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Archive for July, 2010

2010 Ford Focus

Buying American-made doesn’t just impact us when we buy things; it also impacts us when we rent.

Yesterday, I had to rent a car for a trip I was taking from Virginia to central Pennsylvania.  I reserved an economy American-made car, the least expensive of all the cars the rental car company I was using had available.

When I got to the rental facility to pick up the car, they said that all they had left was an import in the economy size.  I informed them that I only drive American-made cars, and would not accept an import.  They suggested I upgrade to a more expensive American-made mid-sized car.  I told them I would take whatever American-made car they wanted to give me, but I was not paying for an upgrade because they don’t keep enough American-made cars in their fleet.

When I pointed to the Buy American Challenge t-shirt I was wearing, they knew I wasn’t budging.  The conversation was over.  They upgraded me to a Ford Focus free of charge.

Ford Focus is a really nice car by the way. After driving it the last couple days, I am giving it strong consideration for my next vehicle. The Ford Focus is made in America and has 90% domestic parts content, the highest in the industry.

Okay, here is the real reason I wrote this post.  I encourage everyone to request an American-made car when they make a reservation for a rental car.  In my experience, most rental cars I’ve rented have been American-made.  But lately I’ve been noticing more imported rentals.  I believe that if enough people will ask for American-made cars when they make a reservation, the rental car companies will take notice, and stock their fleets with more American cars.  Either that, or they’ll be giving us lots of free upgrades.

If rental car companies begin buying more American-made cars, that would be HUGE.  These companies buy thousands of cars every year.  A decision by these companies to buy more American-made cars could be an enormous boon to the industry, and could create thousands of good-paying American jobs.  This would impact the communities where cars are made and the communities where all the parts used to make those cars are made.

It costs absolutely nothing to simply request an American-made car when you make a rental car reservation, but it could mean so many jobs if you, and others, will do it consistently.  So next time you rent a car, make that simple request, and know you will be doing your part to create American jobs.

Until next time, here’s to doing what we can to support our country by buying American.

Randy

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This week, Barr McClellan, author of “Made in the USA,” continued his media tour promoting the importance of buying American-made goods.   The New York Times best-selling author, who has accepted the Buy American Challenge personally, appeared Monday morning on FOX Business, where he argued that grassroots movement toward buying American is the way to get the economy going.  Check out his entire interview below.

Keep getting the message out, Barr. 

Until next time, here’s to doing what we can to support our country by buying American.

Randy

Barr McClellan served as a personal attorney to President Lyndon Baines Johnson.  He is the father of Scott McClellan, former White House press secretary.

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Recent discussion about the trade deficit and buying American got me thinking; just how much do Americans spend per month on imported goods?  Well I did a few calculations, and what I found shocked me. 

I divided the total value of imported goods in the U.S.A. for the month of May ($162 billion) by the number of adults in the U.S.A. (232 million).  On average, each American adult is responsible for $700 in imported goods per month!

That is much more than I thought was even possible.  Can you imagine that?  Every month, every American adult is responsible for $700 in consumption of imported goods.  We have really let ourselves go!

But here is something equally amazing.  If we could get each American adult down to a meager $517 of imported goods per month, we would have no trade deficit at all.  The trade deficit may seem insurmountable, but when you consider how much we are currently importing, we really don’t have that far to go.

If Americans will start to just consider where products are made in their purchasing decisions, we may really start to see improvements.  Please consider taking the Buy American Challenge today.

Until next time, here’s to doing what we can to support our country by buying American.

Randy

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I’ve been seeing links to this youtube video all over the place so I thought I would share it.  In the video this “college girl” makes a pretty strong economic case for buying American.  She says, correctly, that if Americans would spend just one dollar less per day on imported goods, it would make a huge difference in our economy.  Check it out.

Do your part.  Take the Buy American Challenge today!

Until next time, here’s to doing what we can to support our country by buying American.

Randy

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Any place you spend money is an opportunity to think about buying American.  One of the places that many Americans spend a sizable chunk of their discretionary income each year is on vacation.  In fact, after housing and transportation, vacations are where most Americans spend the most money at a single time.  A week-long vacation can often cost $1,000 or more per person.  Visiting a destination within the U.S. is an opportunity to keep our dollars here and put Americans to work. To me, that means we should put some real thought into where we vacation. 

So what does that mean in practice?  Well, if you want to go to the beach, consider one of the outstanding destinations to catch some rays inside the U.S.  Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are right here in the U.S.A.  Have you been to Hawaii yet?  It will blow you away (see the picture above, I took it in Hawaii)!  How about Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands?  How about Miami, Southern California, or the Carolinas?  You really don’t need to head south of the border to find breathtaking beaches.  Ours are every bit as amazing.

That is not to say that if you are committed to buying American, you should never leave the country; far from it.  But if you like gambling, consider Las Vegas over Nassau.  It you want to go hiking in the mountains, think about Yellowstone over the Alps.  If you want fine dining, you can go to New York City, New Orleans, or San Francisco, all of which are in the world’s top 20 cities for food.  The U.S.A. has something to offer for almost any kind of experience you are looking for.  Of course, sometimes there is just no substitute for a certain experience. We don’t have a Great Wall or a Sistine Chapel.  But when there is a good substitute, give the American destination strong consideration. 

Another reason to visit American destinations is that, of all major industries, tourism has been hit worst by the struggling economy.  The cities and towns that rely most on vacationers are hurting the hardest.  Vacationing at these destinations instead of places outside the U.S. can be a major lift for these communities.  An added benefit for you is that vacationing in the U.S.A. will often cost less than leaving the country, and be less of a hassle.  When the economy is down, vacationing domestically is a win-win economically.

So next time you need to get away and recharge your batteries, consider visiting a destination in the U.S.A. so you can invest in American communities while you relax.

Until next time, here’s to doing what we can to support our country by buying American.

Randy

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This week, Barr McClellan, a New York Times best-selling author, took the Buy American Challenge.  McClellan is the author of “Made in the U.S.A.,” which just hit bookstore shelves this May. 

In his book, McClellan presents a solid case for encouraging the purchase of products made in the U.S.A. as a solution to restoring our nation’s economic health.  Economic recovery for our country can be quickly achieved, McClellan argues, if the majority of Americans will give preference to goods that are made in the U.S.A. in their everyday purchases.  Buying U.S.A. and locally produced goods revitalizes the economy through a multiplier effect that counter-balances the negative impact of every exported dollar.

McClellan is currently in the midst of a media tour where he is touting the importance of Americans buying made in the U.S.A.  He has appeared on numerous television and radio programs throughout the country and he has authored several pieces picked up by print media publications.

“The pride we have needs to be restored,” said McClellan in a statement.  “One thing about Americans is that we are the hardest working, most competitive and most generous people around. When we have a problem, we do something about it.”

McClellan is asking Americans to join him in his “Buy U.S.A. by Labor Day” campaign.  He believes that changes in the way Americans make purchases needs to begin immediately.

“The urgency is to get the economy going by building up American enterprise and getting the world’s biggest consumer market back to work,” explains McClellan.  “What has to be done ASAP is get the American economy going.  Americans buying from Americans is the step to be taken.  We need to learn how to buy made in U.S.A.”

If you are interested in McClellan’s book, “Made in the U.S.A.,” you can get it here.  I highly recommend it!  Also, consider making a commitment to “Buy U.S.A. by Labor Day” as McClellan is calling for.  Let’s get American industry up and running again so we can put Americans back to work.

Until next time, here’s to doing what we can to support our country by buying American.

Randy

Barr McClellan served as a personal attorney to President Lyndon Baines Johnson.  He is the father of Scott McClellan, former White House press secretary.

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The vast majority of the world’s supply of silk is made in Asia.  However, just because neckties are almost always made out of silk, that doesn’t mean we can’t buy made in U.S.A. when shopping for them.  We just have to look a little harder and be tolerant of a little buy American ambiguity.  We can still find very high quality American-made ties that are made from imported silk but sewn by workers right here in the U.S.A.

My favorite American-made ties are produced by Brooks Brothers.  This men’s clothier has been around since 1818 and is America’s oldest clothing chain for men.  Every neck tie manufactured by Brooks Brothers continues to be manufactured in the United States at its tie manufacturing facility in Long Island City, New York. 

Now, Brooks Brothers can be a bit pricey, but I have always been able to find good deals on their products.  For example, pictured above are a couple American-made Brooks Brothers ties I recently purchased in my area.  I got these particular neck ties at Filene’s Basement, a local discount retailer.  I paid less than $20 each for these two, which is less than I typically paid for lesser-quality ties before I got serious about buying American. 

Of course, I would have preferred to buy a tie made in America from American material, buy what can I do?  That is the kind of American-made ambiguity we need to tolerate when trying to buy made in U.S.A.  Sometimes the best you can do is American-made from imported materials, and that’s okay.  The key is to not give up on trying to buy American altogether.

So next time you need a new tie (and yours are looking a little wide), make sure you buy American.

Until next time, here’s to doing what we can to support our country by buying American.

Randy

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