Gordon Mercer and Marcia Mercer Global Digital Post

Citizens and Media Can Turn America Around

“If every American spent just $64 more than normal on USA made items per year, it would create something like 200,000 new jobs.” Diane Sawyer, ABC News


Franklin, NC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 11/01/2011 --ABC News recently cited statistics showing that in 1960 only 6 percent of products purchased in the United States were manufactured abroad. Today around 60 percent of our purchases are manufactured abroad. With these figures there is little need to wonder, what happened to our jobs? Our political parties can’t seem to agree on a solution. Can our media and citizens succeed in bringing our jobs back, as our political system keeps dropping the ball?

ABC News in its program, “Made in America” has become something of a pace setter. According to ABC News, if we all spent pennies more per day on products made in America, it could make a huge difference. A dollar more per day would create over a million new jobs. Transportation costs as well as higher wages in other countries are making made in America products very competitive. Many small businesses are experiencing a turn around because of the media campaign encouraging citizens to buy American made products. Companies like Vaughan-Bassett furniture and L. J. Gascho are up in sales and are hiring new employees. For the first time in many years selected corporations are actually insourcing jobs and bringing jobs back home.

Do we overlook the role of local media when we think about job creation? Newspapers, radio stations, local TV stations are all vital. Local media provide advertising, which builds businesses and creates jobs. They play an important role in educating people about community projects, encouraging citizen ideas and reporting on organizations that build jobs and improve communities. They are involved in community development and help create thriving communities. Often we do not appreciate or understand the role of local media in economic development, job creation and community building. As columnists, we are firm believers in the power of media to help turn America around.

We began wondering, what if media began to monitor purchases of U. S. Federal agencies in a kind of ‘media audit’ to determine the percentage of agency spending on made in America products? What if the U. S. Congress had the courage to follow the lead of media? Similar watches could be made on state and local governments. The government purchase of American computers, copiers, furniture, construction materials and other items would greatly benefit our economy and, American made products are very competitive on price and quality.

We wondered about the organization of large scale ‘Made in America’ trade shows and expositions, where ‘Made in America’ products, technology and services could be displayed and sold. If these were held across the United States and highly publicized, we would begin to turn job creation and our economy around.

In the early history of democracy, citizens gathered to govern in Athens. Governance was deemed the responsibility of citizens and ‘citizenship’ meant the responsibility to govern. Have we, at times, forgotten? Lessons of history tell us that civilizations begin to decline when citizens default on their responsibility to govern and lead.

It is the role of citizens and of the media to turn our economy around in the United States. Hopefully our elected governmental leaders will follow! The American spirit can never be defeated, especially with American citizens and American media working together to restore our jobs.

Gordon Mercer is a global columnist, professor emeritus at Western Carolina University and a published author. Marcia Gaines Mercer is a writer, published author and global columnist. The Global Digital Post goes where others only dream about going.