What happened to the United States?
Where did we go wrong?
Many of us remember the glory days in the United States. We never even thought to question our stance in the world; the U.S.A. was the top dog on the block. The questions now are “what happened, where did we go wrong, and what can we do to get back on track.”
Let us look back to our grandparents (and parents) from the so aptly named “Greatest Generation”. What were they doing that we don’t do today? I argue that they had a patriotic product loyalty. They all drove American cars--which brand was often argued but it was an American brand. The good ol days of GM, Ford, and Chrysler. In current times nobody cares and it shows. Take a look at General Motors: they were in bankruptcy, and if we didn’t bail them out grandma and grandpa’s Buick would be a thing of the past. Remember when the phrase “Made in the U.S.A.” had a profound purchasing impact? Now it’s the last thing we check (if we even check it at all.) Now it’s all about price.In order to compete in our market domestic companies cut overhead , but we all complain when a greedy company outsources jobs to India.
When things go bad in the market we instantly look to the government for an economic solution. The government is not the answer to economic problems--in fact the regulations they put in place hurt more than they help. Let’s look at the current issue. Corporate greed on Wall Street (or more specifically the banks, the “Occupy Wall Street" protestors are not infuriated by Apple or Johnson & Johnson). The banks have done some unethical things in the past couple years by creating a fiat insurance product--the evil “credit default swap”. The story should have ended with several of the banks, engaged in the shady behavior, in bankruptcy. The free market would have taken care of the unethical practices on its own. However, that’s not the case. Instead of bankruptcy our government intervention resulted in a bailout and “tighter regulation”. The corporate crooks live to steal another day thanks to you, the tax payer.
An overhead view of the occupy wall street protesters
You have built a podium but what do you say?
What's the solution
We can get back on the right path in two simple ways, let the free market work its magic and become an aware consumer. If we stop allowing our government to get involved in the market it will work itself out but that's not enough, we need to make more educated decisions. There is power in the people and we need to utilize it. If we all bought American products it would create American jobs. If we acted united against “evil” business practices we could take down giants.Company’s do not pull profit from thin air it comes from us the consumer. Look at BP, when they spilled oil in the gulf I was irate. I vowed then and there to never buy a BP product again and assumed that many other Americans would follow suit, but Monday morning came and surprise their pumps were just a busy as ever. Had we united we would have dealt a serious blow to the profits at BP and other oil producers would have taken note. My proposal for America is a consumer union. We can educate each other on companies that don’t deserve our business and alternative companies that do. After we take down a few companies through purchasing bans the rest of wall street will take notice of our demands, in fact some companies will fear us not the other way around.