Joe Biden seems intent on continuing Donald Trump’s #MAGA campaign (oh but the phrase #BuyAmerican sounds so much nicer). Even Jacobin Magazine is calling him out (okay they’re calling Trump out but SSDP):
“Buy American” campaigns have historically done more to intensify xenophobia than improve workers’ conditions.
As the Who song Don’t Get Fooled At tolls in my head, I reflect on who the Yankees would lose if they did #BuyAmerican:
They’d lose half their potential starting rotation, their star closer, and more than a third of their starting lineup. Would that make the Yankees better?
Players we’d lose around the league include Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Jose Altuve, and Shohei Ohtani.
The historical icons we’d have to erase is a long list but includes Mariano Rivera, Rod Carew, David Ortiz, Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramizez, Ichiro, Juan Marichal…
Like baseball teams, American consumers are best off when they have the right to access the best the world has to offer at the best price. And remember that many of those consumers are firms — if they’re hampered by MAGABuyAmerican requirements, they lose competitiveness. Without those requirements are American firms going to wilt? Somehow I think Apple, Microsoft, Google and Tesla will be just fine.
Do MAGABuyAmerican restrictions save jobs? Unlikely. Look how the quintessential MBA reg, the Jones Act, has destroyed our shipping industry. And when the government is overpaying to meet some amorphous expensive local content requirement, it builds less. Builds less means you get less bridges and workers get less bridge building jobs. Lose Lose Lose.
Don’t get fooled again.