From the Desk of Spencer Thornton, MD
Why Buy American?
Friday, June 15, 2012
Most of us are aware of some of the reasons America has lost so many jobs to other countries: cheaper labor, cheaper raw materials, less oversight in manufacture, foreign government subsidies and financial incentives. Some foreign companies own American brands but the profits go abroad, and the US loses jobs and tax dollars.
The more we buy American-owned and American-made products, the more powerful and positive impact we will have on the U.S. economy. And the even better news is we can usually do it without any extra cost or inconvenience to the consumer. Awareness is the key.
I recently ran across an article about the reasons companies outsourced their products (including raw ingredients, not just to the finished product) and in almost every case the reason was cheaper manufacturing costs, not better quality.
The article named several products most of us buy because of extensive advertising that were cheaper because of foreign sourcing (and/or ownership) but of no better quality than the American manufactured ones. Here are a few examples:
Bath Soap: Irish Spring sounds like it might be foreign, but it's actually an American brand made in the United States. Ivory soap is American, too. Jergens is made in America, but is owned by a Japanese company. Think of it like this: Just like a Toyota made in the U.S. is still a Japanese car, a bar of Jergens soap made in the U.S. is still a Japanese soap. Interestingly, Dial is owned by a German company.
Cotton Swabs: The Q-Tips brand is made in America , but guess what? The company that owns the brand isn't American at all. The name of the company is Unilever, which is a joint venture between England and The Netherlands. An American alternative would be the CVS or Walgreen's brand, which are both made in USA as well, for about the same price. Both CVS and Walgreen's are American-owned companies based in the United States .
Deodorants: Suave and Dove are both owned by Unilever, so the profits go overseas and the taxes are paid overseas to foreign governments. Want an American brand to save money too? Go to the Dollar Tree store and buy the “Speed Stick” brand for $1 each, which is made in the USA by American-owned Colgate-Palmolive.
Mustard: French's mustard isn't French. It's owned by the British. Grey Poupon sounds like it might be foreign, but it's owned by an American company, and is made in America .
Pasta sauce: Did you know Ragu is owned by Unilever, the foreign-owned company? Prego is an American brand owned by the Campbell Soup Company, and is made in the United States .
Disinfectants: Lysol and Clorox are both effective disinfectants and there is little if any price difference between the two, but only one is American owned. Lysol used to be owned by Kodak, but Kodak sold it to a British company in 1995. Clorox is American owned.
Coffee: Two of the most popular brands in the United States are Maxwell House and Taster's Choice, but only Maxwell House is an American brand based in the United States . Taster's Choice is made by Switzerland-based Nestle, the largest food company in the world. The coffee beans for both brands are imported, however. For truly American coffee from tree to cup (the beans come from Hawaii ) check out the USA Coffee Company at www.USACoffeeCompany.com
Bottled water: The French own at least one brand many probably thought was American owned. Dannon bottled water (and other Dannon products like yogurt) are French owned. Aquafina (owned by Pepsi) and Dasani (owned by Coca-Cola) are American brands. Like chocolate? Swiss Miss is American owned, but Carnation is owned by the Swiss.
Even apparel is outsourced. Wal-Mart is the biggest seller of Chinese-made goods on the planet. Why shop at Wal-Mart and buy foreign-made tee-shirts when you can buy American-made tee-shirts from All American Clothing Company (www.AllAmericanClothing.com) where they use 100% U.S.-grown cotton for about the same price?
Nutritional supplements are outsourced by several of the big pharmaceutical advertisers, and this increases their profits, but not their quality. Biosyntrx is an American company with products manufactured in America under strict manufacturing standards (GMP with NSF certification). Next time your doctor recommends nutritional therapy for macular degeneration or dry eye, ask about Macula Complete or BioTears, the American made, American quality nutritional products.
For more information, see: www.howtobuyamerican.com
Spencer Thornton, MD