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Author Topic: Buy American  (Read 6896 times)

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Offline mhasel

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Buy American
« on: October 30, 2003, 04:28:08 AM »
I just wanted to take the time to comment on the latest Forestry Forum poll about buying American and how great it is to see that people still value the American worker. Spread the word and let corporate America know that we value the products made here and in Canada and support those companies who support the communities in which we all live.

Mike

Offline Tom

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Re: Buy American
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2003, 05:01:11 AM »
Thats how it's S'posed to work, Mike. :)
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Offline Weekend_Sawyer

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Re: Buy American
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2003, 05:42:26 AM »
I LOVE my Ford truck.
I can't live with out my Harley Davidson motorcycle.

but I really like my Stihl chainsaws

American means free to choose and to stand up and say why.
WS
Imagine, Me a Tree Farmer.
Jon, Appalachian American Wannabe. ... and it looks like my dream will come true!

Offline whitepe

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Re: Buy American
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2003, 06:17:20 AM »
If I am not mistaken,  the Stihl chainsaws are manufactured
in Virginia Beach even though they are designed in Germany.
I like my Stihl chainsaws too.   :)

I drive American made cars but I do have an imported kid. ;D

It is really a cause of concern for me because I see more
and more software development jobs being
outsourced to India.  The burden rate for Indian engineers
with masters degrees (working in India) is about one-third the cost for an engineer here in the U.S.  My concern is that
there will be less and less jobs for our kids here in the U.S.
blue by day, orange by night and green in between

Offline johncinquo

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Re: Buy American
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2003, 08:34:08 AM »
I think this thread could open up a whole can.   How do you define American?  Like the Stihl example already given, my Toyota Tundra was built in Indiana.  UAW workers put it together.  Something like 85% of alll the parts were manufactured in the US.  To me, I am driving an American product.  What helped me buy it was the quality of the product in the end.  

What is driving all of our work out of the country?  Ridiculous taxes that get spent on wasteful projects, over paid politicians, and foreign aid that has no effect on us or will ever see an end to it.  Medical costs are exploding 30 and 40% a year.  So many people do not have any medical coverage, walk in to the emergency room for a sore throat, drive up the expenses of the hospital.  The hospital then has to raise what they charge everyone else to make up for it.  Every who has insurance pays more.  Their employer has to pay more to maintain the ins.  Eventually this just is another bill that they can not afford to pay any more and end up closing the doors.  I would never deny anyone medical treatment, but a system to take care of those in need, AND an education system in place to help them seek the right way to use it has to be put in place.

If we don't cut the crap, everyone will be out of work, collecting welfare or unemployment, then paying taxes on it so the goverment can pay themselves.  Everyone else that does have a job will be working for a company that you can not pronounce.  

I'm going to the woods now, my pulse and BP are tickin in the red.
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Offline Scott

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Re: Buy American
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2003, 08:44:07 AM »
 I buy North American whenever I can but not if the product is poor quality, there are exceptions to all rules.

Offline Tom

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Re: Buy American
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2003, 09:28:05 AM »
I think the poll correctly states "whenever possible".  

The "Possible" part of the question would include price, quality and other normally accepted shopping practices, I think.

I try to buy American.  I wouldn't even feel bad buying Canadian but the shipping etc gets a little out of hand.

When I try to buy American, the thought in my mind is to keep my "Dollars" from going to a country whose political views are askew from mine; who hates America; who uses America for a customer base and will not return the favor; who has benefited from American welfare and then gouges the hand that fed it; who uses American education, American health benefits and the American workforce with little or no reciprocation.

It's not been that long ago when American soldiers had Japanese shrapnel removed from them with "made in USA" stamped upon it.

It's going on still today when American soldiers are blown to smithereens by Mid-eastern heretics and aid from a liberated Iraqi population is almost non-existent.

I see mobs in Kuwait waving "hate America" signs.

France has lost no love for America and perhaps even the Americas.  

Germany could care less if we exist except for the benefits they can suckle from our economy.  It was only a short time ago when America saved them from one of their own.

Is Italy appreciative?  No.

I don't feel the littlest bit bad about trying to keep my "Dollar" at home.  That doesn't mean that I have to be stupid about it, but, I don't have to stand on the edge of the ocean and see if I can hit those other countries with it either.

I think it is a crying shame that we appear to have such a greedy population that company's feel that they need to expatriate themselves to exist.

I consider those companies who have expatriated themselves and moved operations into other countries as trying to sell imports.  

I can't exist on American made products but I can "try" to support my country and my countrymen.
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Offline SawInIt CA

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Re: Buy American
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2003, 09:36:29 AM »
I buy the best product with the best service for the money. mostly American but not always. Woodmizer, Dodge truck, Swedish chainsaw, Japanese TV, Japanese camera....My house has American wood in it :D :D
I try but not so much as to purchase an inferior product.

Offline IndyIan

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Re: Buy American
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2003, 01:29:51 PM »
Another good thing to do is to buy local.  Either directly, like going to the farmers market and buying from the locals there, not the guys with rented trucks.  Corn tastes better out the bed of 82 chevy pickup than the grocery store.

Or support your local retailers, yes you can get stuff cheaper online but your never going to sell boards to a guy a 1000 miles away, but you might get your money back and more if you support a local store.  

I try and avoid big box stores too if I can.  They are mostly a black hole for money in a local economy...  

Plus, I just heard that there are over 1,000,000 people working at walmart in the US, that's something like 1 in 200 working americans.  There's just something wrong about that to me.  People buying cheap crappy consumer goods has forced more people into low wage jobs?  

I think if more people bought quality US made items from small time local retailers the US would be much better off.

My $0.02
Ian

PS
Johncinquo,
Not to trying to send your BP higher, but I think the US healthcare industry is good example of why healthcare should be regulated.  The Cdn system isn't perfect but everyone gets covered for much less money.    

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Buy American
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2003, 02:14:21 PM »
So, here's the thinking behind the question.  We've lost something like 3 million manufacturing jobs since 2000.  They've gone bye-bye and won't be back any time soon.

Are your buying habits "pro-American" at any cost, dependent on other factors (price or quality), or the American label has no place in your decision making?

"Whenever possible" would mean that you have 2 similar items for sale, one made in US and one made in China (or some other country).  Would you buy the US even if it was more expensive?

There are lots of reasons for jobs moving overseas.  Taxes isn't really one of them.  It has to do with the bottom line.  Where can you get the biggest bang for your buck?  Our poverty wage is a great wage in 3rd world countries.  That's why they are coming here illegally (and working underground in many cases).

When corporate officers can raise earnings by a few pennies over expectations, than stock prices go up.  Usually, they own quite a bit of stock or options.  Its like a pay raise.  Look at the reported insider trading on any stock and see how these guys are making their money.  

The disparity between CEO and worker wages is getting wider.  It was 281 times higher in 2002.  In 1982 it was 42 times higher.    That just doesn't seem right to me.

Then you have the factor that nobody wants to do the physical work.  Too many chiefs comes to mind.  So, we are developing a nation of paper pushers who market, develop and consume goods, but really don't make much.  Those that do make things are so productive, not as many people are needed for the jobs.

Walmart having 1 in every 200 workers is pretty disturbing.  They really aren't a stellar outfit.  I admire the fact that they have hired many people that can't get jobs elsewhere.  But, their overtime and benefits policy leaves a lot to be desired.  Besides, who wants a minimum wage, low skilled job?  Look where a lot of their goods come from.
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline trey_w

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Re: Buy American
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2003, 02:51:21 PM »
Ok...I'll wade into this stream.  I try to buy american when I can.  I like american trucks, but for the cheap car I bought my wife after I brought her to the states I went with Toyota.  They build an excellent, low priced, extremely dependable car.  I wanted something I figured she could wreck and I wouldn't care.  :D  

I believe that if an american company can build an item that is dependable and they will stand behind it,  (Such as Woodmizer and Delta according to other threads I've read.) then they deserve my business.   By the same token, companies that don't won't get my business.  I WILL pay more for the item because it's made in USA IF it's worth the money.  A LOT more?  probably not. Price is definately an issue.  The problem is that too many companies today bite their nails waiting for the warranty to expire.  The day it does you're on your own.  My brother just had this problem with his truck.  There should be a "reasonable guarantee".  If something breaks but shouldn't have, the manufacturer should fix it, regardless of when the warranty ran out.  

P.S. I will go out of my way to avoid buying french or german products, I know I'm only one person, but I refuse to give them any of my money.  
If you put your two cents in and only get a penny for your thoughts...who gets the change?

Offline EZ

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Re: Buy American
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2003, 04:04:05 PM »
I try to buy American things but I do watch my budget. When I order the 4x8 metal tube for my new frame, I ask the guy where it was coming from, he said the good old U.S.A. ;D
I hate Walmart  >:( they move in a town, get people sucker in at their low prices, then when all the smaller places close, they jack their prices up sky high. We don't do the Walmart thing much.
EZ

Offline Gus

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Re: Buy American
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2003, 07:06:10 PM »
I like the local economy idea. Always have. I just bought a pig from my neighbor. My boots are made by a friend of mine with the exception of one pair made in Oregon. They are expensive but last forever. One pair is 12 years old and another is 7. I get them fixed over and over. That keeps the shoe repaiman busy. It is a little known fact that 70% of all shoes sold in this country are made in China.
We buy milk from another neighbor and the neighbors buy eggs & horses from us.
I've never bought a new vehicle and rarely buy one from a dealer, usually a neighbor. I keep them till nobody wants them and that keeps the mechanic in money.
We live next to a very small town with a restaurant, they buy their eggs from us, we rarely go out to eat anywhere but there.
I am not opposed to buying foreign stuff when I have to to get quality. In some items quality is the only way to go.
I HATE Walmart!!

Gus
"How do I know what I think unless I have seen what I say?"

Offline oldsaw

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This topic has GROWN a bit in scope
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2003, 08:30:40 PM »
Yes, I try to when I can, especially if it is a piece I will use frequently.  I will admit to owning a few pieces of "made in China" tools.  They are mainly things I don't use very often (and can't justify the cost), expect to damage or lose in use, or otherwise considered "expendable".  

I drive a Ford, but my wife still drives my old VW.  The German government is full of idiots, the German people aren't nearly so bad.  Same with France.  The only French product I will buy is wine.  French farmers don't tend towards the anti-American bias found in the cities.  I can't see punishing them for the morons that "represent" France. (Think "red states/blue states", French farmers are from the "red" states)  My next car will be another Ford, either an Explorer or an F250, the one to follow, probably another VW, this time a Passat wagon for the wife.  They have just served me too well to walk away.  My next chainsaw will probably be a Stihl, but I could buy a Husky and not feel bad (I'm 1/2 Swedish) even though Sweden is a politically screwed up country.

No, we can't go to a Canadian healthcare system.  The Canadians would have no place to go for healthcare.  Besides, they pay us back with cheap drugs.  There is no easy answer here except to let insurers offer a cheaper policy with no transplant, experimental surgery, non-transfusion AIDS infections and the like.  But somebody already metioned the real culprit.  Consumers who only use it when they really need it, not with every sniffle.

Jobs leaving the country:  Lots of reasons here.  Cheap labor is big, but not nearly the biggest.  Government regulation is out of control, Americans don't want to really work...just get paid like they do, Unions ignore the bottom line and the needs of the company and employees long term for a short term "feel good" agendas, investors are too interested in today and not in how companies position themselves for tomorrow, lawyers and stupid clumsy/ignorant/gold-digging consumers treat the legal system like a lottery where everyone has been wronged and gets a "ticket".  Most upper management is grossly overpaid for their abilities and contributions in larger corporations.  I've got nothing against someone making $100,000,000 a year...just show me how you earned it. (like the extra billion or two in REAL profitability) Is the company better off now for the future.  Have you guaranteed better profitability as well as increased productivity and provided for a stable, happy workforce?  Most couldn't justify the smallest fraction of that.  Many should have to pay employees and shareholders back for their screwups.

We just need a country that promotes business ownership and start-ups, persues a long term tax plan with no real changes so companies can really plan ahead, cruel and unusual punishment allowed for lawyers bringing a frivolous suit to court, schools that teach kids stuff they can use, kids who understand that society is offering them a free education and that they will get out what they put it, teachers who really want to teach, workers who really want to work and take some responsibility for what they do, a country not out for a free lunch.

BTW, most of my electronics were made in the USA.  My amplifier/pre-amp was made in Washington, my turntable in New Jersey, phono stages were made in Utah and Kansas, but my speakers were made in Denmark and CD player in England.  But I'll challenge others for US content.

Take care guys.  It felt good to vent.

Mark
So many trees, so little money, even less time.

Stihl 066, Husky 262, Husky 350 (warmed over), Homelite Super XL, Homelite 150A

Offline Ric

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Re: Buy American
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2003, 12:09:51 AM »
Oldsaw:

I agree with a lot of what you posted.  I just spent 20 minutes typing up a rant of my own and then deleting it because I don't have the words to express it right.

I'll just sum it up by saying that I hope I can teach my 2 year old son to be the type of man that can keep a deal made on a handshake and take responsibilty for his own mistakes.  I hope that it won't be rare by the time he is a man.

As far as buying American...I do as much as I can.  But I will admit that I don't do the research (that seems to be required these days) to find out what is truly made in America and by American people.  About all it seems you can do now, is try to keep the dollar you spend from getting on a boat.


Offline Greenman

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Re: Buy American
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2003, 05:49:24 AM »
I have A LOT to say about this.  But the takehome message is that we should find a balance between supporting our local economy and sharing with the rest of the world.  Remember we are part of a larger community as well.

There really are too many people out there who want too much for too little.  We also need many more people who think in the long-term.  Short-term solutions end up becoming long-term problems.

Something to think about:  There is a casino in Vegas with a light on top you can see from space (just because they can).  We put golf courses in the desert.  We are putting roads and pavement and huge, inefficient houses everywhere.  And when I travel, I can pick out many Americans from a mile away because they don't try to understand or jive with the local culture.  Many foreigners do at least try to speak the local language when they come here.  The American footprint on this planet is huge compared to every other country.  To put it mildly, I don't see that as a good thing.

Offline Scott

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Re: Buy American
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2003, 06:31:10 AM »
 Very well said Oldsaw. I agree with the union thing you said, its one thing to look out for the saftey and well being of union members but some unions are getting out of hand. Many people around here who work for the government take thier last 2 years of work off in the form of accumulated sick days, this hurts the tax payers. I also agree that we shouldn't hold it so much against the french and german people as thier governments. Sure many french and german people did object to the war but then agin so did something like 30 or 40% of americans. Also people are getting to lazy and ask "what do i have to do?" instead of "what can I do?"
 With regard to the "canadians would have no where to go for health care" this is true, you guys have a lot more specialized people down there and are offered things that we don't have. I think that when a Canadian has to go to the USA for threatment that our government should cover those costs as part of health care as its a service we should have here.
 Caterpillar, Deere, GMC/Chev, Case, (New Holland?) are all good examples of american companies that are still the best choice you can make. (sorry ford fans :D)

Offline oldsaw

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Re: Buy American
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2003, 06:06:17 PM »
Thanks Ric and Scott.

It's scary.  My brother works for Boeing.  The union fights to keep the almost retired guys who are doing most of the sluffing off (huge company, huge # of employees, lots of places to "hide", and 30 years experience doing it), and lay off the younger ones who want and need to work.  Instead of getting retirement buyouts for the old timers, they are keeping out fresh blood and they will eventually weaken themselves out of existence.  They are literally selling their future (the union that is) to protect guys who are biding time until retirement and not all that worried about productivity.  It's that money/work/productivity disconnect that is becoming our undoing.

I've worked on both sides of the line, and am amazed at the number of people on the labor side who can't make that connection, and the number of people above them that don't understand the processes their business does.

Cutting trees and making lumber to make other things is a much nicer topic.  This kind of stuff is like sausage.  It might look okay on the outside, you just don't want to see what went into it, or how it was made.

Mark

PS:  Yeah, and I spent all morning making an extra $1000 for the small company I work for...My productivity IS its success or failure...I am keenly aware of that...no job, no toolbox.
So many trees, so little money, even less time.

Stihl 066, Husky 262, Husky 350 (warmed over), Homelite Super XL, Homelite 150A

Offline EZ

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Re: Buy American
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2003, 02:12:25 AM »
Down at the shop, I give them a good days work. I could stand around and do nothing like most of them do, but I guess it was the way I was raised. Now the company wants the people to take a 45 % cut and all these people that do nothing wonders why. Most of the people down their work harder just trying to get out of work.
EZ

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Buy American
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2003, 03:58:12 AM »
I've always liked the idea of getting paid for what you do.  That's why I haven't bought in on this getting paid for time put in.  I subcontract my services and if I don't feel like working hard, my paycheck shows it.  Some jobs you can work like that.

As for older workers, I've been the older worker.  You can't trade their knowledge and expertise for a young worker who really doesn't know much.  I've seen a saying "Of course, I'm doing nothing.  I did it right the first time!"  Often, older workers are more productive.

For everything the unions have tried, they couldn't do anything for retired steelworkers.  These guys have now lost their health benefits.  Their retirement has gone up in smoke when the companies went down with underfunded pension funds.  It will continue to be a problem in other industries.

I think unions cover only 10% of the work force.  There major influence is in government.  20% of the work force is government.  Kinda shows where their influence is at.  
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.


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