A Collectivist Christmas

Steffen and I are not politicians. We don’t plan on debating national policy in the halls of government. We haven’t served our country in its military or fought to maintain our nation’s safety. We’re just hardworking, tax-paying citizens who occasionally volunteer for local non-profits. But during this holiday season, we figured that if we could do something extra for our friends and neighbors, we would.American Flag

We made a pact with one another to spend $100 of our holiday budget on American-made products.

It’d be our miniscule contribution.

However, our $100 could mean a huge difference in our nation’s economy. According to a story by ABC News, if every American spent $64 on something manufactured in the U.S., it’d create 200,000 jobs.

In my opinion, that’s money well spent.

Or is it?

Some people view the “Buy American” campaign as Un-American, citing facts that suggest free trade creates employment. The “Buy American” campaign wrongly assumes it’s Japan or us, writes Harry Binswanger, Ph.D of the Ayn Rand Institute. “If Japan is getting richer, we must be getting poorer.” But that’s not the case, he asserts.

Ugh. I’m not an economist and suddenly my family’s simple pact got complicated.

As part of the Institute’s individualist ideals, Binswanger writes that it’s even more Un-American to sacrifice “one’s standard of living in order to subsidize inefficient domestic producers.”

Don’t worry. I didn’t intend on spending loads of money on shitty merchandise. However, if a quality American product is a few bucks more, I think I’ll splurge.

Go ahead. Call me a collectivist.

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