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We gotta grow some jobs, and that’s a fact, and we probably aren’t going to be able to do it with big ol’ jobs programs funded by the Federal Government, what with today’s politics and all, and that means if this Administration wants to stay in the jobs game they’re going to have to find some smaller and more creative ways to do it.

They are also going to have to come up with ideas that are pretty much “bulletproof”, meaning that they are so hard to object to that even Allen West and Louie Gohmert will not want to be on record saying “no no no!”; alternatively, solutions that work around the legislative process entirely could represent the other form of “bulletproof-ery”.

Well, I have one of those “maybe bulletproof” ideas for you today, and it has to do with how “Made in USA” the things are that our Government buys.

The archer sees the mark along the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows might go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so he loves also the bow that is stable.

--From The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran

For the rest of the story to make sense, we’ll have to define a term; specifically, “Made in USA”.

Most manufacturers in the US have to meet a very stringent standard before they can refer to a product as “Made in USA”; here’s how the standard is described by the Federal Trade Commission:

Traditionally, the Commission has required that a product advertised as Made in USA be "all or virtually all" made in the U.S.

There are special rules, most notably for automobiles (also textiles, wool, and fur), but for the most part everyone else goes by the “all or virtually all” standard when they claim something is “Made in USA”.

With one giant exception.

When the Federal Government “Buys American”, anything with over 50% US content is considered “Made in USA”; this according to the provisions of, naturally enough, the Buy American Act, 41 USC 10a – c. (Beyond the law, there are also certain Federal Regulations and Executive Orders involved; for now we’ll just call it all “the law” and let it go at that.)

Now there doesn’t seem to be anything immediately evident in the law that would prevent the Federal Government from purchasing more than 50% US content if we wanted to, and the Big Idea here today is that if government at all levels began to purchase more than 50% US content, we could create more US jobs, now and in the future, and we could do it with a minimum of muss and fuss.

Obviously, there are practical limits as to how far you could take such an approach (for example, good luck buying a Made in USA laptop), and the current law has exceptions that reflect that reality.

But consider this: there are about 450.000 vehicles in the Federal inventory (that does not include military combat vehicles), with roughly half of those belonging to the Postal Service; the General Services Administration buys about 65.000 vehicles a year (they run the Federal motor pool, and that’s the other half of the inventory).

Beyond that, think of all the billions upon billions of dollars of more mundane things the government buys every year: janitorial supplies, paper and toner, desks and chairs…well, you get the idea; now imagine if more of all of that was made right here.

One example of how we can do better can be found in Celina, Tennessee, where a garment factory that was doing work for the Air Force found itself unable to compete for a subcontract on $100 million worth of uniforms being made for the TSA; that’s because the uniforms were being made in Mexico instead.

If the work was being done here, it could mean about 300 jobs in a town that could really use ‘em. (By law, military uniforms are supposed to be made in USA; that’s an imperfect process.)

Some things already are restricted: if we don’t have a reciprocal trade agreement with a country, they generally can’t sell to the US government; China and Taiwan fall into that group.

I’m often guilty of running stories too long, so we’re going to cut this short today with a summary…followed by a cliffhanger that should keep you looking forward to Part Two:

Government buys a whole lot of stuff, and we could be buying more of it in the USA, and if we did, it could translate into jobs in places like Celina, Tennessee.

But it’s not as simple a picture as you might think, and when we get together next time, we’ll talk about the impact of free trade agreements on “Made in USA” purchasing, we’ll get the AFL-CIO’s reaction to all of this, and, if all goes well, we’ll see if we can provide official reaction from the Obama Administration.

And even though you’ll be sitting in your seat…you’re only gonna need the edge…

Originally posted to fake consultant on Sun Aug 14, 2011 at 08:58 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, In Support of Labor and Unions, PacNW Kossacks, and Community Spotlight.


who is the largest vendor to the gsa?

39%26 votes
9%6 votes
16%11 votes
16%11 votes
18%12 votes

| 66 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  if we can't get "big jobs" going... (12+ / 0-)

    ...then maybe the administration might want to start with "small jobs" - and this could be one way to get there.

    "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

    by fake consultant on Sun Aug 14, 2011 at 08:49:14 PM PDT

  •  and if you want to know the answer to the poll... (5+ / 0-)

    ...have a look here.

    "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

    by fake consultant on Sun Aug 14, 2011 at 09:13:38 PM PDT

    •  Of course! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fake consultant, Terra Mystica

      And, if you want to know why that's so, you only need to scratch at the "miracle CEO" of that company's leader. has this on him.

      Mother Jones did a profile in their "Plutocracy Now" series that can be found here. A real peach of a guy.

      Time does not matter, and there is no time for matter.

      by The Geogre on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 04:26:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  in fairness, though... (4+ / 0-)

        ...look a bit deeper: of the 7 companies who do over $500 million in gsa vendor sales, 4 or 5 of those comapnies (depending on what you consider saic to be) are computer equipment and service suppliers.

        for what it's worth, i've done several "refits" of government offices, state and federal, with new computer equipment (in a previous life i was a repair tech and it contract worker), and i never once did an installation with hp or lenovo or apple; i have no idea why dell holds such a huge portion of that market even beyond the federal government, and beyond the bush administration.

        (quick side note: many of those installations used dell towers and viewsonic monitors; invariably the laptops would be dells.)

        "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

        by fake consultant on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 04:36:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I can answer that! (4+ / 0-)

          I really recommend the Mother Jones profile.

          Michael Dell had only one "idea": OEM bundles. In the early 1990's, he made partnership deals with Microsoft to bundle only Windows and not offer OS/2. That meant "My computer came with this on it, and I don't want to lose all the cool free programs, like AOL." He was fast to do bundles and OEM contracts, where he would drop costs here to add them there.

          Before the Bush admin, his co. was good at bundle deals with huge agencies. "You, big person, go with a fleet wide binding decision to use only us, and I'll give you a mouse pad, and free service upgrades. Not only that, but we'll include WAN support at no extra charge. Will our competitors do that?"  Well, no, because they know that no one's going to be using a WAN.

          His companies also tried hardware lockouts, a la the old microchannel. What it meant was that idiotic mounting kits were necessary for their special Korean or Chinese components. Their reliability was never better than any other clone (except HP/Compaq, whose BIOS was from the 1980's), and their customer service was low, but their advertising numbers? Big.

          Time does not matter, and there is no time for matter.

          by The Geogre on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 05:01:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  couple comments: (0+ / 0-)

            dell also seems to use strange cases to keep the support business coming home - but in fairness, when a compaq might have a seagate drive, dells used ibms or western digitals (still do use western digital, if i'm correct) and nice processors - and it's also true that today there's very little competition left in that market, hp being the only large "usa - ish" supplier left.

            "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

            by fake consultant on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 05:11:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  In theory (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fake consultant, The Geogre

    Due to automation and increases in productivity, manufacturing is never going to generate jobs like it used to.

    •  there's a lot of truth in that... (4+ / 0-)

      ...but as so often happens, some of that is deceptive.

      for example, if you had a factory with a group of workers who did a wage "giveback", that factory could correctly report that they had become more "productive", meaning that they produced the same number of goods at a lower labor cost.

      a lot of "productivity" in america has been gained this way, and when that happens it's not jobs lost, but merely wages - and in a growing economy, we can make an effort to fix that.

      "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

      by fake consultant on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 03:55:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some > None (3+ / 0-)

      Also, there are all of the processing and handling things that still do need people. When I hear of a Twinkie factory coming in, and it "will hire up to 50 people," I think, "Good Lord, it only takes 50 people to turn out 5,000 Twinkies a minute?" Indeed, because the 50 are inspecting and moving and labeling and the like. Still, some is better than none, and the service industry is offering just that.

      Time does not matter, and there is no time for matter.

      by The Geogre on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 04:21:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  in the same vein... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy

        ...i just saw a company profile of five guys burgers, and apparently a five guys coming to your town represents only 10 jobs, which is amazing to me, since restaurants tend to be fairly big hirers for failrly low dollar sales volumes (meaning that $1,000,000 in sales at a restaurant will cause more hiring than the same sales volume at microsoft).

        "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

        by fake consultant on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 04:40:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's 10 jobs in your town? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fake consultant

          Which sounds about right, if they have 5 guys making burgers and operate 2 shifts . . . .

          But still, somebody someplace else has to grow all the peanuts they have sitting around and shipt to the store, then there's an entire other group of people who have to treat all the victims of peanut allergies.

          So, when all added up, I'd say instead of 10 jobs there'd be at least 13 or 14.

          •  by comparison... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roadbed Guy

            ...consider a mcdonald's: the average michigan mcdonald's employs 61 workers, or so they report - and that's before the "peanut crew" and morgan spurlock, which they report represents several of another 100 jobs each store creates in "follow-on".

            if you're in "restaurant world", and you can make a 20% labor cost, every $500/day in sales can support a new job...and a lot of what happens in a restaurant is hard to automate (especially if you're a caterer), even as mcdonald's is trying hard to make it happen...and that's why restaurants tends to be such prolific employers.

            "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

            by fake consultant on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 06:27:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Some internet stats . . . . (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fake consultant, Sychotic1
              Total Restaurant Employees: 13 million � one of the largest private-sector employers  More Info

              Every additional million dollars in restaurant sales generates an additional 33 jobs for the economy.  More Info

              Eating-and-drinking places are mostly small businesses � with 91% having fewer than 50 employees.  More Info

              The restaurant industry is expected to add 1.8 million jobs over the next decade, with employment reaching 14.8 million by 2019.  More Info

              One-quarter of eating-and-drinking-place firms are owned by women, 15% by Asians, 8% by Hispanics and 4% by African-Americans.  More Info

              Nearly half of all adults have worked in the restaurant industry at some point during their lives, and more than one out of four adults got their first job experience in a restaurant.  


              Except, I'd almost imagine that the restaurant market is close to saturated, so I'm not sure how easy it is to generate an additional million dollars in sales (w/o cutting into somebody else's, thus putting somebody else out of work . . .).

              •  employment in restaurant/catering/hospitality... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sychotic1, Roadbed Guy, RanxeroxVox

                ..."worlds" is very much dependant on a growing economy - but it is possible to create entire new categories of "foodservice" that are not zero-sum games.

                a couple examples are the coffee business, which essentially grew out of nowhere, and the "dinner to go" business, which grew from the demand of two-worker families and transcends restaurants, as grocery stores are also in the business in a big way, with everything from fried chicken and jo-jos to elaborate food "centers".

                "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

                by fake consultant on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 06:53:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Made in Marianas = GOP USA (7+ / 0-)

    I am certain that I have the island's name wrong one way or another, but Trent Lott and Tom De Lay were both architects of the "made in USA" status of this private contractor hell far eastern island, where rape and beatings are part of the "human resources" kit.

    Al Franken has wanted to remove that loophole and wanted to increase US purchasing.

    Another truly bulletproof idea is simply having a danged registry that is publicly accessible. I wanted to buy some overalls. I wanted to buy American and union. I chose Carhartt, because they have both. The item arrived, "Made in Mexico."

    Time does not matter, and there is no time for matter.

    by The Geogre on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 04:18:44 AM PDT

    •  the registry is an interesting idea... (5+ / 0-)

      ...and i saw an interview with the ceo of ethan allen on cnbc, who suggested that his company's image benefits from us production (he reports they manufature about 70% of their furniture in the us) - but he aklso reports that his biggest business problem right now is not sales, but being able to afford to keep manufacturing jobs in the usa - and as long as someone else can hire workers for $1.00 an hour or less, that will always be a problem.

      as for guam and the marianas: that's an ugly situation, and it seems that some folks (thanks, tom delay) do indeed have the the wrong answer to the question of "how can america compete with chinese slave labor?" when they suggest: "let's have american slave labor!"

      "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

      by fake consultant on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 04:26:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think Bob Sloan (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fake consultant, The Geogre

        did a diary not long ago about prison labor and how the good produced could be labeled as "Made in the USA".  I will try and find it.

        •  "look for... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ...the slave labor label..." just doesn't work as a song, if you ask me - and it doesn't work a a jobs policy, either.

          "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

          by fake consultant on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:51:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Angola Phat Farms! (0+ / 0-)

          That's right, of course, and we know that "make 'em work" is a very popular idea among GOP "reformers." The prisoners, for their part, like the work, too, which is an indication of how bad prison life is.

          In Georgia, where I am, the only road crews I see, and I am being literal, not hyperbolic, come from a "State Prisoners" bus, at least in the last year. The last time I saw non-prison labor working outdoors outside of a municipality was when the "Stimulus Dollars at Work" signs were up.

          Time does not matter, and there is no time for matter.

          by The Geogre on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 01:46:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  made in american (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fake consultant, Terra Mystica

    I have,  many times,  sent this plan below to obama with some changes almost since his first day in office. I have also sent it to the president of tha afl-cio many times.  The tax part might not work now but the buy American part might.

    Mr. President you should begin to make speeches and do radio and television public ads encouraging Americans to buy only american made products whenever possible.   You  should appeal to american patriotism as the right thing to do and as a matter of our national security because of the danger of our growing foreign debt.

    We should raise taxes on the rich and corporations to pay for at least a $2500.00 tax cut for the middle class.   At the same time giving business huge tax cuts to create manufacturing jobs in america.  If just 30% of the people used their $2500.00 to buy american, we would have almost no unemployment.  If Americans demanded American made products, business would begin to reopen American factories and hire new workers.

    I believe that instead of cutting the rates and giving the tax cuts on every paycheck, tax cuts should be given in the same manner as the stimulus checks last year.  The government could give half the families in America half the tax cut money every other quarter.  Each family would get two checks a year which would allow them to make decisions to buy large appliances, furniture, make automobile repairs, etc.

    Giving Americans a tax cut without encouraging them to use the money to buy american would be a waste of money and would only enrich china.

    We should set up very strict criteria for what could be labeled made in america. In other words not things built in foreign countries and assembled in america.  We would not have to worry about trade laws.  We could allow almost any country to import whatever they want into america as long as they allowed us to export without tariffs or other barriers.

    This is a simplistic idea but it would change america

    •  i like the idea... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, zett

      ...but i'll tell you why something like building roads and bridges would work better:

      --if the goal is to use the money to ensure purchases from usa suppliers, then having government agencies purchase those supplies by contract is a more efficient way to target where the money's being spent, and that's because the behavior of government is more easily controlled than people.

      --if you give money directly to consumers, there's no guarantee they'll use it to purchase anything that represents "new manufacturing" - in fact, it's more likely that the money will go to pay down today's bills, which won't stimulate new consumer demand. building "great big things", by definition, is new manufaturing.

      --if you take that money and spend it on consumer goods, you have not created "productive investment" that could benefit the economy in the future; on the other hand, improving roads and rail and ports and building out "green energy" and weatherizing houses (also a form of "green energy") creates structural efficiencies that pay off over decades, and that turns your stimulus into a "gift that keeps on giving".

      "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

      by fake consultant on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 04:53:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Quality not Quantity (4+ / 0-)

    It is not only cheap labor from overseas that has killed American manufacturing.  The squeeze to produce short-term higher gains for stock holders has influenced the manufacturing process by introducing 'value engineering.'

    My first car was a '66 Ford Mustang.  Well built and very reliable car.  I had it until '78.  My next cars were GM cars (a Camaro, Impala, and another model that was discontinued and I can't recall which one).  These were all pieces of junk.  I had 3 little kids at the time and had several episodes in which we were all put in danger due to the car dying at exactly a bad time or place.

    I researched Consumer's Guide for the most reliable sedan and found Honda Accord at the top of the list.  I bought one in '86.  I got 250K miles and 10 years out of that car.  My replacement another Honda in '96, which I am still driving!

    I don't blame American workers for putting out crap products.  We have the most skilled labor in the world.  I blame management and stockholders for this.

    I am more than willing to Buy American and pay a higher price to support my local economy and workers.  But I won't buy junk.

    Every manager, engineer and worker should be made to study Dr. Deming's theories.  

    •  we have been driving subaru foresters... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DamselleFly, Sychotic1

      ...for over 500,000 miles now (we're on our third), and i would put myself just about 100% behind everything you've said here.

      if there's some consolation in choosing a subaru, it's that they do a lot of manufacturing in the usa - and in fact, i was watching the bbc just about an hour ago and they were talking about the "hollowing out" of japanese manufacturing as jobs leave that country in search of more profitable environs.

      "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

      by fake consultant on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 05:58:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Prison labor (5+ / 0-)

    is another fly in the "Made in America" ointment - as ably diaried by Kossack Bob Sloan.  Companies are using prisoners as a source of low cost labor thereby cutting potentially good paying jobs for people on the outside.

  •  This might be an urban legend (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fake consultant, Sychotic1

    but the account I heard of why "Made In XXX" labels were used in the first place is when the UK was suffering from the offshoring of their industry (primarily to Germany).

    Somebody came up with the idea that partriot Britons would surely buy local products if they could only readily identify them - hence the "Made in Great Britain" label (or whereever).

    But that soon backfired as consumers eagerly looked for the "Made in Germany" label, indicating better quality . . ..

    •  to the extent that wikipedia is correct... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy, Sychotic1 seem to have presented the story correctly; they report that labelling began in 1887.

      you may also find this of interest:

      In 1891 the McKinley Tariff Act required that items that were imported in to the United States be marked with the country of origin. In 1914 this act was again revised to require that the words "Made in"  also be used. Once again in 1921 the act was revised to require that the country of origin name be in English. So a violin that is labeled "Bavaria" would most likely  be made between 1891 and 1914. "Made in Italia" might be before 1921.

      A violin labeled "Made in Japan" was probably made after 1921. Prior to 1921, instruments most likely have been labeled "Made in Nippon."  After WWII during the US occupation of Japan, items made for export were marked "Made in Occupied Japan" or perhaps "Occupied Japan."

      Violins labeled "Made in Germany" are most likely manufactured between 1921 and WWII. After the split of Germany until its reunification in the 1990's,  labels were marked "Made in West Germany" or "Made in East Germany."

      This basically means, if your "attic" violin says that it is an Antonio Stradivari 1707, but it also says "Made in Germany," the violin is obviously NOT an authentic Stradivari, but a factory-made copy. You don't need an appraiser to tell you this, but you still may want to seek out a professional opinion to find out the actual value of the instrument.

      "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

      by fake consultant on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 07:13:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, it could. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fake consultant

    Not just for government purchases, but in general.

    The winning ticket for Democrats in this budget environment, in addition to running against the rapaciousness of the GOP, is to make this election year a massive push for "Buy American."

    Every Democratic candidate should buy 100% of his or her campaign from American companies, and make that a central theme—"your campaign donations are going to American workers."

    Democrats in the House and Senate should introduce a bill requiring all product packaging to include some sort of country-of-origin marking and/or barcode, indicating to the consumer before he or she buys something whether or not it was made by fellow Americans, or made overseas for pennies on the dollar. Such a bill would cost very little, and would either (a) put Republicans on the wrong side (why shouldn't consumers have the right to know?) or (b) actually succeed, thus giving consumers more power to buy American.

    Every Democratic candidate should tell his or her constituents that there is something each and every one of them can do to help the economy today: Buy American.

    This is a winning issue for us, because it (a) has a strong populist message (buying American puts American workers to work!), (b) is strongly patriotic (how could you criticize a "buy American" message?), (c) actually would help the economy, (d) has a strong anti-Wall-Street message (they're cutting American jobs so their share prices go up?) and implicitly paints Wall Street and the corporates as unpatriotic, and (e) puts the blue-collar workers out in the front of our movement.

    •  Correction: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fake consultant

      "Every Democratic candidate should buy 100% of his or her campaign from American companies" should read "Every Democratic candidate should buy 100% of his or her campaign materials from American companies."

      The Preview button is my friend.

      •  so the catch here... (0+ / 0-)

        ...would be a "protectionism" argument.

        we haven't talked about it yet, but there is an issue of free trade to be considered, and you should expect that there will be those who point out that other countries could do the same thing, to the disadvantage of our exporters.

        some will say china already does it; i might be inclined to agree.

        "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

        by fake consultant on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:08:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think we avoid "protectionism" under treaties... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fake consultant

 long as the government isn't materially supporting American industry.

          Campaigns buying exclusively American-made materials isn't a violation of those treaties; nor, I think, are country-of-origin labels that clearly spell out the origin of all products, or government urging Americans to buy American.

          Quite frankly, I think we should jettison those free-trade agreements entirely, but that's not likely to happen.

          •  country-of-origin labelling... (0+ / 0-)

            ...even if it's mandatory, has a legal foundation in customs enforcement, so i don't see a problem there.

            governments urging us to buy american might be an issue (is the money spent an illegal subsidy?), but the real problem might come when we get to preferences over lowest bidders.

            there are mechanisms by which you can work around some of this, but that's part of where we're going in part two.

            "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

            by fake consultant on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:43:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Perhaps if "American Content" was bumped to 65% (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fake consultant, YucatanMan

    there would be measurable effects on employment - without too much dislocation in GSA purchasing.

    But ultimately, we're going to have to change our thinking about what constitutes economic "efficiency".

    With 300 million people in this country and 8 billion on the planet, we cannot afford to continue with the "frontier" style of capitalism that still dominates our economy - and our politics.

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:57:23 AM PDT

    •  the frontier capitalists... (0+ / 0-)

      ...would tell you that the current population is no problem, as the "invisible hand of the market" will make the appropriate adjustments over time - and if 2 or 3 billion folks die during the adjustment...well, that's the way the market bounces.

      "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

      by fake consultant on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:49:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Protective tariffs make sense (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fake consultant, YucatanMan

    US manufacturing will never be restored until goods made by poorly paid foreign workers are hit with high protective tariffs. Instead, we have near-universal acceptance by politicians of  what they like to call free trade.

    The so-called "free trade agreements"  negotiated by both Democrats and Republicans over the past many decades serve two purposes: (1) Corporations can seek out countries with the lowest wages (2) Countries that might be hostile to US interests are convinced not to try  leftist policies hostile to corporate and military interests.

    The infusion of cash keeps China dependent on the US and thwarts any temptations toward radicalism of any sort. Same goes for Mexico, Viet Nam, El Salvador, Bangla Desh, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Turkey where goods are manufactured for US and European consumers.

    Oil, and the cash it pumps into local oligarchies, is what keeps the middle east on our side. Places with no oil, like Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan and Yemen, are less likely to be our friends. (US friendship with Egypt is bought with large cash infusions direct from the Pentagon)Those who have oil and reject US advances, like Iran and Saddam's Iraq, are depicted as enemies.

    If manufactured products and oil were heavily taxed, US manufacturing and alternative energy industries would thrive. And the countries where gross inequities are being masked by cash infusions from the US and Euro market might try manufacturing goods to meet the needs of their own people.

    If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks. -Frederick the Great

    by Valatius on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:34:38 AM PDT

    •  i'm going to add... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Valatius, YucatanMan comment here: when workers around the world can organize, they are more able to earn a living wage, and, oddly enough, that's actually very good for american workers - but it's also why corporate interests would prefer that workers around the world are unable to organize for that living wage.

      "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

      by fake consultant on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:46:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is a complicated issue. What if you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fake consultant

    designed something yourself, then built it yourself with a CNC, and shipped it yourself all here in US. Think you could label it Made in the USA? Not so fast.

    •  that's exactly the point behind my comment... (0+ / 0-)

      ...that you would be hard pressed to find a made in usa laptop.

      that said, there are also "qualified" "made in usa" claims; if i understand the law and your example correctly it would be possible to make claims such as "made in usa of foreign-sourced parts" or "designed in usa, assembled in singapore", depending on the circumstances.

      "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

      by fake consultant on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 03:21:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  do it my way or don't do it at all (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fake consultant

    fix the economy that is...

    "I support term limits. I voted for term limits as an assemblyman. I believe that term limits are essential to reforming Congress and making members of Congress accountable" Current United States Congressman, Frank LoBiondo in 1994

    by guesswhoo2355 on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:43:24 AM PDT

    •  If that's the decision, I'd say "not at all." (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fake consultant

      I'm not too much in love with some of those ideas.

      >  Corporations should have to pay taxes.

      >  Government departments do more than hand out favors to corporations. Regulation, monitoring, research, investigation, standards and more are all crucial functions of those departments.

      >  Sales tax is THE most regressive tax.  Since you'd hit everyone with sales tax, you would actually be taxing the poor MORE than they are now.  Not a good idea, in my mind.

      >  Change the Civil Service code to make bureaucrats accountable?  What are you thinking is the problem here?

      Overall, far too much right wing baloney thrown in with getting everyone on Single Payer which seems to be the main thrust.

      I am all for Single Payer, but I don't think the rest of your ideas necessarily follow from that accomplishment.

      Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

      by YucatanMan on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:15:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks for reading, i'm honored (0+ / 0-)

        i do mean that.  not much mojo in it for you responding this late out.

        you say too much conservative baloney.  i said the income tax stays on the rich and is raised. i'd be for raising it substantially.

        corporations would be relieved of health care costs too.  eliminate their tax liability and you'd recover some through taxes on dividends since "we" didn't eliminate the income tax on rich, and with no tax corporations could devote all their resources on their product.  no tax, no health excuses.

        sales tax is regressive, but there would be no bad mouthing like there is today, poor getting free health care. they'd be paying in.

        civil service?  too hard to fire gov't employees.  change the law some and conservatives wouldn't have bad management of single payer to fall back on.  it's all about compromise.  you may be proving that nobody is ready for compromise.  my idea would unleash the economy AND the tax revenue flow just from sales tax and eliminating underground economy, would pay off the debt.

        "I support term limits. I voted for term limits as an assemblyman. I believe that term limits are essential to reforming Congress and making members of Congress accountable" Current United States Congressman, Frank LoBiondo in 1994

        by guesswhoo2355 on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:28:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  all respect, but if you ran on these proposals... (0+ / 0-)

      ...i'm not surprised that you did not win.

      let's talk about some of this:

      --right off the bat, a national sales tax  (or something similar) is indeed an effective way to get at healthcare funding, and it is used in places like canada and the uk.

      but 10% is nothing even close to the rates they pay, and if my memory is correct (and it is) the "value added tax" rate in the uk just went up to 20% - and keep in mind that a vat is applied multiple times across the supplier chain, and even though it's eventually refunded back to each wholesale buyer, they have to put out that money first.

      there's also income tax, so if you add it all up for a canadian making $40,000 (or any amount below $40,000, all the way down to zero), there's a sales tax of 12-15%, plus a provincial payroll tax of 2-4%, plus a 15% federal income tax, plus a provincial income tax of 4-10%...and all of that works out to something like 25% out of your paycheck - again, even for those making $10,000 a year - and on top of that, a sales tax of 12-15% on pretty much everything except food and rent.

      corporations in canada have their own tax structure, and they all pay at least 11% of income.

      as i assume you now know, such a tax scheme is not going to be an easy sell to an american audience, especially when you say you're going to collect income taxes from the first dollar of income.

      that said, the income tax portion of canada's scheme is progressive; the vat scheme is highly regressive.

      --eliminate cash? that is going to be even harder to sell to voters - and in a world of "internet money" and reloadable debit cards that can be purchsed "just over the border" and "moneygrams" and barter, killing cash will not kill the underground economy.

      don't believe me? consider the fact that even jails and prisons have an underground economy...

      --points 4, 5, and 6 of your argument make no sense to me at all; the reality is that growing medicare or creating any other form of single-payer will grow government dramatically, both from the revenue and spending side and the employment side.

      and i don't understand how having accessible health care makes the epa or pell grants or osha or the forest service somehow less neccessary (and i don't see how this helps us realign our military presence); i also don't understand how any of this makes republicans desire to become more reasonable when absolute intransigence is working so much better.

      "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

      by fake consultant on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 04:31:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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