I often say that investing is a crazy business because so many aspects of it run contrary to human nature and seem to work backward. But, craziness is certainly not confined to investing.
The April issue of Consumer Reports has an amazing amount of information on cars. If you are thinking of buying a car, it is a must read. An interesting item caught my eye this time. It was a small article called The Global Game: What is an American Car?.
Thinking of buying a Ford Fusion? They are made in Mexico as are lots of Chevys, Ford trucks, Escalades and Lincolns. A Crown Victoria, then? Made in Canada along with Chrysler minivans, the Impala, LaCrosse, Grand prix, Silverado truck and more.
In fact, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota all build vehicles in the US. Surprisingly, 80% of all parts found in a Toyota Camry are made in the USA, compared to 30% of parts in the Ford Fusion.
How’s that for crazy? Next time you want to buy American, which will you choose?
Productivity is good, Right?
My "Crazy" article, above, commented on the manufacturing prowess of the U.S. Steady gains in productivity over many years is a big reason for our increasing manufacturing output. Productivity gains also keep American goods affordable, both here and abroad. If our goods are affordable they sell, business thrives and our workers continue to work. Our standard of living rises because more folks work making more goods that are affordable. Life is good!
Ironically, productivity means using less labor, translating to fewer jobs for Americans. So, do we slow down the engine of growth and sacrifice productivity so we can keep manufacturing jobs here? Tough question, isn’t it? Did I mention that this is a crazy world?