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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer
Saturday, December 24, 2016
BUY American HIRE American!
CURTIS ELLIS UNITED NATIONS – Buy American and hire American – those are the two rules the Trump administration will follow, says the president-elect.
What’s surprising is that this isn’t government policy already.
We’ve traditionally used government procurement in projects ranging from infrastructure to national defense to build the economy, promote innovation and lift the fortunes of citizens.
Our aerospace, telecommunications, electronics and computer industries were all built on the foundation of the Pentagon’s Buy American rules. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak constructed their first Apple computers from (American-made) surplus military electronics parts.
But over the last half century, our government turned away from Buy American. Rather than using tax dollars to employ our fellow citizens, it sacrifices them on the altar of the global economy.
The so-called free trade agreements Washington has signed on to actually forbid Buy American and Hire American.
Provisions tucked into the pacts require the government to treat foreign companies the same as American enterprises when purchasing goods and services.
The outsourcing of government purchases – and tax dollars – has gone to absurd lengths. Americans who have questions about their unemployment check or food stamps are dialing offshore call centers for help. We could trim the relief rolls if we hired Americans to do those customer service jobs.
This same globalist ideology has the federal government funding bridges in California made from Chinese steel and wind farms in Wyoming that use Chinese turbines.
Chinese steel doesn’t take jobs only from steelworkers in Pennsylvania. It also robs the miners in West Virginia whose coal fired the Mon Valley blast furnaces.
Franklin Roosevelt understood exactly how different parts of the economy interconnect. When he ordered the Works Project Administration to make overalls for a quarter-million men, “most of them now on relief,” he noted that this would not only make work for the men producing the clothing, it would also consume 750,000 bales of cotton – raising cotton prices for desperate farmers in the South.
Even those who weren’t hired directly by the government would benefit from taxpayer-funded jobs programs. When construction workers on a road project bought clothes, the garment factory in Oshkosh would hire, as would the textile factory in South Carolina and the trucking company transporting the goods.
All the newly employed would spend their paychecks on goods and services in their communities, generating yet more jobs – and tax revenues for cities and states.
But our government lost its way in the morass of globalism, and much of President Obama’s stimulus act spending ended up creating jobs in other countries. China actually counted on this, and protested the move to put a Buy American provision in the stimulus act, even while they have a strict Buy China rule when their government spends money.
It’s time to put aside globalist theories and put America first. When Washington spends taxpayer dollars, Buy American and Hire American must be the watchword.