasing steel from outside the U.S. It will drive up U.S. steel prices, while worldwide prices will decline. Thereby making it more expensive for U.S. automakers to make vehicles in the U.S. and giving foreign imports an advantage. So what do you do next, ban foreign car imports outright, add more tarifs?

Then you will be in an all out trade war, and that will hurt everyone.

As for Canada. We are an exporting nation. If we were to get into any sort of trade war, it would hurt us more than our trading partners. We might save some jobs by making a buy-canada policy, but think of all the exports(and the corresponding jobs) we would lose if every other country we did business with did the same thing.