Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jobs Are Job 1

I watched President Obama last night. I heard all the emphasis on jobs. More power to him!

I listen to all the Republican opposition calling for more tax cuts while simultaneously insisting on spending for wars that we've never asked Americans to pay for. They say they have a better way to bring the jobs back. More power to them if they do!


All the stuff the Republicans say will help was done in the last decade, and all the "growth" we supposedly had was on paper because we kept shipping jobs overseas--our biggest export.

So I'm wondering whether any of our so-called "leaders" really have a clue.

Jobs? Doing what?

A week ago, I broke down and bought a new pair of running shoes. I was resigned to buying a pair of Nikes made in Vietnam. At least they weren't made in China. I figure we owe Vietnam a few things.

But the store no longer had the model I had looked at two weeks prior. So I started searching afresh. Then I about dropped my sox. I found this pair of New Balance shoes that were actually assembled in the USA! The materials were imported, but at least some work was done here. I bought them in a heartbeat, gladly paying 20 extra dollars for that little label that said USA.

Now, mind you, I did try them on--and they were the lightest, most comfortable running shoes I've had on my feet in decades.

Two years ago, I overhauled the engine in my wife's car. The gasket set had parts made in five countries--including the USA. And the label could tell me where each part was made.

So when somebody says we can't label food to tell us where it came from, tell 'em it ain't so hard. If they can do it on Fel-Pro engine gasket sets when there isn't even a legal requirement to do so, why can't we do it on everything?

Oh, and if we want to create jobs, you and I need to buy as much of what we need and use from our nearby neighbors--even when we have a choice that's cheaper. No employer hires workers to make things that can't be sold and for which there is no market. That means it's up to us, the buyers.

So let's be choosy about the country of origin on our purchases, as choosy as we would be about the food we put inside our bodies. We have more power to create jobs than we know. And just maybe, we have the only power to do so. All with the dollars we spend every day for ordinary things.

The jobs we save may be our own. Maybe our neighbor's. Maybe our kid's.


PS. Forget import tariffs. Let's make it a requirement to put this label on everything that comes to us from the most populous nation on earth:


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