Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Let's Think a Little Deeper

So you pay $70 for a pair of sneakers that sport a label under the tongue reading “made in China”. You think “well there’s another seventy bucks heading China’s way”.You start checking the bottoms of every item you see and you think “Sheese! Pat Buchanan’s got it right, we’re selling our souls to the Chinese!”

Now let’s think a little deeper for a minute: You bought said sneakers from an English-speaking, home-grown lad who goes by the name of John. John works for U.S. retailer Sports Authority, which has to rent the building (from a U.S. landlord), transport and market the item, pay its employees, etc.. The fact of the matter is that the bulk of that $70 stays right here at home. I.e., you bought a Chinese-made sneaker but you supported the U.S. economy—big time!

I bet you didn't know that according to the Census Bureau 2011 U.S. International Trade Data; the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010 input-output matrix; and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) by category from the U.S. national accounts of the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, a mere 11.5% of U.S. consumer spending goes for imported goods and services—i.e., 88.5% stays home. And that Chinese goods account for only 2.7%—of which, 55% goes for services (as in above example) provided right here in the U.S.. Which means, the politician and the protectionist pundit are getting you all worked up over 1.2% [of your expenditures] going to China…




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