It’s the GLOBAL economy, stupid

By December 27, 2012Think About It

Take a look at the two photos below.  The first is of a small glass vase made to hold a candle.  Nice little tchotchke you might put on an end table or see in a restaurant to add a touch of ambiance.  The second is of the bottom of the same vase.  This is the one that caught my attention.

Reality check

It brought home to me – again – why the whole “Buy American” mindset is just a bit off-kilter.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love my country, and believe in the exceptional nature of what our culture has produced both socially and economically.  In my book, the good ‘ole USA is THE best place to live.

Sometimes though, we, our politicians and the media get confused about what makes the most sense in pursuing our national, economic self-interest.  Let’s say, for example, that you’re about to buy a new set of wheels and are militantly “buy American!”  What vehicle do you purchase?

The “most American” car you can buy is a Toyota Camry.

Do the research.  Cars.com  did.  Here’s their list of the 10 most American vehicles and where they’re made:

  1. Toyota Camry, Georgetown, Ky., and Lafayette, Ind.
  2. Ford F-150, Dearborn, Mich., and Claycomo, Mo.
  3. Honda Accord, Marysville, Ohio
  4. Toyota Sienna, Princeton, Ind.
  5. Honda Pilot, Lincoln, Ala.
  6. Chevrolet Traverse, Lansing, Mich.
  7. Toyota Tundra, San Antonio
  8. Jeep Liberty, Toledo, Ohio
  9. GMC Acadia, Lansing
  10. Buick Enclave, Lansing

Note that an unenlightened person might think that 5 of the top 7 are “Japanese” vehicles.  We simply MUST get it through our heads that we live in a global economy.  Every activity in every manufacturing process is going to be – must be – executed in the most geographically/economically sensible location.  It’s never going back.

Something are simple as an inexpensive glass candle holder – much less an awesomely complex product like a car – cannot, in truth, be labeled as American- or Chinese- or whatever-made.  The amount of global integration for everything – for every aspect of the economy on our planet – is going to increase for the foreseeable future.

Change your basic assumptions to match reality.  Use that perspective to provide more value to your customers.