From the MRW Water Cooler:
Q: At the risk of sounding like an anarchist, or worse, “anti-American” (whatever the hell that means) can I postulate the obvious..Ocham’s Razor, as it were…
Won’t most Consumers want to pay the best price for the best version of the commodity they wish to purchase, be it a car or a house or a Washing Machine? Deep down, when dollars are tight, will the averge American-Joe chose to spend more for a car that was “built American” or “built by a non-bailout company” if they can get a better car for less cash elsewhere, even if it is out of the USA…?
Seems like a no brainer to me…It’s not our jobs as citizens to shore up failing American companies. In this day and age, every dollar spent counts, so might as well maximize the spending with the superior product/service, even if it isn’t sourced from the good ‘ol USA. – Jonesie
Hi there, Jonesie. Been a while…
William of Occam, as I recall, argued that one should not increase beyond that which is absolutely necessary, the number of entities required to explain a particular thing.
I believe, after examining the circumstances herein, that our Medieval friend may have very likely climbed to the top of The GM building and jumped.
How do we best explain, to the satisfaction of Occam, the tension between our overwhelming desire to purchase foreign goods, with our passionate belief that we all deserve to enjoy the same relative and perpetual standard of living? How would Occam, in the very simplest of terms, reconcile those unrealistic expectations?
Naivete? Arrogance? Stupidity? Petulance? Ignorance? Hope? Greed? Guilty Conscience?
Perhaps he might reduce it down to, Childishness?
True, I don’t have kids, but from what I’ve seen of them, they often behave as though they live in the center of their own universe. As if their actions are not directly connected to the results they cause. Isn’t this precisely what we’re doing? As a group, aren’t American Consumers behaving like children? Don’t we understand the consequences of participating in a global economy?
We have demanded the right to buy stuff from foreign countries. And we got it. More competition means a better product, so we’re happy. But now, we see some things we don’t like. We don’t like the fallout from our choices. Foreclosures? Bailouts? Hmmm… But yet, we can’t stop acquiring. We love our global economy too much. And we will never deny ourselves the best deal, just because it wasn’t made here. It’s just not how we work. So, we accept the notion of a bailout, because we don’t want to change our own habits, or worse, admit that we are the proximate cause of our neighbors pink slip.
In my opinion, there is only way out of this. Austerity and Thrift is a fine message, (frankly, it’s my personal advice to anyone unlucky enough to ask me), but a general cutback in consumer spending overall will not drive the economy forward. I believe we need to recommit ourselves to satisfying the American Consumer. At all costs. The one Ludwig described. It makes me queasy, because I’m not a fan of that amalgam. But I am most certainly a part of it, as are we all. I recognize it’s real. And I believe the American Consumer will decide the fate of this country, even if he destroys himself in the process.
Jonesie is right. We need to get over the Guilt of our rapaciousness, because we are never going to get over our collective rapacity. To save our country, we must feed our own consumer appetite. And the only way to do that, is from within. We need to motivate American Business to retool, regroup, and get busy. Not with bailout money. With tax-cuts. Big ones. We need to start making the very best of everything, and we need to sell it around the world at the very best price. No excuses. We either close the borders, or beat them at their own game. We need to lead the world in all aspects of manufacturing. And I think we’d better do it soon.
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