By Lloyd Graff
The day after Memorial Day weekend I pose the question, “Should we be economic patriots”?
When I wrote the car buying stories for the April and May TMW issues, I took heat from readers who felt I was derelict in not coercing my sons to buy American cars rather than Hyundai Sonatas.
It turns out that the Sonatas are made in Montgomery, Alabama, and have more than 50 percent American content. Hyundai spent $1 billion to build a factory, and the workforce is almost entirely Alabaman, but ultimately, my sons’ buying decisions were based entirely on the products and price. Economic patriotism had nothing to do with it.
I ask you my readers, do you buy a Haas vertical machining center because it is American or because it is the best machine for the money? Do you pass on bananas because they come from Honduras? Do you shun an iPhone because it was made in China at a FoxComm plant that has had 10 suicides among its workers this year. Where does your economic patriotism start or end?
Personally, I am not an economic agnostic. I have never considered buying a German Mercedes or BMW, because of the Nazi atrocities of 70 years ago. But considering most of the taxis in Israel are Mercedes I know that economic discrimination is now ridiculous.
Many of my long time screw machine customers have shops in China now. Are they economic Benedict Arnolds?
I recently talked with Joe Arvin who owns a big aircraft gear company near Chicago. He considers himself an economic patriot because he will not put up plants in China even though his clients are pushing him to do it.
Do you think our soldiers died for Ford or for allowing us the opportunity to use our economic and political freedom to buy oil from Saudi Arabia to drive our BMW to the sushi restaurant?
Question: Do you consider yourself an economic patriot?