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Buying American Cars What Does It Mean?

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  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    Curiously, the Chamber of Commerce forsees a shortage of labor in the coming years.

    That could make it more expensive to hire workers. Or, it could mean an influx of labor (for both manual jobs and engineering). It'd be a somewhat regulated influx, which would keep wages from collapsing. But it would be an interesting twist to "supporting the American worker."
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,204
    Life is bad for the majority of Americans, but a small minority have it good...

    Philadelphia, 4 January 2026, 2:45 PM:

    "Philadelphia is now an extremely ugly city. I just hate it. When I look outside my window, all I see are squat old buildings blackened by the soot of the old factories, all of which are now themselves rotting abandoned hulks. Pennsylvania cities are so ugly and Philadelphia is probably the absolute ugliest. From the 20-times-painted-over row houses to potholed streets to tacky, neon-wrapped storefronts and hookers, the Philadelphia of 2026 seems filthy down to the last bit. You can smell it. It smells of filth, it smells of disease, and it smells of death. You can feel it, know just what it is like. I realized why my girlfriend moved out of Philly in 2009 -- her apartment, which once had been in a "genteel" neighborhood, turned into a ghetto and the entire city became a giant cesspit. Trash and garbage is blowing all around the street. Broken beer bottles and overflowing garbage cans are abundant. Bums huddling in doorways beg for the price of a drink. Skinny, half-starved dogs bark at every passerby. Violence, pornography, and prostitution are everywhere. A couple of sleazeball cops are shaking down various scumbags.

    Enshrouded in a stagnant cloud of pollution, Philadelphia is now the ugliest place in this now ugliest of countries. It is now home to the thousands of displaced and disenfranchised former middle-class suburbanites who have flooded into the city in the past few years, living in their little corrugated metal shacks, trying to stay warm with their little fires. They huddle together in their torn coats, drinking the cheap liquor that will eventually destroy their kidneys and kill them.

    Yet depressing as it is, this future America holds a scary fascination for me. I stood for almost an hour watching those pathetic, ragged creatures. This country is now the ultimate degradation - the final graveyard of impossible dreams and unfulfilled expectations. How I hate it. It has become a cancer; a disease grown monstrously out of control; choking and killing off any hope of recovery and rejuvenation. What I found in this putrid-smelling place was disgusting. While there, I had to endure the hell of a filthy, dangerous existence. America is now the corrupt urban jungle at its grimmest. It robs the people of money, dignity and ultimately hope. They constantly experience random acts of violence, shooting massacres, brutal serial murders and rapes, wholesale robberies and looting.

    My stay in deindustrialized America led me to live fearfully. This was mainly due to the fact that I loathe violence. But, in 2026 America , I had to face it and deal with it daily. When I approached the police in my district, they offered no protection, so I was alone. At first this conflict led to injury to myself - the first time I walked out onto the street I was strangled almost to death! (But, I then learned how to take care of myself). I used to go back to my hotel room shaking inside. I never allowed anybody to face me, but I always stood sideways (to avoid direct attack). There were times when, seeing signs of impending violence, I had to steel myself, and calmly remove my tie (which could be used to choke me), my pens (which could be used to stab my eyes out) and watch (because I did not want it damaged, too!).

    I look from the window of my hotel room in the once grand Bellevue-Stratford Hotel. A homeless girl sleeps in a shop doorway across the street, in front of a boarded up store, covered in posters and graffiti. This whole downtown is full of boarded up stores, rotting posters of Wal-Mart ads layered on every surface, graffiti on every wall. It occurs to me that if the vacant buildings were opened for squatting the girl across the road, lying on the wet pavement could get a little warmth and rest. I am surprised how few of the buildings are being used as squats, since so many are empty, but I suppose the police make sure the property is not inhabited by the homeless. I have seen mothers and their children huddled in shop door ways, thin as the victims of Auschwitz, huddled together for comfort. I passed what I think may have been a squat a few days ago. Someone had kicked in the corner of a boarded up shop window, large enough for someone to crawl through. The stench of urine and feces coming from inside was wafting out into the street.

    All night long there is a continual stream of luxury cars speeding down the road, the drivers probably not wanting to slow down in this area of the city. Outside in the street I can hear shouting, smashing glass, and police sirens, even sporadic gunfire in the distance. All night long the screams and shouts, the fights on the pavement, the drunks and the drug addicts, the prostitutes and the homeless. My room is small, and the windows are large and dirty. I am on the eighth floor, and can see down into Broad Street below. Twice this week I have come back to the hotel to find two police cars parked outside the building, and the cops barring the metal door. Both times they were there to take some of the other 'guests' away with them for God know what reasons. The room I am in has pale blue walls, there are no bed frames, just yellowed mattresses on the floor with an equally yellowed pillow and sheet on each one. It has been quite warm at night, despite the rain, so it has not been uncomfortable. The room has a small bathroom too, which is a blessing, though it too is dirty and smells strongly of stale urine. In fact, the whole building reeks of stale sweat and urine, like a trough urinal at a bar. The doors have been pulled off the closet space, and are stacked against the wall.

    When I was first led up the stairs to the room, I first entered a large empty concrete storage space, with no furniture, and piles of garbage in the corners, which I mistakenly thought was my room for a few minutes. It had once been the lounge area of the hotel, and I couldn't see the small corridors running off from it. I was suitably relieved when the small elderly man who ran the place in the day followed me into the room, and then showed me down the hall to my actual room. The elevator in the building seems to work only when it wants to, so to avoid getting trapped in it I only used the stairs. There is a refrigerator in my room also, as yellowed and dingy as everything else. I only plugged it in once, and it made such a rattling noise, and gave off such a smell, that I unplugged it instantly. I also have a small black and white television which flickers and rolls. The name of the hotel has been carved into the metal on top. I don't watch the television much; it acts as a link to a world so unlike the one outside my window that it seems almost sick to turn it on.

    All night long there is the tramping up and down the stairs of the other guests, and I can hear the shouting matches between them late into the night. L
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,062
    We're getting off the automotive track here. As intersting as apocolyptic fantasy might be, let's stick to what "buying American cars" means, if it means anything anymore.

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  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Life is bad for the majority of Americans, but a small minority have it good..."

    Wake up and smell the roses.

    Writing/posting fictional accounts of the future is a flawed means to 'prove' a point regarding the present.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,062
    Slight renaming of the topic.

    With parts coming from everywhere, does "Buying American" have much meaning anymore? Is quality and price the bottom line?

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  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Regarding your fictional accounts of life in the future...

    Compare the state of the economy in 1976 to today. Now compare GM's share of the market in 1976.

    One could ALMOST draw the conclusion from just those data points that a reduced GM share is GOOD for the economy.... :surprise:
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,138
    I think you need to start going to bed earlier, taking sleeping pills, or something. I swear I saw that movie the other night on the Sci Fi channel. I distinctly remember one scene in that movie where a teary-eyed father mentioned giving up his daughter for marriage when she turned 15! :surprise: Oh wait a minute...that was "Little House on the Prairie" :P
  • for me, it is also price(how much do I get for what iam paying) and quality(will this thing hold up at least 6-7 years) are what I look for.

    G6 was recently on sale, V6, for the price of some I-4 Fusions and Sonatas! That is a good deal, and quality was predicted to be at least Avg, (if not better).

    Style also..... yes. A Sonata may be loaded up like a 30K car from other makers, but if I do not care for the interior or exterior, I'll wait for a sale from some other maker(s) with vehicles we like, and comparable ot say Sonata.
    DAV
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,182
    "With parts coming from everywhere, does "Buying American" have much meaning anymore?"

    Nope. It's an old school way of protecting the Domestic markets. "American" is however extreme the consumer wants to take it to. To me, Buying a Mazda is no less "American" than buying a Ford. And Buying an Ohio built Honda or S.C. built BMW shouldn't be condemned either...
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,138
    I caught a radio ad the other day from Toyota, talking about how good they are for the American economy, with all the factories and such they have here, as well as parts suppliers and such. I thought it was interesting, to say the least. I wonder if Toyota is starting to worry about some kind of backlash against them?
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,204
    Holy Smoke! Pretty soon they'll be preaching "What's Good for Toyota is Good for America!"
  • Gotta admit it, I may not agree with you a lot,lemko, but that last comment was funny :D
    LOL.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,138
    Toyota's been pretty good for me! I've made a 37% return so far on some of their stock I purchased! Plus it's paying a dividend now. Not the consistent 50 cents per quarter that GM does, but I got one payout of 73 cents per share back in July, and one of 58 cents per share in December.

    Seriously though, I don't think GM, Ford, or Chrysler are going away anytime soon.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,182
    ^ Exactly, and I don't think there are many on the boards who want that to happen. I don't.

    I don't believe for one second that GM deserves the title of #1 in the Automotive world. I don't care if Toyota steps up to the spot any more than I'd like to see Ford or Chrysler take the spot.

    GM has been milking its success for FAR too long. Even Hyundai deserves the title more than GM just by the efforts here in the US over the last decade and I'm not really a huge fan of them.
  • reddogsreddogs Posts: 353
    Well we always thought what was good for Walmart was good for America and they are buying almost exclusively Chinese goods, so we might as well go ahead and say "What's Good for Toyota is Good for America!"
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "What's Good for Toyota is Good for America!"

    Would you agree that what is good for American workers is good for America?

    Why does 'domestic content' include parts/labor/materials from Canada? If the purchase of a Chevy Silverado supports Canadian workers/suppliers while the purchase of a Toyota Tundra supports AMERICAN workers/suppliers, which do you think is 'Good for America!'.....

    I think what you guys are REALLY trying to say is "What's Good for the Big 3 is good for the UAW. And what's Good for the UAW is Good for America".
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    Compare the state of the economy in 1976 to today. Now compare GM's share of the market in 1976.

    And how many FEWER people are working in the steel industry? And the textile industry? And the automotive industry??

    On the other hand, Jimmy Carter is still out there and is eligible to run in 2008.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,204
    What's even worse is that there's fewer competitors in the retail industry. You have three giants selling the same junk. "Where did you get that? Wal-Mart? Target? K-Mart?" "Does it matter?"
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,062
    Let's stick to the automotive side of things here please. I know side issues get brought up as examples, but we can't spin off into a discussion of Walmart here.

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,138
    is that they used to have some funny import laws that taxed the hell out of stuff that we exported to them. Back in the old days, Pontiacs in Canada were basically rebadged Chevies. The Chevies were made in Canada, as were the Canadian Pontiacs. I believe Oldmobiles and Buicks were imported to Canada though.

    I think the rationale was that the Buicks and Oldsmobiles were prestigious enough that the hefty tarrifs could be absorbed into the price of the car, but it would make an imported Pontiac too expensive. Still, it must've been expensive to make some of those Canadian Pontiacs, because they still used Pontiac interiors, dashboards, and sheetmetal that was altered to fit the shorter Chevy wheelbase. And they ran Chevy engines and drivelines. So that import tarriff must've been expensive, for them to go about getting their Pontiacs in such a roundabout way. :confuse:

    I guess Canada stopped doing this eventually, though.
  • fljoslinfljoslin Posts: 237
    Way back (1965) there was a trade agreement signed between Canada and the US called the Autopact. It was basically a free trade agreement where you could make any car in either country and sell it in either country free of any tarrifs. My understanding is that the Autopact has bennifeted Canada much more than the US and allowed movement of Domestic manufacturing production to Canada from the US.

    Canada-US Automotive Products Agreement (Autopact), a conditional free-trade agreement signed by Canada and the US in January 1965 to create a single North American market for passenger cars, trucks, buses, tires and automotive parts. In Canada FREE TRADE does not apply to consumer sales; it applies solely to manufacturers who meet certain conditions. Under the agreement, motor-vehicle manufacturers are obliged to maintain the same ratio of production to sales in Canada as existed in the 1964 model year; to maintain Canadian value-added or Canadian content equal to the 1964 model year; and have been required (from 1965 onwards) to increase Canadian value-added by 60% of the growth in the value of passenger cars sold (50% for trucks and 40% for buses).

    Between 1965 and 1982 Canada had an overall automotive trade deficit of $12.1 billion with the US, with a surplus of about $28 billion in assembled vehicles and a deficit of about $40.5 billion in automotive parts. Canada had overall surpluses in 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1982. Since 1982 Canada has had a continuing surplus with the US. In 1982-86 exports were $135.5 billion and imports were $112.9 billion, for a 5-year surplus of $22.5 billion.

    The 2 principal purposes of the Autopact were to lower Canadian production costs through more efficient production of fewer lines of motor vehicles and parts, and to lower consumer prices. However, critics note that the industry has remained essentially foreign controlled and that Canadian subsidiaries are less autonomous than they once were. In addition, they note that the industry spends little on research and development in Canada. Automotive industry employment totalled 70 600 in 1965, reached about 125 000 in 1978 before falling to about 99 000 in 1982. Since then employment has recovered to about 140 000.

    Under the Free Trade agreement negotiated with the US in 1987, Canadian safeguards would remain, with North American auto producers losing their right to import parts and vehicles duty-free from other countries unless the safeguards were met. Japanese and other offshore automakers would not be able to join the Autopact. The Canada-US pact can be terminated at any time by 12 months written notice by either government


    http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0001245
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    It isn't meant to be arrogant. It's just a fact. :mad: I feel sorry for people living in China, I really do. The people get abused by american corporations. When I have video of chinese children chained to a sewing machine it makes this "human rights american" sick and sad. It's called Slavery in this country and shouldn't be tolerated any where on this earth. I'm sorry it came across that way and I hope I cleared up what I was trying to say. ;)

    Best of luck and I hope someday you can help China change.

    Respectfully,

    Rocky
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,204
    Worse than you think. If a Chinese worker loses a hand in one of those machines from which the safeguards were removed to speed up production, he is awarded the princely sum of $40 and is unable to work again. He returns to his rural village as a pathetic beggar.
  • day9day9 Posts: 57
    I don't know where you got those news. I don't deny that those could be true. But always looking for sad stories is not good for you. If you want to look for dark side, they are every where. Turn on your TV and watch news and you will know. From what I know, things are not as bad as you described. Let's don't make talking cars political.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,665

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    What's good for the UAW is good for America. Doesn't the UAW and other unions SUPPORT workers rights, fair wages, fair health insurance so your precious tax dollars don't go to another uninsured, retirements, etc etc. The UAW like all unions support Buy American Made first. What they mean is yes they would rather have you buy Canadian over a product made in mexico. The president of Mexico should "rot" !!!!!! He makes me sick because if he truely cared about his people, then he would do everything in his power to help his people. Nope he wants us to have open borders and illegal immigration instead of trying to overhaul everything that's wrong with Mexico. Mexico has been polluted by american corporations in some areas and had it's people taken advantage of. :cry: :mad:
    Mexico is one of the most beautiful country's in the world and has some of the largest natural resources yet to be extracted. WHY ????????????????

    Yes the Canadians Auto Workers are part of the UAW. I have said over and over again that Canada might as well be the 51st state. We are very close. kinda like sisters. ;) Canada is a developed FREE country that supports human rights, freedom of speach, the right to vote, child labor laws, etc etc. The UAW is going to support those rights and in Canada you can't cross the picket line ;) I'd rather buy a (CAW) GM vehicle assembled in Canada than a Toyota built in Kentucky. Why ? The money still goes to GM which is a domestic american comapany. Also that Canadian built GM vehicle also has more American Content than the Toyota. I however will say this. If the Asains ever get the american content upwards of 85-90% I won't complain too much. They are at 65% for the Acura TL.
    (I unfortunatly use to own one) The Honda Accord some say is 70% ???? 15% more to go and it will be American enough for me to not complain to much. Now if the plants someday become union then I will support them even more. Why ? I truely care about my fellow american and want he/she to earn a fair wage, benefits, retirement, which should be entitled to all people living in our great country. Not just for the select few with golden parachutes.

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Do you think someday we will ever get to see a automobile that is 100% American made ??????
    I'd would be happy enough if it was 80% American and 20% Canadian=100% North American Made.

    I got a question ol' timers !!!!!! What was the last 100% American made car ?????? I would like to really know the answer. ;)

    Rocky
  • bifbif Posts: 7
    If I go to a Wal-mart and buy a foreign made tee shirt, there is a good chance it was made by a child working under unconscionable conditions (14 hour days, no breaks, no going to the bathroom, work faster or get beaten, then get marched to a "dormitory" with the other captives). Besides that, the people at the Wal-mart look miserable and don't get health insurance except for what they get from the state. I would rather pay more someplace else and be able to sleep at night.

    On the other hand, if I buy a car that was made in Europe or Japan, the people who made it are better off (including things like health insurance, pension and disposable income) then the people who make cars in the US. So why shouldn't I buy the foreign made car?
  • reddogsreddogs Posts: 353
    Because pretty soon Bif, you and many other American workers are going to have jobs working working under unconscionable conditions (14 hour days, no breaks, no going to the bathroom, work faster or get pay deducted, then get marched to a "factory housing" with the other Anglos)in order to compete and you can say goodby to all the things you were used to (including things like health insurance, pension and disposable income). If you dont think its happening check the employees in all the airlines going bankrupt along with the business that Walmart is banrupting with its Chinese-made low price goods.....
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    What country are you from ? I've seen the flag before but am not remembering. :surprise: duh me :)

    reddogs, I can see WHY he made that suggestion. I however gotta strongly agree with you. :shades:

    Rocky
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