41. Dot-To-Dot

I recently found myself on a snowy, long distance train trip. The gentleman next to me was traveling to see his sister and brother-in-law. He worked in the trades and was out of work and had been for some time. However, he had a job waiting for him at his destination. He was grateful for what his sister and brother-in-law had done to help him get the job, to help him make the trip and in providing him with temporary lodging. He regularly checked his e-mail and spoke with his sister a few times. One time I looked over and realized he was checking his e-mail on a slave-made-cell-phone. I then looked at the clothing he was wearing and it was likely purchased at a big-box-store. The irony wasn't lost on me. He wasn't supporting American jobs, so America wasn't providing a job for him.

The economy is above all things, about jobs. When you purchase foreign made goods, you support foreign jobs. When you do not support your own economy, you do not support your own job. Many people complain about the outsourcing of American jobs, but many of those same people continue to purchase the products made by those outsourced jobs. Why do we do this to ourselves? Can we not see the-two-simple-dots-and-how-they-connect? The cause-and-effect are obvious. Are we really so greedy and self-absorbed that we're willing to destroy our own economy to get what we perceive as "a deal."

Companies outsource jobs to increase profits. When jobs are outsourced the price of the products don't come down--company profits go up! When companies outsource jobs, they exploit cheap and slave labor markets, so there is more money to be had for everyone--retailers make more, stockholders' portfolios go up and Boards-of-Directors get those enormous bonuses than can not be explained or justified. Everyone gets more money--except for the people building the products, except for the slaves. Why do we support these companies by purchasing their products? If we were halfway alert, we-would-connect-the-dots-and-boycott-all-products-made-by-companies-who-outsource-our-jobs. We should be willing to do without, rather than to not support ourselves. Before the gentleman next to me got off the train, he proved how removed from reality he was by mentioning he was glad he didn't attempt to drive in the snowstorm, as his foreign made car didn't handle the snow well. It made me sad and not very hopeful. If he wasn't willing or intelligent enough to support his own job or to support his own economy--as much as I wanted to feel sorry for him, I couldn't.

Note: All of the clothing I wear every day, all of the clothing I had with me on my trip and even my luggage--were made in America. My car is a Ford. I do not have, nor have I ever had a cell phone. I understand there are some things that are necessary for our health and safety, but most of our foreign made purchases come under the category of convenience, not necessity.

originally posted March 2015
reposted March 2018

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