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While the American consumer still wields sizeable buying power on the global market, a continual voice still urges Americans to keep their money – and hopefully their jobs – on American soil.
Roger Simmermaker of the Consumer Patriotism Corporation has recently published a guide he says will help his fellow Americans choose to do what is best for America and the American economy.
“My Company ‘Tis of Thee,” is a buying guide that highlights 50 American companies that strive to keep manufacturing and producing – and therefore profits and jobs – here in America.
“Our nation established a Declaration of Independence, not a Declaration of Interdependence,” Simmermaker says in his book. “How can we remain an independent nation if we have our needs met by companies operating in the United States that are under foreign ownership and foreign control?”
Additionally, Simmermaker points out only about 10 percent of American jobs involve the manufacturing of consumer products
“We can’t consume our way to national prosperity,” he says. “We must manufacture and produce.”
Simmermaker explains his “buy American” strategy is not “anti-anyone,” but rather solely “pro-American.”
“Everyone needs a job,” Simmermaker says, “but the fact is it’s more beneficial to the nation as a whole to support the American worker employed by an American company.”
The book urges readers to examine their purchasing habits and provides a list of companies in a number of sectors that make his list of wholly American.
In “My Company ‘Tis of Thee” Simmermaker explains the difference between just buying “American made” and truly buying “American.”
Contrasting a United States Postal worker who receives a paycheck from the American taxpayers for his work with the use of German-owned DHL for shipping needs, Simmermaker makes the point that foreign-owned companies don’t pay nearly the amount of taxes into the American coffers as they do into their own nations’ treasuries.
“Workers in other countries pay no taxes to America,” Simmermaker contends.
Simmermaker also contends that cheaper isn’t always the answer either, taking a jab at the notion American consumers form about imported products being cheaper.
“I’m confident that you’ll discover that many of the products profiled in this book are competitively priced with imports or products from foreign-owned companies,” Simmermaker says. “If I can find American-made apparel, anyone can, and I don’t pay a lot of extra money (if any) for the majority of my clothes.”
Further, Simmermaker points out, “It really doesn’t matter that 97 percent of all clothing sold in the United States is imported if you know where to find the 3 percent that is not.”
American consumers invest in America as a whole when they purchase American products, Simmermaker contends.
“Economists will tell you that two-thirds of all economic activity is comprised of consumer spending,” he explains, “and the more we spend to the benefit of American workers and American companies, the more economic activity there will be in America.”
He seems to agree with words spoken by George W. Bush in 2002 regarding the American economy: “When you spend your own money, someone has to manufacture that which you spend it on.”
Of course, Bush’s words came from a 2002 speech on Congress’ desire to raise taxes on Americans in the middle of a recession, and Bush was pushing to leave the money in the hands of the people it belonged to in the first place – the American consumers.
The continuing desire for politicians to seek “additional revenue” – in other words, more taxes – could arguably be less demanding if American companies were healthier.
Simmermaker talks about the term, “the ripple effect” in describing how many times a dollar spent on American shores “ripples” through the economy.
He highlights the effect of buying a single American-made hammer in a hypothetical example: “Let’s say the hardware store owner decides sales are good and decides to build an addition. He hires a local construction crew to do the work. Since the crew now has a job, they go out to eat at a local pizzeria. The pizzeria uses American ingredients, and you can see how the purchase of an American-ade hammer ripples through the economy.
“If you buy a foreign-made hammer,” he points out, “there is no ripple multiplier effect since your dollar goes overseas.”
“My Company ‘Tis of Thee” highlights companies broken up into a number of categories from apparel to toys to food and beverages and more. One company he highlights is a Midwestern home-improvement chain called Menard’s.
“In July of 2011, the home improvement chain’s weekly flier appeared in many Sunday newspapers highlighting its Made in the USA sale,” Simmermaker says. “This flyer was 20 full pages of American-made products, which even displayed the city and state where the products were made.”
Simmermaker encourages his readers not only to do business with retailers like Menard’s, but to let them know they are appreciated.
“We only vote with our ballots every two or four years at the polls, but we vote with our dollar every day,” he says. “In an economy where Americans are increasingly focused on ways to create more American jobs, it’s often easier than we think to keep jobs, profits, and the tax base within our borders using the money we’re already spending.”
Even Bill Clinton endorsed Simmermaker’s book, saying in part, “It’s important to stand behind the American companies that make good products, maximize U.S. employment and earn the loyalty of their workers and the communities of which they’re a part.”