Buying American, it’s a term that’s gained traction over the past decade. Buying American goods was the highlight of the nation’s industrial age. This was a time when Americans were proud to build, market, and sell their products domestically.
The rise of globalism gave way to imported goods thanks to the low cost of overseas production. For many of these companies, producing overseas resulted in high-profit margins thanks to low production costs.
But what does low production cost and shopping American brands vs shopping global brands mean for the American economy? Better yet, does buying American brands help the American economy?
Today, we’re going to take a look at that and a bit more. Here’s what you need to know when it comes to buying American and the state of our nation’s economy.
American Brands Vs. American Made
It’s important to distinguish the difference between “American brands” and “American made.” Just because something is an American brand, doesn’t necessarily mean it was made in America.
There are a variety of American brands in all industries that are headquartered and marketed throughout America but are not necessarily made in America.
For example, popular automotive brands include Ford, Chevrolet, Tesla, Dodge, Jeep, and several others are all core automotive American brands. However, not all are manufactured in the USA.
The Ford Motor Company has a reputation for building all its vehicles in America. This long-standing reputation has helped solidify the brand in the eyes of consumers as more Americans typically want to shop for American-made products. On the other hand, brands like Jeep and GMC manufacture some of their vehicles in Venezuela and Canada respectively.
Knowing where products like your vehicle are made is an interesting concept to consider at one point or another. Is there a difference when discussing global brands such as with cars? Does it matter whether you look at vehicles at your local Ford Dealer (Domestic) or can you go to brands like Honda and Toyota?
This might not be an obvious question to consider, but it may be one worth thinking about. Is a Toyota that’s built in the states just as reliable as one built in Canada or Mexico? What does shopping global brands vs. local brands even mean from a consumer standpoint? Lastly, and perhaps more importantly, what impact do global brands have on the economy here in America?
When considering these questions and more, it’s important to first understand how shopping locally helps our economy and on a smaller scale, how it benefits you and your community.
Not all American Brands Help Our Economy
Once you understand that American brands and American-made are two different concepts, it’s easier to understand how some American brands can help our economy and how other brands and companies may actually end up hurting it. Typically, when you shop American-made, you’ll almost always be boosting up the global and local economy.
Conversely, when you shop globally, you won’t necessarily have as positive an impact on your nation’s economy. Especially if that global brand does not operate in America or employ American residents.
Global Brands Can Disrupt the American Economy
Some global brands, including the nation’s biggest online marketplace, Amazon, might not always do the best job when it comes to employee pay and benefits. Overworking and under compensating American employees can end up doing more harm than good to the nation’s economy.
For some employees of global brands operating in America, the cons outweigh the benefits. Low wages may push employees to take on second and even third jobs. While the short-term benefits of this may help stimulate the American economy, the long-term consequences can be dire. Low employee morale, low pay, high stress, and inadequate access to healthcare can all result in an economy that is struggling to move forward in the long run.
American Made Brands Offer Greater Opportunity for Economic Boost
While global brands can offer opportunities for economic stimulation, American-made brands, especially small businesses tend to offer the most hope.
Here are the top benefits associated with American brands that operate and produce 100% in America and how they can positively impact your local community, state, and even the nation as a whole.
Job Opportunities Equal a Healthy Economy
The biggest benefit of American brands manufacturing their products in American facilities is the opportunity for job creation. More job opportunities in a town mean more individuals moving into that community. When communities grow, this is an indication of a growing economy as well.
The growth of the local economy goes beyond just dollars being generated and circulated throughout the community. The growth of the economy, when done in a manner meant to benefit the community and economy, often leads to happier residents as well.
Companies and manufacturing facilities that pay employees well can help stimulate the economy. Higher wages means more disposable income for families and individuals which in turn means more economic activity.
American Safety Standards are Top Tier
American Safety standards are also important to consider when it comes to American-made brands. The United States has some of the strictest safety and labor standards around. From the manufacturing process to worker rights, American safety standards and agencies including OSHA, and regulations provided by the FDA and FTC, help promote the highest degree of product creation possible.
When safety is at the forefront the way it is in America, consumers can shop with confidence knowing that the products they purchase will not be harmful to them or their families. Consumer confidence leads to more spending, competition, innovation, and ultimately more activity in the economy. When it comes to global brands, these safety standards are not always adhered to, especially when products are made in overseas factories where loose oversight practices may exist.
Benefits of Supporting Local Businesses
Perhaps the biggest benefit of American made brands as it relates to the economy is the boost offered by local businesses. Shopping American made is great, but shopping locally made is even better.
According to the small business administration, small businesses have generated roughly 44% of economic activity within the U.S. Small businesses also help to stimulate competitiveness and innovation and are also responsible for creating two-thirds of new jobs according to recent data.
When Americans shop locally, their consumerism will often go right back into the community. Small businesses are more likely to support community activities including little league and sports clubs, local schools, and other community events. This direct support then helps build up the community, making economic activity even more possible.
In best case scenarios, small locally owned businesses create a symbiotic relationship between their company and the community they serve. In addition to creating more jobs, small businesses are more likely to breathe natural economic stimulation, something the nation as a whole can always benefit from.
Local, national, or global, whichever way you go, our consumer dollars will have an impact one way or another. Understanding the benefits of American made, and the stories behind American brands can help make you a more conscious consumer. When we’re all conscious consumers, we’re one step closer to understanding how our individual choices can impact the economy as a whole.
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