>Can A Person Be a Patriot, Yet Also Act in Their Own Best Interest?

>We all do this in our own best interest. We go to school, study subjects like Animal Health, Business, Chemistry. We study subjects we either like and think we can make a living at, simply like, or subjects we may not like much but know we are pretty good at because we know we can make a living at doing.

When we shop, most of us try to save money. Wal-mart makes a profit every year because people shop there expecting to find good values for there money, to stretch their dollars. Terms like, “Black Friday,” and “Cyber Monday,” have become commonplace because consumers know that they can get some awesome bargains during the Christmas season on those days.

Economically, we work to our best advantage. If Target has a Sony HDTV on sale for $450, and Wal-mart has the very same HDTV for sale for $425, and its not too much trouble to adjust your driving, chances are, you will take visit Wal-mart and save the $25 bucks.

Now, let’s advance this scenario another way.

At both Target and Wal-mart, sitting right beside that Sony HDTV, is the RWB (red, white, & blue) brand of HDTV, made right here in the United States, with American labor. The RWB HDTV has everything that the Sony model has; they are identical in all technical regards. The RWB HDTV does not cost $425, or $450. The RWB HDTV costs closer to $1,000.

Why does it cost almost 100% more than the Sony? you ask.

Because it was made here, in the United States, with United States labor costs.

The question is, Would you buy that HDTV to keep an American employed? In other words, would your sense of Patriotism go so far as to sacrifice an additional $400 to keep a job in America?

We already know the answer to that, actually. And the answer is a resounding, No.

People, Americans, voted with their family budgets, with their disposable incomes, opting for the less expensive foreign-made cars, trucks, vans, TVs, stereos, etc.

This is precisely what happened throughout the 1970s and 1980s. While our U.S.-made TVs and other devices were comparable in quality to foreign makes, they were not competitive in price. Prices differences were highly correlated with labor costs. Foreign countries had access to larger groups of people willing to work for much less money than American workers. And, Americans were glad to oblige these new brands, like Sony, Hitachi, Sanyo.

People, the ignorant, actually, say, Well, let’s stop buying those products! Let’s bring those jobs back to the United States! Let’s people our people back to work! Let’s put an import tax on those HDTVs from Malaysia!

This is what strikes me as odd. People adamantly oppose Socialism, but cry-out to the U.S. Government to protect American jobs. Worker protection is a fundamental Socialist ideology. Therefore, when people call for more protection for American jobs, they are actually advocating for Socialism. And, they do not see that, since most Americans seem ignorant of market forces, and knowledge of how the Free Market works.

Most any attempt to tariff, tax, or somehow impose a restrictive policy on products entering a country to protect workers is, almost by definition, Socialism. The government steps in to adjust prices away from market forces that maintain job security, employment, wages, essentially artificially raising prices, and keeping workers employed and factories open that would close, if market forces were able to work normally.

But, it’s not fair, you say, those people work for hardly nothing! We can’t compete against people that work for $10 a day!

No one said Life is fair. Is it fair that you live in the United States and have tremendous opportunities available, and they live in Viet Nam, or Cambodia, under Communist governments or corrupt governments? That these people live nearly hand-to-mouth everyday?

If the Free Market determines that workers will migrate to employment for $1 an hour, then that is the price of labor. Do not expect to get paid $10 an hour for something that others will work a $1 an hour.

Agriculture in the United States discovered this, back in the 1950s. Few Americans want to collect tomatoes, lettuce, or tobacco. They consider such work too hard, too demeaning, or not worth the effort. Hence, America uses migrant farm workers to harvest. Migrant workers are trainable, willing to work for lesser wages, dependable, trust-worthy, and work hard.

Back to my point.

Acting in our own best interest protects our family, protects our finances, helps us budget our money, helps us stretch our money.

By acting in own best financial interest, I posit, we do not act in very Patriotic ways. Or, I might restate the argument this way: we do not act in the interest of our country very well. We are not willing to pay the true costs of products should they be produced in the United States, with a few exceptions, like large appliances, and automobiles.

I don’t think people are as Patriotic as they would like to think they are.

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