|Extreme Individualism Won't Cut It
By Don Cattell President, Local 892 UAW
Should economics and patriotism be a blend or should both matters be kept separate? I say they have to blend. If we love our country, then it follows that we want it to prosper. If we feel affection for our fellow citizens, it follows that we want them to prosper. If we love the land and waters of our country, then we must want a prosperous country.
One of the things we, as individuals, can do to help our country prosper is, to buy American-made products by American-owned companies. That's not as easy as it seems. Many American-owned companies make their products in foreign countries and import them to the United States. Many American-named companies have been purchased by foreigners. Holiday Inn, for example, is owned by a United Kingdom Corporation.
It's not just the automobile industry we need to be concerned about. For example, if you wish to buy a turntable for your stereo you're out of luck. There is not an American Company today that makes turntables, at least none that I could find. Aiwa, Fisher, Pioneer, Technics, and Sony are all Japanese-owned companies.
As long as we are willing to buy imported products because they are a little cheaper, the multinational corporations will continue to export our manufacturing jobs to the countries with the lowest labor costs.
To help Americans find American-manufactured products to purchase, we have resources available such as our own UAW Local 892 website at, http://www.uaw892.org. On this sight, you will find many links such as the Union Label website at, http://www.unionlabel.org and the UAW International website at, http://www.uaw.org.
The decline of the American standard of living is a result of bad government policies, among other things. Corporate and personal selfishness which flourished in the 1980's on both the left and right sides of the political spectrum has played a part in our national decline. Selfishness and extreme individualism won't cut it. We are simultaneously individuals and members of a larger society. We have duties and obligations that go beyond ourselves. America is our ship, and we need to work together to keep her sailing.