An article had an intriguing subject, what if we only bought American Technology. Yet, as the comments on that page made clear, the article was superficial and did not distinguish between companies who really make stuff and those that just repackage them. Further, as one commenter, Codesmith, made clear:
“There are very few products that can be truly said to be made in any single country. The raw materials and component parts are likely to be sourced from dozens of countries.
You could do a % break down on where the money goes. What country gets what % of taxes, % of profits, % of wages.
I really don’t think Made in X has much meaning anymore in today’s global economy.”
I have a slight different concern that has nothing to do with protectionism. What if our OEM suppliers become our enemy one day? Where will we get our parts then? Lets say we get all our motherboards from China and one day we go to war with them or very close to war wherein we halt trade (yeah, I know they own most of America anyway)? Where will our businesses get their equipment for IT concerns. And, what about our technical support infrastructure even within our military? That fancy Network Analyzer probably has about twenty five percent of its components built overseas. How much of our military capital has a “Made in China” label? Of course, this, perhaps cynical, line of thought leads to even questioning overseas service providers. Imagine if India gets pissed at us. Will we get a busy signal when we call and ask how to remove that annoying horizontal line in MS Word? Will the outsourced software development halt? Will Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer stop threatening to move Microsoft jobs overseas?
I don’t know. My gut feel is that we should be self-sufficient yet still be fully committed to the global economy. We see how dependency on foreign energy is detrimental, allegedly a cause of our military campaigns. Is dependency on resources and services the next leverage that will make America jump through hoops?