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I’ve been wondering lately what the balance is between being a good citizen and a good steward. I want to be a good citizen and buy American-made products. But I also want to be a good steward and find the lowest cost for products. Does “buying American” really matter in today’s economy?
Dear Patriotic Steward,
This is a great question since there is a heightened concern over trade wars in our country now. I am not for closing our borders to imports; an open economy with competitive options is good for everybody, but given equal product choices, buying domestically-made products makes a lot of economic sense for any nation.
Specifically, buying American-made products contribute to our nation’s economic stability and supports local businesses, local communities, and individual states. When American businesses flourish, they can expand, hire more employees from the community, and contribute more tax dollars to the local government.
The nonprofit group, Reshoring Initiative, reported that 171,000 jobs were brought back to the United States in 2017. “We believe the huge increases were largely based on anticipation of greater U.S. competitiveness due to expected corporate tax and regulatory cuts following the 2016 election.”
Consider the textile industry. William McCrary, Jr., chairman of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) reported that 550,000 Americans are employed in the textile sector of the United States and that 2017 exports of American-made textiles and apparel equaled $28.6 billion.
Buying American-Made Makes You a Better Steward?
If all your purchases are American-made but you don’t provide for your family, give, save, or invest, then you are not a good steward. Stewardship means surrendering your finances to God and recognizing yourself as a manager, not owner of all you have. It’s part of your identity, not just your behavior.
Stewardship is not ordering your finances in a way that you can spend whatever you want. It’s ordering your life in such a way that God can spend you however He wants.
In a few years, everything you have will be thrown away, given, or sold to someone else. Everything! Our time here on earth is limited, but believers are promised eternity in heaven. That must be our main focus. An eternal perspective will give us the motivation to wisely steward our resources here on earth.
When it comes to spending money, buy what you need and avoid an indulgent lifestyle. Balance can be achieved by supporting local businesses whenever possible and avoiding debt. For big ticket items, I recommend researching to determine quality brands that will last. If you can buy American, then do it!
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Source: Christian Post