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Friday, April 15, 2016

Bad News For Trump: Two-Thirds Of Americans Prefer Cheaper Foreign-Made Goods

by JASmius

Just as with New Balance Shoes, Inc., an assertion of honest economic self interest.  If I am given the choice of getting what is essentially the same product at a lower price, that's the choice I'm going to make, no matter where it was manufactured.  And why should I be denied that choice?  Why should I be forced to pay more, why should inflation be stoked, in order to "protect" other people's jobs that aren't going to be around for long anyway after our former trading partners "protect" their industries and bar us from exporting our goods to them?

This is why economic warfare doesn't work.  It's like weapons of mass destruction: you can't use them on your enemy without doing, well, massive damage to yourself.  The global economy exists, and it is, well, massively interconnected.  That cannot be undone.  It must be coped and worked with.

As Isaac Newton discovered, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction - and sometimes the reaction isn't so equal:

The vast majority of Americans say they prefer lower prices instead of paying a premium for items labeled "Made in the USA," even if it means those cheaper items are made abroad, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll.

While presidential candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are vowing to bring back millions of American jobs lost to [Red] China and other foreign competitors....

Which they wouldn't; quite the contrary, in fact, as raising huge trade barriers would destroy millions more American jobs in exporting industries.

....public sentiment reflects core challenges confronting the U.S. economy. Incomes have barely improved, forcing many households to look for the most convenient bargains instead of goods made in America.

And some of us are just frugal on general principles.

Employers now seek workers with college degrees, leaving those with only a high school degree who once would have held assembly lines jobs in the lurch.

Employers seeking workers with college degrees isn't anything new; that's been the case for decades.  And despite protectionist mythology, there is still ample manfacturing capacity in this country.  The problem is that most manufacturing jobs are unionized.  Something that Trump and Weekend Bernie don't much talk about.

And some Americans who work at companies with clients worldwide see themselves as part of a global market.

We're ALL part of the global market, whether we see ourselves as such - and like it - or not.

Nearly three in four say they would like to buy goods manufactured inside the United States, but those items are often too costly or difficult to find, according to the survey released Thursday. A mere 9% say they only buy American. [emphasis added]

And the goal should be to deregulate the economy to enable manufacturers to lower and better control their labor and other costs so that American goods can be made less expensively, with the lower costs passed onto American consumers, so that they CAN buy more American like they want to.  But that's too complicated for "populist" sales screeches, isn't it?  "Help corporate America?  [BLEEP] you!"

Asked about a real world example of choosing between $50 pants made in another country or an $85 pair made in the United States — one retailer sells two such pairs made with the same fabric and design — 67% say they'd buy the cheaper pair. Only 30% would pony up for the more expensive American-made one. People in higher earning households earning more than $100,000 a year are no less likely than lower-income Americans to say they'd go for the lower price.

Wow.  I guess it's been a long time since I bought a pair of pants (five years, for the record, after I lost fifty pounds, and I managed to get three pairs for a hundred bucks from Men's Warehouse.  Frankly, even fifty bucks sounds ridiculous to me, much less eight-five.  I'd want to wear them, not drive them.

But the point is still clearly made: Nobody, regardless of income level, wants to be gouged, and will avoid it if they are given less expensive choices.  Which is why I do just about all my shopping at Wal*Mart, just for the record.

"Low prices are a positive for U.S. consumers — it stretches budgets and allows people to save for their retirements, if they're wise, with dollars that would otherwise be spent on day-to-day living," said Sonya Grob, fifty-seven, a middle school secretary from Norman, Oklahoma who described herself as a "liberal Democrat."

Whaddaya know?  A liberal Democrat who says something sensible.  And April Fool's Day was two weeks ago, too.

Let's look at it this way, my fellow consumers: Shouldn't we do everything we can to make the U.S. economy as internationally competitive as possible before we start bitching about the "unfair trade practices" of our trade partners?  Why f them over when we're still hamstringing ourselves with depressionary (high taxes, strangling regulations, nationalization of entire industries) domestic policies?  And especially when we'll ultimately be compoundingly buggering ourselves.

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