Trade deficits. Now, there's a subject that everybody seems to be gassed up about - and, we should be. But, the average Joe thinks there's nothing he can do to level out the playing field. We feel helpless against a system where we buy roughly 200 billion dollars more in Chinese manufactured goods every year than they buy from us. We elect government officials on promises that this practice will end, but it never seems to. In fact, it gets worse every year while the politicians keep talking and the products keep rolling off the ships and piling up on American shores. Want to get some extra overtime? Be a dock worker - seems they're the only ones getting any! But, you don't want to be a dock worker. You like your job. You just want to see that deficit balanced out and more jobs come back to us and America's manufacturing base start to grow into what it once was. I know what you're thinking, "How can buying a set of brake shoes made in New Jersey make any difference in a world where hundreds of billions in deficits exist? Remember that four dollar yearly purchase of a U.S.A. made product and how many jobs it could and will create? I'm pretty sure brake shoes will cost you more than four bucks. Forget the empty promises from Washington. We can turn the tide in trading just by talking with our wallets. Remember, the economy is consumer driven. We are the boss and if we want domestic made products and back it up with our purchases, companies will oblige and more jobs for Americans will follow. You and I have the power to change this thing. Companies spend millions on marketing research to find out what consumers want. Let's make it real simple for them - give us American made products.
Want to help the planet? Buy products made in American factories instead of Chinese where there are virtually no regulations on emissions. They dump millions of tons of dust, carbon and ozone into the atmosphere, choking major cities and on some days blotting out the sun at noontime. Oh, and in case you think that doesn't effect us, think again. Powerful global winds called westerlies can carry pollutants across the pacific within days where it accumulates in the western parts of the U.S. We've spent the better part of my lifetime cleaning up our own air, we don't need somebody else's smog, right?
Remember that little boy working in the Chinese factory under horrible conditions for long hours at a dollar a day? If we stop buying from these companies until he is treated with a shred of kindness, his conditions will improve. Not only that, the price of foreign goods will increase, further leveling the playing field. But, until we do, he and millions of others are doomed to slave away under conditions that were abolished in America 120 years ago.
So, there you have it, Average Joe. Oversimplified a little? Perhaps, but the concept is something we can get our collective head around and if we follow through on that 100 dollar a year commitment, good things will follow...and we will have done it ourselves.