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Posts Tagged ‘Unemployment’

lady shoppingI was recently having a discussion about unemployment in the U.S. and how it relates to the $500 billion annual U.S. trade deficit. That got me thinking: just how much do Americans spend per month on imported goods and services?  Well I did a few calculations, and what I found was shocking.

I divided the total value of imports in the U.S.A. for 2013 ($2.74 trillion) by the number of adults in the U.S.A. (240 million), then I divided that by 12 (for 12 months in a year).  On average, each U.S. adult is responsible for over $950 in imported goods and services per month!

That is much more than I thought was even possible.  Can you imagine that?  Every month, every U.S. adult is responsible for nearly $1,000 in imported goods and services.  We have really let ourselves go!

But here is something equally amazing.  If we could get the average U.S. adult down to just $790 of imported goods and services per month (that should be doable, right?), 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.

In fact, if we could simply replace 17% of the imports we consume each year with U.S.-made goods and services, we would have zero trade deficit, and that would pump enough money into the economy (nearly $500 billion per year) that everyone in the U.S. who wanted to work would be able to find a job.

If more 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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What I LearnedFor the last three years I have been fully committed to buying American. That means barring certain circumstances when buying American is simply not possible, I have purchased nothing but goods made in the USA.

I started buying American as New Year’s resolution in 2010 and have been doing it ever since.  After doing a bit of research, here is the buy American program I chose to follow.

I must say, this experience has been extremely rewarding because I know every time I make a purchase I am doing my part to create jobs in America at a time so many are in need of work.

Here are three surprising things I learned in my experience buying American:

  1. Buying American Saves Money – I never would have believed it before I started buying American, but faithfully buying made in USA absolutely saves money.  Mind you, not every item is less expensive, because sometimes you do have to pay a bit of a premium, but on the whole I have saved money by buying American.  There are two main reasons for this.  First, buying American cuts down considerably on the purchases you make of things you don’t need.  You save money because you make fewer impulse purchases.  Second, buying American forces you to do more research on the things you do buy.  Once you’ve taken the time to research where to find a certain good that is American made, it’s a natural next step to find that same good for the best price possible.  I find better deals now than I ever did before I started buying American.
  2. Buying American Does Not Require Deprivation – I never would have believed this before either, but buying American does not leave you feeling deprived all the time.  Practically everything I buy is American made, and my experience has been so good that I have no plans to change that.  But the key to avoiding the feeling of deprivation is to allow for the purchase of a few imported goods when the right circumstances call for it.  The whole point of buying American is to use your buying power to support jobs here in America, but there is no need to refuse necessities – like cell phones for example – that simply cannot be found made in the USA.  The buy American program I follow allows for several key exceptions to the buy American rule.  Those exceptions make staying on a buy American program possible.  Going cold turkey won’t work.
  3. Buying American Becomes Easy to Do – In the first couple days of a strict buy American program, it can be difficult.  It’s similar to cutting out carbs or gluten from your diet for the first time (if you’ve ever tried that).  At first, it is a real shock.  But after a while, you get the hang of it.  At first, you go to stores and it seems like everything you plan on putting into your cart is imported and off-limits.  But after a little while, you cycle through all the regular items you have to buy frequently, and you just know which brands are made in USA and which aren’t.  I didn’t know at first, but I now know I buy certain batteries, sponges, socks, etc., all that are American made.  Once you’ve done the research the first time, which often requires nothing more than looking at the fine print on packages, buying American becomes simple.  Buying American doesn’t start out easy, but it definitely becomes easy before long.

Please consider joining our growing Buy American Movement.

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

Randy

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Christmas Wish: Find WorkWhen shopping this holiday season, don’t forget that for millions of unemployed Americans, the most important gift you can give is a job.  And you can make a real difference for people struggling to find work in this country by simply making an effort to buy American during the holidays (and beyond).

Most people don’t really consider themselves job creators, but the truth is every time we spend our hard-earned money, we are creating jobs – somewhere.

Decades ago the vast majority of goods consumed in this country were made in the USA, so pretty much however one spent his money, there was a good chance most of it was going toward American job creation.

But over the years, the percentage of goods found in stores that are made in America has decreased dramatically.  When we buy goods from overseas, that’s where the money goes, and that’s where the jobs are created.

So nowadays, we can’t just buy things with no regard for where they are made.  Unemployment is too high for that.  We need to pay a little more attention and make an effort to buy things that are made in USA whenever we can, especially when we can find items of equal or better value comparably priced.

Little by little those made in USA purchases add up, and they turn into jobs for Americans who need work.

It saddens me to think of all the parents out there this time of year, who want nothing more than to provide a joyous Christmas (or other holiday) for their children, but don’t have the means to provide it because of joblessness.

Even if it’s only for a few weeks around the holidays, try to make an extra effort to buy American.

If enough of us will do it, we’ll have more work to go around in this country, and a few more smiling children on Christmas morning.

Take the Buy American Challenge today.

Happy Holidays!

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

Randy

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I’ve made several posts this year about a documentary film project called “Made in the USA: The 30 Day Journey,” a film about a regular American guy (Josh Miller) who sets out on a 30-day journey across the country to discover what “Made in USA” means and what impact it has for the future of our country.

Just weeks after filming has wrapped up for this ground-breaking film, Miller and the rest of his production team have released a film trailer. 

Check out the film trailer here:

This is a great preview of the film, which is expected to be released a few months from now, although a release date has not yet been set. 

I have been doing all I can to support this film because this project has the potential to reach millions of Americans with a critical message:  The future of our country depends on each of us doing our part to buy American.

At least that’s what I think the central message of the movie will be based on the trailer and all I know about Josh and his project, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  I will be waiting with eager anticipation to see what Josh and his crew discovered on their journey.

You can find out more about the film here.

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

Randy

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In parts one and two of this series we talked about the men behind the project that could make the Buy American movement go viral, and how their project is exploding into a firestorm of Buy American enthusiasm. Today, in the final chapter of this series, we will talk about how to bring that flame to every man and woman who loves this great nation.

That is where you and I come in.  When I heard this project was afoot, I immediately contacted Josh and offered him my assistance.  I asked him, “What can I do to make sure this ground-breaking project is a success?” Then it dawned on me: The key to making this small project being orchestrated from a kitchen table in West Virginia is to spread the word. 

Right now, this is the project of just a few thoughtful individuals.  But why not make this America’s project?  Why not spread the word, and make this small budget film America’s big chance to bridge divides, both politically and socioeconomically, that have not been bridged in years?  Why not take this opportunity, to forcefully remind ourselves that we are not powerless to control our economic futures, but empowered by our buying power to control our own collective destiny if we will each do our own small part by buying American more often?

Keep this in mind.  The average American adult is responsible for over $700 in imported goods per month.  With just a small change in our purchasing behavior, we could substantially reduce the U.S. trade deficit, and that would create millions of good-paying American jobs.  We can do better.

So, this is what I am doing, and I sincerely hope you will join me:

  1. Forward this story to everyone you know.  Put this on Facebook, Twitter, and email it all around.
  2. Go to:  http://www.usa30days.com/.  When you get there, make a contribution if you can, but more importantly, email Josh and tell him your thoughts about this project.  He wants to hear your thoughts and stories for the film, and it will just be immensely important for the success of this project.
  3. Like this project on Facebook and follow it on Twitter.  If the project gets 2000 Facebook fans and 2500 Twitter followers by April 30th (only a few days away!), Josh and company are going to select a Twitter finalist and a Facebook finalist (at random) and draw the winner between the two finalists. The winner (and one friend) will be flown to one of the filming locations of their choosing to spend one night and one day with the film-makers all expenses paid by them!
  4. Finally, if you have a high-profile contact that you know might want to appear in this film or help promote it when it’s done, please contact them and ask them to volunteer to be interviewed for this film by sending an email to Josh.  We want Josh to be interviewing the best experts out there.  If this project is going to make the most convincing case possible, Josh is going to need the best group of economists, politicians, historians, politicians, etc. he can possibly get involved.  Just a little tweet can mean a lot for a film like this.  Let’s use all our contacts to give this film the attention it deserves.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  I’m through hoping for better outcomes for our country, when the status quo isn’t bringing them, and there is something I can actually do to make a difference.  Don’t we owe it to ourselves to try to do our part to get our country back on the right track while we still can by buying American?

Our country needs a thriving buy American movement.  Please join us.  And please spread the word about the 30 Day Journey. 

Let’s make this America’s project.  Let’s have this project be the spark that make this buy American movement go viral.

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

Randy

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Every once in a while, you are just at the right place at the right time. Every now and then, an idea that has been stewing for years reaches a critical moment when a spark is lit, combustion occurs, and BOOM, next thing you know, it’s everywhere. 

In many ways, the Buy American movement is just such an idea.  It could be an idea that’s time has finally come.

In the last post we introduced you to filmmaker Josh Miller, the man behind the documentary that will bring the Buy American movement to every home. This post is the story of how Josh intends to do just that.

Hear it from Josh first-hand here:

Josh and his two companions, producer Ron Newcomb and a cameraman Justin Moe, never anticipated their project would ever grow to the size it already has. The threesome initially set out to make a small film with a meager budget of just $5,000; seed money they hoped to raise online, but were unsure they could.  But they figured they had the recipe for an intriguing story, and if need be, they would find a way to fund the project on their own if the fundraising efforts came up short.

The plan was originally for Josh, who has the double-role of co-producing and serving as the on-camera talent, to spend 30 days relying on and buying nothing but American-made goods.  The crew would hit the road, visiting cities and towns that either impact, or have been impacted, by America’s tendency to buy what they want, with little regard for the effect those decisions have on the greater health of our country. 

Along the way, Josh planned to interview business leaders, labor leaders, economists, politicians, historians, and regular Americans to hear their views, and hopefully,  make some sense of the multi-decade rise, fall, and mini-resurgence of made in America enthusiasm in this country.  In Josh’s own words, he wants an explanation for the seemingly conflicting exhibition of American patriotism displayed by so many when he asks rhetorically: “We’re willing to DIE for our country, but are we willing to BUY for it?”

It turns out that this just may be the case after all. For Josh and company, they are fast realizing that their project may be the spark that turns American patriotic spending from a notable consumer trend, into a full-fledged cultural revolution.

Josh and his team quickly surpassed their fundraising goal, raising nearly three times their original target. This concept clearly struck a chord with many Americans who have already heard about the project, and the reality is starting to set in that this project is bigger than just them.

So how do we do our part to bring this revolution to the masses? Find out in the third and final chapter of our series tomorrow.

Check out more about the film at:  http://www.usa30days.com/

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

Randy

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There is little doubt that the buy American movement is getting bigger.  You see it everywhere you go, from television commercials to campaign trails, Facebook postings to evening news, and most everywhere in between.  Since buying American is a proven job creator, for millions of Americans who are hoping our country will finally turn the corner on this down economy, it is great news that the buy American movement is growing. 

Best of all: It might be about to blow up! 

But what’s going to be the catalyst for this possible, yet realistically improbable, surge in buy American enthusiasm?  Given all the economic turmoil our country has experienced, what is going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and makes this buy American movement go viral? The answer may lie in a small budget project taking shape right now in rural West Virginia.

Over the next several days, we’re going to release two more installments of a three part series covering the film that will, for the first time ever, bring Buy American to the masses.

As I type these words, a thoughtful film-maker named Josh Miller is up at the wee hours of the morning at the kitchen table of his home deep in the mountains of coal country.  Motivated to take on this project after witnessing first-hand the devastating impact of an aluminum plant closure that hit his small town like a punch to the gut, Josh is up drinking coffee and burning the midnight oil once again. He’s committed to a pace he knows he can’t long sustain, but he’s determined to power through and tell the story he knows must be told to the best his abilities.  He owes it to his family members who were most directly impacted by the aluminum plant shutdown, he owes it to his town, and he owes it to the American people.

Josh, along with his producer Ron Newcomb and cameraman Justin Moe are on a mission: to expose what happened to their town, and to towns all across America, and teach the American people how to stop it by buying American.

True, it will be hard for such a small group of young men to make a lasting difference in our country, but remember this: never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Throughout the entirety of our history, from the sons of liberty, to the abolitionists, to civil rights leaders, fundamental change came first at a trickle, then exploded into a movement.

What is happening in West Virginia today, as you read this post, is the start of the movement we have been waiting for. Tune in for the next two parts of this three parts series, to be posted tomorrow and the following day, to learn more about the men behind the film, and how you can be a part of history in the making.

Check out more about the film at:  http://www.usa30days.com/

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

Randy

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