Documentary Filmmaker Josh Miller, along with his three companions, has completed three days of his journey to buy and use nothing but American-made goods, and by the looks of things, Josh is really starting to struggle.
Important to note is that Josh chose to adopt the strictest possible interpretation of what it means to buy American, a plan I do not recommend, and you’ll see why. He is literally refusing to use anything not made in the USA. That means showering with a hose because practically no showerheads are made in USA (but this one is), using a portable bathroom because he couldn’t find an American-made toilet, and so on. Josh has really gone COLD TURKEY.
Here it from Josh himself in this YouTube clip:
The Buy American Challenge, which is the plan I have been on for the last two years (I just had my second buy American birthday this week. Don’t I get a pin or something?). This is a realistic buy American program that anyone can follow. Best of all it doesn’t require the kind of severe deprivation that Josh is dealing with.
I’m hoping that as Josh continues on his journey, he will make peace with the fact that avoiding all imported goods is just not realistic. I’m hoping he will adopt these Buy American Challenge program guidelines as a realistic alternative.
I believe that if we are going to have a thriving Buy American Movement in this country, we need a common plan that most of the people committed to buying American are on. It needs to be simple, it needs to be easy to follow, and most importantly, it needs to be realistic!
Once again, here are the guidelines of the Buy American program I recommend:
Buy American Challenge Guidelines:
- Buy only American-made finished products or American-grown or -raised foods.
- Items you buy may have parts, materials, and content that is not American-made, -grown, or -raised.
- Items you buy may be made in America by foreign-owned or multinational corporations.
- This challenge applies only to one’s own personal purchase decisions, not those made for households, groups, businesses, associations, or for one’s profession.
- Embarking on this challenge should be done willingly. No one should ever be obligated or forced into buying American-made.
- This challenge applies only to purchases you make going forward. Any puchases made in the past are in the past.
Exceptions to the Buy American Challenge Guidelines:
- One, of course, may buy a specific foreign-made product if a doctor, dentist, or other medical expert prescribes or recommends it. Example: If your dentist says you need a fancy foreign-made tooth brush, don’t worry about it, just get it.
- One may buy a specific foreign-made product if the item is simply not made, grown, or raised in the United States, and the item does not have a suitable replacement that is made, grown, or raised in the United States. Example 1: A lot of electronics just aren’t made in the U.S.A. anymore. If you can’t find what you want American-made, don’t worry about it. Example 2: There is no such thing as an American-grown banana. No worries, you can still eat them. Example 3: There is no American-made “Champagne” because to be called Champagne it must have been produced in the Champagne region of France. However, their are plenty of high quality American-made substitutes that are virtually identical to Champagne, but when they are made in America they are called “sparkling wine.” This is the kind of item that is not the same, but does have a suitable replacement.
- One may buy a specific foreign-made or -grown product if one is for some reason required to buy a specific item. Example: If your professor assigns a specific foreign-made calculator to use for a class, don’t worry about it, just get it.
- One may buy a foreign-made item if it is urgently needed, and time or proximity preclude one from buying an American-made version of the item. Example: You are really thirsty, and the only water available is bottled in France. Don’t worry about it, just get it.
- If one has a kinship with another country other than the U.S.A., he or she should feel free to buy items made, grown, or raised in that country as well. Example: Let’s say you have Irish heritage and like to buy things made in Ireland from time to time. Go right ahead continue doing that.
- One is allowed five “cheat items” (or more if you really need more). These are items that one may have an existing attachment to. If you simply can’t live without a specific foreign-made good, you can continue to purchase it. Example: Let’s say you just love Swiss chocolate. You can, of course, continue to buy your chocolate as often as you would like.
Until next time, here’s to doing what we can to support our country by buying American.