Beyond ‘Buy American’: Sorting Allies and Enemies

Source: Judy Ancel, Labor Notes, no. 362, May 2009

This “us or them” approach to jobs is happening everywhere. The rampage of job-killing is creating desperation among workers and their unions. They are being seduced by “Buy American” and steering toward economic nationalism–the doctrine that we will prosper by taking care of the American economy first and exclusively.

But Buy American is a giant distraction. It targets consumers rather than the corporations and governments who’ve made the decisions that are killing our jobs.

When unions side with nationalism they confuse workers about who our allies are, who our enemies are, and what will advance our own interests. Without alternative strategies economic nationalism seems logical, but our history suggests it will take us onto the rocks. Why?
See also:
‘Manufacture American’ to Create Jobs

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